Morning, thinking of howl
Paris, décembre 2005
Morning, thinking of howl 
A friend  was asking me the other day about Watch Your Trout™, the artistic movement I created back in…, well, back then. And it was a fairly good question, good as an uppercut straight to the liver , perhaps. So, what about it?
First of all, Watch Your Trout™, the sequence of those 3 words, it makes no sense. Nevertheless, it was quite an accurate choice of words. If I had tried to use a verb such as “grab,” I would have got nowhere in no time at all. Grab fits everything. Heart, pain, lollipops, truck, jellyfish, go on, try it, it all makes sense, it’s serious, earnest even, and boring. I don’t care much about boring, if I can.
Of course, in spite of the little signs hanging at the end, Watch Your Trout™ was never registered or trademarked or stuff like that. And I never planned to. The good question is, will they put me in jail for it? Am I trespassing in some way, abusing the Rights of the Brands at large? Having not paid my dues, am I accomplishing, unknowingly, an act of hideous piracy, almost of rebellion? I’m not sure.
So far i’m okay, but I admit I’m wary: it is, after all, the age of brandsumerism, of which almost everyone has become a casualty. How else could we explain Gap stores in Rangoon? Only elders and fools resist it, and although I have a friend or two there, I myself am pretty much in the flow. So I probably have it coming, and I keep an eye on the door, waiting for them to crash through.
I digress, I think. But what the hell. I can do whatever I want, can’t I? No one to tear away forcefully my fingers from my Apple™ laptop keyboard, right? Right. And incidentally, that was (oughta say is) precisely the purpose of Watch Your Trout™: I can do whatever I want, when I want. I don’t need to follow any rules at all, I don’t need a career plan, I don’t need a pink period. Fuck pink periods everywhere, so to speak. I guess that makes it as clear as it could ever be. (You’re welcome to send hate mail if you think not.)
But then old age creeped upon me and I fell prey to whatever it is that munches on human souls, hidden and patient. I diminished. I removed the uppercases from my name (I used to have one at each end, that’s how wild I was). Now I admit that i’m all lowercase to whomever will listen. In French, I say that i’m minuscule now, comme la vie. I also stopped signing my work. In the beginning, I would still leave a mark on the back of the canvasses. But even this is becoming more difficult. I say to myself that I’ll do it later, that there is time. And if I ever find myself actually doing it, it seems almost as difficult as the whole front was.
I think this is merely a symptom. The tip of the iceberg. And underneath the cold and smooth surface, there must be a whole forest of multi-headed beasts with foul mouthes, claws, spikes, and rotting entrails. Used to be, folks would never believe the same person was guilty of those different “things”. Yet I was.
Now I find excuses, such as “Of course, I’d like to do some more sculptures, but my work environment doesn’t permit it anymore. I share a space with serious people, people who do actual work, and they couldn’t abide my dirtiness, the noise of my drill, it would just not go well with their computers, their phone conversations.” Etc. So I have diminished there too. I restrained my scope a great deal, and it looks like there’s no real need for any Trout Surveillance anymore. I’m left with 2 or 3 work directions, and even those tend to fuse towards one another. Perhaps I’m down to 2.5 styles by now (and counting). And the only remaining question: how pink are they?
 I do not wish to hide behind masks: this is simply a double reference to “Morning, thinking of Empire”, the only poem of Raymond Carver’s that i really love, and the interminable Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”, of which you can rest assured that, like you, i’ve only ever listened to the first couple of minutes before a pressing need to do whatever else took over with some urgency.
 Friend. A terrifying joke, of course, almost an insult to the word. As most of you, I have no friends, just acquaintances. But among those acquaintances, I choose to deem friends those I at least share some ideas with.
 Can you deliver an uppercut to the liver? Or does it strictly hit the jaw/whatever? I could check, of course, but I feel like just leaving the question unresolved -like so many things-, at least for now.
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