Desire or lack thereof

So fucking awesomely bored–maybe, that’s why I spend 10 to 12 hours each day writing a stupid geometry book. (And you’ve to get up early in the morning to do that.)

But I like it. At one point in my dismal life, it was a dream.


Euclid, Hilbert, and Alone

I have Euclid’s Elements on one side of me and Hilbert’s Foundations of Geometry on the other side.  I’m trying to build a bridge in my mind between the two.  I find it desperately lonely and hard work.  I labor on it for at least 12 hours each day.

The thing that makes it even harder than it should be is that I have no one to talk to about it.  The major parts of my thoughts are locked in solitary confinement.

That’s the nature of desire though.  It’s the thing most personally felt even though the least most noticed by others.

Let’s call the situation a secret romance.

Published in: on April 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Her bag

You look at her bag.  It’s big and ugly and probably plastic too.  You want it to signify something, but it refuses. Maybe that bag is just her style and nothing more.

The Earth returns to her orbit.  Everything assumes the place from whence it came.

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

The broken heart as a work of art

La Mort de Marat

When I was in Europe this last time, I went to the Royal Art Museum in Brussels. I ran across David’s Death of Marat. David has always been a favorite of mine, so I was delighted to find the painting in Brussels. I went to the Louvre two afternoons when I was in Paris. Although I had been there twice before, I did not spend a lot of time wandering the rooms then. This time I spent several hours each afternoon immersing myself in the works. Right before I was ready to leave one afternoon, the last large room I came into had several David paintings. I stayed longer than I expected out of admiration for his work, but also because it dispersed some of my more melancholy thoughts.

I wanted my recent trip to sooth the pangs of a broken heart. Certain moments, when I discovered a work of art that jolted me from my lethargy if not my melancholy, I felt that travel was working its magic. However, whenever I was alone, the pangs of unrequited desire attacked me.

My chess addiction has turned into something like that also. I immerse myself in over 30 games in various stages of play, adrenaline takes control, and I feel as though I am participating in the creation of works of art, ones that will achieve a small importance for remaining in an Internet database, or the minds of my opponents, people who some days I see as artists devoted to creating their works.

I create my broken hearts. I am drawn to women who will share their lives with me for a little while, yet their circumstances and how they view me inevitably prove my undoing. All my canvasses are failures. My desires won’t let me get free of their memories.

In chess, I win many times, but the blunders I make in games are what remain in my mind. The games I feel I could of won, but were ruined by a foolish or rash move haunt me. A voice inside me keeps pleading, let me take that one move back.

I’ll always be in love. I’ll always go through hell because of it. Desire cannot be trumped by reason. At least, not mine.

Published in: on October 30, 2008 at 10:48 am  Leave a Comment  

Goodbye, Albertines, it was nice knowing you

It seems odd not to be searching for art today–art in museums, churches, and old houses–for my days in Europe were filled with that. I have my quiet moment with Proust (The Captive) this morning as I did on my mornings in Europe. I have the narrator’s obsession with Albertine’s stories, whether lies or truth, his confusion about whether he loves her or not, and his jealousy that knows no limits, whether justified or not. I have Proust weaving his intricate philosophy out of a surprising narrative.

I won’t have art today, but I have had a little Proust. I will also possess lovely company today–one last brief spurt of emotion that will surely leave me crestfallen by tomorrow morning at this time when I am alone. But that is OK. This is the year of short intense passions, and then abandonment. I would not trade hopeless desires for a dull placid existence.

The result of our loves are often loneliness, yet loneliness filled with cherished memories that last until the end of our days.

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  

art and totalitarianism

Let us say one is an artist in a totalitarian state where the content of all art production must serve the interests of the state. The state punishes deviation from the central interests of the state and artistic freedom judged irrelevant. The artist either works within the boundaries enforced by the state or makes herself a master of irony. Masters of irony do not come our way often. That leaves the greater majority of artists creating their art out of love for art, yet subordinated to the interests of the state. Can this second kind of artist, the conventional, fettered, and dependent artist, be considered an artist?

I say she can. The artist works within boundaries and constraints, whether state imposed or not. Complete freedom eludes even the greatest artists. Take the poetess for instance. How can she avoid writing about love?

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 11:27 am  Comments (3)  


I am studying the chess games of Bobby Fischer. It is like when I go alone to the Chicago Art Museum on Michigan Avenue. I don’t have a clue about art, yet I love it all the same and stand in awe of it.

There is something else about going to an art museum alone that I like. I see women with lonely haunted eyes wandering about by themselves. I have imagined they were as lonely as I was or had brokenhearts that seemed beyond repair. I have imagined being bold enough to ask them if they would like to get a cup of coffee with me in the museum cafeteria. We would have compared notes on love and life and art. I would have learned something from them.

The chessboard beside my computer is set to a position half way through one of Bobby’s games. A ghost moves the pieces.

Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment