Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks
You’re asking the wrong questions. If you want to make the world a better place, tell funnier jokes!
I madly love everything that adventurously breaks the thread of discursive thought and suddenly ignites a flare illuminating a life of relations fecund in another way.
— Andre Breton
Poet John Levy’s curious questions add an almost Monty Python-like quality to the game. Together with some random answers they do create meaning, albeit of a somewhat cosmically weird kind. Makes me wonder as I go through an ordinary day what else is hiding there.
How does a herd of gaffes disappear?
“The tulips have opened, Love, hurry home!”
What haunts your eraser?
A long exhalation of ferns
What do the weeds sing?
A dark comedy
When does the mind really mind?
The thumping sound of a flat tire
Questions John Levy, Answers Michelle Tennison (2017)
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
–Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
Surrealism is not a new means of expression, nor a simpler one, nor even a metaphysic of poetry. It is a means of total liberation of the mind and of everything resembling it.
—Andre Breton, Surrealist tract, 1925
Is there a way out?
(searching for) a lost oar
Question Mark Harris, Answer Michelle Tennison (2016)
When am I no longer me?
The light fades to this point, the snakes come out
Question Harry Hudson, Answer Michelle Tennison (2004)
When I ask him these questions and he answers, I haven’t got the faintest idea what he’s going to say, and what he says astounds me with his wisdom. It is so much more than I know.
–Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist