Michael Blackburn's ART ZERO


Phil Silvers heard the dollars calling in the middle of the night, Daddy, Daddy, come take us home. But they were fickle children and fled his addiction to chance, leaving him to years of darkness in cheap rented rooms and the madness of psychiatry. He became just a turnstile. The traffic drove straight in and out. That’s no good, I tell myself. When the money comes in you should make it stay at home, bring it up with a sense of family duty, so you’ll end up with a whole tribe of your own to look after you. I know that doesn’t work, of course, and that like millions of others, the only way I could amass a fortune would be through luck, through wheels, horses, winning numbers, that kind of thing. But Phil Silvers, he was a genius; he was on tv and in films, he made money. He could have coasted it to the end of his life if he’d wanted to. He had no need of the horses and wheels. He lost it and kept on losing it. I dreamt about him once, he was in his shirtsleeves, standing in the darkness outside his motel room and crying into the silence, Daddy. Daddy. Daddy..