MY MOUNT RUSHMORE (an installation) more images below text

Text on the wall:   To whom it may concern ­ maybe you who have bought this house in some future year: today is Tuesday, February 18, 2003 and I was watching a TV show about Mt. Rushmore last night, a man carving a huge mountain into a monument in white stone that I have seen from the air before and people will see for thousands of years to come and so I thought maybe I would leave some record of myself here before I drywall over this room, encase it all under a layer of white stone that, as sealed, will probably be read by no one in thousands of years ­ but think of it: there is the potential that in some future age or some future drywall project that may follow this one, someone will be pleased if not excited to read, hopefully in English and not in some kind of hyroglyphics after Armaggeddon (sorry for any typos but my drywall contractor will be here any minute and I don't have time to check the dictionary ­ and writing upside down is kind of hard) but I said Armaggedd'n because President Bush is hankerin' to bomb Iraq and God only knows what all hell will let loose after that ­ well anyway as I was saying someone might be pleased to find out some history about this house that was built in 1910 or 1911 (at least the old part was but this room here is an addition probably from the fifties and anyway one day I was removing a door casing in the back bedroom when out POPS this postcard from up in the mountains sent in 1933 to someone named Edwin who I don't think I ever met because I wasn't born yet until the 1950's (1955 actually) and anyway I assume he lived here just as I do now (but this room probably wasn't here just the big willow outside that is SO big now it actually touches the edge of the rain ­ that sounds nice doesn't it ­ it touches the edge of the rain instead of the edge of the raingutter (how boring in comparison) and so I have tried to do a few poetic things myself with this place too like the bookshelves I built in the living room the year after we bought the place in 1992 or the fence we built all around the yard in 1995 (one woman stopped her pickup in the middle of the street to tell me how much she liked it) or even the toolshed Wes and I built together, which was followed by the flagstone patio and putting in the French doors in the kitchen so we could see the yard and followed by the big deck ­ I mean these things are building projects of course but maybe the poetry is in the telling, maybe not in the way I am writing (I mean printing) this on the wall, but in the choice of words, the facts and the verbs as much as the assumption that by my writing this to you, whoever you are and years from now, that you are as important to me as the pyramids, as the hyroglyphics ­ you are my Mount Rushmore.

Jack Balas

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