Left the hotel early on Friday morning and walked slowly uptown, got a coffee at one of the two million Starbucks along Broadway, and went to sit in Union Square for awhile watching dogs and people, mostly dogs. Bright, cool morning & everyone — canine & human — looked frisky. Went to the Strand and looked around, but didn’t buy anything because I didn’t want to carry a bag of books with me all day. As I was scouting the poetry section, I asked one of the store employees who was busy with her cart putting books on shelves if she ever got tired of books. “Nope, never,” she said, an answer I found lovely & heartening. “Me neither,” I said.
Another review, by Dawn-Michelle Baude, of the James Ensor show at MOMA I mentioned back in June. I love the deadpan presentation of horrors — same as in the old Anglo-American murder ballad tradition — in Ensor’s painting. Oh, yes, it is a world of greed, hatred, and delusion (as the Buddha taught), but it is colorful and interesting and even funny.
I wonder what the poetic equivalent of this art installation would be. Flarf? In the visual arts I find this kind of massive accumulation of detail deeply engaging. Why do I distrust it in poetry? Do I distrust it? I find Allen Ginsberg‘s long catalogs moving and often very finely tuned, intellectually. “Black Acid Co-op” feels like Ginsberg to me — it doesn’t appear to be interested in undercutting its own position with irony, except the irony of putting all this in an art gallery, of course.