"I heard his voice in my sleep and his angel in my dream..."
--- Blake, Jerusalem 61:16
It begins with
in most paintings of the final judgment everything is about number
Seven wingÈd cherubs leaning on seven lethal looking swords
and about symmetry
But this angel hefting a rock
is a bad episode of the Six Million Dollar Man.
The boulder itself artificial and historicalcould be made of Styrofoam
conceived macculately by the prop department.
dont take the face for fear
such expression is the product of firecracker constellations
suddenly emitting from the mache dragon heads on Chinese New Year
and a constructed pictoral.
One might imagine it existing and filling the slideshow void,
one of the chosen onesa spy satellite or merely a strap-on
that gets to linger on the perimeter of the whirl of action.
remember to think of this in reaction to most paintings of the genre
One must be shocking and be prepared to take the public breath away
but you see how the rock in the hand is trying too much
to be what it isnt. Stages, swelling, the shallow pool
carrying dirty stars like credit, its all there, but this angel,
the one with the rock, Ive made it up, it doesnt exist
and, therefore, perfectly natural
like sidereal stars on the slushy sidewalk,
a statue, avatar, or whim that exists in the practical scientific
apprentice-curved sense of the word.
And what word would that be? I could leave it finished,
with a question, there. And cease to wonder anymore
and walk away from the painting
and make the tour group wonder
and consider emblems, metastatic coloration,
or, when they get bored, their doctor bills,
the point-spread, cable TV, or the gallery exit sign.
The sign as it appeared in different ages perhaps?
with baroque tendrils on the X and Y,
becoming sine wave and frequency on a grid
and vines like...Tarzan, but you are no gardener,
no clichÈ abandoned to be raised by apes, so
your attention wanders back to the painting
and you fancy yourself the rock
spinning in the worried palm of an angel
held high above the world1 part quartz, 1 part granite
1 part retribution and righteousness
and random as marriage in the moment, that very moment
of the flicker, the dance between this and the next slide,
between everything with an opposite darkness,
when those divine muscles contract and that arm
that sculpted stupid arm an arm of no ones experience