Cylindrus


Is it a tower? A candle? Maybe a mannequin preening before a mirror?

Aw, forget it. A microphone just is, suspended mid-living room, mid-project, a simple cylinder and an ellipse. Backdropping this bright red device is a more surreal red, lights glowing through a tomato plant — a fuzzier — hairier — version of another cylinder mid-project.

Words beg for significance — and thus fail. So put them aside and pick up a paint brush. Study the subject. With your eyes ahead, follow its shape — simultaneously marking the paper. Check for reasonable accuracy — occasionally. Just sketch the general idea — which described by faintly gray straights and curves on bleached white makes sense on its own.

A story implies itself by the questions raised: Why is a microphone in the middle of your living room? Who should be sitting in the low chair which it faces? When is showtime?

Cords — slithering tubes — twist and burst across the flat blue carpet below the wider tube of the mike stand. I could name these electronic tentacles. But tentacles feel outwards into the world to know it, while the cords are a physical invention to hold something already known: electrical current. They are a jumble with purpose designed by a brain that doesn’t doubt the invisible.

The mike, pre-amp, and cables document a nightly process of practice and record. Rinse and repeat. Trust that enough iterations will yield enough accuracy. In the interim, with morning coffee, paint, and pen, I skip dialogue and newly see.


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