Monday, July 20, 2020


       From my Wesley book:
Jack Wesley and Franz Kline
                 (another visit)
And we are talking about age and I am telling him I feel old at being 70 on the way to 71 and he is saying I don’t know how old I am and I am saying you are on the way to 87 and as I am saying this I tell him because you don’t want to be 86 and he says in the post office that was what they marked on a parcel that is to be destroyed and in the bar it means you got thrown out and in Ireland I am saying they use the phrase:  you’re barred and I knew a man who was barred for being boring and Jack says that must have been awful to be called boring and not to be allowed into a bar, it isn’t so bad if you get as you say barred for  being drunk or throwing things or getting into a fight which are all normal things going on in bars all the time  and imagine how he must feel being barred as you say for being boring… and everyone always knows about something like this I say and you are probably right Jack says about that as people talk and I am asking Jack if he misses drawing and he says not really-----there is a pause  with the obvious expectation----- but he is saying here I am in this apartment and it is very nice and I don’t know why I am here:  I think I must be getting away with something: I’m getting away with something he says again and I am confessing in some way in response to the silence--- which is a too grand of a word I say--- but it feels like it, when certain names are used when sometimes talking about  art:  I have never understood Picasso or Braque’s work--- and Jack says I don’t know--- people are always talking about them so I guess they knew what they were doing or people were saying they knew what they were doing but I never talked about them because no one ever asked me about them but it could have been because of the people I knew and I say the only painter I ever heard you talk about was Franz Kline and he says I don’t remember and I said it had nothing to do with the white and black paintings or how Kline thought the white part was the most important part but no one ever talked about the white part and only saw the black parts of his paintings which he never understood but you were telling me about being in the Cedar Tavern and he gave you some napkins and even signed them… he had been marking them up with a pen or something and it was just the two of you that night because most times he was always surrounded by all these people and you didn’t know what to talk about and here he was by himself and you  were sitting next to him and he pushed these across to you and then he took them back ad scrawled his name on them but didn’t say why he was doing this and you shoved them into your pocket and then sometime in the 60s you needed money so you had to sell them as you didn’t have any need for napkins signed by Franz Kline… so he was the only painter I ever heard you talk about, and Jack is saying if you say so and Rudy is in the room as it is probably time for me to be going and Jack is not wanting to stand up and I am saying you can change your t-shirt  now and I am saying Piret my wife is always telling me I dribble all the time and that is what men do they dribble all the time here there and everywhere and on anything but always always on their clean white t-shirts for sure their t-shirts, it’s something women learn to put up with, she says, if they want to be around a man while Jack is saying there’s another number I’m really afraid of: six, it’s such an incomplete sort of number and then in the movies they are always deep-sixing something or other while Rudy is tapping the back of Jack’s chair, you have to take a piss Jack, he says and then the exercise person is coming, this is a busy day and Jack is saying, I have to take a piss and while it is hard for him to get out of the chair he still saying, six and getting deep-sixed, that is what I am afraid of : they’re going to put an 86 on my forehead and then deep-sixing me out the window or into the toilet---
Jack, you’re so funny, Rudy says, and I watch Jack grab the walker—as he is pushing himself up from the chair and he begins to walk saying they were always deep-sixing things in the Navy movies during the war and I am always scared of being deep-sixed as you say and you never know when they are going to put an 86 on your head and then deep-six you out the window but I don’t think they would put me down the toilet as it would be better to put me out the window… at the door to the toilet Jack takes his hand off the walker and I shake it and we have a lot to talk about the next time I am saying and he is saying I am glad you came to visit…I hope you will come again…
copyright 2020 Thomas McGonigle