Saturday, September 22, 2012

Halvard Johnson

Frequent Flyer
seemingly derived from lipstick and nylon stockings
swooping up and down like a roller coaster
ruffled hem of a teenager’s party dress back in the 50s
packs a considerable punch, engages viewer full force
brightly hued and carnal, weight and physicality, not
to mention increased tactility of surface
no longer using a grid to support dense, sensuous abstractions
many-layered curtains of forms,
                                                    but now, more confident
taking up possibilities that have been lying dormant
for decades, if not centuries; fallen into ruin
all manner of biomorphic slivers and blobs
nonsensical words, mating on a gallery floor
with books and periodicals in various languages
close-up studies of the act of eating; videos of men
impersonating beautiful women in Beijing
and elsewhere in China, one covered with
meaningless Chinese characters
a trumpet call for coal miners, moving forward
with a roar
                    still so much to say before the motorized
light bulb is extinguished
paintings for the hard of hearing, secret worlds
of bricks and ciphers
those mornings at the edge of time, they hardly
ever mattered
circling all evening around a central pole
the series of craters in their abundant
proclivities, untitled rock fields
adjacent to beeswax slabs, the two of them
in their enormous armchair
kissing l’s and p’s and q’s.
a bustle of stocky figures, revered masters
leaning against their easels
so I became a eunuch
afraid to show us nothing
lostness is a found quality here
you really have no choice
remnants slipping through the productions of
a vigorous new tradition
                                         capturing a sense
of unmistakable contradictions
not intrusive or voyeuristic, but wary
and watchful, intimate and empathetic
meditative moods, long takes, slow
              revelations, slow dissolves
fragments of live models encased
in vitrines,
                    blue wings against white
          safety curtains lowered for an intermission
We said, “All politics are local.”
We felt that life was too beautiful. 

We thought we’d missed the train of history
but found it hadn’t left the station.
We wanted to get somewhere.
When I’m out in the street, I’m scared of being kidnapped.
mazes of alleys and buildings
nowhere to get to
                              tried and failed
to go mad
                    let me have
one final look at you


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