Friday, March 23, 2007

falling in love with strangers

I think of the well-known experimental clock, the beam of light on the train, as if it is in the lap of the girl next to me – perhaps some fantastic new iRelativity device that the pretty brunette can manipulate, or ignore peacefully in her lap. How perfect an up and down motion. We are all versions of this bouncing light in the train, repeating ourselves peacefully as our thoughts churn like old wheels, or tap on computers and think we’re being spontaneous, but we are not, in our metal moving box – we’re all on the same clock. I think of the man in the field, glancing up to see the zigzag in his slower experience – the billion waving wheat shafts and his own damnable or praiseworthy missteps that slow him and change us from simple up and down to downright noticeable, cutting his field. He looks up and sees our train, and the light clock of our faster life looks like an oddly sewn sleeve. The clocks at the stations are all together too, and might keep me in that buttoned up state, but they too are not our clocks, and the old hands render a twist in me, and I see the people on the platform in slower motion, for an instant as we take off, they are stopped altogether. What if I fell in love at first sight with a man on the old platform in Wilmington? My hand would slap the glass – slap my own reflection, really, and having noticed that I am different, slip back into my seat. I feel so observable. I'm a little pissed.

The row homes as we leave Baltimore, before we break into the lovely surprise of the open bay and the boats and the big houses and lace bridges, are unkind. They are too narrow, and one cannot breathe with the quickness of their beats as the colors mark them in time from the train window. I break again from the light in the girl’s lap and think, this is the time that stands between us all, what makes unexpected misunderstanding between friends, marks modern motion and gadgets as progress, charts pockets of poverty and makes it possible for expressions like ‘field measurements’ to make sense. I think, how funny if you didn’t know what that meant– and it were possible to measure all the wheat in a field, build it virtually in a computer, animate the strands and make them wave infinitely, too perfectly real, in a movie, playing on a laptop computer resting innocently on the legs of the girl next to me. Of course, it's been done, and in this moment I am undone by it, and out of time.

Monday, March 19, 2007

watching clocks from a train

/ lyrics "all her favorite fruit" camper van beethoven /

I drive alone, home from work
And I always think of her
Late at night I call her
But I never say a word
And I can see her squeeze the phone between her chin and shoulder
And I can almost smell her breath faint with a sweet scent of decay
She serves him mashed potatoes
And she serves him peppered steak, with corn
Pulls her dress up over her head
Lets it fall to the floor
And does she ever whisper in his ear all her favorite fruit
And all the most exotic places they are cultivated
And I'd like to take her there, rather than this train
And if I weren't a civil servant, I'd have a place in the colonies
We'd play croquet behind white-washed walls and drink our tea at four
Within intervention's distance of the embassy
The midday air grows thicker with the heat
And drifts towards the line of trees
When negroes blink their eyes, they sink into siesta
And we are rotting like a fruit underneath a rusting roof
We dream our dreams and sing our songs of the fecundity
Of life and love

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

behave or this giant baby will eat you

The DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park is an art museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, founded in 1950. It focused on modern and contemporary art, with a particular emphasis on American sculpture. In addition to an indoor gallery, studio art school, and function spaces, the museum includes an 35-acre park with approximately 75 outdoor sculptures and installations; these include a small but important permanent collection (including works by Sol LeWitt, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Alexander Liberman, and Nam June Paik), prominent works on loan, and rotating installations of new work.

[wikipedia info provided by the magic of cut and paste]