In the unreflective

Pall of the canvas

Neatly pocked by broken 

Plates, light 

Swallowed by 

The sickly sweet strokes

Of crap paint

Schnabel clumsily

Slapped across it,

I picked up Sacha

And asked him

If he thought it might be

A bit much, 

The painting’s title?, but

He already had designs

On the Brancusi

He glimpsed

In the Des Moines Art Center’s 

Catalogue, which he pawed

On the floor of the

Entrance room,

So plush were the couches

I later fell asleep

Reclining into one.

Woke in a fright,

Turned off the lights!

Walked into a courtyard

Terrifically cold—the water-

Fall tending my dreams

Froze midstream,

Reflecting brilliant

Fresnel light. 

The artist

I follow from year

To year, sometimes

Years pass

But I find him

Launching another

Lantern down the river

Frozen to river-


And so I

Whispered into his delicate

Ear—are we able

To meet these

Monuments as is?

What would that mean

For the consumer?

If, say, you happen upon

A David Salle painting

(Rarer these days).

What if your stepmother

Was in the same art class

In high school as Salle,

Doodled the same 

Insane nothing-of-notes,

Desperate for a way 

Out, not just of this class

But of this gap

Between herself &

What she might

Want to become.

David Salle, don’t

Sweat the small

Devils detailing 


Lamborghini Countach

(Sounds so garish,

To talk this way

About the ‘80s, I mean

That model was like

The Ford Escort 

Of the Jet Set, which 

We didn’t call the ‘80s

Ladies & gents who spent

A year in a day, a day

Waving goodbye

To entire villages

Inhaled in one sweet

Snort, this chasm spasms)

& then David Salle

Went on to snort

The entire decade

Into his rectum. She


Rightly, the pain

Ticked into my


Soon enough her spine

Began off-gassing 

A barbiturate

Haze five miles in every


Thanks, David Salle, 

For shutting down

So many possibilities.

This feeling like we all

Know each other

From some past life

Spent holding hands

Walking over the precipice

Into the volcanic bowels

Of Hell, this otherness

Fixed into a buried

Set of neurons native

To homo sapiens sapiens, 

It’s surfaced surfaced

With a fury fury,

Furious with spouts

Of pepper spray

Pepper spray

Frozen in the air

Waiting for history’s

Next victim to occupy

Occupies the space in front of it.

The snow, Joyce wrote,

To paraphrase him, 

To interpret or delay

His words, to rework, 

Remix, mash up, redefine,

Defile, lift, smash, plagiarize,

Borrow, beg, steal, 

Augment, as homage I 

Distill his words 

Into a bitter rye,

Drink it to bottoms 


He looked out,

He had his protagonist

Look out a wintry

Window, each snowflake

Like a soldier whipping

A horse yoked

To a chariot, 

This Greece

This Rome 

This vatic

Impulse to stay

Connected swirling

All round, said

In passing,

His soul swooned


As he heard





The universe

And faintly falling,

Like the descent

Of their last end,


All of the living

And the dead.

So you 

Tell me

How your 

Radical formalism 

Saves lives, 


I guess I figured 

Art don’t do

Just that.

What I’ve got on view

Out my office window

Is luxurious paradisiacal

Snow stirring in me

A soul-destroying

Desire to snort some


After all. 

This could be your 

Legacy, Sacha, 

This art 

You have been 

Forced to feed on

For eons. 

Robyn & I

Sink into the 

Shitty couch in my office

And fall asleep

Watching Stalker,

Slowly fall

To the bottom 

Of the never-ending 


This tonic,

& Robyn murmured

Something about making

Sure all the locks were


I don’t know

If I checked them,

So I check them 


This bedroom farce

Feels like my face

Most days, a ray

Of sun fazing across

The televised haze

Of some future 

My son takes out 

A second, maybe it’s

The third mortgage on,

He plugs in this din

To his cryo-mortal coil

And we all eviscerate

The wires we don’t

See but imagine

Crisscross right

In front of us.

I can’t wait

Until he touches


Goes loco

Slurping snow cones;

Lisps with the asps

In ancient Egypt.

The overdub

Is imperfect, a few frames

Late, so when 

Sacha looks at a combine

Hanging against this

Well-lit wall &

Says, “This looks like

Garbage. Garbage can be

Art,” the only word

That matches his mouth

Is the end of everything.

No one goes out

Like this

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