Monday, June 28, 2010

What's with art anyway...? A morning with N.Y.C. & James Schuyler

Just back from a doctor's appointment followed by a walk across the Park, a stop at stony holy St. Thomas on Fifth Avenue, a decision to walk more later today when it's cooler and thus a bus ride down Lex.

My left hip needs calcium but my superpowered spine grows oddly stronger each year. I'm a medical anomaly. I do Gi Quion (spelling, please) spine twists most nights before bed. My doc. says that's not relevant. She's nice, but feh.

Now home I wait for my fan to rev, something that can take five minutes after I turn it on (pensive is my fan, thoughtful, unwilling to rush into even the most cooling of gestures). Waiting, I read James Schuyler's The Morning of the Poem. This one perfectly captures an urban mix, the joy of art mitigated by the acts of the titans who bought it for us; the pleasure of looking at other people's homes; of being in other people's neighborhoods; street vendor hot dogs. There was wind today for me, too.


from the Frick. The weather
cruel as Henry Clay himself.
Who put that collection together?
Duveen? I forget. It was nice
to see the masterpieces again,
covered with the strikers' blood.
What's with art anyway, that
we give it such precedence?
I love the paintings, that's for sure.
What I really loved today
was New York, its streets and
men selling flowers and hot dogs
in them. Mysterious town houses,
the gritty wind. I used to live
around here but it's changed some.
Why? That was only thirty years ago.

again: From The Morning of the Poem [Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1976] by James Schuyler

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