The inability to maintain a series of interpersonal supports produces the view that an individual staying alive is nothing more than a run of good luck, taking a round in the Kevlar rather than the head. Each step Olujimi takes into literal empty space mirrors acknowledgment, the act of acknowledgement, and the support system acknowledgement produces, the nod, ‘the I see you of it all,’ the anti-Ellisonian uninvisibility of recognition produces the possibility of smoke taking form, recognition producing reality, and the warmth of human participation
Kambui Olujimi is from Bedford-Stuyvesant and has exhibited at BAM, MOCA LA, Studio Museum Harlem and Brooklyn Museum. His conversation with Mark Bradford on race and police brutality was published in Modern Painters in May, 2015.
THE WASTE LAND AND OTHER POEMS
AUGUST 30TH – OCTOBER 1ST
Young World is pleased to announce The Waste Land and Other Poems, an exhibition of new works by Virginia Poundstone
The Waste Land
I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
A little life with dried tubers.
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
And when we were children, staying at the archduke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of the red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu,
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?
They called me the hyacinth girl.”
– Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were his eyes, Look!)
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying “Stetson!
You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again!
You! hypocrite lecteur!–mon semblable, –mon frère!”
II. A GAME OF CHESS
The Chair she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Glowed on the marble, where the glass
From which a golden Cupidon peered out
(Another hid his eyes behind his wing)
Doubled the flames of seven branched candelabra
Reflecting light upon the table as
The glitter of her jewels rose to meet it,
From satin cases poured in rich profusion;
In vials of ivory and coloured glass
Unguent, powdered, or liquid – troubled, confused
That freshened from the window, these ascended
In flattening the prolonged candle-flames,
Stirring the pattern on the coffered ceiling.
Huge sea-wood fed with copper
Burned green and orange, framed by the coloured stone,
Above the antique mantel was displayed
As though a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
Filled the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
“Jug Jug” to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair,
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Glowed into words, then would be savagely still.
“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes bad. Stay with me.
Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.
What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?
I never know what you are thinking. Think.”
I think we are in rats’ alley
Where the dead men lost their bones.
“What is that noise?”
The wind under the door.
“What is the noise now? What is the wind doing?”
Nothing again nothing.
You know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember
Those are pearls that were his eyes.
“Are you alive, or not? Is there nothing in your head?”
O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag–
It’s so elegant
“What shall I do now? What shall I do?
I shall rush out as I am, and walk the street
With my hair down, so. What shall we do to-morrow?
What shall we ever do?”
The hot water at ten.
And if it rains, a closed car at four.
And we shall play a game of chess,
Pressing lidless eyes and waiting for a knock upon the door.
When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said,
I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself,
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set,
He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
And no more can’t I, I said and think of poor Albert,
He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
And if you don’t give it him, there’s other will, I said.
Oh is there, she said. Something o’that, I said.
Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said,
Other can pick and choose if you can’t.
But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling.
You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
(And her only thirty-one.)
I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
(She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.)
The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
You are a proper fool, I said.
Well, if albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
Goodnight Bill. Goodnight Lou. Goodnight May. Goodnight.
III. THE FIRE SERMON
The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf
Clutch and sink into the wet bank. The wind
Crosses the brown land, unheard. The nymphs are departed.
Sweet Thames, run softly, till I end my song.
The river bears no empty bottles, sandwich papers,
Silk handkerchiefs, cardboard boxes, cigarette ends
Or other testimony of summer nights, The nymphs are departed.
And their friends, the loitering heirs of city directors;
Departed have left no addresses.
By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…
Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,
Sweet Thames, run softly, for I speak not loud or long.
But at my back in a cold blast I hear
The rattle of the bones, and chuckle spread from ear to ear.
A rat crept softly through the vegetation
Dragging its slimy belly on the bank
While I was fishing in the dull canal
On a winter evening round behind the gashouse.
Musing upon the king my brother’s wreck.
And on the king my father’s death before him.
White bodies naked on the low damp ground
And bones cast in a little low dry garret,
But at my back from time to time I hear
The sound of horns and motors, which shall bring
Sweeney to Mrs. Porter in the spring.
O the moon shone bright on Mrs. Porter
And on her daughter
They wash their feet in soda water
Et, O ces voix d’enfants, chantant dans la couple!
Twit twit twit
Jug jug jug jug jug jug
So rudely forc’d.
Under the brown fog of a winter noon
Mr Eugenides, the Smyrna merchant
Unshaven, with a pocket of currants
C.i.f. London: documents at sight,
Asked me in demotic French
To luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel
Followed by a week-end at the Metropole.
Turn upward from the desk, when the human engine waits
Like a taxi throbbing waiting,
I Tiresias, though blind, throbbing between two lives,
Old man with wrinkled female breasts, can see
At the violet hour, the evening hour that strives
Homeward, and brings the sailor home from sea,
The typist home at tea-time, clears her breakfast, lights
Her stove, and lays out food in tins.
Out of the window perilously spread
Her drying combinations touched the sun’s last rays,
On the divan are piled (at night in her bed)
Stokings, slippers, camisoles, and stays.
I Tiresias, old man with wrinkled dugs
Perceived the scene, and foretold the rest–
I too awaited the expected guest.
He, the young man carbuncular, arrives,
A small house-agent’s clerk, with one bold stare,
One of the low on whom assurance sits
As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire.
The time is now propitious, as he guesses,
Endeavours to engage he in caresses
Virginia Poundstone is originally from Kentucky and has exhibited at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. Her son Zoby is a producer on Oh My Darling Don’t Die, Run the Jewels 2.
I HOPE NO ONE IS SQUANDERING THEIR DAY OFF
JULY 26TH – AUGUST 22ND, 2014
L.A. is a swamp covered with concrete, stilt houses and housing projects with palm trees. The central conceit of LA’s self-actualization, the pyramidion of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is self reflection as perpetuated by "the industry".
To wit: Big Wednesday, Colors, Pulp Fiction, Mullholland Drive/Falls, Chinatown, Sunset Boulevard, Die Hard, Killer of Sheep, Training Day, Heat, The Long Goodbye, The Killing of a Chinese Wookie, The Dying Gaul, The Player, Minnie and Moskowitz, Terminator 2, The Graduate, Less Than Zero, Crash, Repo Man,Lebowski, American Juggalo, Who Framed Roger the Rabbi, Point Break/Blank, Star Maps, Fletch, Stand and Deliver, Down and Out in the Slums of Beverly Hills Chihuahua Cop, Gone in 60 Seconds, Mother, Jugs, & Speed, Gus, Heaven Can Wait, Up in Smoke, Karate Kid, Into the Night, Twins, Encino Mang, White Men Can’t Jump, Tales from the Hood, Bowfinger, Anniversary Party, Friends with Money, Lethal Weapon, Grease, Falling Down, Hancock, Demolition Man, Car Wash, Blue Thunder, Mildewed Pierce and White Heat.
I once went to Ben Harper’s apartment after his fourth album, just before he married Laura Dern. He was already famous but still living very Day of the Locust.
Danny Titiriga lives and works in the aforementioned Los Angeles. This is his first solo gallery exhibition.