Saturday, February 26, 2005

He bends to pick a Dogen

Scenes From The Met
On a February Tuesday,
Kasyapa at Cristo's Gates

Near Marie Victoire Lemoine's Atelier of a Painter named LeBrun, a woman in a pair of oversized eyeglasses passes. She mistakes me for the corner of a house let by a crazy lady. Hans Memling's Woman With a Pink hangs near orange brocaded robes and a triptyched Gabriel,
lost things, gaping putrefactions, open asses wrapped in white Carthusian albs, last things. Hermetic physiognomy in holy golden light, when tipped, ghastly typologie against a background of green, a green deeper than an emerald fish scale. There's an enormity of blue where city-workers place the snow.

Soon, this all becomes a blur. Soon, this contemplation of a skull, this dreaming Aeneus, this crucifixion and patrons all in ruinous frames, in pavilions of splitting arches, this aching in my back, this craving for wine assails the hall. Round bottom wrapped, trapped, tight denim moves past.


an accordion in the corner and a geometrical line of Ibo voices, bright flesh tones and ridiculous unintention, color-nuanced gouache, a 33rd canto sung by Ugolino, conducted by Carpeaux, chorused gift to Calais Burghers. Reliquary of a monstranced eye, from ass to Perseus and Salome, a Roman General and a daughter of Japhthah, Ajax and Theseus, collaborations brought to bear on a sublime disclosure, a taglined contrapuntal discourse.

Outside the museum benches line an enormous blue flourish, peopled benches and an emanation, the natal, soldered patois of enamel and pot-metal. I open my mouth wide enough to eat, and cry. Textiled park drying in the sun, cold orange breeze waving overhead, blowing like a function of memory, places and friends swallowed in emblematic saffron, an elite, chequered range of clutter on a path, chiffon of a gray tribunal.

If not for bareness there'd be nothing there at all. Five platformed chairs on an otherwise barren stage, Hecuban superfluity, frailty's glorious infiltration, wine of tears, peremptory peace that makes a guest of light, the light that precedes a gray capitulation. Throngs of people in a curtained park, strident smilers, prattling chatterers, rapacious joggers, limpid photographers, unceremonious twins, numbers of French, teens out of school, cold asses on benches, hats on heads, dogs, kids behind trees, an occasional sled, the

curtains lend the park their manufactured

tenor, despite all this celebratory noise.

Soon, crocuses.

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