Spent Some Time with Lorca in New York


Robert Gibbons

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 118 in June, 2009.

Spent some Time with Lorca in New York, & glad I did, because I, too, wanted a fresh angle on America’s city. Spent some Time with Lorca in New York, noticing who exits the Escalades, & who freights the garbage & heavy boxes down grates of sidewalk dumbwaiters. Spent some Time with Lorca in New York uncovering Dutch power structure in faces of individuals’ smiles of pride under blonde hair, above stiff, grey suits, while opposite, the obviously downtrodden glower, continuing to make you wonder if justice is possible, or that a man of color could ever become president in this Godforsaken country, as the Spanish poet wrote, “a world shameless & cruel enough to divide people by color when in fact color is the sign of God’s artistic genius.” Spent some Time with Lorca attending the Abstract Expressionism: A World Elsewhere exhibit, curated by my friend, compassionate genius, incomparable critic, David Anfam, who reiterates the importance of revolt, fresh perspective, genuine sincerity of artistic endeavor way too soon sucked up, formalized, & used by the power structure, so that when I stood at an angle, as oblique & marginal, as out of the way as I could, absorbing the lines & forms & colors, juxtapositions, flow, lacunae, majesty, & detail of one particular painting, Motherwell’s, Elegy to the Spanish Republic, indeed, another version of which I visited on a daily basis working for four years at the National Gallery, where upstairs in a plaster, windowless cave David slaved for ten years over the Rothko Catalogue Raisonné it paid to have spent some Time with Lorca in New York, because slowly from all the way across the room I suspected that Goya, Picasso, & Lorca lurked on the surface & at the depths of the massive rectangles & ovoids, linear pillars & ellipses, when all of a sudden the Elegy took voice in the form of visual chorus, sung, whispered, & screamed, Goya’s black-lace mantillas, Picasso’s Guernican heads, arms, & torsos asunder, Lorca’s plaintive song of struggle, pain, & blood soared across the gallery room, the cry, cry of injustice continuing unabated skyscraper top down to underground homeless since the Time Lorca spent in New York.