Sketch of Me (Yes, Me!) Circa 1728, originally called
Study For A Portrait of Unknown Man by Maurice Quentin de La Tour

What I am about to express here in this text will have a great likelihood of shock-value that will flutter across the planes like butterflies with halos, carrying blurs to and fro from the mind, like paintbrush-strokes: lacquer across the soul, preserved in the waxing of Doubt, of Disbelief, of a supposed Tomfoolery or mere made-up quaking quacks in a littered space of indivisible fiefdom. With or without believing what will be shed forth is one’s own choosing, one’s own free-will choice, of milk, of snow, of egg, of daisy petal’s songs now in a wind long-gone, or a wind still the color of the substances seen around us in an enchanting Spring garden: what are we but mere canvases, metal, fiberglass, paper: a color before the senses, after the senses: centuries of paint? Unable to explain it to just anyone, including myself.

I have existed in different bodies since the late 17th century. In other words: for centuries. I am not a vampire, as legend might suppose, but I am a living person that has lived for a very, very long time. I say that like one might recite a poem. By “long time,” I do not mean by some art-form tiny in the distance of my being or anyone else’s being, opened up by movements of a bloom-swollen-kind of verisimilitude, worn off, worn away by Time itself, by “existing” in the leap-up, the art-form, or mere ‘chance’ such as spinning Wheel of Fortune’s titular wheel mechanism: (the kind of sound you remember in childhood, perhaps: the sounds that it made from a living-room in some summer evening: The Host of The Show, the Ultimate Optimist or an objective mask: his voice obfuscated in the illegible white background noise of it all), but, no, think of it like Keats and the thought of the Invisible Tongue so as to keep words from getting gummed-up or dirtied, but preferring them to be contaminated by celestial, collaged, dreamwheel-mechanisms of distortion (the way that Picasso was the real ‘founder’ of collage, perhaps), and little florets are plucked, tickling the fractured funny bone, the way that a dog might come and sniff the back of your knee as you are out dining upon some tasty sustenance, sipping entities or entiTEA in the sunshine, while the owner of the said dog rushes to drag the dog off, while you are thinking of the idea of The Horseman’s headless horse, which is more like it.

Once again, I repeat: I HAVE EXISTED IN DIFFERENT BODIES SINCE THE LATE 17TH CENTURY. Universal lineages? Universal heritages? I only know what I know, or have come to remember, so vividly, so delightfully!

To begin, I was a long-time friend of the French Rococo portraitist, Maurice Quentin de La Tour, who was a charming, brilliant individual, who seemingly never let anything bother him. He collected strange objects and had several dogmatic rituals he would perform during his daily routines, which were looked upon as “odd” and always smiled, and told silly jokes. His heart was light. His skin was thick as a multi-layed callous with steel-plates attached to it (metaphorically, of course: he wasn’t easily-offended by any stretch of the imagination!). When asked about how he ended up departing his hometown and winding up in London, he said that he was merely intrigued by the scene and knew “someone there” (he didn’t say who exactly) that wanted him to “join” this particular individual (a woman?), and gave no explanation (I asked, but he obfuscated) but laughed and laughed when speaking about it. He tooted a horn or three before putting to rest the “outrageous rumor” that spread about him in relation to the married woman that he supposedly “fell in love with” who, along with her husband, had tricked him one night when La Tour had expected to have a nightly-romance, but turned sour when they tricked him into hanging from a basket outside of her house (you can read this tale anywhere, but I’ve known it to be false all-along; or, at the least, I believe La Tour’s side of the story). In a rebuttal, La Tour tells me that this “outrageous” “rogue” “pluckable pincher” (his words: not certain what he meant by ‘pluckable pincher’, but I recall it with ease!) was a rumor that was started by a fellow that had grown maliciously envious of him and wanted to “ruin him” for reasons unknown. (If this sounds far-fetched, then it should; I am not expecting anyone to believe me!)

In any event, with or without the detritus of putting the proper language to these impressions so as to have them rise into a fruitful coaxing isn’t my intention, and if they are looked upon like the dying embers and waves settling after crashing into the sabliere, then so be it...

What I will express now, and what everyone should be privy to, is that La Tour had me ‘sit’ for many of his sketches, but most of the occasions I could barely contain myself and remain stoic for his wit-whistled expertise because of the smiling, the laughter that he would have me contained in, like waves of joke-bubbles exploding into my external-composition (in which case, on one occasion, La Tour arose and started dancing, leaping into the air like a gazelle fleeing from a predator, yet gleeful, as if tipsy-toeing upon the beak of the Dodo, the way we all await some “big moment” to occur out of anywhere, and having made his way over to me, began making marks upon my face! He then briskly ran goofily back to his seat, expecting me to remain still, which in this incident did not occur! So, we had drinks instead and he then began telling me of several people* that had “interest” in me, all of these individuals remarkably, and quaintly, paralleling my entire 20th and 21st Century Timeline).

However, there is one sketch in particular that is the center of the entire purpose of sharing this information, and it is the one that I have showcased called “Study For A Portrait of Unknown Man”. Now, if I were to inform the reader that this “unknown man” is myself, one would likely laugh or raise one’s eyebrows (or both) and would understandably find it difficult to believe (“Poppycock!” one might even scream outloud!).

On the contrary, dear readers, that is indeed me you see in this sketch.

For further consideration: In the “Encyclopedia of Pennsylvania Biography: Illustrated, Volume 13,” one can find documented a paralleled version of myself of what I would resemble today, having been born September 6th, 1696 (a photograph, if it had of been possible, would have resembled me today, circa 2017, in the year 1731 if one synchronizes my current age today versus then, etc.). I came from a background of settlers. I was, indeed, married and had children, so at least those documents can be found to be accurate. Not only was I living in France as a native Frenchman as now known as “The Unknown Man” (I have no recollection of my French name, unfortunately.) It was circa 1728, however, that the portrait of me that you see showcased was sketched. I was 32 years of age, which was roughly one year or thereabouts after La Tour told me that he had “made his glad return to France”. Our friendship lasted many, many years.

According to the text cited above, I “died” in the year 1776 (if looking at it from a paralleled viewpoint), but this is inaccurate information, of course. I have been alive, at the least, since the late 17th century, and have lived numerous lives. This past June, I celebrated my 321st Birthday (that I know of).


*The “people” that La Tour stated were “interested” in me were three women of which—as previously stated—parallel women that I’ve known in my current state of existing in the 20th and 21st centuries, although the stories of each of our connections do not coincide with then and now, but oddly, each of them are named the same—three of them: Elizabeth, Elisabeth (with an ‘s’) and Elizabeth again. (La Tour joked that they were triplets! Turns out, they were each of different family backgrounds). Two of them had mental breakdowns, almost eerily similar, and the final Elizabeth was really more interested in La Tour than she was me, but La Tour disregarded it, and nothing ever became of it.

                 My old friend, Maurice Quentin de La Tour, Self-portrait with Lace Jabot, 1751



Image result for roberto matta

Painting by Roberto Matta

I dreamt that I was an interdimensional Vitruvian Man with a Spirit-governed Body, and that, at first, I was existing inside of a building that was inside of the architecture of a world of 5 dimensions surrounded by walls of glass windows and holographic elevators, all at synthetic distances. The elevators had large pipes inside of them which featured waterfalls, but the water within the pipes were flowing upward like geysers (the Nile River of the Cosmos, perhaps!). The other 6 dimensions which are curled up in less than 10-33 cm, as is known, were directly above my existing spaces in the metacosm, which were no longer elusive to my former 3-dimensional limitations and were now knowable.  

Later in the dream, I 
graduated to Infinite-Dimensional Hilbert Space, but before that, I was limited to only several dimensions. It was understood that every thought (mine and others) were considered as one photon" within the hyperspaces of existence, and that, in the dream, the building that I was in was the manifestation of, again, one photon from the mere thoughts of other people, as well as including other mysterious subatomic particles. 

Image result for roberto matta
Painting by Roberto Matta

As I walked around the borderless/frameless building, I entered into one of the holographic elevators, which featured a waterfall pipe (the 'living water' rising on the inside of it), and immediately without warning my interdimensional body became attached to the pipe, as if I were magnetized to it. My back was to the pipe, my arms above my head, also attached to the pipe, which by that time, had become a mere pipeless gushing of geyser-like water that still retained its pipe-like form. Moments later, I began to rise upward with the water at the speed of light (said the narrator of the dream) and the elevator had burst out of its limited dimensions and into the previously mentioned Infinite-Dimensional Hilbert Spaces (the elevator appeared to have disintegrated and disappeared as I rose with the pipe-like properties of the upward flow of the water). 

Image result for roberto mattaPainting by Roberto Matta

It was understood to me that I was moving upward at the fastest measurement of time, although it appeared, at times, that I was moving in slow-motion (in fragments). At the same instance, a wall of colors (reds, yellows, purples, greens, oranges, pinks, etc.) were hovering around the pipe-like water geyser that I was attached to; the colors were moving around me gracefully, moving into one another, blending into new colors, glistening in and out, spinning around me and finally possessed my entire body, now fully glorified, so that I was literally clothed in a body of colored light which resembled 12 precious stones: the turquoise, the amethyst, the beryl, the ruby, the topaz, the jacinth, the sapphire, the agate, the diamond, the onyx, the jasper and the emerald. 


Chess, Mostly Chess, But Also: Subconscious Free-thought Streams, A Swivel-head of Random Thoughts, etc.

The Chess Players (1831) by Frederich August Moritz Retzsch

More information HERE about the painting above: 

 “Your Dream-book is a numinous Computer...” 

                                                                                            —Wilson Harris

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve posted to this shimmering wall of iridescent canopy; the senselessness of it all, the sense of sensing nothing at all, or sensing ‘Everything’ at the same instance—thinking of something like a scrub-away ‘erasure’ in the calendar, in the Time of ‘ALL’ (or nothing), something like rushing back to see a wolfpack plotting. 

                     Wolf——A—us Mo—art, the visible Wolfengänger.

             Invisible Music begins playing like a wall of jukeboxes only heard by children.

Thinking of Chess. Thinking of playing Chess.

Thinking recently of discovering a kindred-spirit, fellow artistic soul, who’s family background is “full of chess players,” including herself, naturally, and interesting that lately—as Shakespeare’s Tempest thought of the swirling oceans within me first to become what it became, and now, the longing, the ache having manifested itself into a rainbow that shoots through me like a prism, pulling out the yarn of my soul, unraveling my DNA, knitting outward the color of everything that I behold—I realize that not only does collaboration or the mere discussion of ideas make a wall of erupting glistening-listening-dances of bliss explode throughout my ever-starry body, but it is so powerful, at times, that I feel like my very words could raise Shakespeare from the dead! He would shake off his graveclothes and I’d put them on like a halo around my head.
Interesting, ‘roundabout this time, I’d discovered one of my favorite writers—Sir Thomas Browne (who, quite frankly, is on par with Shakespeare, in my opinion, but oft little known or obscure!)—who I had discovered was apparently a lover of the game, as wellwho said about Chess (out of his Religio medici):
I know that Manna is now plentifully gathered in Calabria; and Josephus tells me, in his days it was as plentiful in Arabia; the Devil therefore made the quoere, Where was then the miracle in the days of Moses: the Israelite saw but that in his time, the Natives of those Countries behold in ours. Thus the Devil played at Chess with me, and yielding a Pawn, thought to gain a Queen of me, taking advantage of my honest endeavours; and whilst I laboured to raise the structure of my Reason, he strived to undermine the edifice of my Faith.”
One cannot help but to think of Thomas Middleton’s comical satirist play, A Game at Chess, which was first performed by “The King’s Men” in August of 1624 at “The Globe Theatre”. Interestingly, Middleton was arrested in London after producing the play, which satirizes the proposed marriage of Prince Charles of England with a Spanish princess. After his arrest, the play was censored and wasn’t allowed to be shown again. What a bunch of powderpuffs!
Mostly gloriously, as one analyzes (without the “paralysis of analysis”!) further into the lush regions of Browne’s chess-glinting spaciousness; his love for chess was apparent, for, one rapturous stream from The Garden of Cyrus, Browne says about Chess this sparkling-water of sea upon the subject:
In Chesse-boards and Tables we yet finde Pyramids and Squares, I wish we had their true and ancient description, farre different from ours, or the Chet mat of the Persians, and might continue some elegant remarkables, as being an invention as High as Hermes the Secretary of Osyris, figuring the whole world, the motion of the Planets, with Eclipses of Sunne and Moon.”
In Sophia Psarra’s book, Architecture and Narrative: The Formation of Space and Cultural Meaning, she writes about Browne’s text:
[Browne] suggests that the pattern of ancient plantations was the quincunx, which captured the mystical mathematics of the city of heaven. In the opening chapter [of The Garden of Cyrus] he proposed that the original pattern was not the square but the lozenge generating a triangular grid. This configuration allows closely packed circles to be formed, providing the densest planting of trees in an orchard (Moore, Mitchell and Turnbull 1988: 161). For Browne this was also the original pattern of chessboards that brings us to Albert’s question to Yu Tsun: ‘in a riddle whose answer is chess, what is the only word that must not be used? ... The word “chess” I replied’ (Borges 2000a: 85). Albert’s question aimed at demonstrating that in Ts’ui Pen’s book, an enigma whose answer was time rather than space, the word time was deliberately omitted. The association of the quincunx plantation as cosmic model of heaven, with the chessboard and the maze, expresses the relationship between the human mind and the world whose logic it deciphers in the form of the ordered patterns of geometry, mathematics and language (Irwin 1994: 140).”
She goes on:
Irwin argues that Ts’ui Pen’s labyrinthine book alludes not only to Browne but also to a garden that is both a labyrinth and a chessboard—the garden of Looking-glass House in Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass (1994: 75). Carroll’s book creates temporal reversals and spatial inversions. Gardner comments that Alice’s dream of the red king who dreams of Alice suggests infinite regression like two mirrors facing each other (Gardner 2001: 198). For Gardner chess encompasses the notion of the mirror by the reflectional symmetry of the opposing chess pieces at the start of the game. The allusions to Carroll and Browne then seem to suggest that by reading The Garden of Forking Paths we are reading a riddle whose answer is chess.
She continues:
“Calvino in Invisible Cities has also used chess as a metaphor for the structural relationships underlying a narrative. For Peponis it refers to Saussure’s comparison between language and the game (Peponis 1997a: 43). Each move on the chessboard is understood within the structural rules, in the same way in which words in a sentence are understood in terms of their relationship to other words. It can be added that the comparison with chess points also to another fundamental proposition by Saussure. The mode of signification is governed not only by sequential operations (of noun and verb, subject and predicate etc.) apparent in a sentence, but by structural laws of association which relate each signifier to other potential, but not actually present, signifiers within the total system of language (Saussure 1983: 124). In Calvino’s Invisible Cities, laid out as riddles, Kublai Khan tries to decipher their logic with the help of the chess game. The name that is not used but is always implied is: Borges.”

               Game of Chess
(1535) by Giulio Campi

I find that my Surrealistic psyche’, the dream theory and the ideas, that proposed to spin around me at a young age, propelled me to create images along these same lines, but images that are not self-conscious (un-self-conscious?), but are reflections of my own dreams, imaginations, and perhaps a collective mindfulness of surrealism, poetic language, the oneiric, et al. Having a life, early on, that was primarily sheltered, a lot of my work early on was taken ‘in-doors’ (which, incidentally, was brought to my attention by one J. Kelso, of which I recall when we first met, as we discussed our work, photography and art in general, etc.: “I’ve noticed that most of your work is shot in-doors,” he said! So I suppose it’s quite conspicuous to other people—not that it’s such a mystery or secret, considering it’s quite obvious to see that I do a lot of shooting in-doors, but it is what it is.
In the way that Chess, Physics, Dreams, and Image-making seem to be intermingled, I feel that the Camera is a kind of Time Machine with a nature of never being a split-second early or a split-second late. Photographs seems as real, yet as elusive, as moonbeams (one has to observe closely). Photographs must have heartbeats that could beat our doors down; our walls, our rooms, pulsating and flashing like neon lights that spray color on all that they touch. Photographs never seek to be liberated from anything—they are what they are, nothing more. I envision a camera “running away” with a photograph in some romantic rendezvous.
Mindful as I am now—one refers back to my newfound kinship: our future chess-playing, and new collaborations with iridescent curtains in wide-open fields, like portals we walk into, out of, back into again. Like playing a game of chess with ‘Death’, I’d mentioned Ingmar Bergman’s masterful film, The Seventh Seal to her, in which she said it sounded familiar. Bergman had seen Albertus Pictor’s painting/fresco of ‘Death playing chess’ from the 1480s, which is showcased in Täby Church in Täby kyrka, Täby, north of Stockholm. This: 

Death playing chess from Täby Church, by Albertus Pictor

Related image

      Scene from The Seventh Seal (1957), Chess With Death!

This makes me think
              of the thought of the skeleton
                                       underneath my flesh
                                                       making my bones rattle with glee 

as the world spins, spins, spins on its rusty hinges.
                                         Tattooing myself with a dewy wind;
                         the droplets
                           from my skin,             new clouds
                                   to follow me,      like trained vultures.

I am caving into my own body with crossed fingers.

Life burns like lightning and lightning refuses to stay still, like a natural flame. 

The pendulum swings into the congested disorients of flowing Surprise Confetti.

I sit here by the window, the light on my body speaking in a different language, yet there is silence, a cold silence, like someone sitting in the blackest darkness, waiting to be phoned by no one. 

Chess awaits...

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, La Partie d'Échecs (The Chess Game) (1943)