Improvisations: I by Evan Thomas

The donkey in Balthazar was given the motivation of Lee Marvin. Actually there wasn’t any motivation at all. The important thing was to arrive at an absolute simplification, even if such a process incurred the simplification of composition as an accidental byproduct. Like a hallway, all the doors unlocked, linoleum floors, rapid Oxfords. Tearing ass all the way down. Actually it was really unforgettably slow. Due to lack of motivation.

Taxi Driver was originally written by our curé de campagne, or was it Andy Kaufman. I forget, not having seen Taxi Driver. Lee Marvin was slated to play Jodie Foster’s role but obviously backed out when they started filming The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday. Steven Prince played Andy. There were no parts to learn; the aperture free of single grains of sand as it was. Red, orange, & green all flashing in sixteenth-triplets. Sound & image flickering as they fade out, the print burning up in the projector like a Memphis summer. Everyone said they never thought he had it in him.

I have brought from the outside of my motivation the unknown genre. Taken it deep within my heart. It takes the intolerable & throws it in the ocean. A suitcase full of water. Bicycle gang with popguns. A gun is a complex image. It is different when Lee Marvin brandishes one versus just about anyone else. Fred Ward did not look like Henry Miller, but then again no one really knows what he looked like when he was young anyway. Lee Marvin was a more suitable choice, but he was busy with valley fever. Fireworks on the fourth of July, & the 30th of June, for whatever reason. Buddy, at random.

As Paul Schneider spoke his first lines onscreen, Taxi Driver turned the same age as him. The Doors were born the same day as David Berman. Actually so were you. No motivation for this world. Hide the ideas in plain sight & they'll come out in both directions at once. People slammed the double bill but I couldn’t see how doors wouldn’t open for ideas. Setting the woods on fire, hungover in the backseat & sombreroed. Or was he a winterer who just made bad company, suffering from Friday night fever in Santa Monica.

Buzzed-in, I gave up the bench. Nice shades. Bresson shot his own hand for that scene, then himself in the foot. Moose yelling at each other for a staff-only. It's the one thing I guessed at that doesn't actually appear. What do they even make. Men use, even without an ear lent. He felt beset by the quarry, & came up juicing the terraplane with more days to tack on. Church-going people brandishing a big mace. The final statement was on money. I can’t say where it begins. Questions regarding intent. Hammer down. & tomorrow too. Never to be repeated.

Sower & ewe afield seeding for harvest with only three or four available. Three forty-foot lengths of rope. Rotting barns. Dead wind farms. The purest marriage of sound & image. Fell down the basement steps. I saw the parade. What are they even building. Lee Marvin’s headstone. A dream in four parts across four nights with lost rivers in between. I didn’t retract my hand this take. The ocean will cover over the fields again someday. Absolute lack of human motivation. It only seemed.