Variations Around A Poem For Louise

As They Come: Bust, Moose and Poem
Lines on a drawing near a draft of a poem
After The Manner Of Louise Haselton
On True Louise Haselton Principles

                                                                    for Anna and Louise

a drawing, from memory—from very
imprecise memory—& with not much
so, a cartoon really, of
a tiny Roman bust, of

a male head in three-quarter profile,
head capped in tight curls. 
                                                         In the
plasticine original
                                       that I remember
                                the hair was regular, formulaic,
& seemed to quote
an ancient shorthand.

                                            The small bust,
                          —‘walnut’ suggesting, even,
the indentations that made the curls—
                                                        has leaning against it
a moose you’d made
                                         —more cartoony,
                                                                          more ‘TV’,
or ‘dayshow’. 
                                          A friendship,
between  2007
                              &  6 BC
                                                                                  &  history.

                                  We were in Hvar.
The tiny figures—with others,
                                                    members of
toony jazz band—
                                       penguin with clarinet,
elephant on saxophone etc
                                                     in blues & purples,
browns & greens—
                                       stood on the balustrade

a view of variegated rooftops,
                                                         a hill that
rose behind—
                              sunset just passed,
the sudden, cooling night. 
                                                       And in the notebook,
                                                       near this drawing,
the draft of the poem for Louise

                                                                 (minus its
third part:

                      which must’ve come as an afterthought—

as did part two, I can see now
                                                              as I read it.)  Louise’s
                      noble & playful.


                                                       ( If I start to think about it
there will be a
                            part four. 

                                                  Is it already too late? 

                                                     Part IV, is this it?


They are—
                          they have been, they
                                                                   will be again
next week—
                           lovely in their otherness,
eschewing projection,
                                                       of depth, the moodily internal—
for something actual,
                                            demonstrated truths,
                                                                                     of relationship,
gesture, weighted step, reserve, a kind of dance. 
                                                                                     A Louise Haselton
opening, at the E.A.F.

                                               ‘Gone in the legs’
                                                                                    the moose
leaned for support
                                         on the head,
                                                                 leaned ‘into’ the head,

                                                                                                           as if
to say, May I?


They were there for a few days. 
                                                             We were there
for a few days, 
                                  had made them—
                                                                           all of us—one

              (Gabe, Stacey, Anna,
                                                     Cath & me,
                                                                             Leigh, Yuri.)

Louise’s art will be different.
                                                       Maybe equally evanescent,
as provisional—
                                 but unsentimental,
“Nietzschean, almost, by contrast?”  Ha, ha!


                                     #  #  #



                                                             for Louise Haselton


                                     Now when I
walk around this morning
                                                 I have ten
dollars in my pocket
                                        I had more earlier
but as I made my way to work
                                                          I was
                       & a little, oddly dressed
                  asked me for change  & I said
           she recognised me   I recognised her

I am happy for a time & not uninterested
surely something interesting will happen
a new boss   a new show to open   & another
to write about—Louise—who came
got started   then went   & came back again
we said Yes, surely you will get the job
you could do it & she taught & travelled
the art bloomed—pieces, a pale brilliant
yellow & white  
& sculptural pieces said “I
am Anthony Caro-meets-A Silly Walk
but slinky like a Siamese, & zippy
(“if you please”) like Ornette Coleman”  Thelonius
Monk offered Trinkle, Trinkle  &  “I said that”
said Louise’s sculpture—a small piece
that slid across the stage on its
knees & yet, was, ‘the while’,
perfectly still   but not inert,  no—
poised   frangipani   windmill   frond

                              fond of her, friend?

a frond that says Lipchitz, Archipenko,
Florine Stettheimer     Louise Bourgeois

                          there are imitations, sure
but none alike
                              none with wit


                 the poem for Louise
                 could go like that
                 days ago I had nothing to write
                 today at last I can

                 face the task.  It is
                 an art I like, something un-

                 alloyed about it tho it
                 is almost literally always

                 made up of parts what is

                 unalloyed is its
                 sense of impulse a

                 clarity like a
                 perfect move a

                 gift, for us
                 the world, the

                 art world comes out
                 loves it, but has not

                 the words — it doesn’t
                 need words, require words

                 it is greater than that, it
                 just is

                 always with the echo just
                 of the final move last

                 step  some metal & wood a
                 bit of shell

                 holding that pose
                 smirk   smile   bitten lip


             they were more conceptual in the 90s
             & sought to wrong foot us as they do still

             conundrums out of ‘idea’ & ‘material’
             more effortful than now.  Now

             the works seem free, they caper
             or they gently explain something

             by unveiling a fact, a property
             we have been too uptight to admit

             sensuous  limber  amused
           — girls —

             are they modernist?  they don’t appear
             to care.  are they postmodern?

             they don’t appear to care.  They inhabit
             a permanent present tense.

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