Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mots trouves

Writing articles about Marisol and Louise Nevelson (as I have recently for Art in America--although when they’ll be published is anyone’s guess), both of whom based their work on scavenged materials, made me realize that one of the things that made art in New York so rich during the sixties, seventies and eighties was that the artists lived in the industrial neighborhoods of SoHo and Tribeca, where tons of free stuff—the refuse of manufacturing concerns—was available on the street every night. Artists use what is at hand, and with that in mind I turned to what’s most plentiful in my life at the moment—spam. My friend, Carol Gingles, was the one who came up with the idea of writing poems with spam, so now, instead of opening Outlook with a sense of dread, I think, “Oh boy, maybe I have some spam! I hope it has the word ‘penis’ in it.”

For those who missed the open mic in Housatonic last night, here is my first effort:

Market investor alert
Home based business opportunity
Users to create
Interpersonal divide

I was looking for you
We will lead you to your new sexual life
Sex can
End the annoying obesity now
Quick, grab this
The students he’s seen
Use such tools
All with the goal of
Credit points

I may be mad but I’m not mistaken
Don’t miss out on your chance to become
A real penis
And go across campus
Explaining constructions to a living pig
Most appropriate
Quality replicas
Give her a satisfying smile every time you fuck

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