Back to Jack Cannon's Artist PageTo the Artist's Page     Back to the Unlikely Stories home pageTo our home page
The buildings I've builtTo Jack Cannon's previous piece


According to Ruben, it's 1973
Or 'The year of tilt and side-step'
as he likes to call it

A significant date in Ruben's theory
concerning the degeneration of artistic motive

(Typed notes beneath mattress on
candlelight and purity)

During the night, I hear him talking
to the detuned television set
in the corner of his room

I've stood with an ear pressed
to his bolted door

(Unable to resist his epic arguments
with grinning Warhol)

A beautifully constructed diatribe
regarding effort versus outcome
and the needlessness
of genius

(Imagine taking on such an icon whilst
urinating into empty coke bottles)

On Sunday evenings, mood permitting
He recites excerpts from his Grandfather's
poetry to his imaginary Finnish friend, Kale

"Old man, write me one more passage"
"Soul chaser, parasite and patriot"

One piece, 'My life was saved by labour strikes'
has become a particular favourite to Ruben

(Indeed, he can't read it without first
supporting himself against some solid object)

This 'lesson in normality' keeps him
at the counters of all-night stores
Fills his cupboards with chocolate milkshakes
ant-acid tablets and cable TV guides
Keeps his feet sock-less and
his chin full of stubbly hair

The very notion of 'men in socks'
is an  intolerable idea to Ruben
having not worn a single pair
for over eleven years

(As children we did play barefoot
in Aunt Sandra's back yard)

Eight weeks ago, he re-started his novel
about Christ, the serial killer
and his BMX riding comrades
out for vengeance on the 2 am
streets of San Francisco

(Christ paints triptych scenes
of game-show host in boot of car)

A seven-year labour spanning two
decades and seventeen brutal homicides

"This is no parody." yells Ruben
"This is a portrait of Christ at his angriest"

To the top of this pageTo the top of this page