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Art World Rag

by Gregory Severance

brewing Spanish espresso
running water lulling our daughter into unconsciousness

eating French fried potatoes on the steps of fear
before the townhouses of impostors
the tents of wickedness
the cathedrals of chaos
ketchup and vinegar
reorder ka reorder ki reorder ku

eating pita bread on the steps of the art museum
besmirching the white plastic tray of the high chair
with slimy banana

strong Spanish coffee
washing dishes in the sink
sound of running water
lulls our daughter to sleep
clinging to her father's side
supported by multi-colored cotton cloth

fainting flight fear slimy facticity
gallery banners flapping screeching
canvases tacked to the wallboard of one bedroom apartments

eat potato chips on a bench in front of Soho gallery
stroking strolling trolling awakening
from figurative art nightmares all day long abstraction sleeps on the couch

everybody dogmatically plays with esthetic possibilities empirical knowledge
rejecting post history post haste inconceivable staining of the upholstery
why do the guests insist on eating the key lime pie on the couch

young men hit the beach fifty years ago now they hit the pavement with their heads
collapsing flowing slimy consciousness bouncing on the metal grate after inhaling
acrid smoke internal hemorrhage of retina

the villains of Fifty-Seventh Street are hand-made
stupendous oeuvre of celebrated figurative artist
on display in the ideal museum of Western Culture
the villains of Fifty-Seventh Street are mind-made
dogmatic instruction in university art departments
instrumentality of a collapsing male ethos
the villains of Fifty-Seventh Street are machine-made

political declaration radical withering away
the epic quest of easel painting the gallery the art auction
achieving closure in the celebrated aura in the critical matrix
rotten varnish besmirching the Berlin Dada movement
besmirching the private collection ketchup squirting time on West Broadway

I don't know about American flags flapping
on the poles before the tents of wickedness
colorful banners lining the streets
young men returning home fifty years ago spawning generations of figurative artists
suffocating collapsing not knowing of flags flapping before the tents of teepees
on the Lower East Side of wickedness in the academies of evil defeated of revolution
of posthistorical disassembly
of profound inefficacy
of fleeing unapprehensible magical June evenings

lullabies harmonica sounds soothing our daughters
pullulating painting playground walking finger dancing
overheard talk of June roses in bloom
crystalline lens focus nihilation
rope toys thrown on wooden floor of one bedroom apartment
breezes opening the windows experimental finger snapping

snapshots of Africa
color of mint leaves
pounding surf airwaves
pounding percussion
gourd instruments

paper cup
plastic stirrer
Turkish coffee
scarlet elephants
red headed songbirds
able-bodied young men hit the beach
full of patriarchal ethos
wearing gauzy cotton underwear yellow stained
besmirched with the stains of flatulence
impossible syntax

no response bah no response bih no response buh no response beh

June 1994 * new york, new york

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