Felt Oats

  • When I was 15 years old, c. 1996, I bought this issue of Speak magazine at the Wild Oats Market in Santa Fe, NM. (I was reminded of its existence by a reference to a David Foster Wallace piece in the magazine on the wallace-l message board). Formative stuff. I think I had a subscription. How can I not remember if I had a subscription? I was a precocious pothead. I sometimes wish preternatural was a synonym of precocious. Someday I will be dead. I’d love to write an email to Dan Rolleri, Speak’s editor/publisher, but the guy doesn’t seem to have a web presence. (Oh, wait, there it is on the “contact” page. This blog, my blog, is insufferable. It is a plot in a public garden. So what if I’m killing my pumpkins? They’re my pumpkins!! I have planted the beans to spell out the phrase “Fuck you.”) The Speak website,a behind-the-scenes webzine on the making of Speak,” is great. Chris Ware was in every issue. I remember being really into Barry Yourgrau’s flash fiction, and creeped out & fascinated by Barry Gifford’s plays and fiction. They also featured Hal Sirowitz a few times…? I can’t believe this magazine was on the rack of a Southwestern health-food store in the 90s.
    Classic times. Quirky San Francisco arts magazines. The William Hurt Locker.
  • Last weekend, painting a ceiling with friends in the country (so what if I plant heirloom tomatoes and spray them with industrial pesticide? It’s my plot!!), I made a joke about “Da Vinci’s Sistine Chapel ceiling.” I thought, a few moments later, “Oh, god, wait, no– that was Michelangelo.” No one corrected me, and I am purging the shame by “writing” about it. And Michaelangelo might not’ve painted it, anyway. That is an old news story, a boring link to an article I’ve half-read. I’m at work. There’s a cat sitting on my lap. There’s also a mouse sitting on my lap. These are the office pets, Charles and Greta. Aren’t they sweet? I wish Dan Rolleri was on Facebook. And Mark Leyner. And Jamiroquai. I would love to moderate a roundtable discussion between those three guys.
  • A sculpture of oats made from felt, called Felt Oats (1996). A wool sculpture of a pomegranate “bursts” into song. “Literally.” A homeless man walks around midtown Manhattan. A female NYU undergrad smokes a bidi near the Rockerfeller center. A shark thinks murderous thoughts as elementary-school children walk by his tank. The murderous thoughts are not about the schoolchildren.
  • Nothing is classic. Actually, quite a lot is classic.