What Suicided Van Gogh

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group exhibitions, art advisory boards, exhibition history, ‘the Holy Land’, he was not in New York, engagement with art in a historical context, commentary on where the world was at, solo shows, young and hip groups of underground artist clusters, hard-working small-scale non-profit curators, curators at the Louvre, boards of directors, managers of auction houses, private art collectors, major players in the collectors’ market, marketing staff in galleries, Gauguin’s overpowering masculinity, dots in the foxgloves, Theo’s networking skills, the lack thereof, syphilis, gonorrhea, doctors and nurses, beliefs in the power of the health professionals, conviction that he would soon die, failure to have produced an outstanding artist statement, inability to communicate ideas except through paints and letters to Theo, anger management, other artists, Venus’ sublime torso, art entrepreneurs, art economics courses, definition of success and successful artist, working too hard, being too much on his own, the majority of the ravens above the wheat fields, humanity itself, art buyers’ sheepishness, horse hairs in their eyes, scorn of money, antisociability, anxiety gnawing like ants at his groins, thickness, too much fire—

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Adelaide, South

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last night I drove through the waste of piss clouds, turdal pipes, rotten timber piles, spotted crates, wedged-in posts, gloryshining LED screens, cheap dirt vinyls, sullen windows, molten glass, inept unlit light bulbs, red steel frames looming over the empty carpark gravels, then the blue kenworth truck rode alongside our small white suzuki, grinding us spun in our own reflection, oh blasted concrete lumps, dreamy sexless machines, nozzle pumps droopy with fresh bitumen, flood lights roasting the moths, plastic & enamelled bridges spanning over graffitied creekbeds, soporific garden beds, unmade unslept-in empty beds of the barmaids, pole dancers, exotic shakers of tops and bottoms, undone catatonic beer bottles, blue faded lip & nose masks, surgical abandonment in our arms, bruises swelling up the busted veins, wheels rolled to the monologue of swaying gums, yellow & green along rivers, in the middle of a retired caravan park, South Road industrial complexes throwing russet bricks at the spurious drunkards, homeless man slumped over a plastic bag at 5 a.m. looking for a buzz, fields of weeds mingling seeds into the sleepy houses with flat roofs and undelineated eyebrows, vehicles like ours raging in the twenty-five to forty kilometre per hour crawl through unmalleable night works, charming chrysanthemums and roses bump up petrol prices, fake fur beanies, pink glazed donuts, eggless sandwiches, pungent coffee beans, brooding brooding brooding in their nest of cyanides, hotdog juices tomato sauces oozing all over the long legs of pretty-faced blonds, mouth twitching and long wretched earrings aching in the buildings down for rent, agents smile for a while and walk off, call, no one answers but he the black bird, saloons are closing, security looks you up and down, another cigarette for the quarantine hotel staff in full regalia to fight biological hazards, buses wait for passengers, passengers wait for buses, the Aborigines, the blacks the whites the yellow sun, never setting, sitting under the trees on the Terraces, another night where the plovers can’t be heard, the flying fox chased away by antenna searches, salt bush berries gone berserk, hibiscus, bottlebrushes, paperbarks, heat wave of garbage scents consecrated in the breeze, high strung humidity, cool in an untimely way, outlier in statistics cuts across spaces, between earth and stars, all the roads are straight, all the blocks are shapes, angularly cars meet highways, dash to the next street, somewhere at sea, ocean liners leave the shore, sultry nuances drowning under palms and bleed out at midnight from fingertips, another ennui beaten into the roundabouts, another Friday night for the world’s infamous two-dimensional place

ah  our City of Churches

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Eyewitness Travel Guide’s Tale

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Penny hasn’t got a penny

Danny boy doesn’t give a damn

Daisy goes cruising in a frenzy

Tintin was erected by the men

No one in the country has ever heard

of a hydroelectro eco-friendly dam in China

Everybody goes drinking in pubs

Happiness is tattooed on calves and foreheads

Peaches taint the sun tans and

Leeches bleach the foreskins

Skinheads go dancing in the twilight with the la-la girls

Tarzan goes aping himself in a comedy show on late-night

television

Harley dreams of killing himself but doesn’t do it for some reason

Jasmine blossoms through cracks in fences, can’t get fired at work

Holy churches the uncles bring Inessa to see

in the mountainous countryside of Italy

but all she wants is to put her feet up and sleep!

Castles, sunflowers, bagpipes, maps

of canals, streets, bridges, alps, and

evergreen forests, German beers and sausages, caryatids

with enormous draperies and tits, Inuits moving

South into bungalows next to glowworms,

skyscrapers and four-wheel-drives with tinted windows

in the snow!

Mona Lisa is going crazy from being photographed with flashes

Rembrandt is indignant that the house he was evicted from

became a Rembrandt House Museum after his death . . .

Vincent . . . not to mention your Arles, Antwerp, wheat fields

the sea and its surges . . .

they overwhelm like fireworks

Maps maps maps

Wouldn’t you like to sleep in the snow of Vienna

skate down a river in Denmark

predicting the world is going to end?

Military motions rank in voltages as in a circuit/circus

Autistic children’s parents pay 75 dollars an hour

to get the kids trained like dogs to appear normal

robotic

with no feelings in particular areas

to ‘fit in’

and when they scream (the kids, not the parents)

they crowd in a flood

and can scream for the entire sixty minutes (of 75 bucks)

Hong Kong is burning

like London burned

like Paris burned

like all the previous revolutions that succeeded or failed

it would tap the surface that ripples while the big fish

stay cool in the dark currents under rocks and in the shadows

of the trees, untouched, keeping cool, feeling smug . . .

The people . . . like a rope, chain or windlass

slip into valleys and are never to resurface without fear&/

indignation . . .

The fountains dry from old age

Like rise and fall of oars above waves

We tip back with a jerk and feel awake

only to be dunked again into the cesspool of human wastes . . .

Something is partly alive

Erasing all our earliest senses

Replaces them with a great force finding no easy direction anywhere

Consequently causes us to burst . . .

We catch every blow

because it is not just the curse of our day

but a carelessness on the offensive without origin since the beginning of anything . . .

Devils look on with irritation

Their tails curled like chameleons’

They’re not smiling

Funeral rites are figurative, repetitive, boring

Music coming from a chimney

Bells deafening the dandelions

The people miserably booed

walk down streets after fires that burned for hours or days or weeks without real

imperatives

Someone was going back to the office

to rescue a stray cat that recently gave birth in a cardboard box

Police fired teargas and wished they could go home and sleep

The offices, the campuses, the subways, the trains

all gone.

The cats are not stupid.

They went into hiding long ago.

Hence when that someone went back to the office

risking his life in the fire, the cat

was nowhere

to be found.

 

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