The day was occidental, like regional lipstick,
local scrapbooks, precisely drawn faces.
Someone drew a mural.
Then descended the Abstract Expressionists,
whose enormous eyebrows, when lifted,
could wipe out a city,
or bring, lowering into evening,
a storm cloud
of such frightening proportions
that even the tips of skyscrapers gaped
and said “Holy Lord Jesus!”
and backed away from the canvas,
as big as a jungle, on which the Abstract Expressionists
pressed their own bodies
or roamed like panthers through the dark dark woods.
Down subway stops they cavorted,
boom boom went their black loafers, vavoom vavoom!
And they infiltrated cars, this raucous battery of grimaces
freezing in any weather,
or sat in empty houses
above white bare plates, containing
a sausage. One measly sausage, they cried out!
And we don’t like sausages!
could be seen weeping before the sausages.
Around this time
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg
tickled the Abstract Expressionists,
then walked away. As they all laughed,
a new ART arose, still quite serious
but perhaps humbler! Don’t ask about
dancing by himself! That happened later,
when ART history, like a peeping tom swan, craned its neck
and videotaped the dance. Soon a world of sleekness
prevailed: surfaces and sinks.
This bare area was eager to be wed to the Conceptualists,
who, appreciating the bareness and barrenness of ideas,
could not help but swing by on ropes made of concepts
and fling themselves into the ART arena
full of bluffing, coughing bulls
without touching anything.
“Duchamp,” you say? Yes, everything ever written
in the annals of ART shucked itself off
and stuck to him like embarrassed small pink sticky notes,
and the geyser of ART ejaculated!
Duchamp danced a gleeful dance,
opened the first book of the world
and wrote his signature there,
which still hangs in the air now
like a satisfying winking aria,
full of the dreamer’s geography
and the irony of our time in ART!