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Roberts & Zeltzman – August 2020

Dominique Zeltzman and K Roberts traded art and words. Dominique shared this untitled pair of images with K:

In response, K wrote this poem:

Vanishing Point

Accidently I / read all the / works of Proust /
                     It was summer / I was there / so was he.
                                          Eileen Myles

                 I.              Proust Cento
my happiness is nervous, personal, untranslatable to others
             everything in life is degraded by insensible nuances
             twilight grimaces on the trees and faces
             the insufficiency of reality to satisfy them
I have the deck of cards that amused him every evening
             the smell of rose cigarettes
             earth mixed with faded leaves and rotten leaves
the tail of the peacock wheel cuts out in the transparent air
             extraordinarily sharp blue shadows
             hearts overflowing with rays that nature does not know

                 II.           Sketches in Words
Reading my childhood diary, the juvenile voice I hear
             is startlingly mine, its preferences and complaints
             unvarnished by learned technique, unlathed by practiced caution.
The core of a green sapling continues to shape a tree’s rings, ripples outward
                 like water, under the shingled and rough-barked shell.
Adult life is a harvest of containers,
             binders and briefcases  to formalize, verify purposes
             relentlessly linear as power cables, painted lanes in the road.
All the documents I handle have been purged of the ineffable,
except in my memory, a lingering lemon scent of invisible ink.


Author’s note: Though he’s best known for the massive multi-volume
novel “Remembrance of Things Past,”  Marcel Proust’s first
book was a collection of short prose and poetry. The cento in
stanza one was created with quotes from “Pleasures and Days.”
Line 1 is from “Dinner in the City II: After Dinner.” Line 3 is from
“Portraits of Painters – Antoine Watteau.” The remaining lines are
drawn from pieces in the chapter “Regrets”:  2. Untitled (Regrets VI)
4. The Sea 5. Relics 6. Pearls  7. Versailles 8. & 9. Sea Wind in the Country
10. Criticism of Hope in the Light of Love. Any errors in translation are my own.
The epigram by Eileen Myles is from the poem “Peanut Butter”.

* * * * *

K shared this poem with Dominique:

Candy Bar Comrades

Life is lunch. But the reverse isn’t true, lunch isn’t life,
dessert is life. Preferably, chocolate. Preferably, wrapped
in colorful packages, silver foils. Preferably, opt for
sugar shells, to keep our hands clean. Be sweet, always.
Life is recess. You can reverse this. Recess is life.
Life is twenty-two minutes of drama with exactly
eight minutes of important messages
from our sponsors, lasting thirty seconds each.
Life is ready-to-wear. Don’t reverse it,
seams on the outside of your clothes
aren’t attractive. Dress to fit
occasions, and look fashionable, always.
Life is talk, talk is life. Mostly. Exceptions exist.
Give others a chance to speak first, unless
you’re leading. If you’ve been selected to lead,
you’ll be notified. If you’ve been selected to talk,
refer to the footnotes at the bottom
of the last page, in the copy
we’ve provided to you, of your manifesto.

In response, Dominique made this untitled image:

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