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Daniil Kharms
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On Phenomena and Existences No. 1

The artist Michelangelo sits down on a heap of bricks and, propping his head in his hands, begins to think. Suddenly a cockerel walks past and looks at the artist Michelangelo with his round, golden eyes. Looks, but doesn't blink. At this point, the artist Michelangelo raises his head and sees the cockerel. The cockerel does not lower his gaze, doesn't blink and doesn't move his tail. The artist Michelangelo looks down and is aware of something in his eye. The artist Michelangelo rubs his eyes with his hands. And the cockerel isn't standing there any more, isn't standing there, but is walking away, walking away behind the shed, behind the shed to the poultry-run, to the poultry-run towards his hens.
And the artist Michelangelo gets up from the heap of bricks, shakes the red brick dust from his trousers, throws aside his belt and goes off to his wife.
The artist Michelangelo's wife, by the way, is extremely long, all of two rooms in length.
On the way, the artist Michelangelo meets Komarov, grasps him by the hand and shouts: -- Look! . . .
Komarov looks and sees a sphere
-- What's that? -- whispers Komarov.
And from the sky comes a roar: -- It's a sphere.
-- What sort of a sphere is it? -- whispers Komarov.
And from the sky, the roar: -- A smooth-surfaced sphere!
Komarov and the artist Michelangelo sit down on the grass and they are seated on the grass like mushrooms. They hold each other's hands and look up at the sky. And in the sky appears the outline of a huge spoon. What on earth is that? No one knows. People run about and lock themselves into their houses. They lock their doors and their windows. But will that really help? Much good it does them! It will not help.
I remember in 1884 an ordinary comet the size of a steamer appearing in the sky. It was very frightening. But now -- a spoon! Some phenomenon for a comet!
Lock your windows and doors!
Can that really help? You can't barricade yourself with planks against a celestial phenomenon.
Nikolay Ivanovich Stupin lives in our house. He has a theory that everything is smoke. But in my view not everything is smoke. Maybe even there's no smoke at all. Maybe there's really nothing. There's one category only. Or maybe there's no category at all. It's hard to say.
It is said that a certain celebrated artist scrutinised a cockerel. He scrutinised it and scrutinised it and came to the conclusion that the cockerel did not exist.
The artist told his friend this, and his friend just laughed. How, he said, doesn't it exist, he said, when it's standing right here and I, he said, am clearly observing it.
And the great artist thereupon hung his head and, retaining the same posture in which he stood, sat down on a pile of bricks.
That's all.