I am in a skyscraper, negotiating with others
a spiral passageway with walls of hieroglyphized
plaster, down to street level. Walking in front of me is
an elder woman, to whom I say, "This is my favorite
place....because I can't see what's around the next bend."

   This is the ritual that goes on daily: an artist turns himself in, red-handed, mutilated or not, pressing the spatulate sign of his singular existence against the clammy wall. "The wound is the entrance to the sacred."1 No longer the "meat of victory," this is "the whole process of life and creation," crawled to though narrow cerebral tunnels, whose corners long only to be turned.

   "In this tele-topological vision the 'entire' universe acts like a ball of thread."2 Around the next bend hypnogogic monks are seated beneath halos of umber, staves like skillets riven to cetacean fingers; eggs burst, impregnating spermatozoa, a surprised Minotaur snorts, the mind halts. Here we are one turn away from seeing God, or History, or Art....

   Thus these paintings, in which everything mutates but the need to erase the bitterness that images salt away, the ones we cannot say, a glossolalia seeping through underwater entrances to the inevitable, where it is not all black and white, but threads of protean without end, curling and wiggling, coming to life.

   Colors spread to the surface, on a reliquary of broken Egyptian jugs, testaceous writing mad with magenta. Not blood, however, but the roseate lips of morning; not flesh, but nebula as seen through the whorl of a storm, moving and falling "in different ways."

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1. Jean Houston. Interview, "Thinking Allowed," PBS-TV, 1992.
2. Paul Virilo, The Lost Dimension. New York, 1991. p.61.
All other quotes from a letter by Paul Harryn, 10 Jan 93.

Painting: "Melieosis, WC33-10.92" Watercolor On Paper. 11-3/4"H  X  8-1/8" W.