No.3. Points of Order. He had recently made a wildly romantic painting called--how the title now galled him!--"Monk Under the Stars." It was a triangular work, an isoceles canvas with pigment caked onto it so thickly and so tightly he could no longer lift it onto his easel for a final disparaging look. He was pleased for a moment by the upward-pointing of the canvas and by the echo provided by the upward pointedness of his easel. Too bad he wasn't a theosophist, he thought. Then he could make a big rapturous Lawren-Harris-like fuss about the wonders of the transcendental, and the upward thrusting of the spirit. Clearly, he was beginning to annotate his every feeling and every fleeting thought and so, as an exorcism--and as a penance--he carved and painted a giant marker which, when he leaned it against his easel, he liked better than anything he'd made for months. How neatly we are cleansed by vulgarity!

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