Takedown Portraits

Takedown Portraits
wrestling takedown

Monday, December 5, 2016

Izhar Patkin 23 May 2017

(Izhar Patkin, 1982)

Ghosts, suspended in
Recollections' veil,
Your promise
As painter,
     -The narrative, two
     -Holly Solomon
     -SoHo show;
Self-portraits revealed
Across wood stretcher,
Sceptres slick,
     -Crown of salt crystals,
     -Hardened tears, lodged stones,
     -I.V. drips;
Diaspora a
Porous room, vigor
Muscling at
     -Hand, eyed, circumscribed,
     -Material weight
     -Lifting paint,
     -Atlas shrugged;
Weathered decking sides
Sandbox crossed barefoot,
An outdoor
Shower sprays,
     -Against walls, shower,
     -Tiles, headboards, cupped in
     -White briefs, hand
     -Jobs, smooth ass;
Water spreads, dripping
Between slats, pooling
Of sea grass,
     -Friend of, kid, brother,
     -Guy, Puerto Rican,
Cottage, sea neutered,
Tans, greys; window panes,
Scene numbed, tide's
Slow retreat,
     -Window washer, long
     -Haul trucker, waiter,
     -Fine artist,
     -Grad student;
Doors ajar, sun dried
Swimsuits, towels draped on
Railings, chaise
Lounges, beach chairs,
     -Mark, Anthony, Chris,
     -Robert, Rick, Hector,
     -Keith, Patrick,
     -Phillipe, John;
White sheets tussled, pulled
Up on paired beds, wedged
Into half
Share bedrooms,
     -Bronzed skin tendered, pecs,
     -Abs pulled down, turning
     -Paired quarter
     -Moons rising;
Crystal lined, bottles
Stoppered, monogrammed
Napkins piled
With place mats,
     -Citronella scent,
     -Barbecue smolder,
     -Sunset squeal
     -Of tape deck;
Dragon headed ring
Drifts across outdoor
Pool propelled
By tail winds,
     -Five guys swimsuited,
     -Afternoon challenge:
     -Who makes the
     -Biggest splash?
A pool boy, not gay,
Troubled the waters
With brush trimmed
     -A few of last year's
     -Housemates waited at
     -Sayville's stop,
     -Wine, breads, packed;
Emptied out, humming,
Ice maker,
     -Wheelchairs, red wagons,
     -Pushed, pulled along, canes
     -Down boardwalk;
Phone, ignored, harangues,
Tea dance postcards hang
Around, dunes
Cast, heedless,
     -They sit, contemplate
     -Pool circulation,
     -Its message;
Plainchant rises, voice
Prevails, recedes, bells
Wind chimes, horns
     -Paired attendants poised,
     -Anchoring elbows,
     -Transfer to
     -Slippered pointes;
Meat Rack match stick flame,
Comet streak, embers
Ground out,
     -Roars of laughter, eyes,
     -Sapphires, em'ralds
     -Sparkling, they
Forceful hands, (behind),
Shove down, (in front), draw
Forward, hold:
Swallow; gag,
     -Invade Pavilion
     -Tea dance, trio donned
     -Wide-brimmed hats;
Flailing arms, waistbands-
Shorts, underwear- yanked,
Hole fingered,
Spit spread, slammed,
     -Sequenced sashay, boys'
     -Gyrations restrained,
     -Cocktails plied;
Blind urges spent, slipped
Off, orifice sprawled,
Spilled out, deer,
Hunters, watched,
     -Seasoned disarray,
     -Vintage guise, vantage
     -Guys', hands made
     -Soft made hard;
Hands, extended, held,
Enlisted in rise
Toward fragranced
Fabric clouds,
     -Wards of maids room link,
     -Stagger back, dogs walked,
     -Ferry brings
     -New of plague;
Pool emptied, covered,
Sheets held out, folded,
Stored in drawers,
Curtains spread,
     -Neutral tones, stainless
     -Steel, bleached crepe, sterile,
     -Flimsy drape's
     -Back exposed.

23 May 2017


Charles Ludlam 2 February 2017

(Charles Ludlam 1982)

(Charles Ludlam 1984) 

Dramas staged in front,
Words, curds, turds behind,
Rend controlled
Morton Street,
     -Passed father to son,
     -Taste amended Stu,
     -Pot luck Bob,
     -Cock au Van;
Hambone(d) Ham(let) once
Ham fisted cured his
Bacon with
Hard faggots,
     -Mine tried milking cows
     -Until the doing
     -So soured,
     -Not his whey;
Oedi(pull) mined, bore
Bluebeard, w(hore Camille,
Dragged core, showed
More the door,
     -I played a child star,
     -Drank compliments, plied
     -Coffees, sketch
     -Pads, sneakers;
Trawled sideshows, screenplays,
Drawled marionettes,
Hauled school mates
To makeshifts,
     -Followed where lines led,
     -Connected the dots,
     -Steered around
     -Any holes;
Absurd, one over,
Fill-in, extra, 'Screen'
     -Patron impressioned,
     -Practice imprisoned,
Fire(d) Women, webbed
Cross-dressing, drunk,
Drugged, pierced, pieced,
     -Agency ad men,
     -Laid men, mailmen, bussed
     -Boys, busted
     -Boys, waiters;
Scored to voice, vowel flow,
Bowels, predilection,
Tied to hand
Outs, jobs, maids,
     -Served by view, plate glass,
     -Guys posed, cruise mode, at
     -Street exit;
Plot imbedded, lines
Piece goods layered, each
Ad-lib tucked,
Improv plumped,
     -Pencil deployed in
     -Mindless scales distracts
     -From portraits'
Attention suctioned,
Competitors played
Down, upstaged,
Or sidelined,
     -Bone structures outlined,
     -Musculature bulked
     -Up, seated
     -As breaths draw;
Epic aspic which
Refused to gel, meat
Pieced, greased, float,
Loincloths flashed,
     -Hands deformed, monster
     -Feet hid, shod, crude jabs,
     -At summit;
I invented me:
     -Farmboy, cityboy,
     -Pretty party boy,
     -Arty blond,
     - Witty bombed;
I give myself up,
Enter characters
Of my own
     -Hick, itinerant
     -Painter sweet talks farm
     -Boys into
     -Posing nude;
Priest, parishioners,
Rituals rehearsed,
In soulful
     -Butterflied, faces
     -Fixed on boards, writhing
     -Darkened stacks;
Forbidden freak show
Ensemble wrestling
In caged roles,
     -Placid blue eyes, bald
     -Lies beneath combed strands,
     -Tied in knot,
Take off your made up
Face, costume, changeling
Sex, fronted
     -The art world love child
     -Pretender, can sell
     -It direct
     -From the can;
Picture frame, in the
Round, box office, grant
Cycles, the
Critics' spin,
     -Pictures, framed, unframed,
     -Hung around, art show
     -Rounds, dealers'
     -Critics' spin;
I observe, eavesdrop,
Take a lot of notes,
Let things dance
Around me,
     -Anatomist, Tulp
     -Like, dissects his Kindt
     -After dance
     -On scaffold;
Tradition gorged on,
Old Fashioned imbibed,
Glutton on
Dining car,
     -Clubcar cosseted
     -Travel through air, no
     -Platform, dive,
     -Gutter breached;
Diving in on stage,
The only place you're
Alive, art
Of body,
     -Charles untied, gay, grey,
     -Sighed, winked, embodied
     -Pimp, taker
     -Of quarters;
Would I want to live
Through a tragedy
Unless it
Were on stage?
     -Closing night, lights turned
     -Low, man in bed holds
     -Hand of a

2 February 2017

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oleg Kerensky 6 December 2016

(Oleg Kerensky 1982) 

Critic takes back seat,
Characters played out,
It works, it
Doesn't: why?
     -Viewer stands in front
     -Of exhibition,
     -The transfer
     -Like, or lost;
Playwright delivers
Plot, acts, characters,
     -Artist arranges
     -Spacial dimensions,
Characters given
Dialogue, actions,
Stage, sets, lights,
Actors cast,
     -Portrait defined by
     -Medium, surface,
     -Background, pose,
     -Colors, tones;
Actor's fitting with
Character, feeling
Out tongue, words,
Filling shoes,
     -Artist addressing
     -Sitter's skeleton,
     -Muscles strung,
     -Skin encased;
Director engaged
To disentangle
Puppets pulled
Chorus line,
     -Artist blinks, lights up,
     -Steps back sipping cup
     -Of coffee,
('Anna Pavlova'
With Oleg's scribbled
To Paul, Esq.
     -Penned to laser off
     -Myth steeped cataracts
     -Clouding held
Purchased by London
Book dealer, four pounds
Penciled on
     -Russian parentage,
     -Classical training,
     -Convent life;
First edition, near
Fine condition, marked
Up, thirty
In dollars,
     -Ethereal, poised,
     -Poetic, fragile,
Found, passed around, owned,
Given away, state,
All the world
Is a stage,
     -Justice done to the
     -Side of the stage door,
     -When houselights
     -Have gone down;
Pestered to translate
Death, credentials, steps
Sidewalk danced
To Tea Room,
     -Solidity of
     -View proferred, hairline
     -Cracks bely
     -Vessel tasked;
Filial bloodlines:
Playbills; notes; published
Texts; -gossip;
     -Soliloquy pursed,
     -Part rehearsed in the
     -Rooms women
     -Come and go;
Bridge, lacking partners,
Duplicate 'Gin Game,'
Dual roles
'Round table,
     -This too, too solid
     -Flesh would melt, making
     -Dew Drop Inn;
Bridge, traversing from
Spoken storylines
To message
In refrain,
     -Squawking peacock, tips
     -Aflame, his face flushed,
     -Pensive when
     -The light flashed;
Bridge, pressed to label
They buck on stiff necks,
Moon cheeks, kick
Off, elbow,
     -Pyre discovered,
     -Fanned, fierce, nocturnal
Bridge, build subscriber
Seats, they'll thrust onto
Working class
Bars and streets,
     -View from the bridge, pinched,
     -Measured in lines, leaf
     -Playful when

6 December 2016

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Tim Dlugos 28 October 2016

(Three Poets 1983, Tim Dlugos far left)

For my mother: May 1928- October 2016

I'm watching colors
Surface in your eyes,
Hoping to
Draw them out,
     -Draw Tim? Aren't you the
     -Poet? Or are you
     -Casting for
     -A hook-up?
Everything that's yours
To share can be seen
Looking through
The windows,
     -I've seen yours, you've seen
     -Mine, show-er, grower,
     -Inside tricks
     -We've passed on;
'A painting is a
Window,' an image
Unlocked when
My eyes close,
     -Imagine painting
     -An unlocked window,
     -Zip half mast;
A graven image
Placed on an altar,
Beer altered,
Mortal sin,
     -That's your confession?
     -Left night's communion
     -At happy
     -Hour drunk?
A voice on the phone,
A boy by the voice,
A phony
Voice, a trick,
     -Or treat, not a friend,
     -A jerk, off from Wall
     -Street, sauna
Vision emerges,
Dick(ensian) steamed,
On bended...
     -Padded knees, all hype,
     -The Hope mined carrot
     -Snowman knows
     -Melts dead space;
Fingers walking, I
Canvass acquaintance
With the man
In my bed,
     -The man who's stretched out,
     -Primed, lubricated,
     -Convinced there's
Lieder from the dead,
Multiple Ethel's
Fry, torch song
     -Andy at the door,
     -Cans strung, got rhythm,
     -Got voltage;
Got Broadway winding
Center to Dutch made
Landfill's edge,
Lodged on maps,
     -No man is an island,
     -Except Roosevelt,
     -By F(oot) trains;
Stride Rite's back-to-school
Socks sheathed f(oot)prints a
Sizer slid,
Stockroom hedge,
     -Shoes strung together
     -Stolen by, lost to
     -At your place;
Strong Place, net curtains
Drawn on fishermen,
Titan robed
     -Not Sirens, wailing
     -As they lead, blind drunk,
     -Into swamped
Muscle braided arms
Extend from sweaters
Stitched with love,
On shore leave,
     -Hauling impressions
     -Scarred through the wringer
     -Chewing sliced
     -Wonder bread;
Empty calories,
We need meat, not seed
Cakes strewn for
The sparrows,
     -A pecking order
     -Imposed by a queen,
     -Ruby flats,
     -Wardrobe found;
Poet and painter,
Something old: voyage
Out, the boat
Sinks, or floats,
     -Sketching denizens
     -Of landlocked blocks their
     -Greek, Roman
Something new from the
End of season sales,
Picked over
By strangers,
     -Holly Solomon,
     -Aaron Berman, Charles
     -Cowles, Magic
Something borrowed: fruit
Streets; sacred texts; twelve
Steps, hold it,
Let it go,
     -Time: pneumocystis;
     -Tide: lunar nexus;
     -Boy, boat, breath,
     -Let it go.

28 October 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Henry Geldzahler 4 October 2016

(Henry Geldzahler, top, 1982, bottom, 1984) 

[Framed], hand over hands
Passed, sightlines
     -New York apartment,
     -School, show, grant, travel,
     -Seated at
     -Right elbow;
Divergence, open
     -Cut out drawing book
     -Models to copy,
Absolute Warhol,
Production silkscreens,
To still lives,
     -Tried paper hats, art
     -School, ad. agency
     -Mailroom, ice
     -Cream parlor;
Rauschenberg combine,
Art/Life embedded,
Stella, sketch,
Shape, attack,
     -Left, arc, centered, two
     -Sets, parallel lines,
     -Caran d'ache,
     -Pentax, brush glued;
Segal, white figures,
Objects, encountered,
Kelly, hands
On color,
     -Black on white, coffee
     -Shop life, hands hold cups,
     -Clothes wrapped, pinned,
     -Faces speak;
Hockney, note taking
Observer, sketching
Foreign and
     -Chainsmoking student,
     -Artist's guest, sitting
     -In silence
     -As film made;
Academic skills,
California sights,
     -Toes testing, talk, dives
     -In, travel, lessons,
     -Breaking through
     -Splashed with ink;
Absorbed subverting
Spacial renderings,
     -Distracted: drawings
     -Gotham Gallery,
     -Prints grant, nights
Scaling Parisian
Heights, retrospective,
Mount Fuji,
Movie flash,
     -Suds relaxed painter
     -Confronts canvas in
     -Pissoir claimed
     -Basement space;
Draw to find, pose's
Wrap turned inside out,
Slipped off, the
Lining plain,
     -Drawn toward likeness, an
     -Inching along crawl,
     -Jigsaw fit;
Clemente, corpus
Out front, quotations
Subsumed, scrolls
Kept churning,
     -Dark smoking jacket,
     -Striped rugby shirt, eyes
     -Gazing at
Chia, same stand-in
Anti-hero reams,
Human scale,
In colors,
     -Painter, sitter float
     -Apart in two boats,
     -The distance
Baselitz, taking
Out content, meaning
By painting
Upside down,
     -Tradition freighted,
     -Title fronted, slumped,
     -Down-turned mouth,
     -Plastered hair;
Baselitz, without
Talent you invent,
Tag same old,
     -Second cannonballs,
     -Glasses transparent
     -To eye's glint,
     -Soul revealed;
Basquiat, mixing
Black magic markers,
Drawings, lists,
Paint, anger,
     -Clouds rake light, tide rolls
     -Rhythmic, salt sprayed licks
     -Leaving sand

4 October 2016

Donald Britton 26 August 2016

(Tim Dlugos, Dennis Cooper, Donald Britton 1983, bottom image)

We sat around back
Lighting cigarettes
With last night's
     -Shot looking straight at,
     -Fast forwards- rewinds
     -Lost: cut jumped;
We arrived to find
Rooms already gone,
Buildings torn
Down rebuilt,
     -Camera's lens and
     -Metal too Swiss made
     -Precise for
We stayed too late, made
Held our breaths,
     -Noon humidity
     -Wilted starched collars,
     -Soaked through stiff
We fell in, got stirred
Surfaced, and were pulled out
In wrong clothes,
With Band-Aids,
     -Roller coaster car
     -Hooked to swerve behind,
     -Bring the curves
     -Back to lines;
We were heard, singing
To the choir, on
Grove Street, in
A corner,
     -Fanning frankincense,
     -Fart stink, fine talc, smoke
     -Signals sent
     -By mistake;
Mother's wary face
From within a wrapped
Towel holding
Clump in place,
     -Subway screech clipping
     -Platform of
Transmigration from
Mother to son left
Him pressed suit
In closet,
     -Tourist face stuck through
     -Photo cut-out board
     -A building;
Man next to man next
To man assembled,
A tree falls
In Brooklyn,
     -3/8, 2/8, left
     -3/8 in, exact,
Set to spin, shapes were
Reconstrued, colors
Their dyes tied,
     -Plastic surgeon, crown
     -Reconfigured, drilled,
     -Thoughts disgorged;
So much to be squeezed
On, scraped off, piled back,
Stirred, heard, dreamt,
     -Drumhead secured, brush
     -Slowly passed across

26 August 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dennis Cooper 3 August 2016

(Dennis Cooper, left, Donald Britton 1984)

In the dreams, you are
Somewhat older than
The boys, but
Still are young,
     -In the dreams, you are
     -Surrounded by boys,
     -But can't find
     -One of them;
The boys are stoned and
Thin, beautiful, with
Asses of
Smooth promise,
     -The boys are arts schooled,
     -Or prep school athletes,
     -Frisky in
They dangle price tags,
Snag tight pairs of jeans,
Tangled tees,
Lipping joints,
     -They're scrubbed clean, clear skinned,
     -Two-for-one sippers,
     -Dressed up by
     -Store discounts;
They hang out under
Overhead's arm pit,
Eyes headlight,
Chickens winged,
     -Groupies, just roommates
     -Unglue, head, hunger
     -Urging, back
     -Brushed, heart's throb;
Trade stalls, window down,
Boys drift toward, lean in,
Squints, convo,
Boys slides in,
     -Photo booth curtained,
     -Mugshots flashed, gropings,
     -Lounge act bailed;
Zipper: car parked, dicks
Sucked, bills exchanged, boy
Takes off, man
Wipes, drives home,
     -Polaroid: drinks plied,
     -Small talk, shirts tugged, rest,
     -The bases
     -Are loaded;
Strip search: dressed/undressed,
Hands raised, mouth fingered,
Cock swabbed, ass
Spread wide, rimmed,
     -Pentax: exposure's
     -Island film sanded
     -Off to see
     -Their tan lines;
Subbing: selected
Roles played to death while
Gagged, costumed,
In dim light,
     -Super 8: ferried
     -Boy, paradise found,
     -Candy store
     -Skimpy suits;
Escort: hose lodged, shit
Purged, fingers to fist
Shoved, stretching
Fee to fear,
     -Pencil: hand en pointe,
     -Traveler packing
     -On the tour;
Wet dream: swim team stud
Tied to locker bench,
Suit yanked, sucked
Off, bullied,
     -Oil: absorbing taint's
     -Calculated spills,
     -Layers draw
     -In to cure.

3 August 2016


Thursday, June 23, 2016

(Name Withheld) 14 July 2016

(Name withheld 1981) 

Room length wood bar, bar
Length mirror back, booze
Pours, prep boys,
Steak knife slots,
     -Koch, Krivit, Stormy,
     -Tree, Brad, Howard, Tim,
     -Rock, Andy,
     -Janis, Bill;
Eyeballs suspended
In wire sockets
     -Three sites, thrice circled,
     -Sitters clocked, sit on
     -Cocks of, known,
     -And renowned;
Green bottles, held out,
Sweat droplets, blue smoke
Launched toward the
Ceiling vents,
     -Male heads populate
     -Perimeters, weave
     -Among men
     -In crescents;
(Fanned out) Heineken,
Perrier, Woolrich,
Levi's, Hanes,
     -Tongue plunges, fingers
     -Twist, hand travels to
     -A foothold;
Yellow, eddies on
Side street pavement, and
Splashes as
Taxis pass,
     -Shadows shout out, then
     -Murmurings, measured
     -Footsteps, paired,
    -Lone siren;
Surplus mannequins,
Watch caps, striped scarves,pea
Coats, double
Breasted, black,
     -Cold night's breath, fleeting
     -Spectral conjectures,
     -Penciled sketch
     -Which feints lines;
Lights flicked, coats, - pockets
Bulked with caps, scarves, gloves-
The gauntlets
Slung on chairs,
     -Dueling images,
     -This, vulnerable
     -Soul, rendered
     -On fibers;
An unveiling, his
Pedestal knocked, the
Model falls
On his back,
     -Petals pulled apart,
     -Anther proffers it's
     -Prized granules;
Posed through periods
Pipe circulated
Hot, toilets
Flushed, trash dropped,
     -Resuscitate, mouth
     -On mouth pressed, stroking
     -Cheek, hair strands,
     -Finding eyes;
After, December,
Expression clothing
What dangled
Between legs,
     -Fairytale ice prince
     -Floated out to see,
     -At end of
     -Story bored.

14 July 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Philippe Tresserra 24 June 2016

(Philippe Tresserra 1981)

I couldn't tell so
I showed with body,
They always
Wanting touch,
     -You showed us yours in
     -Front of everyone
     -Outside at
     -The playground;
I make dance, very
Hard, they choose music,
Two song, clothes
On, clothes off,
     -We smiled, you smiled, we
     -Wanted to be friends,
     -You nodded,
     -We all smiled;
They want take pictures,
They keep, me copies,
Business man
And artist,
     -You came over, we
     -Had fun, posing you
     -Hands making
He asks what I want
Do, I say make dance,
He asks want
Go dance school,
     -China cup's hairline
     -Crack, rain, heard, not seen,
     -On cold plate;
He ask where I live,
I say hotel, he say
Stay in my
     -Ice shattered, black smoke
     -Billowed, boiled water
     -Splashed, a flushed
     -Look covered;
Words revolve hamster's
Wheel, swallowing noise
Peering through
The glass sides,
     -Stalking predator
     -Captures handily,
Rectangles rounded,
Circles squared, patterns
Spoken by
The bodies,
     -Given that moment's
     -Semblance of reading
     -Down wind of
     -Smoking gun;
Sequence built up through
Minimal movements,
Arms, hands, legs,
Feet, trunks, heads,
     -Shot centered, leg, slouched
     -Chest turned, head propped, in
     -Palette of
     -Blue and white;
Stage lights riveting
Eyes to dancer who
Sits on a
Wooden chair,
     -Requisitioned to
     -Sit, gaze deflected,
     -Boy subject;
Frozen on his chair,
Frozen on his face,
The magic,
     -Dancer found when eyes
     -Look, spotting him leap
     -Front the box,
     -Front the frame.

24 June 2016

Thursday, May 12, 2016

His Father 6 June 2016

(My Father 1981)

A boulder mountain
Of compositions'
Bulk, hardbound,
Notes lined, dreams,
     -Cold, volcanic ash
     -Settles, disguised as
     -Dust motes, black
     -Changed to grey;
Fiery outbursts,
Warning shots of youth,
Some bet time,
Some stepped back,
     -Women heel toed the
     -Tremors, tracing from
     -Line's fault to
     -Cradle's side;
Stick built castle: farm;
Workers; income: time,
     -Bars stop, legs block, 'Don't!'
     -'This, not that way,' 'No!'
     -Draw pictures,
     -Mom, sisters;
Core erupts, barn door
Splinters, invective
Curls, chasm
     -Listening, upstairs,
     -Watching across the
     -Table, when
     -Ankles grabbed;
Weekends, conjuring
Symbols from silence
Scribbled on
Sides of times,
     -Skin surrenders to
     -Scissor's detachment,
     -Map without
     -A treasure;
Empty promises,
The handoff of a
     -Tightrope strung between
     -Rent check and Drudge work,
Trust your instincts as
Observer, he said,
Ground coated
Plate gouged, bathed
     -In acid, ink spread,
     -Wiped clean, filled lines pressed
     -Down, absorbed
     -In sheets pulled;
Trust your judgement from
Works studied, books spread,
He said, walls'
     -Vetted, venom penned,
     -Victims paraded,
     -Callus spared
     -Hands resigned;
Trust to looks in youth,
Beauty's currency
Travel, meals,
Talent, luck?
     -Draw social circle,
     -Art school naturals,
     -Packed pants? Stalls,
     -Hands valets;
Broad jacket shoulders
Deep blue background, but
Shirt's neck left
     -Blood red tie loosely
     -Hitched, father, son
     -Seeking the
     -Right balance;
Bald dome, seated on
Concrete, squinting as
Notes travel
The distance,
     -City's vibrancy
     -Resonates too late,
     -Sound, fury,

6 June 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Brad Gooch 8 May 2016

(Brad Gooch 1983)

Ninth Circle's basement,
The Beast buttoned tight,
I do this,
I do that,
     -Takes in turpentine
     -Cigarette faceoff,
     -Finds a seat,
     -A measure;
Touring Mineshaft by
Cigarette pinprick,
I watch this,
I watch that,
     -Chicken hawk cruising
     -Circle boys molting,
     -I pluck this,
     -I pluck that;
Attendant, the hands,
The ears, faced out when
Laundry, darks,
Sorted, lights,
     -Circulating blond
     -Boy drinking arts poured,
     -Vintage, sipped
     -Nouveau, slurped;
Double helix with
Howard entangled,
I twist here,
He twists there,
     -Young man loaned among
     -Older collectors,
     -Unwrapped here,
     -Unwrapped there;
Suburban cushioned,
Pop up, pulled out, planned,
Won't ask, so
Don't spell out,
     -Rural eruption,
     -Back end, breech birth, 'Breathe!'
     -Long gloves slick
     -With life, loss;
Excavation of
Raw life from life dreamed,
I walk to,
I walk from,
     -Blur the face, dull the
     -Voice, bury body,
     -Pulled under,
     -Lost under;
Cerebral laurels
Plied, thicket beckoned,
Probing skin
Deep, pool side,
     -Touchstones, library
     -Thumbed illustrations,
     -Techniques to
     -Copy, own;
Rectangular, squared,
Oval, circular,
What peers out:
Who are you?
     -Left behind, with tip
     -Piled, chipped coffee cup
     -Chair slid scrape,
     -Seat pad warmth;
Andy, Melinda,
David, and Arnaud,
I sat here,
I sat there,
     -Arthur, Henry, with
     -David, and Alice,
     -We went here,
     -We went there;
Books, of pictures, filed
Paradise Lost, found,
Fruit filled, yet
Fig leaf free,
     -Portraits shaped against
     -Circle's Bedlam cries,
     -Dreams confined
     -To four walls;
Entr'acte, borrowed set,
Roles long ago cast,
Walk-on part,
     -Dealer, freed to lock,
     -Kill lights, co-habit,
     -Block off all
     -The exits;
Sketchbook confessions,
Who did what to whom
Notches, belt
     -Pocketed paper,
     -Nights' recurring doubts,
     -Flattened out,
Citrus sectioned from
Whole, boyfriend, fuck bud,
Act, ass: sweet,
     -Pedal pushed, swinging
     -Pedal raised, forward,
     -Uphill, staked,
     -Downhill, braked;
Spliced plumes, one's spice laced
Pulse, one's languorous
Drawl, one's lewd
Squint, moist tongue,
     -Graphite in practiced
     -Hand, swooping, swerving,
     -Popping a
     -Wheelie stop;
Cathedral cloistered,
Self-guided chapels
Tour, tableaux
Close studied,
     -Crammed in studio,
     -Canvas on easel,
     -Hearing each
     -Portrait speak;
Sidesteps depiction,
Howard straddled, shown
Lengthwise, a
Closed circuit,
     -Mark and Howie, nude,
     -In deck chairs, quick penned,
     -Could have sex
Puzzle pieces next,
Cut out, should fit, sharp
Edged handled,
Fissured, whole
     -He drew himself, boy
     -Faded, man formed, dark
     -Lines thickened,
     -Gaze haunting;
Lancelot leather
Bound, Thomas enshrined,
Third vault thus
     -Ground down, poured between
     -Sitter and surface,
     -A soulmate
Four, squared, porn doors wedged,
Actors' back stories
Scrolled as told
By writer,
     -Brushed lips spilled gossip
     -Earlier, night's crawl,
     -Young poet
Fifth, pink cocoon, made
Up women, plotlines
Cocktails plied,
     -Mom's expectations,
     -Alice's presence,
     -Julie's deep
Sneakers descend Ninth
Circle's east wall, day
Swillers pule,
Urine pools,
     -Outsized canvas danced
     -Around in a pair
     -Of beatup
     -White high-tops;
Eyes fix from all sides,
Mouths mid-comment, space
Crammed, supplies
Strewn, sleeves rolled,
     -Wrestler's neck slowly
     -Pivoting, bull held
     -Back in a
     -China shop,
Shots from all angles
Taken out in back,
Larry talks
A blue streak,
     -Brad unwinds from paid,
     -Prompted model to
     -City boy
     -Poet smokes;
Dream sequence: nightfall,
Ninth Circle, Howard
Stares, Richard
Speaks, Spitz casts,
     -Iris blue background,
     -Dark helmet, slash brows,
     -Visor raised,
     -Shirt rumpled;
Headshot exploded,
Vulnerable youth
Through the man,
     -Faces float out as
     -Muted Greek chorus,
     -Late night talk,
     -Canvas, paint.

8 May 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Takedown Portraits

(Larry Stanton in his studio @1984)

Takedown: 'To get into one's hands control or possession.' The portraits of artist Larry Stanton, found at larrystanton.net, display a complete ownership of his sitters. 'A wrestling manoeuvre through which an opponent is swiftly brought to the mat from a standing position.' Whether the sitter was someone noticed at a cafe, a casual friend, or someone well known, the poets Donald Britton and Tim Dlugos, the playwright/actor/director Charles Ludlam, the writers Brad Gooch and Dennis Cooper, the arts critic Oleg Kerensky, Larry found the human being underneath him. 'Having the capability of being taken down or taken apart.' Having fought his own demons, Larry could look deeply when drawing and painting. Think of them, also, as 'duets' between artist and sitters: a conversation.
This is a book of minimalist poetry about Larry Stanton, 1947-1984, and his subjects. They are drafts, stanzas are added, rewritten daily.
I do not believe that I ever met him, so it is thanks to those who did who are sharing their recollections, that this is possible.
The 1980's marked the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the awareness of a 'plague,' when so many gay men, gay men in the arts, were being infected, 'taken down,' knocked over, discovering that they were infected, and, too often, dying.
To see a trailer from the film 'Thunder Every Day,' filmed by Larry Stanton: http://www.pinkplot.com
The Reproductions of paintings and drawings by Larry Stanton appear with permission from Arthur Lambert, Jr.
(Added 5 June 2018, HIV Long-Term Survivors Day:) where possible, these imagined conversations- 'duets-' emerge from material, poems, prose, written by the sitter. When there isn't anything with which to work, these are similar to 'Spoon River Anthology,' speakers, or cave paintings, demanding that the viewer, or the reader, acknowledge that 'We were here: we lived, breathed, were witty, sexy, crude.'

(A draft board classifying officer takes down the physical and other details of a young man stripped to his white briefs.)