It must be nice to own
A strong feeling.
To walk about the towns and fields of Earth
A man of taste, a woman
Who lacks confidence
In the public and its institutions
And is therefore serious
About art. About line and color
I feel very little.
Textures make me nervous:
The trunks of trees,
The flesh of the octopus, its
Suckers, hair and horns.
What is it about the abstract
Words for feelings that bother me? Is it
The dailiness of ecstasy
Or the ecstasy of dailiness?
Rage and integrity, why do they stun?
The plastic tub of bluets
In my neighbor’s backyard
Bodies embarrass me, as does the soul
When aflame, with grief or dolor.
A woodcut of the Magdalen,
Doughty and rough-hewn.
Though easily put off by feelings
I am not ashamed
Of my embarrassment. It is natural
To be petty about beauty,
To want to hold it in your hand
With purpose, and reduce it
To the size of a nut.
Trees in poems, especially trees
In my own poems
I am not ashamed to admit
It must be nice to live among them
Under a clear, blue sky
In October, my trees
Full of laughter and weeping,
Plagued by an idiom.
I do not envy them Poetry. Oh Lord
They can have it.
Literature is an invention; it was
Written by men to praise war.
Economy is tragic; the economy
Comedy. What the heart feigns
The mind rehearses, circles
A river on the map, as if to say
“Voilà! Now the non-linear
Has maneuvered the rational
Into position, and may rest.”
So we rewrite the old sayings—
That art achieves through effort
Ease; or that metaphor has
No prerequisite, like calling light
The data windows encrypt
And actually meaning it, right
Now, for example, to set down
Pen to paper, voice to verse
And claim that art itself is wholly
Suffix to experience, unheard
But not unheard-of. A universe
Gracelessly flashing forth.
* * *
I won’t bother you with talk about how obscenely decadent and out of touch the Frieze art fair is. And yet…
Curators Tahnee Ahtone, La Tanya S. Autry, Frederica Simmons, Dan Cameron, and Jeremy Dennis offered the public a window into their curatorial processes through the work they produced during their fellowships.
Who says tragedy has to be tragic? Co-presented with National Black Theatre, this fresh, Pulitzer-winning take on a classic centers Black joy and liberation.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Jeremy Dennis presents an exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Dan Cameron presents an email exhibition to offer insight into his curatorial process.
For the triennial’s eighth edition, work by more than 70 artists is featured in 12 exhibitions and a polyphonic program, installed at various locations throughout the German city.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Frederica Simmons presents an email exhibition to offer insight into their curatorial process.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, La Tanya S. Autry presents an exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This exhibition explores the work and short-but-impactful life of the groundbreaking ceramic artist. Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
As part of Hyperallergic’s Emily Hall Tremaine Journalism Fellowship for Curators, Tahnee Ahtone presents an email exhibition to offer insight into her curatorial process.
This week: Why does the internet hate Amber Heard? Will Congress recognize the Palestinian Nakba? And other urgent questions.
Artist Dan Jian makes the point that landscapes and memory are one and the same.