Tree, Unfinished


If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

Jack Handey

An orphaned attempt at “art” that’s notable for two reasons: first, that I managed for so long to keep all the constituent parts together, and second, that I actually had Big Plans for this one.

Easier than actually completing this piece—which I can’t anyway—is talking about it here. Yes, this is worse than dada: this is the art of the indolent navel gazer. I hope it’s a movement that gains some traction.

I dreamt of a Calderesque mobile from which I would suspend dozens of such trees and small snippets of words and phrases. These letters would be the sound of the trees, kvetching about the human condition (or perhaps the arboreal condition); carrying ideas between their leaves like a gentle dangerous wind.

Because you’re smart, you surely noticed that the gentle motion of the trees suspended from the mobile stands in ironic contrast to the truth of a rooted existence.

Because you’re curious, you look hard at the hanging words in the air and understand there is no babble in the branches, no unrest in the forest, no all-the-time screams. Just wind among strings.