Five Tributes To The Works Of Daniil Kharms

1.

The artist Michelangelo sits down on a heap of bricks and, propping his head in his hands, begins to think. How hard remembering is, and how easy forgetting.

“What’s up with you? Are you ill?” asked Comrade Popugayev.

These words put Michelangelo into such a frenzy that he pressed a finger against one of his nostrils and through his other nostril blew snot at Popugayev.

And that was that.

2.

Khariton the peasant, having just downed some methylated spirit, was standing in front of the women with his trousers undone and uttering bad language.

“I’ve been waiting for you a whole hour!”

Having said this, he started to increase in height and, upon reaching the ceiling, he crumbled into a thousand little pellets.

A quite ordinary thing, but rather amusing

3.

An amazing thing happened to me today.

I had slight toothache and was not in the greatest of moods. A small dog, which had broken its hind leg, was sprawled on the pavement. Andrey Semyonovich sat down on his haunches and began to howl. Anton Mikhailovich spat, said “yuck”, spat again, said “yuck” again, spat again, said “yuck” again and left. Fedya began shaking his head in denial. Koratygin clutched his head with his hands, fell over and died.

That’s all.

4.

Because of her excessive curiosity, an old lady fell out of the window and smashed into the ground. In this way a very nice summer’s day started.

5.

And that’s just about all there is to it.

__________

Notes:

1. I made these in December 2020
2. Daniil Kharms was a Russian writer from the early 20th Century
3. And I love his works completely
4. I made these from individual sentences from various stories, pieced together one by one, no two from the same story.
5. Using translations found on this wonderful website
6. As I unfortunately don’t have any books of my own to use
7. The first story was assembled from the following stories: On phenomena and existences – No. 1; The memoirs of a wise old man; Andrey Semyonovich; What they sell in the shops these days; Symphony no. 2
8. The second story was assembled from: The start of a very nice summer’s day (a symphony); What they sell in the shops these days; How a man crumbled; Symphony no. 2
9. The third story was assembled from: A sonnet; The memoirs of a wise old man; The start of a very nice summer’s day (a symphony); Andrey Semyonovich; Symphony no. 2; Fedya Davidovich; What they sell in the shops these days; On phenomena and existences – No. 1
10. The fourth story was assembled from: Falling old ladies; The start of a very nice summer’s day (a symphony)
11. The fifth story was taken from: An encounter
12. Also if you liked these, I did two similar assemblage projects before that you might be interested in.
13. #1: In The Terminals Of Minraud – three short stories made from William Burroughs sentences
14: #2: The New Brothers Grimm – 13 fairy stories made out of old Brothers Grimm stories

A Void

It was the work of months, years, lifetimes, plus or minus a week, for accounting purposes. But now, finally, we had achieved what had always been considered impossible, unattainable, mythological, illogical – the creation of a true void.

Not simply a vacuum, but a full, total, all-encompassing nothingness. Matterless, energyless, structureless, lightless, pointless. A cube of perfect nothingness, six feet wide by six feet deep by six feet high (all the measurements had been changed from metric to fulfil the new patriotism in science criteria).

I was the one chosen to unveil it to the assembled crowds. I smiled, pointed. From the crowd, gasps, cries, shouts, moans. A muffled weep. Three swoons soon followed, plus two faints, one feint.

“It is impossible,” said a voice.

“It is illogical,” said another.

“It is incomprehensible,” said a third, which might well actually have been the first, again.

“It is… unavoidable!” said a fourth, or third, or maybe just the second again, who knows. What I do know were the hoped for laughs their pun had been designed to elicit were not forthcoming. Laughter was not permitted in the hall. We all knew that. Not since the incident.

The owner of that voice was ejected, barred, tarred, shamed.

Yet soon he returned.

“I wonder what it feels like,” said Toby, as he silently emerged from the wings to take his place beside me on the stage.

“It is a void,” I said. “It is by its nature sensationless.”

Toby reached out a hand.

Toby breached the border between the not-void and the void.

“Ha, it tickles,” he said, with a slightly coquettish giggle not becoming of a man of his size, stature, nomenclature.

And with that he stepped inside. That was the end of the void.

__________

Notes:

1. Written in September 2020
2. About the mysterious Toby Vok