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“It’s a mess”
because life is not simple.
I feel like doing any damn thing
putting on a fashion show,
dancing the tango,
singing the blues,
playing poker naked

“It’s a mess”
my mind is going to hell.
My lists are all mixed up
and I see “mess” everywhere

“It’s a mess”
every day art becomes
harder, more ego-centred
more wicked

“It’s a mess”
apparently at the Fiac the prices
were wacky,
so it makes no sense.

“It’s a mess”
in the USSR in Stalin’s times,
the artists
were afraid of  
contradicting the official art,  
are we now heading
towards the same thing?

“It’s a mess”
Filliou said  
“Whatever you’re thinking
think of something else
whatever you’re doing  
do something else”
and that I replied
stop playing at the
Zen sage
that doen’t mean anything

“It’s a mess”
with the inventories in catalogues raisonnés
with the auction sales
with interns at 400 euros

“It’s a mess”
with artists sick and tired of
searching for something new
that is no longer new

“It’s a mess”
I don’t understand  
and why does Cloud send me messages
every 10 minutes
how many clouds are there?

“It’s a mess”
I mustn’t forget  
to take with me
computer, air book with mouse,
photo appliances

“It’s a mess”
my work list is over 50 pages long
there are 20 sub-lists
the studio
the office  
the shopping  
the films

“It’s a mess”
the weapon manufacturers  
love wars  
the States love the economy
the economy loves power
the power loves art

“It’s a mess”
The rats in my cistern
attacked Duchamp’s notes,
did they do it on purpose?

“It’s a mess”
sometimes I can’t stop writing  
sometimes I’m ashamed of every word I write

“It’s a mess”
I like people to give me their opinion  
but I don’t like people to make decisions on my behalf

“It’s a mess”
I have once again started to photograph
the chewing gum in the street
on the sidewalks  

“It’s a mess”
I have a problem with my braces
one of them doesn’t work
and it prevents me from thinking.

“It’s a mess”
in truth
I am a small hothead trying to shock
by signing any damn thing
but that damn thing was already in the
pouches of Dada and of Duchamp therefore I get 2/10
on the other hand
on the level of external policy and philosophy
I request a higher note of 8/10 why?
because I sincerely believe
that I could prevent 80% of the conflicts
in the world

“It’s a mess”
and if in Youri’s space
in the middle of the room there was
my low Ping Pong table  
with moving objects  etc.
and that everything was for sale?
“It’s a mess”
in truth the artists
are all slaves
who play at being free

“It’s a mess”
because in my head it’s an
‘‘incredible mess’’

“It’s a mess”
after the Nouveau Réalisme
after Fluxus
it is the turn of the group Zéro
to send the prices sky high

“It’s a mess”
especially when I think of the amount of gadgets
cinema, sound, light, etc.
that I bought  
and that were never of any use
and that I don’t throw away

“It’s a mess”
This morning I see myself as Lagerfeld
I have designed three new dresses
they will be a huge hit
I can already imagine the show,
something really new,
they will all be jealous.

“It’s a mess”
Nothing works any more
I have no more ideas
I could fill the gallery 3 times over
it would still be the same thing
from the little ego

“It’s a mess”
but a mess does not seem very serious

“It’s a mess”
by dint of filing  
I filed myself into a drawer
and I can’t manage to get out

Ben, 2016

Translated in English by Ann Cremin