On Kawara, Date paintings (via visual-poetry.tumblr.com)
It is a new year, and yet, with the new year came an immemorial calm as snow drifts enveloped my estate, padding all life away for the next few months. I stoked a sickly fire in my study. The room was stuffy, the air stale, as if it had all been inhaled and exhaled by a wooly mammoth. My Russian Blue, Astrakhan, lay curled, inured to my anxieties, on the warm stones before the hearth. I clucked my tongue, but the creature did not stir, the faint outline of his little ribs silently rising and falling. Yes, I was, at last, quite alone.
I know a new year is supposed to spur each of us to new resolutions, quaint wishes of what might be if we were somehow moved to change by the tick of the clock, instead of any improvement of character. Historically, this has not been the case for me. A brief survey of my previous resolutions should suffice:
1983: Purchase Edgar Allan Poe's former Bronx home; add aviary pending zoning approval. Effort crashed upon the rocky shoals of a blinkered Dinkins Administration.
1988: Requisition Sean Connery's Best Supporting Oscar statue (won for "The Untouchables") for his unforgivable Irish accent. Required new dental crown.
1996: Sued over rights to the concept behind Bruce Willis sci-fi thriller "12 Monkeys"; lawsuit withdrawn after I watched the movie and found it bore no relation to my screenplay, "Cheech & Chong Go Chimpo."
2001: Make sure no wars began.
2008: Elect Mike Huckabee as president in time to commute my death sentence. This was ultimately a partial victory.
"Is this a life for one of my proud station," as that irascible pinko Bertolt Brecht once lamented? I think not. The dynamics of our age are static. I am to be left in a warm room with an uncaring cat. You can have this year.
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