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small and perfect houses

“What shall we do, with all this useless beauty…”

– Elvis Costello


First is the womb; then, the tomb. Both small and perfect houses, sheltering our eternity (granted the fleetingness of this, ever-infinitesimal tick), gone and morrow. Above and around the interlude, ornaments keep us from primordial fear.

Useless, like all beautiful architecture.

We grow with our angst, swelling our dismay upon the land, like plague. Feeble souls beg for shields; lost steps demand their own echo in the corridors of empty hulks. So we move, from the blaze of lent life to the honesty of our own shadow; into a house, and on. Muscles (the heart, for example) wane while the body bloats ill, until the megalopolitan urbanite.

Helpless, like all beautiful people.


First is the womb; then the tomb. Both small and perfect houses, made up of pulsating matter, arranged in two directions. Standing mother, laying coffin; souk and corral, roof and wall, patio and pavilion order infinity for our distraught soul.

Limitless, like all beautiful thoughts.

And we grow and prosper and multiply, and rape and scourge (and plant and build) the universe over and over again, on wombs and tombs and floors and fences. So we live, torn between attack and retreat (those two St. Jeromes); into a house and on. So we grow until exhaustion, of ourselves and our surroundings, and then start all over again.

Homeless, like beauty itself.

C.N. Ledoux, “The Poor Man’s Shelter ” (L’abri du Pauvre) – 1804

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