The Masquerade

November 11, 2009

“When I traverse the streets alone I am subject to pestering by strange men who lewdly congratulate me on aspects of my anatomy while ordering me to smile. If I am not mistaken for a prostitute, given my reserved dress and behavior, I remain prey to that pervasive suspicion that a trace of whore lurks in every woman– just as an ‘honest’ woman supposedly lurks in every whore.”

Anna C. Chave, “New Encounters with Les Demoiselles d’Avignon: Gender, Race, and the Origins of Cubism”


“Slow Dance”

November 9, 2009

More than putting another man on the moon, 
more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga, 
we need the opportunity to dance 
with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance 
between the couch and dinning room table, at the end 
of the party, while the person we love has gone 
to bring the car around 
because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart 
if any part of us got wet. A slow dance 
to bring the evening home, to knock it out of the park. Two people 
rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant. 
A little music. An empty bottle of whiskey. 
It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting 
on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck. 
Your hands along her spine. Her hips 
unfolding like a cotton napkin 
and you begin to think about how all the stars in the sky 
are dead. The my body 
is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained Melody, 
Stairway to Heaven, power-cord slow dance. All my life 
I’ve made mistakes. Small 
and cruel. I made my plans. 
I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine. 
The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like children 
before they turn four. Like being held in the arms 
of my brother. The slow dance of siblings. 
Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him, 
one of my great loves, he is absolutely human, 
and when he turns to dip me 
or I step on his foot because we are both leading, 
I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer. 
The slow dance of what’s to come 
and the slow dance of insomnia 
pouring across the floor like bath water. 
When the woman I’m sleeping with 
stands naked in the bathroom, 
brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spit 
into the sink. There is no one to save us 
because there is no need to be saved. 
I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed 
the front yard. When the stranger wearing a shear white dress 
covered in a million beads 
comes toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life, 
I take her hand in mine. I spin her out 
and bring her in. This is the almond grove 
in the dark slow dance. 
It is what we should be doing right now. Scrapping 
for joy. The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutang slow dance.


Matthew Dickman

The Americans

September 24, 2009

Everybody’s got somebody.

September 24, 2009

Don’t Eat the Pictures.

September 18, 2009

Sorry to get so ARTHISTORY on you, but

Today in Western Survey we did a whole lotta Egypt. Akhenaton’s hippy statuettes. Tut and stuff. Anyway, the above is painting on papyrus. It’s a narrative depicting the last judgment of Hu-Nefer (the one with the bob in white).

All I could think of was that Sesame Street movie “Don’t Eat the Pictures,” where Big Bird gives Sahu, a cursed Egyptian young prince one of his feathers to weigh against his young heart. This scene is included below.

Is it just me, or is this terrifying? The little boy wearing eye liner, carrying his cat, walking up a misty, ominous temple staircase that leads to eternity.

The Storm

September 14, 2009

When I was little, my Uncle Paul would take me to the MET when he came to visit. He liked the Rubens. Lots of lots of Rubens. Fat, pink  ladies in sheer drapery.

I remember one painting really vividly from these early visits. And I like to romanticize that this painting is why I like Art History. “The Storm” by Pierre-Auguste Cot, as I remember, hangs outside the Impressionist wings, behind a Rodin. And as I remember, it’s huge. So huge that the figures loom over you.

When I look at this painting now, a painting that has hung on my wall since middle school– part of me challenges it.

Not only is this an incredibly hetero-normative image of love, but there is an odd voyeuristic quality to their intimacy. But I like it. I like the sinewy curves. And the light source, their tip toes. This is what LOVE looks like. Maybe?

This semester I am taking classes that will challenge museums and exhibits. Racist! Sexist! Imperialistic. BUT I also got an internship in the curatorial department in the museum and will be designing my own exhibit. I am also doing a special studies in figure painting– probably all nude women.

And I am at odds.

histories. herstories.

September 10, 2009


to walker evans

August 26, 2009


Ray's Apples

Ray's Apples

diamonds and rust

August 22, 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about this.  And about what Eve Ensler said once about FEMICIDE and how I applauded, ’cause she was all empowering, all hopeful and it was all smithcollege. There is a catalog on my dining room table where the model is wearing just a sweaterno bra no panties. And I look at it and think, “does that make me want to buy that sweater more or less?” There is also that commercial where the topiaries transform into chic coiffures, nah mean?

These things aren’t really related. I am just musing.

I’m listening to a Joan Baez cover of “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” from the Newport Folk Festival. 

I’d be sweet to be a folk singer. Less Joan, more Joni would be nice– but I’d definitely date Bob Dylan pre ’65.