Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Disney and my father may have had the right idea:
animate the Universe! This won't merely clarify what’s
going on – since you will be deciding who’s the villain,
who’s the clown and just how roly-poly or begowned
the mouse or wife or secretive transvestite ought to be –
you'll also have the inside track on how the thing
will probably end up, as long, that is, as you retain

your sweet good-natured sanity. Which Disney may
have done: I didn't know the man, I can't be sure.
It seems as if his singing playthings made a life of it,
and he did not abjure their happy endings: he befriended
his slick cute anthropomorphic animals and made
a lot of money, put a smiling spin on being funny: heck,
he wasn't Brecht, but one must give him credit, and his due.

Cinderella never had a prettier more shapely shoe.
As for my father – well, his drawings had their magic too:
but when I peer as deeply into them as I can do, I cannot
find their skeleton. I’m left with some strange gelatin:
a residue that may have stoked the Shmoo into the being
Al Capp had construed for it: my father’s palpable
and fleshy plops would seem to be the props for quite

another play than most of us would think of putting on:
as if the heart of his existence had occurred to him as
some soft-ticking bomb which had exploded by the dawn
of his – well, dissolution. Oh, he created creatures just
as full of juice – as interesting as Walt’s – but they all slowly
slid down through a series of quite gaping geologic
faults: splitting psychic mud and rock, from which, in

cartoon terms, you might see shy but shocked escaping
worms – eely squishes – deliquesce into innumerable
darks: not unlike the winking out of my dad’s last synaptic
sparks. Here’s the final picture that I saw him draw –
before his animations were completely sucked back
into Alzheimer’s defining maw: his fizzing out, his empty
sea, his last thrown dart. Isn't Disney, but it might be art.


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