Elizabeth Langemak

Life before art and then simulation
which is not imitation, but uses
new stuff,
                 performs the same thing:
creations in skin and not stone,

and flaws sculpted in bodies before
the Louvre’s gates:
                                  take these two gray lovers
reworking their third pose, their unskilled
devotions to art much like our own:
not unlike buskers
                                  our gazes turn stares
or our heads twist in haste, breaks become naps

and attraction seems forced:
                                                   we are like the first
models, arranged with a smile, mimes

until slips:
                    the brief

weight of his arm falling hard on her hip.

Fuck you, she says, without moving her lips.






"Not Unlike Buskers" comes out of an experience I had watching buskers outside of the Louvre. So many of them spray paint themselves silver or gold to look like famous statues and then stand very still, in imitation of the art, until someone gives them money to do a kind of dance or motion. There was one couple, a man and a woman, who were fighting with each other, each telling the other that they made lousy statues. I was about to go into the museum when it dawned on me that I wasn't very good at *looking* at statues: I'm often too quick to move on, or I get antsy or tired and want to leave. In a way, the three of us were in similar—or at least parallel—situations, and I thought that was interesting.