Did I come to New York to sit around in my underwear and read?
But I spent time doing that last night and the time didn’t feel poorly spent. It felt loose and accomodating, like the time I tried on my father’s undwear and they were still warm.
The East Harlem apartment where I’m staying exposes itself. It exposes its bricks. That exposed brick thing is supposed to be very New York but even more New York than that is white people insisting that its not cold when it is. Anything below 65 degrees whips me into Chicana hypothermia. December in this city makes me shiver and all the ghosts in this city make me wonder about poetry.
There was a whole bunch of poetry on the sidewalk yesterday.
I was walking up something, a major street, and leaves and leaves and leaves covered it and I kicked my feet through the leaves and watched them spray to the sides. The leaves came in colors that boycott California. Yellows, reds, and a shitload of browns that are exotic to me when it comes to leaves. Really seasoned leaves are a treat and to drag my feet through them is a treat and so I kicked them and admired a McDonalds bag that was mixed in with them. Its brown matched some of the leaves’ brown and the bag’s purple lettering said i’m lovin’ it and I was almost thankful to the person who had littered for creating this tableau. I, too, was lovin’ it. I was lovin’ havin’ a moment with a well-defined season and its leaves.
I looked up at the ridiculous skyline and thought, “So this is why all the poetry happens here.” I felt like I really understood why so much of the thing we call poetry cranks out of New York but the thing is I get that feeling everywhere. You can tune into Erato (she’s the flippin’ muse of lyric poetry) anywhere. The desert. The dump. The deli. At your in-laws. Poetry is everywhere, unfortunately. A cab driver lectured me about poetry. He mansplained Pakistani poetry to me and when I asked, “Are you referring to Urdu poetry?” I rather surprised him. Do or die. Urdu or die.
I met Jon at the Film Society where we watched Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict. Although the film largely centered on Guggenheim’s committment to hoarding, aka art collecting, my big take away was that if you’re gonna get plastic surgery, make sure the surgeon finishes. Guggenheim hated her nose and tried to shrink it but apparently she wasn’t fully anasthetized during the procedure and couldn’t take the pain of its rearrangement. She made her surgeon stop mid nose job and rather than deal with the pain of a second go, she decided to tough it out with her Picassofication. Her nose’s ultimate form depressed her. Life imitates art and sometimes your nose imitates abstract expressionism.
After the movie, Jon and I split a turkey and potato chip sandwich and discussed the horrors of epigraphs.
Today, I met my hostess, Dia, at Cafe Sabarsky for lunch. Its a Viennese joint tucked into the Neue Galerie and Dia ordered a hot dog salad and I got two big ass sausages and a pretzel. It was like really classy, really fascist movie food. I didn’t think it was going to happen but I put both sausages and the pretzel inside myself and still had room for chocolate apricot cake. That took care of all my room. Dia left to go back to the Met where she is making a movie about a crown and I stayed at the Neue Galerie to ogle posters of Josephine Baker’s exposed bricks.
I also saw Gustav Klimt’s The Woman in Gold hanging amidst other Klimts and felt like a douche since I shared a meh moment with it. A bunch of Mexican tourists had been going on and on about it in the ladies john and so they’d kind of hyped me up for it and then when I saw it I thought it looked just like it looks as a poster on a college dorm wall. Not particularly whoa but that sometimes happens I suppose when you’ve seen a great work of art over and over and over and over and then you see it for reals and realize you can get desensitized to beauty just as potently as you can get desensitized to violence. I guess you can get desensitized to anything. I want to get desensitized to desensitzation.
I left The Woman in Gold to go behold the building that photography beast Francesca Woodman leapt from and I trudged and shivered to the Barbizon and paced before its door, debating whether or not I should take a selfie pretending to be Francesca Woodman minced by the sidewalk. The doorman was eyeing me and I figured that if I went with my splatter motif, I might get shooed away. So, as a compromise, a compromise with myself, I took selfies on the building’s stoop. I really like Woodman’s work and I find it a bummer that she’s dead. I am, however, drawn to dead ladies, especially creative/destructive dead laydeez. I just am. I cannot help this attraction just as I cannot help my ambiguous sexuality. Next, I’m going to go where Ana Mendieta plummeted. That’s on Mercer.