Lay for the Day 28th
1887: Marcel Duchamp is born in Blainville, France. Although his works
are few, he was one of the most influential artists of the last century,
partly because of his distrust of the received idea of a work of art.
He introduced the ready-made or found object to the gallery
with his Bicycle Wheel of 1914, which was a bicycle wheel. The
most famous of his ready-mades are the Fountain of 1917, which
is a porcelain urinal standing on its back plate and crudely signed R.
Mutt in black paint; and L.H.O.O.Q., which is a print of
the Mona Lisa with a moustache pencilled on her lip and those letters
written underneath. Said out loud in French they sound like Elle
a chaud au queue She has a hot tail.
could be called a part of both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although
he never belonged to either, and steered clear of artistic
circles generally for most of his life. He devoted much of his energy
to playing and writing about chess, in which he competed at the international
July is also commemorated quite widely on the internet as the day in 1586
that potatoes were brought to England by Sir Walter Raleigh. I haven't
been able to discover how this factoid got its start in life, but there
is no foundation for it in history. It seems appropriate to celebrate
it, then, with the poem below, by Emmuel Pond.
Pond was born Don Plummer, in about 1999, and has been living with me
on and off for a few years now. I thought his given name was an anagram
of nom de plume, but it seems that an r got substituted
for one of the es. Gradually I have learned to respect Emmuels
poems, even though they dont make sense, as I discovered that he
puts at least as much work into them as I do into mine.
Fled storage muted and a pale
as much knuckle as tongue, no further
tegument required or suspected, this lewd bolus
embalms our stellar regard, stuns all appetite.
If it were blue, a chlorinous
exacted of the plume, torn from rule
by the somnolence of that claustral metallurgy,
all might be forborne; but not such.
The pyramids chopped
and the long skull
split. A calendal hierograph seeps, written within
to augur its own unveiling. What persists?
Only frost, the noval obscurity of salts.
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