Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ode To A Chair

Is it wrong to love furniture
I love my chair
I think of it as my personal organizational assistant
With four legs two arms and a reasonably soft cushion
The arms are smooth and gently curved
With fluted columns in a duet of maple conviction
The front legs are also fluted and proudly vertical
While the back legs are more discursive
They descend to the floor in an obstinate curve
That argues the ontology of objects and persons
Consistent with the empirically established facts
Based on epistemic considerations
And causal interrelations of the chair’s constituent atoms
Manifesting themselves in a form I can sit on
And rest my body and lean back occasionally
To enlarge my prospects
I also love the couch
Because I love to recline
Consider a gas in a vessel with perfectly smooth and elastic walls
In an arbitrary initial state and let it evolve in the course of time
And you will get a couch
Bubbling out of a mossy hillside
In the middle of a football field
I believe the subjunctive mood is a form of furniture
For it supports the labor of the mind
Attempting to crawl out of reality
To find a commodious object
In which to launch its fanciful creations
For instance take this poem
Driving down Second Avenue
In a Lamborghini wearing nothing
But a refrigerator light
Would you say it was bald
Or more like a sandwich
Of words and lettuce
A wind blows through my work
If you want to call this work
I call it a public fountain
You can make anything on your lips
Travel out of your mouth and become a bloodmobile
I am trying very hard to be
Worthy of this chair
Even if I have to club it into submission
My love for this chair must be sweet destiny
For why else would I sit in it committing these words
To its shape and description
Its immortal being
Its four legs and two arms and cushion
Enthusiasm is the god within
My eyes walk out of my head to say this
Chair isn’t everything but it means a lot
Which is why the ode was born
To convey such thoughts and feelings
Even in a time of iPods and pixels
Pythagoras, it is said, lectured to his students
From behind a curtain so that they would concentrate
On what was said and not on its source
This was known as being “acousmatic”
This strategy applies equally
To expanding a chair into an evocation
Of perturbations and ribbons
The time is exquisite
At the frontier between perception and language
It is where the crocodile heaves its body onto the blacktop
And Scarlet Johannson takes off her clothes
The better to startle you
Into a recognition of yourself and your possibilities
C├ęzanne was on the verge of middle age
When he had the crucial revelation of his artist’s mission
He reversed the illusion of deep space
To achieve mass and volume first
Recording with a separate pat of paint
Each larger shift in direction
By which the surface of an object
Defined the shape of the volume
It enclosed and so a chair was born
To support the weight of the body
As it becomes available to itself
The chair has a more liberal
Breadth of a purpose than a feeling
But put a feeling in a chair
And that feeling will grow into a chair
Whose purpose is to lead the mind
To heights of understanding

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