Left

Leave! Stay!
When you have lived here for a bit you will start going to other people’s
houses. Other people’s houses which they are going to leave sooner or later.
Sooner more likely than later. You might not be sure how long to stay in a
house of a person who is going to leave her house sooner or later (sooner more
likely than later). Stay! Only the staying people want you to leave earlier
than you would like to leave or than you would like them to stay in your house
which you are going to leave sooner or later (sooner more likely than later).
Leave! You are telling yourself from the first moment on you enter a house of a
person who looks like staying there forever. (Who might leave / move
/disappear? sooner or later who knows, you who has just entered their house?)

Would you have ever left your place if not to stay with somebody you thought
wanting to stay with forever and still want to stay with forever (most of the
time)? Those who came with you to the person’s house (which she is going to
leave sooner or later) will want to stay, you know that even before you entered
the person’s house. You might have told them to leave the house when you tell
them to do so. They will want to stay and do anything so not to leave. In the
beginning you will feel ashamed because the person might think they who will
not want to leave even you tell them to leave don’t want to go back to your
house (the person does not even know that you have left it already in the
morning) and you think so but they probably don’t think so, they just don’t
want to leave. They just want to stay.

And here you are. Still here. Not wanting to leave. Only wanting to stay. You
who came here not to stay. Wanting to leave even before you came here to live
and leave.

Leave! Stay!

P.S. The shop (the shop being made into a staying place recently, tables,
sofas, plugs) owner’s wife is brooming (??) you away. Please! She usually being
(miming?) the grumpy sphynx behind the counter is tired of staying all day long
behind the counter. She’d rather disappears in the part of the shop that no one
has ever seen, not even CCTV. Only when you accept not to be smiled at she
suddenly smiles at you. Even jokes with you. Her smile is shiny like the yellow
scarf on her head. But it happens only once. Then she freezes again for ages.

You are leaving. Will you be leaving! Plug out your being here and off you are.

You are leaving.

You

are

leaving.

Left (“there”)

a belly with two breasts (slightly cracking on the bottom Rand)
to be stored in an attic (for how long? Will it fit in? Still stored in the
garage of best friend)

a few books (gave them to friends, to the charity shop)

clothes (gave them to friends, to the charity shop, sold some at the boot sale
on a frosty Frühlingsmorgen) with best friend puffing “like in the old days”
into the cold air (the friend)

baby clothes (gave them to a friend (some did belong to her anyway), to her
partner’s (love, boyfriend, quasi-husband) working colleague’s wives (?) (one
very due (asking “when are you due?” though hating this question) the other one
“only” in the first stage (happily taking everything home (never been to their
home, probably never see the child (girl/boy?) wear the clothes (they might go
back to their country before, got invited to visit) and to a friend from a
former almost neighbour country being in tears losing somebody not to replace
while carrying a baby in her, feeling a (forbidden) longing in her breasts
while giving the baby clothes to all those people

stones (on the road, on the patio, looked at, some picked up, carried home in
pockets (the boys, she) or piled on the push chair, from the front gardens
(leave them! it’s other people’s stones!), some from the sea side, two (?) left
in the neighbours’ back garden (didn’t have a front garden, didn’t go to the
seaside a lot) stones got thrown into the back garden by the boys and stayed
there put somewhere high up thought collecting them but didn’t, thinking about
them (two?) from time to time (thinking about the neighbours if they will leave
them when they will be leaving or put them on the road, in the bin) put some
stones (even coloured ones!) in the bin

a house (the, their! house), in shiny sparkling emptiness, making some feel
like wanting to move in themselves (wanting to move out of their own houses or
not)

people (some of the friends, most of them passers-by though familiar to some
extent) passing by looking into the shiny sparkling emptiness until other
people will be filling it with morning faces and evening laughters people will
get used to look at

after a little while

Something a friend (?) left somewhere where she took it to give it to the
friend (?), something very domestic, making her always smile thinking it not
being in a house but on the go / move to somewhere, in the end she had to
decide to take it either with her, send it or leave it with another friend (!)
telling her she should pass it on to another friend (art friend) so that this
art friend could pass it on to the friend (?) who once left it somewhere not
domestic at all wrapped in a plastic bag to big to fit in a letter box

Art in German means “a kind of” – yes all these friends are kind indeed and
they become art if they like or not (that is not too kind!)

A thing as domestic as the one above be put in an art environment won’t (would
not) be classified as “entartet” any more….

thyme: got it from a friend that got it from a friend that… a whole bunch of
it, growing fast an wild like a neglected child in the very edge of the
vegetable bed, on his own for quite some time as all has been torn out of the
flower bed as there was nothing to be grown any more, never ever in this
flowerbed!, the next ones might plant parsley, sage and rosemary and not
remember us as they have never known us? Who knows?

Elke Papp.

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About GGuetemme

art & research
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