Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Real Estate Speculation

Real Estate Speculation

You never liked to be cold.

As soon as you died they came and took your things away.
(Yuppies’ trumpet).

Curtains beds sheets hassocks dressers rugs dresses shoes towels smocks scarves
--that infamous panama hat!—
boots umbrellas jackets your pea coat mules slippers and long lace up boots.
Estate sale.

They boxed your paintings—six donated to the local museum--then sold your horde of paint tubes and jugs on craigslist
rolls and cans of brushes bolts of raw canvas gessoed panels  stretchers frames frameboxes buckets of turpentine pencils and pastels rulers glass belayers pliers hammers saws nails shears
--everything but the chalkboard you used to plan (wipe errors easily away!)
Gestalts and spectral surfaces buried here

When the plants died—who came to water them? Your executors? She’s in Ontario, he’s in Calgary—they tipped them out at the edge of the drive then stacked the pots beneath the stairs. Lumps of dry earth and brittle leaves.
(Chester L Stump Crust has joined a men’s group.)

They can’t wait to sell the house.

Anyone can see what they missed—
Gestalts and spectral surfaces buried here--
Yuppies’ trumpet scribbled on the wall or
a mouldering rind of cheese in the fridge
a half empty jug of orange juice a frozen chicken an open tin of salmon-flavoured catfood--where is your kitty anyway?
and that crude icon painted by your friend Fred.  You bought it at the art fair just to encourage him—the title you figured worth $30
Chester L Stump Crust has joined a men’s group.
Silly junk of carmined wood stowed on the garage ledge with the spare key.

Your fingerprints span the doorframe trace rainbow patter on the thermostat dial.
You never liked to be cold.

These photos were taken at an estate sale property in Curteis Point, Vancouver Island, BC, June 2011.
The life of a painter imagined here is a fiction, and bears no relation to the life or works referenced in the photographs.