At the mansion the white guru with the Indian name spoke about breathing and not
I told M not to despise the beginner.
I’m always a beginner, she said. M’s hair was long and grey. She was with two dour women I didn’t care to know.
The guru, whose real name was Daniel explained the mechanics of breath into a microphone from a stage with Buddha statues at each end.
Breathe into your genitals, the guru said.
The guru seated himself in the lobby after the meditation. The supplicants put on their street clothes, some left on foot and others by car.
I pondered if the guru lived in the mansion and if there wasn’t a yogi he answered to.
I felt indebted. I avoided a homeless woman. I sought the company of my family.
I struggled when I described the novel of Rene Bellitto to Mario.
“There’s a man,”I said. “The character goes to an apartment. He doesn’t know the woman who lives there. A man calls to demand ransom money for the woman he has kidnapped who lives there. And and there’s another plot. Wait hold on. How does it go? A man is closed in by his wife and he wants to disappear.”
Writers write from the heart or the head, Mario said. I love the work of Macedonia Fernandez because he writes from the heart. He was the first to make the connection between the surreal and
A lot is lost in translation don’t you think, I said. Did you read all of Bolano’s 6666?
I couldn’t finish it, Mario said. It’s too thick. I get the same from reading a short story. Why
read all those pages.
I looked Mario’s card, Unwork Inc..
I could see why the Argentine writer was partial to short books. Who has the time to read a thousand pages?
I felt that I had known May possibly in another life.
May spoke about art and frames: “Everyone in Portland wants to show their work. They show the same thing over and over. This is not what I wish for my space. It’s a redundancy I want to avoid. They have a one man show and the following month they have a group show and so on. The frames I use are from Ikea. We don’t have money. We all help out. When you sold your work in Ny did it include the frame? I ask because I think it is standard to provide the frame. What is a piece without a frame. It’s not right to withhold it. It should come with the cost of the drawing. I have an artist from Finland. She doesn’t have her visa or a grant but she should get one and this will be great her doing a show with us but I may have her do a show in January and not in June. This way she will be able to prepare more work. She has done very little new work. She also suffers from the disease to show work all of the time. The one artist I represent I have her book in my store. She doesn’t want to do anymore shows. She has a contract to make more books for the next five years. I will continue to sell her drawings whenever I can. I’m editing artists from my list. There are too many that aren’t doing me any good. Their work isn’t selling. They are untrustworthy. I don’t like people who try to take advantage. They are not serious about the work. Many of them are broke and young and they want success overnight. It takes time. I want to represent serious artists. I will try to get them shows elsewhere. I look wherever I can to see where they can show overseas or here in the states. The bluechip
galleries here they will build you up they will dress your work in expensive frames. I don’t know you can send in your work maybe they will show your work or maybe they won’t. I don’t know what
they base their decisions on. They don’t recognize me. They have large roster of artists. If
they have only fourteen not all of the artists have a show. Some of them feel overlooked. We don’t have the critics writing about our shows. We want to be seen as a serious place. I have no training. I can’t write about art I can’t look at art and place it in an historical context. I’m limited. We have had two critics write about us.”
May asked for me to stay. I examine the small collection of ephemera and books that were on sale. The Argentine’s thin mouth dominated. May bid me farewell.