Blesok no. 99, November-December, 2014
(a treatise with a tale and poetry and listing)
Dwarf: the origin of thought
There were seven dwarves, one Snow White. There was one dwarf that after a days’ work in the mines was sleeping with his feet on the pillow. The one Snow White woke him up to tell him he was sleeping upside down. “Is this my house?” the dwarf asked. “It’s yours, but no one sleeps that way”, said the fairy-tale beauty. “I sleep this way in my house. I sleep as I wish. And if you have nothing better to do, go clean up the yard!” said the dwarf, and pulled the blanket over his shoulders (which were between the ankles of the neighbouring dwarves).
Dwarf: instructions for use
From the above-mentioned, it is clear that the instructions for applying the dwarf rule are simple and easy: if you don’t like the music, the smell, the atmosphere in my house – go clean up someone’s yard. If you don’t like what I’m like, how I breathe, how I write, how I sleep, how I paint, how I drink, how I eat when I eat, roll up your sleeves and find something better to do.
My house, my rules. (let’s repeat this once again)
My life, my time, my biorhythm, my tastes for my tongue, my words, my paintings, my desires. My paintings. My words. My solitude, my freedom.
Dwarf: notes from the liver
I AM FREE
from make-believe friends,
who only wanted to hear
the stories of my pain.
from pain-in-the-ass worriers
who look up my name in their address books
only after I am gone for real.
from flattering lipstick lips
smiling in lies, acting out
the lunacy of their lives, their highest point.
from declarations of love, hormonal,
rash, easily uttered –
a miserable draught of wind between my fingers.
from the thought of obligation
in the day that is about to dawn:
I don’t have to see anyone anywhere.
I am free from flattering words:
few know what’s bubbling in my liver.
they are quiet, they don’t torpedo me with compliments.
I am free from tensed-up Samaritans:
I always tell my girlfriends
where I’ve run off to, and most often why.
I am free from make-believe friends:
from all critters who want to change me
under the guise of concern for my “social projection”.
I am free from vultures, suckers
of energy, aggressive bitches playing princesses,
crazy pussies playing normal.
I breathe well,
I am wind
between my fingers.
Dwarf: some general conclusions
1. Even though many people want it, if even for a day, it is not easy to be Miro, Igor, Beti, Jovche. Madness, boldness, strength are required.
2. (and a liver beyond all criteria)
3. Everyone is alone, we are all alone. Occasional contact with the resemblances of others is welcome, but not mandatory for deep, free, peaceful solitary breathing. Inhaling, exhaling.
4. My solitude, my freedom.
5. (let’s repeat this once again)
WHEN MASIN (DIDN’T) TURN INTO A MONKEY
No one knows exactly what happened during Miroslav Masin’s last performance. There are several versions. But my friend who is an art critic and is the niece of an aunt who has a cousin who was very close to Masin told me the story, so I think my version is more or less correct. I’m not very good at art, but since my friend studied arts, she told me it was very important to give background to the story, so I’ll do this, though I don’t really see what the point is.
When my friend and I were little, Masin had some sorts of performances in the Skopje zoo. But back then the zoo was stinky and sad and I remember my parents not wanting to take me there after once we threw some chips to the fox and she gobbled them up. So, I haven’t really seen this performance, but my friend remembers something from what she saw and heard afterwards.
Allegedly Masin locked himself up in the monkey house and sat there all weekend long. When I first heard about this, I thought this was something spectacular, but really this wasn’t anything special because he was sitting locked up behind the bars (although I’m sure he wasn’t really locked up) with a bowl with a goldfish in it, a canary bird in a cage, and a picture of some kind of fish on the wall. And this was all over the newspapers and on the first TV channel, which was a big deal back in the day since there were only two channels. My friend knows this better, since her very aunt took her to the performance together with the cousin. And supposedly then the aunt and the cousin and my friend, who was a little girl, stood in front of the cage and watched Masin taking sips of something, puffing away on his cigarette and smiling, and the aunt went on to tell my friend about the importance of art, and this is when my friend developed a liking for the arts. She’s not a very talented painter so she became a critic.
After that my friend saw Masin on billboards all over town and she realized that she had witnessed an important event. This is why she went to his second performance, which was more interesting than the first: I don’t know a thing about art, but even I thought this story was more exciting. At this performance Masin did something much more dangerous than getting locked up with a fish in a bowl, a canary in a cage and a painting in a frame and spending the whole weekend in the zoo like that, and on top of all getting put up on billboards and getting famous. This time he really locked himself up with a monkey in a cage. To be honest, the monkey was small and wasn’t one of those dangerous or aggressive types. Allegedly, the cousin of my friend’s aunt claims that it really liked eating spring onions and when Masin gave him water from a bottle of Jupi he would drink it. He wasn’t cuddly, but didn’t bite either, so Masin really got off easy here too, all though he spent two weeks locked up in the monkey house where you can imagine how it stinks and how cold it is, especially during those days when the zoo was a complete disaster. I have to hand it to him here that he really did make some kind of a sacrifice for art. There was some kind of story here about who’s really inside and outside the cage, about who’s really evolved, man or ape, who’s more sincere, or something along those lines.
There would be gradation here when the third performance would be more interesting than the first, and then the second, but it’s not really like that. Masin was not really in the third performance at all – there was just a fishbowl with a goldfish in a cage. I was really thinking of not mentioning this in the story, but being truthful is important so that’s why I included it. This was about some kind of wish, so people called with wishes that Masin’s goldfish was supposed to grant them and the person with the most beautiful wish got a painting. I didn’t find this to be very interesting or inventive, but everything has to be told for the sake of truth and objectivity.
In stories nothing interesting usually happens at number four. Usually this happens at three or seven. But with Masin it was number four. Even I heard about Masin’s fourth performance because it was all over the newspapers: Masin, the monkey and the magician: retroevolution. But because I don’t go to exhibitions, I didn’t go to this one either, which is something I really regret now. But my friend, the aunt and the cousin went. And my friend told me that some famous magician, someone named Dynamo or something, showed up and put Masin in a big box. The magician wasn’t from around here and he spoke English with a strange accent. Masin was a little unsteady before getting inside the box because he was really drunk, which was normal for him, my friend told me. The magician said that he would now turn Masin into a monkey, and that when he’d open the big box, the monkey would come out of it and take a bow. While my friend was telling me all this, I couldn’t really understand what this had to do with art. I don’t get it now, either, but never mind. And then the magician waved a sheet in front of the box and smoke started coming out from the inside – but this wasn’t strange either because Masin went inside the box smoking a cigarette. Suddenly all the lights went out and back on. Then the magician opened the box and really, inside was a small monkey smoking a cigarette. When the monkey saw the people, it freaked out, took off, and started running in the crowd. But it ran in a strange way, sort of tilted to the side, and soon it ran out of the gallery and disappeared. Suddenly there was panic: all the employees and guests at the exhibition started looking for Masin all over the gallery, because the magician remembered that the monkey was too small in size and that the whiskey Masin drank before the exhibition was too much for the monkey, and now it could be lying unconscious somewhere in a corner, or, God forbid, it could have died of toxic shock. The police and the ambulance came, but there was no sign of Masin, nor of the monkey, and no one knew what to believe. In the end the guest left the exhibition very upset and Masin was gone for three days.
After several days the newspapers published a picture of Masin sitting in his yard and smoking. Some journalists asked him if he really did turn into a monkey, others asked where they got the monkey from and wanted a statement from the magician, but Masin just sat there smiling and little by little got them all drunk and in the end no one was able to get their work done. I know this because the cousin of my friend’s aunt was there, and she also tried to get something out of him. She asked him, what were you really trying to say with all this? And he said, I was about to ask you the same thing, and took a sip from his glass.