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from the November 2005 issue

Gray Zone

"What makes gray a neutral color? Is it something physiological, or logical?"
"Grayness is situated between two extremes (black and white)"


my gray zone
is starting to include poetry

here white is not absolute white
black is not absolute black
the edges of these non-colors

Wittgenstein's question is answered by Kêpiñski

The world of depression is a monochromatic world
dominated by grayness or total darkness

in the darkness of depression many things look
differently than in normal light

black and white flowers
grew only in Norwid's poetry
Mickiewicz and Sowacki
were colorists

the world we live in
reels with colors
but I don't live in that world
I was only impolitely awakened
can one wake someone politely

I see
in green grass
a ginger cat
hunting a gray mouse

the artist Get
tells me he cannot see colors

he distinguishes them by the labels
on the tubes and tins

he reads and knows that this is
yellow red blue

but his palette is gray

he sees a gray cat
in gray grass
hunting a gray mouse

he has impaired vision
(he doesn't suffer from depression)
maybe he's pretending
to provoke his students
and enliven our discussion

we go on talking about Bemerkugen über
die Farben

W. talks of a red circle
a red square a green circle

I say to G. it would seem
that the square is merely filled
with red or green
the square is square
not red or green
according to Lichtenberg few
people have ever seen pure white

drawing may be the purest
form of art
drawing is filled
with pure emptiness

thus a drawing
is by its nature
closer to the absolute
than a Renoir painting

the German says
weiße rose and rote rose
for one who doesn't know German
a rose
is neither rote nor weiße
it's just a rose
but someone else has never heard the word
rose and what he holds in his hand
is a flower or a pipe

From: Szara Strefa [Gray Zone], Wydawnictwo Dolnoílskie, 2002

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