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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JK and the Turks

There was a fight on the corner last night. Ten Turkish guys went head to head on the pavement. As I understand there were no bodies, but blood was spilt.

When it happened I was at my upstairs neighbor’s, Johan-Karl – JK, from Charleroi – I was there to ask him (for fuck’s sake!) to please stop chucking his butts and cans over his balcony onto my square-meter of yard. I have thyme growing down there for my bouillabaisse and whatnot when I have visitors. Listen friend, I said, keep your waste-things out of my yard, cappice, yes?! Then I made a fist or a finger, but he didn’t respond. He left the door open and I went in after him with more shit to deliver, but once inside, my mouth dropped.

Do not fear friends! He is much older, yes, his suits are oatmeal-beige and he’s from Flanders – it all stacks up – but he’s not a pedophile. Johan-Karl is an installation artist. He makes wood and plaster contraptions; he builds animals, current and prehistoric. e.g. a full-scale, cork-built brontosaurus split in two: the rump is near the kitchen, the other half by his bed. The other thing he makes is BOXES... yes (I don’t know how else to say this except to italicize and capitalize). I was inside one when the shit hit the fan with the Turks. Six cubic meter of darkness, the highest grade, I couldn’t see my hands, there were no grooves, no fissures, the whole thing was totally hermetic. I could hear stuff, though, the Turks shouting abuse and JK rattling ice cubes in his glass. In my head – still annoyed – I was thinking of my bouillabaisse and my thyme-bush strew with Phillip Morris.

Eventually though, mmmmmmmm, I realized where I was,

Thank you Johan-Karl. Fascinating. Thank you, yes. Now, let me out.... you’re a true artist... Thank you... Johan... Johan-Karl?

I spoke Dutch. The Flemish are pesky with language, and what with the Turks dismembering each other on the block, I took precautions.

Johan-Karl... sir!

But then – Holy mother of God – something appeared out of nowhere, an electrostatic ball that sparked sporadically and danced in suspension – WFT! – an unearthly Teslian experiment, and I was caught, riveted, like the summer in Split under the pier when Nataša Franolić showed me hers and I mine and I was catapulted like a spitball into the ether (cops - sirens - ruckus - Turks caught in hand-to-hand combat) and briefly I was glued in space.