Nine Nails

Postmarked May 17, 2000   (From Somerville, MA)

Detail from Two Big Black Hearts by Jim Dine
Photography: Julia C. Tenney

February 1999, Andy and Helen insisted I go to the Decordova Sculpture Garden in Lincoln, MA. It was definitely near Valentine's Day, because there were these two big black dark heavy hearts that pretty much summed up my attitude about love that day month year, life. Adding to the mood, there was no way to get near the hearts without stepping ankle-deep into barely-above-freezing muck. I vowed to return in better weather and get a Valentine's Day Postcard image.

I returned in late April 1999 with Josh, an old friend from college. I circled trying to get a good shot of the blue sky with the black hearts, but either the damned trees were in the way, or the sun was. A better shot would require getting to the Decordova at Dawn.

Yeah, right.

But getting up close the big black hearts meant I could check out the surface sculpture more closely. Faces and limbs peek out between the bits of hardware. How... industrial. At a certain angle, the nine nails appeared to be hammered into a man's profile. However, the sun once again failed to cooperate. The final image does not feature any recognizable bits of the face.

The postcards were assembled and ready to go in time for May 17, 1999, but, well, I lamed out. I wasn't sure if people's addresses were current. I didn't have a cool postmark. I was scrambling to try and keep my domain name, (I failed). Eventually I rationalized, even if I send it out a *year* from now, it won't be as delayed as The Fragile.

So, here it is. Better late than never.

I did have an original idea for this year's card, involving Jesse Reklaw's Slow Wave, a comic strip based on readers' dreams. I've sent him at least one dream featuring Trent. When I tire of waiting, I'll dig through my dream journals and send him ALL my dreams featuring Trent (which in 1995-1996, was nearly once a week), until Jesse gives in. There's even a town in Texas called Reklaw!

That will be the official Trent's 35th birthday card. It may be a while before we see it though.

Visit the Decordova Sculpture Park if you get the chance. I can't vouch for the inside galleries, because I always seem to go there on Mondays, when the museum is closed.

The Next Postcard

Updated: February 2001