20180119

Bob Heman


from INFORMATION

INFORMATION

The engineer given his own trail of bread crumbs. The children putting the trains into the oven. There were parents somewhere out of sight. The old woman had painted them out of the picture.



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If they are asked to choose one or the other, they pick the tallest or the thinnest or the one most like they are. They want one who speaks nicely, who is married, who shares the same superstitions that they call belief. They want someone who is predictable, someone who will not surprise them, someone who will leave them alone.



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Mending fences is about recognizing that there were good men fighting on both sides who deserved to be honored afterwards. To forget this means that the healing will never be complete.



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They were more remarkable the second time they entered. Their proportions had changed but their dimensions remained the same.



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If the boat glows it must be replaced. There is no easy translation for this. Only a pause in the mountains or the sea. Only a man who repeats the word “advantageous” endlessly. His understanding corrected to match the pipes that enter the room. What they contain no more than the appearance of meaning.



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The dog was an exception, the door an explanation, the distance a way of counting, the dimensions something to climb upon. He was a man when he entered and a man when he left but he was not the same.



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Some bears are flatter than others. They can be slipped under a door or between the pages of a book with no difficulty at all. They are always a surprise when they are found by the children.



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The concert arrives once the machine is turned on. There is never more than one bear in the forest it creates.



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There were words too small to carry the weight of their emotions. Folding the paper did not help, nor did counting the remaining stones.



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Uses the third to repeat what the first two left behind. This was not counting, but only spelling. It did not represent the horizon, nor the color of the shadows.



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The fire was caused by the color of the tiles, by the shape of the milk, by the dimensions of the horizon. It was not able to be removed from the machine in time.



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It is colder than the word “one,” than the color of lettuce, than the shape of the osprey’s tongue. It cannot be rearranged to form something more familiar.



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They can barely remember when the three bears brought the gifts of gold and fragrant spices to the baby bison. They can barely remember the stories they were told afterwards as it grew larger and larger filling the entire horizon. They can barely remember the word that they were required to say to make it all begin again.



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In the board game the players move their pieces along the tangled paths trying to see who can “earn” the longest or hardest spanking. Sometimes they must draw a mystery card to see what implement will be used. The last one to cry out will be the winner, although sometimes the rules are changed as the game progresses.



Bob Heman’s words have been translated into Spanish, Arabic, Farsi, Italian and Hungarian. He continues to make collages.
 
 
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