It is a long poetic sequence dedicated to Monique Van Genderen. It is
Feeling panicky about going on so long I show
this to Steve in draft form. “So this is your 9/11 poem?”
To be fair there is no description of the tone of the question. It is sandwiched with other material between a meditation on cravings and substitutes and some sharp remarks on the offensiveness of thinking about your looks.
From Section VII
when cravings come, and will not stand for
substitutes. I get them for seeing art, not virtually
but in person. Online your paintings lose their gloss
to become as flat as these words, which can’t even
manage to dent the page or bump along the fingers.
I cannot recall the feeling I get when looking
at art I love. I must return to face it. To stand
before it. to feel its effect. Like the longing for a food
you cannot reproduce. The patty melt, for example,
From Section IV
the late sixties and early seventies flipped
everything around. They banned the hats and gloves
once used to hide aged pates and liver spots,
exposing adults as the affronts they are to the illusion of
eternal youth. The Southern Californian sidewalks
swarm with the surgically altered, dressed like children
twenty-four seven in brightly colored clothes,
walking ads for corporate aestheticism
masquerading as personal taste. Here in New England
it is an offense to God to think about our looks.
Try it and winter—Protestantism’s greatest ally—
will take you down a notch
What these snippets fail to convey is the sprawl which reminds one of the conversational-descriptive style of James Schuyler. Pages and pages later, you want to go back and begin the walk through all over again. Return to face it.
The Open Secret
And so for day 2351