Friday, December 30, 2011

“When All My Words About Britney Disappear”

The only art instruction book I’ve read
that builds its entire approach to sketching
around careful shapes and careful values
with a result something similar to
the black and white sketches of Georges Seurat
will be published in a new edition
in the second quarter of the new year.

It’s an old book that has been out-of-print
for many decades. Around here just one
library had a copy. They tossed it.

I’m looking forward to the new release
even though I’ve read the book many times
and made photocopies of some sections.

I’m trying to get better at drawing.

Of course reading books won’t make me better
at drawing careful shapes, careful values,
and reading a book I’ve already read
seems particularly inefficient.

But if I was after efficiency
I’d use a camera—they’re good gadgets.

And if the words and drawings in a book
are themselves careful shapes, careful values,
reading such a book again and again
might carefully shape and shade my thinking.

That doesn’t make me better at drawing.

But if I do get better at drawing
the only way I will recognize it
is if my thinking is shaped and shaded
carefully—like a Georges Seurat drawing.

This new year I’ll be reading an old book.

The twenty-first century doesn’t care
if I can draw. I own a camera
and libraries, now, throw away old books.

But soon enough it is going to be
the twenty-second century and then
everyone now will wish they’d learned to draw
because these kinds of things skip centuries.

I’m trying to get better at drawing.

This new year I’ll be reading an old book.

A twenty-second century woman
will look up when she hears dirigibles
and that’s what she will see—dirigibles!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


The Real World In Georges Seurat’s Notebooks

Things Libraries Throw Away

The Lost World Of Stacy And The Llama

Digging Britney Redux

When all my words about Britney disappear
a woman remains—stripped because of the heat,
curious, looking up to see what’s coming,

on guard, crouching with her cat and with a spear.
Above, there’s sound,
like a song, musique concrète—
That sound is dirigible engines humming.

No comments: