Sketches, a Study for
Three Heads
, 1962

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First, let me say I’m not thinking. I haven’t thought for days now, and it’s easy to do, or rather, not to. Here’s the trick – take a nail and hammer, placing the sharp point against the belly of any thought, then bang away until the nail head disappears into the skull. I do this again and again until no thought remains, until emptiness is the story’s refusal to end.

My jaws are swollen.

Why three heads, you ask? Three’s a perfect number. As in godhead, trinity, trilogy, threesome, ménage à trois. Triplet, triptych, tribunal. A triangle, a third world trio, third party, the first odd prime, the basic unit of matter, one three dollar bill. Three as in stages: birth living death. Lithium, magi, musketeers. The Larry, Moe, & Curly nuk nuk nuk. Three as in axis, allies, or blt. Three things to tell you: loss, loss, and more loss.

The faces dissolve. The sexes dissolve to he she hot cold as if the moment drips away in my hand’s blast of heat, in my brush’s perfect ease to hard truth – its one kindness.

I drink too much for even the thinnest breath of clarity – such a desperate stretch of what to know.