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And now Bataille's Guilty, surprisingly flat in English as if the lungs paused to contemplate . . . (C. groans in sleep) were only for what heard lectures on Hegel in Paris, tempted to talk of them after, or seeing some Napoleonic spray of horses at the onset of a bridge, lit at night or in day's powdery gray-brown-blue. I'd give anything, you say. The statue of Voltaire is thin, drip cups for coffee likewise in aluminum, phenomenon of French cheap cookware. The signs for sparkplugs, beverages are everywhere, the coaster post-Revolution.

Mao by Warhol is himself, yellow-green, a presiding presence, the leader (like Churchill) inserting himself and his habits (the jacket, silver cigar stand) into what would still be art as if Hobbes interviewed by Cavett. Chris shows us a photo of Orson Welles impossibly large in broadcloth, having made himself bulky

like Coleridge to be noticed (the hungry cat at one's feet, technique of being in

the way). No then, the sketches are pretty (of soup) but not above what would be art if singleminded perfection, Oldenburg monuments, sculpture's

muniment room. The outcome of a religious notion that everyone is significant can be this thing deliberately engineered, the tact of it. You are what's said of you for a few minutes. Give us time to organize. People like having to come up to things, like geese. My name could have

been Warhol. Amuse the sitter with his or her likeness, like Bacon's multiple studies of favored sitters' faces. You can paint the plastic cannister a roll

of 35mm film comes in--can paint the roll--as any rectangle surrounded by small squares and be pleased by a docility of response.

Stevens does this imagining an indigent in the park by an equestrian general's

statue as if the woman's banal poverty puts in question even a theatricality of

heroism, the heroics, plural. So this is a kind of Room Service of images, the

tray with doughnut hopelessly far from coffee, one of Marx its precedent in

power, making you care like truckers wanting women drugged in their cubbies. They

are darkeyed, contain a wonder of buttock. Pascin could draw them, in thinnest paint

and pencil as if caste were visible, a one-wayness miles from Lautrec's brothels.

Was sexuality or licentiousness part of the programme, as when one went to hear

Loftus sing and play at Gatti's, pencil unidle? You slide along eggs in an egg crate hoping the light will make a mistake. All these excursions, insertions

of oneself into carnival, the lives of provincial people, nonentities, shows up

in the black and white photos as a shocking and casual beauty, banal

only because unable to walk out of the familiar, their own cognized recognitions,

so we become the exotic dancer's parakeet, sailor dancing, anything on leave in

a uniform (Olson's accent in a smoke-filled kitchen, saying "Gera-a-ah-hhd") and Viva knew the paper towel the tenor for inimitable commodity.
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Author:Burns, Gerald
Publication:The American Poetry Review
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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