Joe Brainard

“I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie”

“I remember my first erections. I thought I had some terrible disease or something”

“I remember how good a glass of water can taste after a dish of ice cream”

“I remember my first sexual experience in a subway. Some guy (I was afraid to look at him) got a hard-on and was rubbing it back and forth against my arm. I got very excited and when my stop came I hurried out and home where I tried to do an oil painting using my dick as a brush”

“I remember many first days of school. And that empty feeling”

“I remember a little boy I used to take care of after school while his mother worked. I remember how much fun it was to punish him for being bad”


Imaginary Still Life No. 1: I close my eyes. I see a light-green vase. A very pale light-green vase. Right beside it sits something black. Something small. It is a small black ashtray. Getting smaller by the moment. Until–really–it is hardly more than–now–a tiny speck”

Imaginary Still Life No. 8: I close my eyes. I see pink. And green. And gold. All mixed up together. But now slowly evolving into three distinctive shapes. (. . . .) It is a pink kimono, gently discarded upon the corner of a green dressing table, which enters the picture frame at a very sharp angle. Behind it stands a gold screen of three panels. In this particular Japanese still life one gets the impression that something is going on that cannot be seen”



Joe Brainard  (US 1942–94)

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