Tuesday, February 21, 2012

“Britney To Razor Blades”

  1. A short course in forgetting chemistry

  2. How to count in oil and stone

  3. The mouldy materia prima

  4. How do substances occupy the mind?

  5. Coagulating, cohobating, macerating, reverberating

  6. The studio as a kind of psychosis

  7. Steplessness

  8. The beautiful reddish light of the philosopher’s stone

  9. Last words

Chapter titles
from “What Painting Is”
by James Elkins

This afternoon I was waiting in line
in a store to pay for some Benadryl.

When I drink too much Red Bull the sugar
and caffeine cause my sinuses to ache.

It must be like an allergy because
Benadryl helps get me back to normal.

The pills, and staying away from Red Bull.

This afternoon I was waiting in line
in a store and the sound system clicked in
as a manager made an announcement.

“Britney to razor blades,” a voice announced.

“Britney to razor blades,” it repeated,
“there’s a customer who needs assistance.”

I looked at the other people in line
and said, “‘Britney to razor blades’—that sounds
like a song title or gossip headline.”

People smiled. A woman said, “If it was
a gossip headline I’d read the story.”

James Elkins taught at the Art Institute
of Chicago’s school when he wrote the book,
“What Painting Is.” He taught art history,
theory and criticism, and the book
is an interesting comparison
of painting to alchemy. James Elkins
is a painter, writer and alchemist.

This afternoon I was waiting in line
in a store. The wait became something else.

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