This is a made-up life in all meridians. Made up of dirt, moved by water and air, refined in fire, per ignem. Scattered about, and everythingâ€™s cominâ€™ up roses.
In the print edition of Times Literary Supplement (May 1, 2009), Kelly Grovier writes about Cy Twomblyâ€™s paintings currently on display at Gagosianâ€™s Gallery in London. (Unfortunately, the article is not accessible online.) Five paintings, each with four wood panels, three with full bloom roses, and one with scrawled fragments from â€œLes Rosesâ€ by German poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Probably most recognized for his â€œblackboardâ€ paintings, which look like, well, blackboards, filled with student cursive handwriting exercises, Twombly has a gallery dedicated to him at the Menil Collection in Houston. I have wandered through it twice. It is an exquisite building, each room devoted to a different period of the artistâ€™s work, many of the paintings including poetry integrated in the image, in what Grovier describes as a â€œblurring of boundaries between the visually unrefined and the verbally incoherent.â€ The effect is remarkable; Iâ€™ve wept in joyful melancholy thinking about them. The untitled â€œGreenâ€ paintings that fill one room are to my mind Pacific Northwest landscapes; or, rather, small west slope Cascades streamscapes.
Painting is reading is gardening. Weeds everywhere.
My favorite professor called it â€œthe study of litter – ah – tour,â€ to rhyme with manure. He also told one of the best literary anecdotes Iâ€™ve heard. Teaching one evening class a week at the University of Minnesota, he had the habit of stoping for a drink after in a near-campus bar. Chatting with the new bartender one night, a Persian pre-med student, he said, â€œBy the way, Iâ€™m Bill Lemons,â€ to which the bar-keep replied, â€œCall me Ishmael.â€
Continue reading A requiem (com)post: â€œbore the Garden in the Brain / This Curiosity-â€