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Author Archives: Erik Schurink
—11 September 2001
staand, met blauwdruk onder de arm, en ik
stagiaire, onderweg naar ’n meeting,
in de voetstappen van
mijn boss’ brogue, langs gelijke cubicles—
op een hogere vloer dan—even
de tweede skylobby.
als mijn kinderogen
die kentekens van badgasten
op afkomst scanden,
vlogen mijn immigrant eyes
van naambordje naar naambordje,
en keek ik
over zijn partition: “I collect
found poetry. Can I have your card? I’m
Dutch, you see. It’s
Eddie Boros’ Tower of Toys grew and stood for a few decades on 6th and B. It was taken down in May 2008, a year after its creator’s passing. At my first encounter with the tower, the garden was closed. It was a cloudy day. It drizzled. The tower stopped me in my tracks. I lingered to take it in, looking through the bars of the fence. As a recent art school graduate, the Tower of Toys mesmerized me. It both honored and defied design theory. The structure was showing honesty in how it was built, starting on a broad base, tapering towards the welkin of this skyscraper city. It showed clarity in how it was created. If there is a comparison worth making with an architect-built structure it might be San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid, while in the realm of outsider architecture the structure has evoked Simon Rodia’s Watts towers for many. Eddie Boros defied what I learned in design theory in his construction and connection details. Although his tower looked and stood like a tall structure, its details did neither suggest that it should, nor assure its stability or longevity, where Rodia’s creation does. But Boros wasn’t a designer or architect in that schoolish way. He built from passion, with intuition, using that rough-n-tumble New York grit as the tower’s backbone and his own longevity as mortar. How cool is that
A photo album:
An elegy: http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/47237/
A touching installation by Swoon and Tennessee Jane Watson—an attempt to reach beyond the unconscionable and unhoped-for, in an unexpected gallery, more open than any other in Chelsea, yet with more sense of barrier to enter.
Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-1943)
Oil on canvas
50 x 50 in. (127 x 127 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Monday, I was part of a group museum educators that visited a public school in Hempstead. We were invited to be audience to short performances inspired by books, first through fifth graders had read and studied in the school year that’s drawing to an end. Against sets and backdrops created by the students and their parents, the students, often in costume, presented fragments from works by authors such as Eric Carle and Dr. Seuss, and from books like Charlotte’s Web and The Magic Schoolbus. One fifth grade class had chosen poetry—the poetry of Langston Hughes. I enjoyed being reconnected to his poetry, to hear I, too again. Being an immigrant, I wasn’t introduced to his work or that of other American poets, until my thirties. This morning I was stirring, woke up at 5, got up, went to my desk, and took The Collected poems of Langston Hughes off the shelf. I sat down, opened it, and did so, on page 390 and 391—a spread of children’s rhymes.
By what sends
the white kids
I ain’t sent:
I know I can’t
… was the rhyme my eyes landed on, a rhyme written, at least half a century ago. A rhyme that is being rewritten this year, being transformed by Senator Obama and the America of today, the America of June 4th 2008, the America of the morning after the day Senator Obama clinched the Democratic nomination.
[He]’ll be at the table…