Fragonard was the sort of man who would really work the canvas -- work it over, say. The sort of guy who, when you asked him for a painting would really let you have it; the kind of dude that swashbuckled around in his underpants one minute and discursed on solemn earth the next. The one who'd maybe kick you in the nuts if you were a man, or, if you were a woman, in that place where your nuts would be if you were a man. When Fragonard was eight he ate paint. Some credit his genius to the years that followed the leader down the path of his namesake to the right before he left the corridor of history for the still waters of myth. We had him then, rod, staff and sinker. He suffered the nickname "Frag" no less than "Gonard," event- ually assuming the former as achieved in space and time, so that: one might eavesdrop on such exhortations as, Frag, baby, paint that slipper on me again, you *nasty*! while distinguishing between "the genuine article" & Frag's own ventriloquizing minstrelsy was no walk in the park and no laughing matter. Frag's children had undetectable birth defects, like so many of us, which doctors speculate would have gotten them in the end, the biographers' ex- humations thus justified, though the little mounds of dirt were fetishized by Fragonists in a creepy way for several uncomfortable years. When the Holy Ghost descends one feels something like this same creepiness -- I would refer you to Albert Ayler's tune "Holy Ghost" I think he was a big Fragonard fan. At night, Frag dreamed that he roamed through the forest just like a Brontosaurus -- which used to be a typical anxiety-response to encountering the American shore -- it has a lot of trees even today and there were already people here when he arrived. Which people? Though one occasionally happens upon his work -- at a KFC or a museum, a needle exchange, or at someone's place, what happened to Fragonard is as obscured as the sign of his birth. The easy answer is, at night he continued to dream and during the day, to paint.
Accourding to Mike Magee: From: email@example.com (Michael Magee) Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 08:54:43 -0400 (EDT) Here's another new poem of mine, a "response" to a question which WC Williams asks in his great poem "Portrait of a Lady." * * = italics -m.