The master is laconic, but his paintings talk. Rather, Loulou the Pomeranian corrects himself, the master was laconic. Now especially that Magritte has gone, Loulou walks back and forth before the pictures, listening to them whisper, missing his dead master. He wishes for more songs upon their upright piano, more pretty evenly matched games of chess.

Blood will tell. The voice of blood. This image confesses a tree with a cylindrical cupboard for a trunk, containing a white globe and a house with a lamp lit in every room. The illumination makes Loulou feel less gloomy. Georgette is still here, and they still have their house.

Loulou pricks his ears toward the call of blood, and hears the years to come coming: their old apartment in Jette will become a house-museum, stuffed – like this tree – with beautiful stuff. Loulou himself – or the last Loulou Georgette possesses when she dies, too, some twenty years hence – will also be stuffed, his dog-body filled with taxidermical stuffing. He will rest unmoving, white fur puffed, atop an empty bed.

The master’s eyes are closed forever, never again to peer at the peerless blue of his paintings’ skies, never again to hear the sound of small bells, his beloved grelots. Loulou remembers how, when he was a puppy, he thought the clappers inside the spheres must be the bells’ hearts, and how when he artlessly admitted this, Georgette and the master had laughed and laughed – not at, but with him – and ruffled the fur at the scruff of his neck.

Gaston Bachelard said, “Miniature is one of the refuges of greatness.” Naturally, Lou-Lou is biased, but he is inclined to agree: concentration and potency. The house-museum will be a small one, naturally, but somehow it will suggest enigmatic measurements. Each night, curtains will hide what is of no earthly use.



Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Co-editor of The Selected Writings of René Magritte, forthcoming from Alma Books next year, she is also the author of seven books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including, most recently, the novel O, Democracy! (2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (2012). With Elisa Gabbert, she is the author of the poetry collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008) and the chapbook The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (Hyacinth Girl, 2013). She lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches at DePaul. 

Kathleen Rooney is wearing a mactaggart vintage Joan of Arc pendant with customized chain affixed with beads and a mactaggart brass chain mill studded ring.