Natural History, Joseph Beuys, 1982

[Natural Histoy, Joseph Beuys, 1982]


Emptiness is not a void, but a vast space full of choices–Ushio Amagatsu


She’s a shrew. Brassy. Goddam strong.

The car needs fixing. At least we have gas.

I put it in there,

that’s the reason we are moving.

Step on it.

I won’t buckle in.

My head is straight on.

I won’t look at the back of her head

or touch the edge of her skirt

as I change gears. Just drop her off.

I won’t say anything.

I’ll play my music.

She’s ugly and discompassionate.

Hard. Hard.

Tight head.

If I can only make it to September.

I will be all mine. I can disappear

into my ideal. It’s all I have.

I don’t trust her

I  never have. She’ll leave.

I’m nothing to her.

She would be happy without me

I have so much work to do I’m scared of my

body not sure it will make it must keep going no other choice just work.


I watch out the window.

I see the cragginess of trees,

their lush growth,

each different kind of leaf.

One is huge, covered with white flowers.

It seems a large woman at a wedding

I feel how sharply

I keep the back of my head to him

as he drives. I want

to swing on the branches of that one. Jump

out of the car at 60 miles an hour, roll

like a circus clown and pop

up to catch the branch.

Outside the window, everything is a blur

unless I force myself to look carefully.

Remember that’s all you have.

When you stop doing it,

there is nothing

I can’t get out.

I have to go.

Locked in the frame of this speeding car.

Locked in the frame of what I thought.


He stops.

I get out

as I would from a bus.

I close the door and walk away

with my back to the bus,

dropping white flowers

on black asphalt.


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