Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
 
 

DOUG MCCLELLAN

Conversation at Graveside with Marcel Duchamp

(1887-1968)

Poem Jeezis Marcel, why did you have to do it?
That trick you did back there--with the urinal
and the bicycle wheel and the peepshow, somehow
took it all away from the blacksmiths and pigsloppers.
Gave it to the frigging intellectuals. An honest limner
hasn’t got a chance: pencils, brushes,
good sweaty artistic ego--passé.
 ...
My nephew signed the fire extinguisher at school
he claimed it in the name of art,
his teacher gave him an A minus. Another guy
stole a tandem bicycle down at the mall,
told the cops it was a statement about gender.
They fined him but he got a scholarship out of it.
And then there’s Yoko Ono. Jeezis Marcel,
thanks to you, the explainers have taken over.

I’ve got plans to burn you in effigy--
going for a big NEA grant to do it