Paintings on this scale require the help of assistants.
We are the sum total
of our social relations.
Rubens is not an intimate painter but his pictures
convey the restless
energy of his life.
I am going on a five mile run this morning before
I take my children to the Florida History Museum. It is Sunday,
October 28, 2012. God will enter
the picture, but only in the places
the painter didn’t intend—on the white knee
of the defiant horse who has no
desire to go into battle, in the pupil of a cloud,
in the splash of the king’s chamber pot
as the servant carries it out into
a winter morning.
Warhol had elves who helped him paint
the words “Cheddar Cheese,”
“Onion” and “Vegetable Bean”
onto his canvases. I run past the closed
down Safeway of Bradfordville Road,
see three kittens under a palm tree,
imagine the kittens and palm
as the up / down digits
of the stock market. Wait! These things
are not things! They are not
information! They are not
money! They are simply three kittens
and a tree.
Today the troll on Twitter calls my friend
a “fat hog.” Warhol’s cans are elegant,
painterly even. I, too, need a community
of poets, or at least
a few who will read my work
and confirm that I should keep writing
and when I think of you, I tell myself
to try to be a good person
as if that’s all that matters
and then desire. I miss you.
“It’s all projection,” my friend said
when I told him about the troll.
Why did you abandon me inside
the humanities? Sometimes I think
the sheer abstraction is killing
me. I clipped coupons
to no avail. I trained for a half-marathon.
Nothing. Look at the queen on horseback
at the Battle of Ponts-de-Ce; regard the fame
and glory that flutter around her head.
Is she what she means to be?
Is she? Is she?
The factory and the workshop.
The dying, the dead.
Follow me on Twitter, and then follow
the nightlife fixture, the “party girl,”
in the role of vixen. All of this
is accidental literature. When Warhol
was told Edie Sedgwick had died
his response, cold and calculating
as that king’s piss,
was “Edie who?”
Sandra Simonds is the author of four books of poetry; Warsaw Bikini (Bloof Books, 2009), Mother Was a Tragic Girl (Cleveland State University Press, 2012), House of Ions, (Bloof Books, 2014) and The Glass Box (Saturnalia Books, 2015). She is an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Thomas University in Thomasville, Georgia.
|Gary L. McDowell|
|Julie Marie Wade|
|Sean Patrick Hill|
|Tina Brown Celona|