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I Dreamed of a Modern Art Show

Recurrent dream, 1983/6/28 and 9/18 by Chris Wayan

Square eye-cages on the walls.
Lots of lines and sticks. Few balls.
Planes, panes, stresses and strains!
Look, a lone bold oval!
Modernism's token

While the forms I live,
Spirals, rays, curving wedges
Sines and ragged grinning fringes
Drops, crescents, eggs and eyes
Are scorned, they're old, derivative,
Obscuring "basic forms"--

As if Etosha Pan's sere line
Is truer than its purple swirl of bird,
Flamingo herds whose nude hue
Of ripe fruit, sex, birth-blood,
On indigo water, grassy sky--
Is an edgeless fact.
Blurs are my life!

These artnessmen
Banquish with disgust,
And rules (and often rulers)
Pink and shapeless flocks and fucks:
"Feminine", "decorative", "nice"...
They mean it sucks.

Their Pan pipes "clean" and "bold" and "mind"
And like Etosha Pan it's usually mirage--
Dry, hard, and alkalined.
Clean as songs that pipe through desert bone--
Sterile as that stopless monotone.

Geometric shapes in greens and rusts

Blurry abstract organic forms and colors.

A flock of white waterbirds over trees and open water, seen from above, with their shadows.


Etosha Pan (a seasonal oasis in Namibia): mental photo courtesy of National Geographic.
Banquish: from "The Witch Family" by Eleanor Estes. Banish plus vanquish.
Bone: O'Keeffe's bone paintings. Golly, an actual SHAPE. She just won't obey the boys who say squares, squares, squares are the thing.
Stopless: from Emily Dickinson. Both "ceaseless" and "an open note" like a blown unfingered flute.

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