morning run

Today I ran through an Armenian graveyard four blocks from my house. They’re doing an inordinate amount of construction nearby–Erdoğan is building metro lines everywhere–(“Her yere metro, her yerde metro” is their slogan, and it’s suspected they lifted it from the protest’s “her yer taksim” (everywhere is taksim, everywhere is resistance) especially since those ubiquitous banners didn’t go up over every highway until late september.) and so I had to run around city and pedestrians and buses and big corrugated steel partitions to get inside the park. It was pretty empty. Nonsense armenian letters were carved on all the stones. Other than that, it looked like a typical city cemetary–crowded, surrounded by activity. The Islamic cemetary at the bottom of the hill has gravestones in the shapes of…oh man, I can barely describe it. They’re tall, long, thin, pointy at the top, covered with arabic from top to bottom. We joke that the height of the stone was the height of the person, but honestly I have no idea. Cats coil up in the lumpy pits in the islamic graveyard.

Eyetouch’s mom is living with us at the sea palas. She’s took the bus from Turkish thrace to Aksaray, and brought a variety of village foods with her. Variety pickles in a big plastic water jug, plum jams, and tomato sauces. I brought some leafy green home, with the intent of making, oh, palak paneer or something like that, and when I got home from work it had been cooked into a pilaf. She has long eyes, a smoker’s laugh, and tells eyetouch he needs to get an engineering job, or a wife, or something. Composition school, man. Eyetouch took me to a seminar class where they played an atonal opera–the composer was there and talked about how he wanted to make the libretto more “autobiographical”–and then afterwards, eyetouch played some of his favorite modern music for me, which was also terrible. “Spectral Music.” ????

{{though, his first love was classic rock and metal. I came home one day and he asked “can I put your guitar in an absurd tuning?” and I said okay, and he spent five minutes with it, and then played the game of thrones theme. Perfectly.}}

Another story: I made eye contact with someone on the ferry and reflexively stuck out my hand and said “Hi,” and she turned out to work at an art gallery, and she invited me to this big art show and said she’d get me on the list. I’m never one to pass up the opportunity to say dumb things about art and drink free cocktails, so I accepted. Anna and I got dressed up real fancy and wandered through this park full of closed cafes and an airtram in the middle of the night, and saw a bunch of spotlights going crazy on the cloud layer.

“Is that our thing?” Anna said.

“I think that’s our thing,” I said. We climbed a path through the park and ended up in this mall-ish district with a massive convention center on the bluff. It was jammed. Cars, people, spotlights, etc. We went through the door and got stopped at security. The space was full of people milling around, the galleries were enormous white partitions off to our right. Everyone was carrying large chalices of wine. “No,” I said, “I’m on the list.”

They showed us to VIP and due to some very bad English/Turkish, they thought I was putting someone on the VIP list, and that someone was “ernest piper +1” so we just wandered right in. ART ON ART ON ART ON ART. There was a life-size steel tiger. There was a sheep made of phone cord with a rotary for a head. There was a picture of a sign on fire which read “When you awake you will be like the weather no longer the broken-hearted slave of mad kings.” There was a giant wing sculpture. There was a styrofoam brick, painted to look like a stone, hanging from a chain, and the artist encouraged people to  push on it and take their pictures to look strong. There was two chairs made of a grid of vertical green poles. “These are interesting,” I said.

“Well, they’ve won a lot of awards.”

“From furniture makers or artists?” He wasn’t amused. It was a really uncomfortable chair. After completing our circuit of the upstairs galleries, we went downstairs and found ANOTHER maze of art, which, sadly, we had to rush through because the thing was closing. Anyways free art and wine from all around europe. The peoplewatching was pretty much unparalleled, the conversations pretentious and glorious.


sorry I’m terrible at updating this thing. getting submerged in the daily details of life is sometimes easy enough to forget that it’s weird and spontaneous and wow I’m in turkey. Sounds dumb, I know, but it’s true. More is coming, I pro-mise.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: