Irony of a Negro Artist

Irony of a Negro Artist on Display at MOCA: Meditations on Jean-Michel Basquiat

Stay 2 ft away as you behold the genius of a maniacal, brain stuffed, lunatic feverishly spewing out the contents of his mind as a valley girl drones on about what must have been going on in his head, the head of a cracked out lunatic genius too heavily laden with history & life & dreadlocks & flintstones. But don’t use pen in the gallery as you contemplate the maniacal genius of a cracked out rasta high on decadence & poverty & the details of your teeth & the anatomy of fleas and of your beating heart. And don’t laugh too loudly as the valley girl drones on and don’t listen ‘cuz it’s a private tour and the public tour is at noon. And that’s a good thing ‘cuz your brain is stuffed and you must use pen on something to get its contents out by any means necessary. And the society bitch wonders why she can’t stand closer and it’s true. Jean-Michel stepped on several canvases but god forbid my savage hands or negro breath brushes the chef d’oeuvre of this cracked out maniacal rasta genius high on your anatomy and hanna barbera cartoons. This hub of intersecting histories. This center of gravity where all things converge in grave danger of imploding. And it implodes with his death but also explodes on the walls of MOCA neatly ordered and displayed. It’s all there. Your teeth & your brain & and a reverse middle passage and his vomit makes me nauseous and I vomit out the contents of my brain on this info packet too encumbered with bullshit to make room for my histories, my musings, my middle passages, my spirit, my blood, my tears, and the contents of my stomach, the backward glances and forward looking hopes & dreams. My endless tortured mindshit waiting to be unleashed. And the negro even speaks of rivers I have known. My histories staring at me, mocking me each time I read batman & Tennessee Williams & slave & colonization & Cortez & Marie Antoinette & Japan & brain & sore feet & e pluribus & Socrates & Mississippi & negroes & Gold Coast & ornithology & alchemy & haloes & schizophrenic & my baby’s daddy’s name & babalao & griot & ogun. Add to that my sweet smelling up chuckery. My twin birth, my absent father, my graffitied bedroom window, my secret garden, my Westside story, my drunken sprees, my sober moments, my martinican prince, my brazilian nights, my samba, my disco duck, my chosen boy, my lost girl, mama Africa, my clitorodectomy, my da nang shorts, my kindred spirit, my store bought education & my stolen intellect. And you are Exu, Jean-Michel, the crossroads, the hub of all these intersecting histories just as I am and they are. But do they know it? And they are watching me but pretend not to as I observe & scrutinize & analyze & philosophize and there is nothing here to gain, but only to unload as I vomit out my nausea, my histories, my loves, my deceptions, my desires & frustrations clearing a path for spirit. And they listen but pretend not to as I laugh at your ironies and contradictions which are also my own and as I chant “speak in ways that I may understand” & I understand you, Jean-Michel, & they have your barf on the wall in MOCA on Grand Avenue and call it art, but I am left tarred and feathered with it, sucker punched, nauseous & vomiting too and I see it for what it is and it is beautiful…