In a certain plaza, in a certain place, is a man who is sitting, sometimes standing, who if you show a few coins or a warm bowl of milk will tell you words in a story of himself: That he wrote before he first spoke. Perhaps you will wonder at such a claim, perhaps you will walk away from the man at his easel to a café or a bookshop. But it is only a few coins or a little milk in a wooden bowl and the colour of his inks drew your eye. So you sit and discover this man is an artist, if you have the time. The time and the coins or the milk and the plaza. You must have the plaza, with a small not quite central fountain and the thin trees that shake a little in the slight breeze under a sun. you must see a few children playing throwing dust into the air and a woman eating a croissant who would be utterly pretty were it not for her teeth. This is where the artist sits for now (but he may soon stand) amongst cartoonists and jugglers with his easel and his 10 coloured inks. Inks for all the colours in the eye.

A man will come to him with a not -very-remarkable woman (who has perhaps just finished a croissant) and ask him to make the womans image. The artist will look first and longest into his customers eye, then into the eyes of his subject. Most often he will then select his gold ink and write such fabulous descriptions of the woman that she will keep his words in a drawer till her death to be discovered by her grandchildren. She will do this because each word the writer scrawls in his golden ink will be true.

Another time the writer has no living subject but a photograph or drawing thrust before him by a man with a shadow on his face and the writer will consider before selecting a black or violet ink and writing as before only truth. Somehow the truth is different.

Another morning the sun rises too early for the artist, he is not in the certain plaza. He does not return before 9 months of mornings and when he does you think he seems as though he never left. Until you notice his hands. Another morning and the artists hands are stained all the colours in the eye.

Smoke twisting from his nose through his hair the artist spoke between his lips and his cigarette of a person who came to him with a dead woman in their arms. Who came first at dusk as the man dropped his easel. The person asked of the artist not a sketch but a portrait in words of the woman.
“no, no, it cannot be done by me” said the artist in the empty plaza
“if you will not, then just her thigh” said the stranger calmly lifting the woman's skirts “just her thigh, I have heard so much of you here”
At this the artist shook his head and gestured to a certain street. “there you will find a painter and a photographer  please leave me alone - I cannot make you a memory of your own from these thighs. I cannot make memory of my words”. The artist at this left the person but he could not leave his own words. “I write the truth don't I?” he tried to answer himself. “Surely a picture exists alive in the mind as words, words we can tell?”. And the artist remembered his wife of whom he told to his daughter and he unpacked his easel  and pens and lay out his 10 inks.

For 9 months he sketched the dead woman's thigh. He sketched it in words of every colour and after of every reproduction he showed his writing to his daughter. His daughter I know well enough to tell you her name is Cyprus and for every sentence her father could write Cyprus can make a picture just as true. There is a myth that in family's such talent must exhaust itself and skip many generations before finding another host. I can only tell you that if this is true then Cyprus is a bastard daughter with as long a line of nonentities for forbearers as the man who calls himself her dada. But despite such talent, for every text that sought to create the thigh the daughter could only enrage her father, with pictures of thighs belonging to different woman to the one he thought he had brought her. As the days passed Cyprus thought of her fathers fingers which left blood on the bread they ate together and shook in the bed she made for him. It may seem strange then but I believe she disobeyed her father and kept against his insistence writing of each colour and some of her own illustrations. The father, the writer, claims they are unsuccessful, his attempt failed. He then says he had to leave the woman's thigh to the worms for want of money and food.

However Cyprus  would tell you she did draw the woman's thighs, remembered in a dream. She could tell you they are the same as her mothers thighs, who she never knew, but can see through to the memory of her own birth that can only surface at night in sleep. Cyprus could say to you that her father forgot the woman's story through looking at his words too hard and would not recognize her thighs, only the letters that make them.   Cyprus is gone now, I don't know where, but in a drawer in her old bedroom is a bundle of paintings and 10 texts of all the colours in the eye: Black, indigo, green, violet, yellow, orange, red, blue, white and gold.

So if you knew the woman, if you are the person who carried her at dusk through the streets to the plaza could you look and tell me which is her story, which is her painting, or whether Cyprus lied. Show me which is the story that was the woman, that makes the ‘was’ an ‘is’. The her you keep in your eye.