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unkillable and infamous words

Post #236 • March 15, 2004, 6:31 AM

Peter Schjeldahl, "Dear Art Writing Profession," from The Hydrogen Jukebox.

...What's ghastly
is that on occasion I mistook my hand-me-down taste
for the light of election, and poured ink on the worthy.
I still blush, hotly, for those occasions,
yearning for a large bomb to fall directly on my head.
Like that supercilious dismissal of William Baziotes - horrible!
And Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, for God's sake, I patronized your
venerable ghost! And Susan Crile, estimable painter,
what full moon was shining when I sat down to review you?
Also Stanford University, and redoubtable scholar Albert Elsen,
I sneered at your splendid museum,
behaving just like a paranoid's dream of a New York chauvinist,
oh shame! James Brooks, you didn't complain
those years ago, but even today you could flay me with a look.
Jim Dine, how could I, and Joan Snyder, how could I
denigrate your indubitable value in the (unpronounced) name
of (nonexistent) standards of acceptablility?
Richard Hamilton, where did I get off
welcoming you to America in that disgraceful fashion?
And Gio Pomodoro, though you never will be to my taste,
that was no exuse for behaving like a fat-mouthed provincial!
All these atrocities in the Sunday Times, each in a jillion copies
just whizzing off the presses, fanning out over the land,
alighting in libraries - microfilm, oh God! -
unkillable and infamous words!

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