The refrigerator is the highest
a poem can aspire to. The ultimate
publication. As close to food as words
can come. And this refrigerator poem
is honored to be here beneath its own
refrigerator magnet, which feels like a medal
pinned to its lapel. Stop here a moment
and listen to the poem humming to itself,
like a refrigerator itself, the song in its head
full of crisp, perishable notes that wither in air,
the words to the song lined up here like
a dispensary full of indispensable details:
a jar of corrugated green pickles, an array
of headless shrimp, fiery maraschino cherries,
a fruit salad, veggie platter, assortments of
cheeses and chilled French wines, a pink
bottle of amoxicillin: the poem is infectious.
It's having a party. The music, the revelry,
is seeping through this white door.
More like a vault -- you pull the handle out
and on the shelves: not a lot,
and what there is (a boiled potato
in a bag, a chicken carcass
under foil) looking dispirited,
drained, mugged. This is not
a place to go in hope or hunger.
But, just to the right of the middle
of the middle door shelf, on fire, a lit-from-within red,
heart red, sexual red, wet neon red,
shining red in their liquid, exotic,
in such company: a jar
of maraschino cherries. Three-quarters
full, fiery globes, like strippers
at a church social. Maraschino cherries, maraschino,
the only foreign word I knew. Not once
did I see these cherries employed: not
in a drink, nor on top
of a glob of ice cream,
or just pop one in your mouth. Not once.
The same jar there through an entire
childhood of dull dinners -- bald meat,
pocked peas and, see above,
boiled potatoes. Maybe
they came over from the old country,
family heirlooms, or were status symbols
bought with a piece of the first paycheck
from a sweatshop,
which beat the pig farm in Bohemia,
handed down from my grandparents
to my parents
to be someday mine,
then my child's?
They were beautiful
and, if I never ate one,
it was because I knew it might be missed
or because I knew it would not be replaced
and because you do not eat that which rips your heart with joy.
Joke acceptable for mixed company:
Three men appear before St. Peter at the gates
of heaven. St. Peter says, "I'm sorry, gentlemen, but Heaven is very full
right now and we're only taking people who died tragic deaths." The first
man says, "I died a very tragic death. I found out my wife was cheating on
me and I decided to catch her at it. So, I left work early and came home. I
could hear them in there as I unlocked the door, but by the time I got in, the
guy wasn't there. In a rage, I was searching all over the apartment when I saw
a pair of hands holding on to the window sill. So, I started beating at his
hands but he wouldn't let go. Finally, I picked up a hammer and hit him on the
knuckles until he let go and fell 5 stories. But, he landed in a huge bush and
he was starting to get up. I couldn't believe it! I ran into the kitchen,
picked up the refrigerator and threw it out the window. In the process, though,
I had a heart attack and died."
St. Peter says, "You're right, that is very tragic. Go on in." The
second man says, "My story is even worse. I was working out on the balcony
of my apartment when I lost my balance and fell over the edge. Luckily, I
caught a window sill and I was hanging on for dear life when a crazy man came
over and starting hitting my hands with his fists and a hammer. I fell, but
luckily, I landed in a huge bush and it broke my fall. I was just starting to
get up when I looked up and saw a refrigerator coming down at me. And that's the
last thing I remember."
Jeff Koons's installation,COLORING BOOK Discussed and illustrated in The New York Times, October 4, 2016, p C1 by Daniel McDermon:
"Art installations have long been a requirement for developers who want to show off their panache and good taste."
Also referred to as a "sculpture, Koons's recent creation was unveiled outside the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, CA.
Art pieces (some will be mixed work from different artists as well as installations) will soon appear at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA, the Dallas Cowboys' A&T Stadium in 2009, and Vikings' US Bank Stadium for the Vikings, in Minneapolis, MN.
Front row installation artists like Jenny Holzer (See her picnic table in INSTALLATIONS post). The forerunner of this trend was The Dallas Cowboys' A&T Stadium in 2009.
Falcon by at the Atlanta site
INSTALLATION BY OLAFUR ELIASON
Also, check out PAUL FRIEDMAN'S book, Ten Restaurants that Changed America," as reviewed in ther New Yorker. September, 19, 2016. The book's reviewer is JANE KRAMER.
The accompanying illustration (above) is by Greg Clarke.
The old Delmonico's 1900-1920. Friedman rates it the best, numero uno. Caleb Carr's novel The Alienist describes many a hearty meal there. Mark Twain loved it, too. Below he celebrates his his birthday circa 1900
Horse-drawn carriages line up for restaurant resevations.
As the hardware store owner once told me, "Ya gotta get'em inta da store and you gotta put the tool in his hand and the next thing is, you've made a SALE!"
Same thing in the world of arts. Get her to pick up a book and to take it home and, we hope, she becomes a reader, even a Barbara Kingsolver or Ian McEwan fan. Or talk about a painting or photograph that moves you, take a child or a friend to a gallery or museum to see just THAT image and then go for ice cream or a martini after that! ART begets pleasure!
Finally, if a food experience recalls a food-oriented film like "Big Night" (1996) or "Strawberry and Chocolate" (1995) or 'The Lunch Box" (2014), delve in - what is the subtext?
In this mode of introduction (or seduction), exploration and interpretation, I offer FOOD in the ARTS, a blog that opens the door to impressive creativity, whether in 1460 or 2014. If food experiences stay on your mind (That very first raw oyster), then let your senses and your curiosity lure you into this visual experience of nearly 2000 images.in literature, painting and photography, sculpture, performance art, installations and film.