He will not be delivering the Kenneth Koch memorial lecture in person, rather he will present his person as a series of drawings. For the introduction he will draw correct pronunciation and a pun: a popular bottle of fizz (light-reading). For the part about War he will draw a Ph.D. For the part about New York he will draw Ohio. For the explanation of his energy, he will draw, on stage, a sprinkler and suggest that water can fly, but stress that flight is not infinite by drawing dry bird-bones and a wet bruised apple. For the hard part – the technical detail and friendship – he will draw a dune-buggy. There is always something fun about these parts even though they can drag out. For the part about comic art, he will draw a spirit-level and imply that, though it plays it straight, it is funny. He will pause and change to texta. To represent the change he will draw a paragraph and a man in relief. To signal the pause, he will draw a clock without hands. This will look like a circle to the audience and they will applaud. For the part about insecurity, he will draw Daffy Duck, the Hollywood sign, two close friends, Jack Kirby meeting Tex Avery, and the ambitions of the Great Cartoonist on his deathbed. For the part about the critical reception he will draw most of 1995 and an expensive cup. He will try to draw a final postcard. Adapting his work for an Australian audience, he will draw a lake and a salt shaker. In drawing a generic brand of appliance (a dishwasher), he will admit that he didn't give much thought to the adaptation. For the part where he draws the audience's concept of value, he will draw one long anecdote and his own voice being authorial. For this he will draw a musical note and a crude representation of a famous orator. He will draw a strayed cat. For the part that signals the end of the show, he will draw the audience applauding. For the part about when he goes home, he will draw a taxi cab, a jostle and he will ask the woman in the third row from the front, seat C-13, if she will join him by drawing her seat number and seat in the window of his taxi cab. It will later be judged as the clumsiest drawing: over-crowded. For the part where they have dinner, he will draw two knives, and one lettuce leaf. For the part where he pays for the dinner, he will sign his name in the bottom corner of a key. For the part where he seduces her, he will map her family history, his own family and his professional history and also some flowers. He will colour in each petal with the scratchy hand of a kid, but like an adult, will demarcate each as a different country. In bed, he will draw her legs and place the drawing on top of the doona so he can see her legs without making her shiver. For the part where he is funny and also somewhat poetic himself, he will illustrate the text with 'I limned your lower limbs'. For the part when he wants just a small amount of time alone, he will draw an exit sign. For the part where he asks himself if he wants her to come back later, he will draw a telephone and a series of images that represent his telephone number: nothing, a table, a shit, himself, the letter g inverted, a three-legged dog, a shit, a table, the letter g inverted, himself. For her part, she will take the pen off him and draw herself not calling. She will mark the hours after the lecture with an F. He will record the cumulative performance number: 6-6-3. He will draw a door closing, but to him it will just look like an unopened door.
The Kenneth Koch Memorial Lecture
1 July 2009