well, how do i begin, i mean really “a room hung with pictures” if only the world was this clear to everyone, not just poets, and even then, the framing seems to be the hard part. you know, i remember a time when i was in high school (continuing our conversation over shakes) that i developed this fascination with frames. in fact, i distinctly remember setting up a large frame leaning about the lampost (or was it the fire hydrant) in the front yard and framing my car. a bit narcissistic, sure, but i liked the idea then, and i like the idea now of framing frames that frame things. i suppose i’ve always been a bit interested in russian dolls, or things in things, or like-things within like-things. you know my wife is a doula, and i really like the idea of humans in humans. also i find it fascinating whenever an apple grows inside of an apple, or people put houses inside houses. in fact, i think it would be the most magnificent architectural feat if we could just get someone to build a suburban house on the forty-fifth -sixth and -seventh floors of the empire state building, you know with the front and back lawns and everything. but i really am fascinated by this whole concept of a room hung with pictures, and i take it you feel “inside” this world. you know, i’ve become really fascinated with prepositions. and I wonder which preposition people feel towards life or towards this world we live (with?) (on?) (in?) (by?) (to?) etc. but where i think this room differs is that a room of pictures would denote living in a made world, or living in a world surrounded by art or at the very least artifice, so i imagine the speaker of this poem is metropolitan. i don’t see him at the park, but i suppose he would at least be able to find a park amongst the pictures, and at this point, i almost feel like this story could take on a sort of borges surrealism, or even plato’s cave, where a person only lives by simulacrum and not actuals, but i suppose this seems to be our current condition in that we live a large majority of our lives through the sort of virtual presences depicted or “handed” to us by our phones. I mean you mentioned today that you knew my children were sick at home and you knew this through instagram, not that you had visited my house and witnessed this yourself. but i’ve always felt that story telling (i.e. language) was the original or earliest form of virtual reality. i mean so many critics have mentioned language as a “waking dream” and many companies are trying to make more kinds or types of this. movies seem to have fully developed, but you’re right, they depend on a larger infrastructure of electricity and technology in a way that a book only depends on the body (and a little bit of learning) to make the virtual experience occur. i admit, i have only made it through the title thus far, and if what i mentioned this evening is right, then you’ve given me a bible, a religious text, for i still believe that the best religions are the ones that excite the imagination most (because i believe that something that excites the imagination will in turn excite the body, and if the body is excited then, well, the whole world becomes electrified, and if I am right about tautologies being a way to feel alive then I hope that i can create ways to excite myself and others (and I suppose the word excite can be taken in many ways, and sure, i will let others take that word any and all the ways they want to)). but you’ve wrought a good title to say the least, and so far i have said the least i could on what little i have allowed you to say to me in your title. i hope to make it through your script,sure. and the text now feels so precious to me, and sometimes i feel this is why i don’t read as many books as i feel i ought to, only because i get so caught up in titles that it causes my imagination to run rather wild. and i wonder if this is not what you also experience when reading titles, although you seemed to have hated almost all the titles we read while at the springville museum of art, though i wonder if this was just because utah artists are rather bad at naming paintings or if its because you find that most titles are lacking, although i do remember you mentioned you liked one title, and i can’t remember for the take of me what the name was. do you remember. but how could you start the collection off with anything other than a still life. i mean i wonder if this is not every person’s beginning. i must say that i cannot remember my childhood. i cannot remember anything about my parents getting divorced or leaving my father or heartbreak or loss or anything. perhaps i carry with me traces, but everything i know of my inception and beginning years are but descriptions to me. they are but a still life. photos. stories that are always as old as i am. i can’t help but feel that the still life is the best way to begin a life. in fact, i want someone to start a business and i want a culture of people who feel this is actually the most appropriate thing to do: when you know a baby, your baby, has been conceived, it is custom to draw together a still life and have it painted or photographed. what paraphernalia was present before i was, what sort of time capsulation could be made as my conception, what objects would my parents gather as meaningful in their life at the time (as beautiful, as reminiscent). and here i realize the hour has escaped me and I have only managed to barely make it past the title of your intrepid. I must say, you’ve wrought a far more curious shop than many of the art galleries i’ve come by, and usually i make it well past the door, but here i have hardly touched the doorknob, let alone turn and pushed inward. by an by i will come to enter and look around, but the room hung with pictures will certainly give me a run for my body.
zach t power