Academic journal article Field

Palace of Illusion

Academic journal article Field

Palace of Illusion

Article excerpt

for Rusty Levenson

I take a sledge to the bust of Berkeley,

a box cutter to half a dozen portraits

of empiricists in important wigs.

I open a water main and wash away

the treasures of ancient Japan.

I pull all the fake Franz Klines off the wall.

The real ones are hiding behind them.

These I set on fire but the fakes are so good

the flames jump indifferently between,

hopelessly in love with either.

I touch my lighter to some mohair braids

and the Rare Dolls Room goes up

like a foundling home in a Russian photo.

Now the lighter's a bat. Those stupid eggs explode

in a universe of pink and purple stars.

I shoot the picture of Lincoln, pisto 1-whip

the unresisting Buddha, kick a Boucher

in the ass, my boots crunching over breadcrumbs

of marble and though splinters of gilded frame.

But I pause at an Annunciation, the usual girl

and angel, the lily in a vase, the dove

in hesitation. …

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