GALLERY EIGHTEEN by David Smith


GALLERY EIGHTEEN

This painting makes me feel that I bet that if he were alive today, that Jesus would have a credit score that wouldn’t be worth bragging about. This painting makes me feel that life on the open seas doesn’t hold any real interest for me. This painting makes me feel that it is the end result of an explosion in a paint factory. This painting makes me feel that Marie Marie can still hit a perfect backward somersault – and when she does, landing casually on the balls of her feet, with a cocky flip of her hair, palm trees blaze and the world explodes. This painting makes me feel that it is God’s own medicine. This painting makes me feel that I remember all too well the time that Eddie Merrill bet Bruce Goldstein that he, Bruce, couldn’t fire a shotgun shell, if he, Bruce, hit it on the end with a bal peen hammer – Bruce accepted the bet, grabbed the shell, whacked it on the butt-end with the hammer, and proceeded to blow off his left thumb. This painting makes me feel that just because my mother felt compelled to share with me the news of every time she had a urinary tract infection; her confidentiality did not make us closer, in fact… This painting makes me feel that it was created with the intent to take the roof off with an axe. This painting makes me feel like I have been walking barefoot for five miles in the snow and my soles are starting to bleed a bit. This painting makes me feel that when I allow myself to think about it, I really regret playing William Tell with a pen knife and my little brother – I really am quite sorry that he can’t see out of that eye anymore. This painting makes me feel that it was pretty cool that in his senior year of high school, my brother was voted the male student with “The Cutest Eye.” This painting makes me feel that i really liked Warhol’s work before he was shot by Valerie Solanas – after that he took the safe route and went very high society – though all things considered, you really couldn’t blame him. This painting makes me feel that according to my uncle Hymie, Viagra hasn’t let him down yet. This painting makes me feel that nobody, I repeat nobody, can pour a magnificent Singapore Sling like I do. This painting makes me feel that if our son, Backtalk, would spend a little less time studying organic chemistry, and dedicated a lot more time to pushing the free weights, then he would really blast his pecs. This painting makes me feel that it is a real American Work of Art – not some near-sighted, mollusk eating, grey skinned, weak-kneed euro-style hand-job, but a big money beefsteak and gravy, monster Ford truck in the driveway, new suit, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus Christ, red, white and blue glorification of divine Yankee grit and execution. This painting makes me feel that it is a fake and a fraud. This painting makes me feel that mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. This painting makes me feel that Elvis is everywhere. This painting makes me feel that on the day its final dab of color was applied, that the earth’s temperature shot-up several degrees. This painting makes me feel that despite what the poets claim, love is not nearly enough – after all, Milosevic loved his wife, Catherine the Great loved her children, Pol Pot loved his mother, Nixon loved his little dog Checkers, good Christ, even Hitler had a girlfriend.

                – David Smith
                   from Words Dance 10, Fall 2006
                   guest-edited by Jessica Dawson