Mark Cunningham

Kirtland’s Warbler

I have a friend who says the knots and twists of Aboriginal painting fascinate him, yet he’s never gone to the Aboriginal art museum in town, the largest private collection on display in the country, if not the world. As for me, I’m basically vegetarian, but for weeks I’ve been hankering for a medium-rare hamburger. Daniil Kharms concluded that the path to immortality consists of one rule only: continually do that which you don’t feel like doing. To make it easier for beginners, this could be paraphrased as "never pursue that which actually interests you at the moment." Last week, I wanted to read Rats by Robert Sullivan, but I was half-way through James Crumley’s Last Good Kiss; after I finished Crumley, I started James Meyer’s Minimalism, and I feel fine. I’ve been drawn to such discipline naturally. Even before I learned about Kharms, I wouldn’t discuss any topic I found intriguing: by telling, I’d make that information part of history, and the moment would pass. I’ve kept on refining my practice. At night, when I want to go back to sleep, I have to go to the bathroom first, which means I have to get up. In the morning, no matter how many things I have to look forward to, my first action on waking is immediately to clinch my eyes shut again.

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