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Justin Barisich

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  • So it’s 3am over in Split, #Croatia - the land of my #family, of my people - and as I lay here, restless, I can’t help but think about the passing of yet another anniversary of #HurricaneKatrina and it’s devastation to my #NewOrleans #home, another land full of my family and people. // Earlier today, on vacation, as we toured together the ancient palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, our wonderful tour guide pointed out the different eras and styles of construction that showed their faces throughout, and how the people of the city have always used it as a living structure. Despite political and actual wars, changes in faith and leaders, and thousands of years of time, the structure still stands and lives, and the people keep adapting and living right along with it. // I’ll post more pictures later, but for now, I’m too busy enjoying these rare moments with loved ones both near and far to let the sadness of loss long ago seep in. Maybe this is healing. Maybe this is adapting. Maybe this is living. And, man, ain’t that somethin.
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Cartoons of Calamity: Keith Haring’s Conscience Focus

By on June 19, 2015
Original text, with subtraction via Sharpie.

Original text, with subtraction via Sharpie.

Covered in black paper to hide,
he abruptly sprouted a manic universe
of everyman figures as bouncy as cheerleaders
but as faceless as paper dolls.

Anonymous, urban art in the dark –
laying down fast lines in minutes
after ticket and arrest.

Riding the subway was like touring
a museum on spray paint. Their letters
weren’t homages to self, they were witty notes
of apprehension and apocalyptic
executed in imagery,
distilled into enigmatic language of sign.

His doodleverse would produce hundreds
to point the finger and give it
the epidemic that would claim his life –
a nicely radioactive haul of work.

In death, Haring has become merchandise,
the T-shirts and mugs and such a reminder
that he could be tougher and more credible
than king of refrigerator magnets.

For high art could never deny their origins,
their family resemblance to street art –
hieroglyphs to channel external
anxieties about featureless brute
clubbing featureless victim.

So typical was trampling a hapless crowd
against a backdrop of ominous calligraphy,
an echo of ambiguous resistance,
a retinal charge that announces itself
only when you’re standing face to face.

He unframed canvases, hitched hectic
into every corner, and the eye bumps and slaloms
from one to the next pulsing field.

How enduring his nostalgia,
passed among artists who never arrived
at anything like imaginative bandwidth
and emotional nuance.

Maybe he didn’t have time to doodle places
you would not have thought to go.

[NOTE: Found/blackout poem crafted from a TIME article titled “Cartoons of Calamity,” as written by Richard Lacaye about visual artist Keith Haring’s posthumous exhibit in San Francisco.]

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1 Comment
  1. Reply

    Joseph Vietor

    June 19, 2015

    Reblogged this on Skylarking It and commented:
    I enjoyed the graphic as I write Covered in Writing at SkylarkingIt.com. http://wp.me/p4aTjg-1b

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