Five Propositions

1. A wall. Once, the wall was white;
    now it's an ugly yellow... the color
    of dried urine, old newspaper or
    faded hopes-and-longings. (Brings to
    mind the principle that beauty is
    unstable: while ugliness endures:
    time only enhances it.) It appears to
    be made of stucco: nothing else
    crumbles so easily, and in such a
    random way. Now the wall is a map,
    riddled or swarming with continents,
    oceans and so on... a guide to
    nothing but itself, or to another universe
    or anti-universe that awaits ours
    in the deepest shadow of geological
    time. Or it might be the map of an 
    uncharted, say, subterranean aspect
    of the city. Or the city is neither more
    nor less than a map of this unknown
    wall, which we've discovered by
    chance... like the ruins of a temple
    in the jungle.

2. A porch, from which the wall can be
    or can't help being seen. The porch is
    quite broad, like a dock anchored in
    the river of everyday life, everyday
    death. It has an air of solidity. The
    beams that support the roof are mas-
    sive, the railing is thick. The boards
    are grey: despite their chips and
    peeling they make a flat plane of color
    totally lacking in tonal variation. All
    the planes are so flat, so neutral, so
    free of disturbing or anecdotal char-
    acteristics, that, over a period of years,
    one could come to regard it as a large
    sheet of cream-colored, coarse-tex-
    tured paper in a writing tablet or
    sketch pad. If, toward two of the three
    edges, it's striped with 8 or 14 bars of
    sunlight, the stripes are so uniform,
    so unwavering, rotating impercepti-
    bly like the hands of a clock, that they
    leave no intellectual or psychological