Hick And Willie At The Art Institute
~ James Cummins
“Seeing paintings by Beckman and Matisse,
one understands the S/M dance
of Germany and France
a little better, ‘eef yoo pleece.’ ”
“All the kids seem to love Monet—
and if someone insists on trumpeting him, well, I say, heck, let her!
But I’ve always liked Manet a little better.
Now I’m older, I can feel this way.”
“But that Rembrandt—whew!
And maybe even better as an engraver!
Not that I’m trying to enter that critical palaver.
His paintings are real sharp, too.”
“You know I’m a fan!
And, reading this timeline here—
poor bastard rarely caught a break, in his career.
He rocks, man!”
Hick and Willie On An Arts Panel
“Wow, thank you, that’s a real
Let me ask my fellow panelists
how they feel.”
“What a great point! ‘Clouds pass and the moon
appears’! Almost like an open book,
isn’t it? Oh, darn it, look—
almost time for us to give up the room!”
“Wait—we have to take one more?
Okay—yes, you in the back—
between the woman who looks like a crack
ho, and the insufferable boor.”
“Whaaa?—though this room is small,
I can barely hear—
say again? Oh, I see. It’s clear
you want the poetry panel, down the hall.”
Jim Cummins is the Director of the Elliston Poetry Room at UC and teaches poetry in the English Dept. He has published numerous volumes of poetry.