Objects on the Lawn Dialogues
February 23, 1998
Two eyeballs, stuck on ornamental
a torn cloak, tied into a noose
a large mask
a young boy
an olive branch
Q. Aaughhhahh! Why do you have extra eyeballs?
Q. Do they see well?
Q. Um, are you having a yard sale?
Q. What do you do with the olive branch?
A. Hit people like you.
Q. Can I try on the mask?
Q. Where did you find such a nice young boy?
A. I dont know.
Q. Is he for sale?
Q. Does that noose work?
Q. Whats the umbrella for?
(possessions of Oedipus)
charts sack of
embarrassing death certificate
Who were you visiting?
What was your last discovery before your death?
Do you realize a song has been written about you? Do you have any verses to add?
A: I came here not to visit the King, as you may have thought, but because this is the place I was born, and I thought that from here I might have been able to find the place of my death. Indeed, I was, and I did, but not in the way I expected -- the telescope was not needed, the charts and the graphs were redundant -- I was already here -- all I had to do was wait..... Perhaps it is best if I tell you the whole story; or perhaps (of course!) you are familiar with it through the bardic achievements of some so-and-so....Indeed I find most of the songs about me painstakingly accurate, though lacking in moral direction. I would like (as would all, no doubt!) to tag a Lesson onto my epitaph -- namely, "We must all, every Tom & Harry, piss on our fathersí favorite armchairs, even if we are a prince, and the armchair a throne."
(possessions of Tycho Brahe)
Stuff I Have:
a small tree
a medium sized rock, jagged
a small rock, smooth
a hanging rock, collapsible
a sharp razor
a pocket knife
a small bed
an infinitely deep box of Truth
an electric guitar
keys to a car Iíve lost
a portable black hole of faith
Q: Hello, friend. Are you having a garage sale?
A: Iím bearing my soul to the common man. Through my goods. I might sell some stuff, too. Manís got to eat.
Q: I see that you have an electric guitar. Is that up for sale or for rent?
A: Iím giving it away to the first man who shows me he can play. If you can play, I can give it up, but if you canít, Iíll have to save it for the man who needs it.
Q: I understand. I, as a musician, recognize the importance of these things. As you can see, I would not be capable of playing such a thing. I am more of a wind instrumentalist. Do you like that sort of music?
A: Music is the language of my life, see; I can understand the guitar like English; wind instruments are more like Swahili to me, or maybe French. Louisiana French. I understand all musical instruments, you know, you could say I commute from the world through music.
Q: Well, I commute between point A and point B.
A: Do you mean literally, on earth?
Q: Yes, the Hellenic world and the Andes.
A: What are you talking about, man, the Hellenic world, thatís defunct. Get out!
Q: I do not mean to offend! But I will poke your tender bottom! And pinch your luscious buttons!
A: What are you saying, man? Whatís going on? Get out of here, Iíve got a razor.
Q: Eek! That is meant for shaving, not for harm!
A: Look man, one of us has to suffer for this shit, and I donít think I can hurt you, youíre too fuckin silly.
Q: Eek! (He is captured, strapped, and put in the chest.)
(possessions of EWís ideal self)
(Q = person whose possessions
a crate of Vidalia onions
a special kind of bed, shaped in a special way
noise-makers for holidays and special occasions
a durian fruit
a fragrant garland
a pipe organ with scuffed foot pedals
a Stairmaster, a special kind of Stairmaster
16 tiny pairs of shoes, 8 of which are identical to the other 8
a tin can
a 1950s-style toothbrush without bristles
a 1970s-style hairbrush that looks like it has never been used
Q: What brand breath mints?
A: Just something for my darling granddaughter.
Q: What does the garland smell like?
A: It reminds me of simpler times, of roses.
Q: Do you fall off the Stairmaster?
A: I used to climb to the top of the world, and have some tea.
Q: Are you human?
A: Yes, darling.
Q: Where are your parents?
A: Were, dear. In the old country. A shoemaker, and a cookie baker.
Q: Where do you shop?
A: It all makes its way to me. I stopped shopping when I started loving.
Q: What are your favorite holidays?
A: Thursdays are most enjoyable.
Q: What do you use your bed for besides sleeping?
A: I can touch both ends at once. And the light is good to read by.
Q: What is a lawn?
A: Dear, how sheltered you are. Have some cake and weíll talk. Drink some tea and hear my heaven.
(possessions of Pan)
(Q = ?)
(A= Pan is transformed into Granny through a collaborative effort)
Out on the Lawn:
18 boxes containing cloth
scraps, buttons, plastic parts, wire, cotton batting, etc.
2 folding tables
1 beige convertible sports car
hot glue gun
wax and paraffin
20+ handmade dolls
beaded necklace collection
3 large bookshelves
books (herbal medicine, fabric arts, Black Power, Berkeley in the Ď60s, Joy of Sex)
several flowing scarves / headwraps
8 cotton dresses wool shawl
sandals / several pairs shoes marijuana and wooden pipe
African bead game felt
inside a box: 1 bullet herbal tea
food for several days (lentils?) small refrigerator
futon slide portfolio
press releases (featuring self-portrait) personal papers and letters
address book audio tapes
slippers boom box
Q (thinks to himself): Hey, do they have any illustrations in The Joy of Sex?
Q: Do any of your books have illustrations?
A: Yeah, you might want to check out The Batik Inferno, Sacred Healing Herbs... or The Joy of Sex.
Q: Hey, did you shoot that bullet, or is it still unshot?
A: I didnít shoot it. I found it in the woods behind my uncleís house in North Carolina. But itís a spent cartridge. Thatís from a thirty-ought-six. I guess a lot of hunters use those but theyíre pretty big for game. Iíd never hunt game with a gun... bow and arrow, maybe.
Q: Hey, do you like lentils?
A: Yeah (laughs, kind of a grunt). I guess I cook a lot of dried beans. Mostly green and yellow splits, but yeah, I cook a lot of lentils.
Q: Hey, does your anarchy book have anything to do with the Sex Pistols?
A: Shit, yeah! Lipstick Traces by Greil Marcus? Itís all about the Sex Pistols, and the Situationist International and Dadaism and Fluxus and... blah, blah, blah.
Q: Have you ever thought of using your futon as a couch?
A: Well, you could do that, but I donít have a frame for it. But you could sort of lean it up against the wall or something, and people could sit on it.
Q: Is there anything in that refrigerator? You should watch out because it might go bad.
A: Naw, I unplugged it so I could drag it out onto the lawn.
Q: Hey, do you have any good tapes?
(possessions of R.A., Los Angeles artist)
(Q = L.M.ís kid brother, as below)
a Fender amp
a Victorias Secret catalog
some pennies in a handmade clay dish
an egg-crate mattress
a Nintendo 64
a Matt Groening Big Book of Hell
a stained rug
some Old Spice deodorant, unevenly used
Snapple peach iced tea bottles, empty
Smoke, KIDS, and Altamont footage
a report about Colombia, hand written
empty baseball card sleeves
Q: Have you found the way?
A: The way to where? I just like to watch movies. I think I want to go to film school.
Q: Have you read this text?
A: Huh? Oh, Laura Mulvey? My professor said itís due Monday, but I havenít gotten anything done this weekend. Besides, theoryís for pussies. I like video.
Q: Games? Have you read much?
A: What díya mean? Nintendo rules, though. I do like Matt Groeningís stuff. I donít even think heís sold out, even now that The Simpsons got so big.
Q: Tell me about the truth in movies.
A: I donít care. I donít think Quentin Tarantino cares either.... If I donít get into film school, Iíll get an internship at MTV. I donít care about truth. But KIDS did a pretty good job. It was like cinema verité, you know?
Q: Tell me how to be both heavenly and slovenly, about being crooked and commercial.
A: Slovenly? Take a look at this dorm! As for heavenly, check out the Victoriaís Secret babes... Hey, donít tell anyone Iíve got this catalog here, okay? My girlfriend might get weird on me. As for crooked... I wouldnít mind making some money on my movies, you know what I mean?
Ruler Water pistol
Protractor Squirting flower
Pencil Set Fake poo poo
Fabric Marker Phony barf
Scissors Rubber worms
Yarn Clown Horn (Rubber Bulb)
Knitting Needles Fish Food
Sewing Machine Incense
Violin Case (locked) Peppermints
Backpack Glass Marbles
Chewing Gum (licorice flavor) Aquarium
Spirograph® Bob Marley bootleg
Perfection® Bow (for violin)
Superfection® Tackle Box
Etch-A-Sketch® Tangerines (Clementine)
Arrows (to indicate direction) Rubber Bone (well-chewed)
Compass (the other kind)
James Baldwin novel
Wooden Matches ("Rosebud")
Snowstorm (in a glass globe)
Q: I notice you do not know where you are, but you know which direction you are going. What are you aiming for?
A: I am looking for the center of humor. Once I find it, I will expand outwards through a variety of methods, until I reencounter the center on the other side.
Q: What happened to your sled?
A: I used it for firewood, then traded it for a laugh.
Q: Can you juggle?
A: I can only juggle genuine fake poopoo.
Q: What is important to you, and who?
A: Clowns are important to me, as are soap opera stars. I aspire to chew on things, to consider the center of things, to float on all things, and to fake it.
Q: How do you play your favorite game? Can you do it out here?
A: My favorite game is where you spill random objects on the floor and then I ask you questions about each one. Until they are all perfectly put away. I must then draw a picture of all of the objects, from memory. And yes, we can play it out here, since we have my Etch-A-Sketch®. Shall we play?
On the Lawn:
One yellow and orange silica
a box of dried fruit
79 books 3 tight, long skirts
a label gun
a giant marble with brown, blue, and green swirls
three illustrated books made by a small child
17 pens -- 5 working
an orange cat
a black and white photo of a woman in a kayak, frowning
a photo of a ladder
a quilt with no cover
a pink velour car seat
a package of Gimme-Lean
a flannel pillow case
a mug for tea
a contact case
two boxes of triple echinacea with Kombucha tea
a sheaf of papers
a honey bear
Q: Where did you get that enormous marble?
A: I found it inside the asshole of a small child who live with me for a time.
Q: How was it made? Iíve never seen one quite so... big!
A: It was created much like a pearl is formed in the oyster. Many layers of laughter and imagination stuck to a small irritating particle of sadness.
Q: Oh, a kitty! Whatís your catís name? I love cats!
A: My catís name is Fred. But he wonít like you.
Q: Here, kitty, kitty! Is it a boy or a girl?
A: Iím telling you, he wonít like you.
Q: What do you mean? Oh... itís been "fixed." But before that?
A: Well, you get the picture. Once Fred was friendly to all kinds of creatures, but when we did that... -- would you like some testicles? I got them at the Air & Space Museum.
Q: Thanks, I love dried fruit! What kind of tea is that?
A: Thatís poison tea. Would you like me to fix you a cup?
Q: Donít mind if I do! But while weíre waiting for the water to boil, do you mind if I get under the quilt?
A: No, but be prepared to touch my soft spots!
Q: Mmmm... whoís the lady in the boat?
A: You change the subject a lot. But thatís the Lady of Shallots. Sheís a friend of mine and is in the nature club.
Q: Oh, she looks so sad! Why is she making that face?
A: None of your goddam business! You are nosy.
Q: Yeah, I guess I do ask a lot of questions! (Laughs.)
A: That was the day that she had some of my tea. And that was the moment when I told her it was the last hour of her life.
Q: Oh... thatís the tea kettle now!
A: Do you take to creaming? --err, do you take cream?
Q: Honey, thanks. And lemon, if you have some.
(possessions of RZ)