The Tenderness Junction

the view finder and the poem I have from and for Greer Lankton from when I was 17

Below are pictures of the Greer Lankton view finder that I still have from the Cranbrook Art Museum’s installation of “It’s all about ME, Not You” exhibit  from 1998.

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Below those are a poem that I wrote about the exhibit. The poem won a contest in a local magazine called The Contemporary Muse, which was coming out of Port Huron, MI and thinking of itself as telling people about “blue water area art.”

Thanks to Andrew Durbin whose recent article with Paul Monroe, “Unalterable Strangeness,” inspired me to take pics of the reminders of this early love and share them.

I was 17 years old when I was in this room. It was at that show that I also learned about Nan Goldin, whose “Ballad of Sexual Dependency” video was installed near Greer Lankton’s one-room house. This stuff (their work) created attachments for me I didn’t know I had/ needed/ wanted.

I wrote another poem about Greer Lankton where I shouted, Allen Ginsberg-style, “Greer Lankton! Greer Lankton! At night I can hear you snore! I’m wide awake! Greer Lankton!” Not that I knew anything about the sounds she made while sleeping, but she stayed with me long after I left this room.

Surely there are things I didn’t understand or that I misunderstood that are evidenced by my 17 year-old-writer self. Surely she was saying something to me, though, and I had heard her well enough.

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image caught

Seattle 1

Nothing left but the lines on the page the
surface of the yard or all the green that pops
up from the ground I’ve never seen so right
there’s nothing left but crossed wires the
firmament of gel or what I mean is jealousy
not gel it was a way to go get something the
lines in the skypage of this dream where did
that plane go the one whose tail the image
caught whose lives in these houses I only know
there are people there I don’t know anything
I see I don’t want to see I don’t care for
those things oh OK I understand all the lines
moving toward one another an emphatic bow
fixated on the powerhouse too far to leave the
image I only have the image it’s all I have and
the house house all the house houses in the middle
somewhere like a tongue and beyond that a bay with
boats with masts and a sail stuck in the back
hitting the flap it’s sadness that prohibits naming
it’s anger that demands naming I’d like what
we call each other to happen somewhere
the street in front of the house house slipping