The Shape of a Pocket
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The pocket in question is a small pocket of resistance. A pocket is formed when two or more people come together in agreement. The resistance is against the inhumanity of the New World Economic Order. The people coming together are the reader, me, and those the essays are about–Rembrandt, Paleolithic cave painters, a Romanian peasant, ancient Egyptians, an expert in the loneliness of a certain hotel bedroom, dogs at dusk, a man in a radio station. And unexpectedly, our exchanges strengthen each of us in our conviction that what is happening in the world today is wrong, and that what is often said about it is a lie. I’ve never written a book with a greater sense of urgency.
8. Drawing: Correspondence with Leon Kossoff 9. Vincent 10. Michelangelo 11. Rembrandt and the Body 12. A Cloth Over the Mirror 13. Brancusi 14. The River Po 15. Giorgio Morandi (for Gianni Celati) 16. Pull the Other Leg, It’s Got Bells On It 17. Frida Kahlo 18. A Bed (for Christoph Hänsli) 19. A Man with Tousled Hair 20. An Apple Orchard (An Open Letter to Raymond Barre, Mayor of Lyon) 21. Brushes Standing Up in Jars 22. Against the Great Defeat of the World
surface she is still (the Po is a feminine river – perhaps the most feminine in the world: by contrast the Danube is male) but deeper down, there are invisible, ferocious currents. Beware all inexperienced boatmen! The Po irrigates, offers harvests and is indifferent, as are all rivers. In Antonioni’s film the river is the chief character, defined by her colossal will, but not her impatience, to reach the sea. When she does, the sea, instead of embracing her, gives her a leg up and she clambers
Argentinian poet, Juan Gelman. that woman begs for alms in a twilight of pots and pans that she’s washing furiously / with blood / with oblivion / to ignite her is like putting a gardel record on the phonograph / streets of fire fall from her unbreakable barrio / and a man and a woman walking tied to the apron of pain we put on to wash / like my mother washing the floors every day / and the day would have a little pearl at its feet.* Much of Gelman’s poetry has been written in exile during the
trip wire which fastens the door when open. The trip wire, however, extends beyond the doorframe by less than a millimetre. In wire-terms by a hair’s breadth! At the other end of the wire, inside the cage, is a hook on to which a piece of cheese or raw liver is fixed. The mouse enters the cage to take a bite. No sooner does he touch the morsel with his teeth, than the trip wire releases the door and it slams shut behind him, before he can turn his head. It takes the mouse several hours to
p. cm. eISBN: 978-0-307-49084-1 1. Art—Themes, motives. I. Title. N7560.B47 2002 701’.18’09—dc21 2001036513 www.vintagebooks.com v3.0