Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Magazine article World Literature Today

Two Poems

Article excerpt

Unadorned Box with Landscape

an erasure remix of Clement Greenberg's "Avant-Garde Attitudes" (1968) and Rosalind Krauss's "Sculpture in the Expanded Field" (1979)

Prevalent confusion from a welter of everything exploding. A swelling in the earth: aesthetics.

Boundaries obliterated, immutable, the accidents of gravity, invading surface appearances

in degrees of order. The sublime, the banal. Within this expanded field: me, a map, the root cause.

In Spanish, the Toreador's Outfit Is Called Traje de Luces, or a Suit of Lights

From Maximo to Sterling Manor, down Clam Bayou to Coquina Key, St. Pete's once had a world record 768 straight days of illumination.

Sunshine City. As florid and fantastic a place as any to celebrate Salvador Dalí who claimed not to do drugs, because he was drugs.

There among palm fronds waving at a more distant, bobbing forest of masts, a wormlike blob composed of over a thousand different

faceted triangular pieces of glass engulfs the vertices of the hurricaneproof minimalist box that houses the rest of the art. Like being inside

a giant fly's eye, this free-form geodesic bubble, a liquid gesture to amassing clouds, nearly translucent, shimmers to eat the rational

concrete walls. Its creator, an architect who previously worked with I. M. Pei on the Louvre's glass pyramid, calls it "the enigma."

Appropriate for the famous moustache about whom André Breton coined the anagrammatic nickname "Avida Dollars," the seeker

who flummoxed Mike Wallace with his discovery of "the logarithmic curve of cauliflower" and "the erotics of everything," the superstitious

Spaniard with a pet ocelot named Babou on leash and collar, the would-be Moor cultivating "creative paranoia" with Gala by his side,

the nuclear mystic collaborating with Alfred Hitchcock on Spellbound, the childhood bat-eater visiting Sigmund Freud in London,

nearly asphyxiating himself in a deep-sea diving suit, casting Alice Cooper as a hologram, always just a false eyelash or two beyond

grossly excessive in his life, his art. Now I'm striding past real rocks meant to be simulacra of formations from his native Cadaqués,

the biomorphic ones that jut and hang in many of his dreamscapes, those childhood crags, cuneiforms replete with rock pools

where he once scripted Un Chien Andalou with Luis Buñuel. Now having streamed through a box-hedge spotted grotto, an avant- garden laid out according to the proportions of the golden rectangle, I'm shimmying up the helical staircase, modeled on the molecular

strand, to stand confronting the monumental Hallucinogenic Toreador whose Venus is as close to goddess as I have come since gazing

upon Notre Dame de la Belle Verrière, the intricate blue-hued, stainedglass Virgin at Chartres. …

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