An Answer for Williams

by Mike

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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: (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.