Chef d’oeuvre

Poo edit 2014-11-14




Hello you lovely people. It’s been a while. What’ve you been up to?


unprophetic magisterial


unpainted heft;

impersonality registers departure; mind

word, within fades; wisdom deflected

stars stuck widow;

red globe theory ambush; thing maybe

was the I, self-locked

plywood scenes explode; paperback

abdominal nervous comfort; female roast

masking tape

I like beautiful things as you can see…

Going up the stairs to my living room, every guest meets this one eye to eye. Normally, I don’t even comment on it, I just stand back and take note; watch how people react to having it shoved into their face. Some say nothing at all and walk on by. Others’re quite shocked, if they say so or not. You can see the conflict negotiated in their facial muscles. Then there’re those who find it quite amusing or ask me something about it. Whatever the reaction, I get an insight into my visitor and a feeling for how to deal with them in future; you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Everything you see here is for sale. For the right price you can walk off with anything that takes your fancy… That one’s nice, isn’t it? The Temptation of St Antoine. Watch your head. This used to be an old barn. Some of the beams are low.

I spent over ten years in and out of museums and galleries. Three weeks in Paris every summer, soaking up culture. Especially with my second wife, Marianne. Hélène, my third wife, was a blockhead. I don’t think she’s ever read a book in her entire life. She thinks she’s smart, but a person’s face’ll always tell you if they’re bright or not. And I don’t care how much of an effort she goes to with her make-up and her hair-do, when I look at her now, all I see is a face that looks like a pair of skidded knickers.


thing maybe was the I. amputating itself

Know what I love about art? What? You can’t talk about it and about progress in the same breath. Art cancels all thought of progress, of movement towards an absolute good. It shows us for what we are: constantly plagued by abdominal nervous the same old Question. Would you agree with me that the Image is subordinate to the Idea? A sign of the Sign, with Man (I mean you as well of course) of course desperately clutching to some semiotic turf or another for fear of slipping off into that unbearable place?

Take a look at this one. Have you ever seen a tackier, more peevish frame in your entire life? Picture’s a masterpiece, far as I’m concerned. But that frame? What an eyesore! At first I wanted to dump it and get a decent one, something ornate and gilded. And just as I was about to, I thought, hey no, don’t do that! Keep the original frame for its documentary value. Show it to some poncy fat-arsed historian, they ought to know a thing or two, might even take it off your hands for a pretty price and have it on show in a museum somewhere with people less cultured than me straining to hear what he has to say, to hear his story, vivid for the moment but which’ll recede soon to be usurped by its own unreality, soon to becousin our dreams. That, essentially, is the problem with language; it’s a lie with complete faith in itself. To speak is to lie and to want to be lied to. But I’m digressing. Point is: I kept the frame.

That one twist more, that one step further in the proclivities of your imagination, and the ugly is ugly no more. Just goes to show; there is no truth, but that we make it. String half a dozen people in front of a work of art, each will come to a different truth. What is art? Who decides what’s precious? Who, authorised to confer such an etiquette on an item; to brand the hide of the cow? Am I the masterpiece? Why am I not the masterpiece? There is no art. No science, at least no justifiable border between the two. There is only… imagination, desire and the quest; need, the willingness to construct that other world which is so much more beautiful, more reliable than the one we live in. What is truth? Truth is every single man… Anyhow, some first class Czech impressionistic paintings hanging in my bedroom. Show you later. Maybe.


The innocence, the joy, the fear of discovery. Too many had told her why she should not do-think-say-ask-try the things she did-thought-said-asked and tried.

Fuck you all.

Fuck all of you!!!

My life.

My way.


– Open it.

– What is it?

– Just open it.

He shook the box: light…

She smiled.

– No! Don’t open it until I’ve gone.


– And?

She grinned at him three days later.

– I made a blood sausage with it. Blood sausage with horse chestnuts. Delicious!

(adapted from The Red Room)

‘honest, ‘dirty’, explosively direct. Natural, classy and intelligent.’ (Goodreads)

‘Joan B. delivers the goods, spot-on. if all you’re looking for is shades of grey, don’t enter The Red Room.‘   (Kulturfabrik, Luxembourg)

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