Two Questions Between the Concretists and Color Field Painting
In the chiaroscuro, Desmond Kon (Donglã-Xiche) asked Desmond Kon (Donglín-Xizhao) this question: "Who will show you the difference between goat milk and yak milk now that postmodernism is dead, and playing possum too?" It was optimum poison aimed to hurt, to hit sweet home like Celan as his field mouse, a "bite through the shirt into my skin." "First of all," Celan replied in a calm eschatological register, "I would have been dead forty years this year, and looks to me like everyone has to life-surf in the downturn, and longboarding on the Grand Tour can mean struggles and hard-nubuck lessons, and believe or don't believe every utility thing you see and reread, and please parcel out the illusory from the history like wheat germ from the chaff, and please stop emasculating theory and your id and every tempera thing in between, and please, please, everybody needs a good guffaw once in a footprint while, and postmodernism doesn't die, thank Lyotard and Blanchot very much, at least not in my post-logocentric book, and haven't you heard of the post-post-post-postman's metaphor that arrives yet never arrives as author-intended, like Derrida and that phenomenal Postcard, prodigious and kernel wisdom within book covers, like Charles Saatchi when he says with the snappiness of a post-it, 'Some people like the art, some people like being shocked by it. Everyone's happy.' "
"I am the long-breve movement like eternity, and two jump cuts to the ephemeral," Desmond Kon (Momò-Wuwen) side-stepped his own thoughts to dribble lemon zest into the warming milk, pastry cream waiting like love notes penciled in the margins of Kafka's 7 July diary entry - tell us more about the railway hotel in Jungborn, its open-track ruminations a frosting to his then-misery. None of the "truthiness" feelings these days, the way the mundane seems completely safe and microfiltered, sweet whey like another gift of humor and comprehension, yes? Yes, George Plimpton turned red as an embarrassed therapist in Good Will Hunting, and as himself in Factory Girl, but who knows about that Hemingway interview he did, the only other interview ever, historically, the same way John Frow fabulously wrote: "At the same time, no text is ever unframed, even if it is the case that the act of citation or of translation or merely survival from one moment in time to another all alter the generic framework within which texts are read?" In this curdling between black light and walkway shadows, the closest colloquialism we have to this is "emo," not quite Colbert's definition of "the good story" that is also reality-defying because of our pasteurizing obsession with wavelength authenticity to the point of frou frou, all-out trippin' the light fandangle-fantastic. Maybe the old man is still melancholic and sunshades at sea, only in an endorheic basin, white mane of Beringian lions like breaking waves, color field painting on construction material like something solid and land-weary and charming as milk glass - this prewhitening shade of pale, bone ash or bone china to hold on to.
About the author:
Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé divides his time between his art and teaching creative writing. He has edited more than 10 books and co-produced 3 audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations, with work forthcoming in Blackbird, Copper Nickel, Ganymede, Pank, Spilt Milk, and The Writing Disorder. Also working in clay, Desmond sculpts commemorative ceramic pieces for his Potter Poetics Collection. The two cited books - John Frow's Genre and Charles Saatchi's My Name is Charles Saatchi and I am an Artoholic: Everything You Need to Know About Art, Ads, Life, God and Other Mysteries and Weren't Afraid to Ask - now sit on Desmond's poetry shelf, alongside luminaries the likes of Farid ud-Din Attar, James Joyce, Andrew Marvell, Gerald Stern, and André Comte-Sponville.