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Very Fine Arts
by M. V. Montgomery

I. found art

I am commuting on the interstate when a small truck pulls into the lane ahead. The truck is an off-white color with a name like Bepoe Construction Materials on the side. My first reaction as a driver is to express irritation, but suddenly I check that impulse.

On the back of the truck, the driver has stacked two columns of pre-packaged sheetrock. The packages have a diagonal logo cutting across the edge. They have been placed one on top of the other to form a perfect V. Or almost perfect—the left ray of the V is slightly staggered by a small bundle on top that projects slightly outward.

The whole thing is hit just right by the morning light: the smooth white frame of the truck, the modernist gray-green V, the ripple effect at the top.

Then another truck in the next lane, a light red, pulls even with the first one, showing it off in still better contrast. I am almost overcome.

I honk my horn in appreciation.

2. le mot juste

A colleague lends me a book to read over break. I am excited because I have been searching for it for some time.

I thank him so effusively that I begin to mix up my words. Now I’ll really be a busy camper! I say.

No, wait—I mean, I’ll be a happy camper, and busy as a bee!

He tells me not to worry, that I’m certain to be a busy camper, too, with all those bees.

3. a little tone painting

I am half-listening to a classical symphony and indulge in a little tone painting. The scene is an early morning in the garden; nature is resplendent.

The woodwinds suggest birds gently alighting on seeds and flowers in the garden, and then flying merrily away.

The horns and strings suggest bounding chipmunks and bunnies, who are no doubt interested in the garden vegetables.

The bass and percussion lines suggest soldiers marching toward the garden.

The clash of cymbals suggests that the soldiers are now firing upon the chipmunks and bunnies.

4. sports report

Did you manage to catch the U.S.A.-Ghana soccer match? As the evening lengthened in Rustenburg, shadow “x”es, perhaps 15-18 feet wide, spread out at the feet of each player. You could see the narrow “x”es crossing in and out of the circle in the middle of the field, back and forth across the two white lines, all around the goal box. When the players clashed, the “x”es formed a fretwork, then broke apart again.

The pitch was neatly trimmed in alternating kelly and lima green stripes, and there were other colors, too: the bright whites of the American players; the orange jerseys of the Ghanians with their asymmetrical yellow stripes, like tiger claws; the bright blue of the official; the scurrying yellow FIFA sideline attendants; and those rogue goalkeepers in their blacks and blues. And they say we Americans can’t appreciate soccer!