Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Choose

Finally, having found the treasure
of a parking spot at the Memorial
Art Gallery remote lot, I walk
across the front of the grand
old building, past the metal
sculpted penguins, the shiny silver
cubes, the abstract dancers, through
the tall glass doors, past the indoor
sunken sculpture garden, then up
the stairs to a third floor office. I
stand amidst a small collection of
prints, available only to patrons,
in return for their past support. 
From the vast array of artists
(whose various styles hint at
the gallery’s collection), I get to
choose one piece.  Why do I almost
never choose nature, and almost
always choose faces?  I browse
and peruse, over and over—
then choose this odd jester or
clown, depicted neither happy
nor sad—but strikingly neutral,
calm, open, and masculine, for 
a change.  The clerk packs my
print in a large hard envelope
and nods me a kind dismissal.
One second out the door, I pass
in the hall an uncanny female version
of the joker in my print.  She, in her
puffed polka dot outfit, looks me straight
in the eyes, pauses, as if to ask, why him--
then disappears to my right.

No comments: