"It’s difficult, perhaps impossible to imagine a designer whose eye is not drawn to ephemera — the flimsy, forgettable, never-meant-to-survive bits of two-dimensional matter that circumscribe our daily lives — and by conjecture, to paper’s wondrous reincarnation in collage. Does this not make collage the most sustainable of art forms?"
New Lives for Old Paper: Observatory: Design Observer)
The Death of Santa Claus
by Charles Harper Webb
He’s had the chest pains for weeks,
but doctors don’t make house calls to the North Pole, he’s let his Blue Cross lapse, blood tests make him faint, hospital gown always flap open, waiting rooms upset his stomach, and it’s only indigestion anyway, he thinks, until, feeding the reindeer, he feels as if a monster fist has grabbed his heart and won’t stop squeezing. He can’t breathe, and the beautiful white world he loves goes black, and he drops on his jelly belly in the snow and Mrs. Claus tears out of the toy factory wailing, and the elves wring their little hands, and Rudolph’s nose blinks like a sad ambulance light, and in a tract house in Houston, Texas, I’m 8, telling my mom that stupid kids at school say Santa’s a big fake, and she sits with me on our purple-flowered couch, and takes my hand, tears in her throat, the terrible news rising in her eyes.
The Death of Santa Claus” by Charles Harper Webb, from Reading the Water . © Northeastern University Press, 1997. Photo: Myoung Ho Lee, Tree #3, 2006