16th August - 8th September 2018

any way either way aka i don’t even like brownies


White zig zags spilt from above, but not by accident. It looks like such fun, they say.

The dense, micro-trauma experienced when you (internally) ask if your nearest and dearest get you. A gifted coffee mug wrapped in the words coffee first and then we’ll talk! You shake your head and keep moving.
Psycho. Salmon splashes form a ring around your feet.

A confession: I love airports. Domestic, International, it doesn’t matter! Have you ever caught the final moment of a goodbye-embrace right before the pull-away? I’m not crying, you’re crying. They call me Flood Face.

You ask me what’s missing and I say ‘not enough’. Marks cancelling out marks. Something more about the absence of honesty. I’m yet to figure that part out (hey, is there time to get back to you?). I dunno if it’s done, I wish you’d stop asking. Artists hate when you do that.

Most of the time I’m too scared to text you first, but I do it anyway because I don’t want to be blamed again for not holding up my side of the invisible friendship trophy. The guilt you eat is worse than the fear you shit. Dabby, Monet-esque pink and yellow dots.

(Two lines snake away from each other, like the distant relatives you naturally avoid at family functions. See you soon! Sure.)

Another confession: I have email anxiety. Is this a thing? It feels like a thing. I’m sorry I never answered your email in 2014, (name/s withheld). A public confession. The performance of professionalism rattles me. You tell me I’m good at it. ‘Shh’ trickles down the middle of the canvas, partially concealed.

(Side note: During university, I fantasised about going up to the train station ticket window and when it was time to pay, I’d flash my student card and proudly sing “These are my concessionnnns!”. I never did, having convinced myself the person behind the counter wouldn’t get the Usher reference. One day.)

She says that you have to be the person you despise – for a moment – to reaffirm who you actually are. C’mon, live a little! Carpet Party. Fabrics collide like unwanted studio critique. I wish I’d had a door.

Distraction-abstraction. Yesterday I watched a couple of drunk guys sit in semi-new-spew on the train. Didn’t they see the kernels? I guess it all disappeared into the yellow- blue seat-swirls intended for such circumstances. I open my little mouth to say something, but instead use the opportunity to take a breath. It wouldn’t have made a difference.

A shimmering piece of foil catches the light outside of my studio window and I am immediately seduced. I’m all in for a bite of this beauty, give me a minute or gimme a lifetime; I am old now. It’s like pulling teeth and your text reply is stern: there’s no time to be tender.

The Flood is coming, yolk yellow.

It’s much easier on the floor. Rose says it’s more like women’s work. Sew domestic. Right. You can’t manufacture a painting. Can’t you? Watch me. Just don’t call me principessa.

Final confession: that last brownie is mine. I’ve no doubt. While I’ve always loved Julia, I’m not her and she is not me. You’re not so sure you agree. What’s hidden in plain sight
is harder to find. Fluorescent pink spray: anywhere but here. Brave are those who make space for meaning, or at least, those who reach out for it.

A set of sweaty hand-blobs are slipping.

And with that, it’s time to flood flood.

Swimming in the muck, there’s time for one last look that says “Thank you for getting it. But what I really want to say is thank you for getting me”.

Red Stripe. Green Stripe. Bye bye.

– Tom Polo, 2018