The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2012

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SEPT 2012 Issue

On MICHAEL BERRYHILL’s “Sensitive Parlour Ghost”
Incidental Western

On View
Kansas Gallery
May 17 – June 23, 2012
New York

Possessed by certain homeostatic eccentricities,
She prefers to avoid definite lines that
Trace the body, especially in sunlight.

Caught being here in near complete spiritual elevation
And there with ambivalent feelings of orgiastic ecstasy
The image trembles much faster than the erosion of time,
As if it was intentionally made to resemble a palimpsest of
Rectified anatomy through Propertius’s memories.

Like Gorky’s and de Kooning’s frequent visits to Boscotrecase’s wall paintings
At the Metropolitan Museum
Melancholy outweighs glimpses of happiness.

“I habituated myself,”
Once wrote Rimbaud,
“To simple hallucination:
I very sincerely saw a mosque instead of a factory…
I ended up considering the disorder of my mind sacred.”

Accordo. Accordo.
Absolument. Absolument.
It’s impossible to integrate the inner world as an outer image.

What is it like to also love the differences between Greek tunics and Roman togas
And yet learn to be indifferent to them
Masson must have contended with Heraclitus’s fire that harbingered
The modern notion of the uniformity of natural law!

Buon lavoro. Buon lavoro.
Complimenti. Complimenti.
Allow me a few more minutes to digest.

Never mind Pound’s Homage to Sextus Propertius
What about Katz’s 2005 translation of his complete elegies?
Cynthia was never in Michael Berryhill’s painting
It’s Cornelia’s ghost rising from the funeral pyre
Declaring a virtual justification of her entire life.

Schwarmerei. Schwarmerei.
Avanti. Avanti.
It’s impossible to integrate the outer image as an inner world.

Michael Berryhill, “Sensitive Parlour Ghost,” 2012. Oil on linen. 30 x 24”. Courtesy of the artist and Kansas Gallery.

59 Franklin St. // NY, NY


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2012

All Issues