Notes & a poem after a visit to a museum
A room full of collected curiosities: masks, sculptures, folkloric and religious art, designs simple, colors bright, symbolic in nature—all elements carried into new work, Le Carre’s Metamorphosis exhibit at North Miami’s MOCA:
a wall of “memory boxes,” hanging light boxes, time capsules, symmetrically placed children’s trinkets and plastic gems and Caribbean-inspired print-outs–all immortalized in resin
(my own memory boxes? stamps, pens, old shopping lists, to do lists, receipts, bookmarks, basically anything found at the end of a life cycle of a favorite purse, all remnants of expired tasks and mundane responsibilities);
fantastical flying “sugar boats” in sparkling white fondant, flying or sailing, suspended from ceiling. (his obsession about the symbolism and narrative of boats, that old time harbinger of culture from the Old World to the New);
large horned totem heads crowned with plastic flowers on European-styled pedestals;
enormous soucouyants (hybrid witches in Caribbean folklore) assembled from printouts of early cell structure drawings—the portraits as large as circular tables viewed through the lens of a powerful microscope;
just the right amount of bling in all the right places, it became a satisfying, glimmering homage to the Caribbean, and in particular, Haitian, civilization.
In thick black frames, busy white etchings on plexiglass, behind it electric blue light.
Le Carre’s series of illustrations based on novel by Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World.
Metamorphosis: A sugar mill worker elevated to a god, a wild boar, a mosquito.
A condensed history of Haiti: palaces & slaves, mutilation & uprisings, until another new order is born.
Even in the form of a water-bird,
this concrete pavement
I call home
Neon hues from the motel
buzz in the solid August heat
like mosquitos in my ear
This is my first life. In the next
to come in another form,
maybe the wild fox who used to hide
in the palms on 71st
no one has seen him
for a few years
I can’t look at the sun
Why would I want to?
He melts objects into the sidewalk
On Sundays I check
the refuse they leave in small piles
along the rim of the road
Broken poster frames, electronics
plastic tricycle handlebars
faded from yellow to white
the plastic seat from red to pink
once I found a picture of a tiger
a fabric cut-out
underneath hand-sewn stripes
with stars embroidered all around
the frame was broken
but that was it
The only way to escape wandering
is to stop, place all your suffering
in one cart
and leave it in the parking lot
behind the Saturn Motel
no one really goes back there anyway