opening last night at [2nd Floor Projects], of Laurie Reid and Ben Echeverria's collaborative show, which was wonderfully playful and smart. In the hallway, curator Margaret Tedesco was showing a catalogue essay Kevin wrote about filmmaker George Kuchar, which includes a photo Kevin took of George naked, covering his own genitals with genitals drawn by Raymond Pettibon—part of a series Kevin is doing, which includes naked photos of many of the local Bay Area guy poets, all holding Raymond's genitals. We have a screen saver that shows random photos from our hard drive, so you can imagine how disconcerting it is to walk past my computer and see a naked David Buuck or Andrew Kenower slowly floating by. Earlier in the month, a few days before George died, Margaret showed him the catalogue. George said that he looked good in the naked picture. Vince Fecteau joked that George was a real gym queen. When someone asked what a gym queen was, I found that so odd, how anybody could live in this area and not know what a gym queen was. I sometimes forget how insular the worlds I inhabit are. Someone added that George said he worked out because because you never know when someone will want you to appear naked in a video.
After the trainer, I did a mile on the treadmill, overlooking the bay and the Bay Bridge, window open, fresh, fresh, breeze, then steam room and shower. It was a spa day. I'm going to a Korean spa on Friday with Pam Martin, whose picture reminded me of a puppet a few posts ago. After reading the post, Pam brought her antique puppet collection to last Sunday's workshop pizza party. Exquisite. She also gave me a photocopy of "Puppet Theater," an article published in 1810 by Heinrich von Kleist. I loved it—it has a sense of the marvelous, like Tales of Hoffman. Von Kleist recounts a meeting with "a certain Herr C., who had recently been engaged as premier danseur in the opera" in the town of "M." Herr C. shocks von Kleist when he claims that the dance of marionettes is superior to the dance of humans. A marionette, he explains, always moves from its center of gravity, whereas humans basically think too much and lose the innocence in their gestures. Affectation sets in, throwing them off center. The center of gravity is where the dancer's soul resides. "Or look at young F., as Paris, standing among the three goddesses and handing the apple to Venus; his soul—it is really horrible to see—is in his elbow." Another favorite passage: "Puppets only use the ground as fairies do; brushing it lightly in order that the momentary check may give a new impulse to their bounding limbs." As I read the essay, I thought of people whose personas get out of control and even though they're fascinating, there's a deadness to them. I also thought of procedural writing, how one of its agendas must be to circumvent the cycle of affectation, to recapture a touch of lost innocence.
I haven't gotten to the core of what I wanted to write here, but the hour of Pete's internet I received for buying an iced green tea is about up, so I'll sign off and continue later.