"The Past" Contest Winners / September 2012 (Issue 18)

Huang Yong Ping

by Joshua Burns

The History of Chinese Painting and the History of Modern Western Art Washed in the Washing Machine for Two Minutes (1987)—running commentary on the pulp Huang Yong Ping was making from Wang Bomin and Herbert Read’s respective tomes
Joshua Burns It can't be long. Books're
on heavy duty. Wang
Bomin's losing his bound
mind. Herbert Read’s
shaking pages.  
Ping's, over there,
furiously taking notes.
The man's a copious
copycat: Duchamp's
tossing in his grave
hyper as the nude
descending a staircase
come to life. Because
this's been done some
poor run-of-the-mill inky
owl's got jammed in
Fountain (1917)—fancy
name for an upside down
urinal turned art. It's a good
point. What's the gravity for
the occasion? I'm trying
to figure out where
my stomach's gone
since my roommate's put
a gun to my head. Wouldn't've
guessed he'd be the criss-
cross and I'd be duped.  
He must've gotten
it from that time machine
we both used to get back
here. Aside: if we're being
imaginative for a moment
(not too much longer on
the clock) we might say this
machine is also shaped like
a washing machine. Why
we put the gun in with us in
the first place is anybody's
guess. Why's he here?
I couldn't go alone.  
How’d it end
like this? Not like
this. Not like this.  
We weren’t yet spit
out yet. Cycle complete.
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ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.