Power and Might

Power and Might

‘# 1’ by Mark Rothko

Morning sun paints the low mountaintops while in the foreground a Big Brand tire store anchors an immediate tattered blandscape, one can imagine Big Brand and the other dumb little buildings there of stucco and lesser stucco rising and melting and rising and melting and rising and melting in a Rod-Taylor-in-The-Time-Machine daydream of sick and meaningless renewal, the mountains in that time-lapse just standing there, unmoving and unamused nightclub bouncers with their arms crossed. The sun doesn’t know ‘paint’ or poetry, is an insensate fire set by forces describable with chalk and arithmetic, it nevertheless holds our hope(s) and this is how to encumber a fire that wants only to convert one thing to another in a soundless ‘space’ (as it’s known) but for that blowy roar that could be a burning tree. What of it. A star is exhaustible and at the end goes down swinging in a sad burst of gamma or something, an embarrassingly grand display of nuclear failure, falls in on itself and shrinks as if to compensate for eons of unearned braggadocio, eons of radiant literature thrown off in a laundry list of exotic rays. Sinatra had them screaming in their socks at the Paramount and may even have punched Ava Gardner if you want to talk about astronomical largesse, and in the end he doddered around his house not feeling great and would only occasionally join his guests in a game of poker, emerging from his large bedroom in pajamas, a mountain a fleeting thought a tachyon. Those are the choices.

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