Michael Blackburn's ART ZERO


I'm bored. But my mind is restless. If my mind were still I would not be bored because I would not be feeling the need to be doing something, anything creative, rather than just sitting in my room, picking up books, reading a few pages then putting them down, listening to music, staring for long moments at the pieces of paper on my notice board, checking off things that I should have done weeks, possibly months ago. If my mind were not so restless I could sit still in peace. Bits of literature float in and out of my mind, fragments of quotes. Pascal said, All mankind's misery stems from a single thing, which is not knowing how to stay still in a room. Empty mind but still restless. Hollow men stuffed with straw. That kind of stuff. Drink. More drink, followed by sleep. Outside, an evening wind is blowing through the Russian vine and the honeysuckle that is still fragrant but beginning to turn. A blackbird berates something unseen in the darkening hedge and I wonder if blackbirds ever get bored. I don't think they do. But how could you tell?