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3 April, 2012

I want a coloring book.  I feel like coloring vacantly with colored pencils.

No crayons.  I don’t like crayons — too inflexible a media.  They break

easily.  And when you have to peel them (which is constantly) you get wax

under your fingernails.  They smell funny.  They are impossible to keep a

point on.  One cannot be definitive without a point.  If you press too

softly you can’t blend the shades, and if you press too hard the wax builds

up and flakes off.  No crayons.  A nice assortment of good, colored pencils.

People give kids crayons to drive them nuts.


The coloring book should be something with a touch of taste — no Mickey

Mouse adventures.  There should be just enough lines to delineate the forms

and the composition and not tax draftsmanship abilities, but still allow for

a freedom of expression and sense of personal impact on the finished

product.  And, PLEASE!  No fat black outlines!  Fat black outlines are

designed for globby crayons so that parents can sooner smirk at the

developmental milestone of “look-how-all-the-colors-are-inside-the-lines”

(the kid shits on time and target).


The lines should be variable but finely drawn like a delicate etching.

Heaviness should be sensitively used to enhance a particularly fine feature

of the subject — to suggest a shadow, or just as an exuberant expression

of love for a particularly delightful curve.  I have seen some incredibly

sensuous curves and was so engrossed I could not say later of what figure

they arose.  I would run my finger tip along its flow and hum.  There is an

affinity between hums and such lines.  Fully worded choruses seem best

reserved for full, richly considered figures.  Silence for the line is O.K.,

but a hum imprints it firmly on the soul.


I will, of course, need a kitchen table to work against, and HEAR ME!:  No

nicks or scratches to catch the stylus and mar the blended flow of color!

Kids are given bumpy floors to color against to guard against relapses in

“on time and target” behavior on, God Forbid, the dinner table.


The chair must suitable for kneeling on.  Proper coloring cannot be done

with one’s spine jammed against an oaken turning.  For proper perspective

one must be able to kneel, thrust the head horizontal over a crooked arm

pillow, and view the surface plane as from a mountain top while hissing and

grunting in creative ecstasy.


A few more things:  There must be snow and cold outside frosted, multi-paned

eyes to the world, and a radiator that occasionally clanks reassurance of

life while pouring forth a rising warmth around the humidifying pan of water

atop it.  And there must be a stove with caramel rolls baking and blowing

sweetly painful whiffs of pleasure to come into the air.


Lastly, there should be someone in an apron by the stove, humming to the

lines of her own life and smiling from time to time, unnoticed but somehow

known of by the artist lost in his mountain and in the colors that roll away

into blurred infinity.  Oh — and it should last forever.



From → Stories & Poetry

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