Untethered Grass

by Jamez Chang

Jackie Stewart relaxed past death
on racing tracks heightened
by speed and violence.
He elevated his senses higher
than the rise of the road,
breaking hard third gear
underneath a viaduct
in Monaco.

across gravel stretch and paddock,
Stewart advanced—past zebra crossing, past short dirt,
along a fast bend in a windrush of earthen electron.
His motorcar spun loud,
hearing nothing.

Front straight faster and spinning through a funnel,
Stewart sloughed off his body’s vehicle
and allowed for this: a blade of grass to enter his world.
As he dripped inside double layers of fire-proof Nomex,
Stewart caught a whiff of freshly-cut grass around the bend,
A leaf aldehyde stain, wet-pulp mist somehow untethered,
loosened from its topsoil.

In accident and in happening,
Stewart mastered his craft at Monaco,
trusting his senses.
Alive and mechanical,
writing the next turn.

On macadam road,
a car had skidded outside a curb and clipped a barrier,
onto grass,
releasing the blade’s germ adrift.
dangerous grass.
Nature’s intrusion
upon oil, steel, and the scatter mass of tire grit.

Stewart pulled back from the swarm.

The maestro touched lightly on his brakes,
and fed them out with a soft whistle.

Never jabbing a foot to answer,
but steering a motorcar docile:
angry insect allowed to fly,
eased into a coverlet of sunken metal and music.
Stewart skittered the right-hander on the edge of adhesion—clean,
past pile of racing cars crashed along steel barriers uprooted.
Raucous debris, too thick for a clogged helmet’s consumption,
but of thin data, the faint smell of mowed lawn at 175 miles per hour was
And the mind became faster than the car.

On racing tracks heightened
by speed and violence,
Sir Jackie Stewart whistled by in accident,
accelerating out,
shifted pedals on the piano and
glided through chicane and into third, and fourth, and into fifth gear:
road holding,
turning the atom-soaked sun into a mechanical happening.

Jamez Chang is a poet, writer, lawyer, and former hip-hop artist living in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in FRiGG, Prime Number Magazine, Boston Literary Magazine, Subliminal Interiors, and the anthology Yellow Light. After graduating from Bard College, Jamez went on to become one of the first Korean-American to release a hip-hop album, “Z-Bonics” (F.O.B. Productions, 1998), in the United States. Jamez currently works in the video game industry in New York City.

THE WEEK: Sept 26-30.

LIVE from the NYPLROBERT WILSON with Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs, and others in conversation with Paul Holdengräber 
Friday, September 30, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Robert Wilson will talk to Rufus Wainwright, Lou Reed, Lucinda Childs and others about his artistic collaboration with them over the years.  The conversation will be instigated by Paul Holdengräber.

Robert Wilson is among the most distinguished theater directors of our time. Creator of such works as The King of Spain and The Life and Times of Sigmund Freud, Wilson also collaborated with Philip Glass on the hugely successful opera Einstein on the Beach. Today, Wilson’s accomplishments are recognized not only in the spheres of theatre and opera, but also in the visual arts. Retrospectives of his work have been held throughout the world, and his installations have appeared in several Guggenheim museums, among other venues worldwide.

This event marks the US publication date of The Watermill Center – A Laboratory for Performance – Robert Wilson’s Legacy, a new book about the first 20 years of The Watermill Center.  It will also feature the new book Robert Wilson From Within edited by Margery Arent Safir.

Organs in The Snow
Opening Reception: Sep 30, 8-11pm

A Group Show and Story by Rachel Mason

Dan Asher / John Baldessari / Michael G. Bauer / Michael Bilsborough / Nancy deHoll / Jen Denike / Tim Dowse / Ellie Ga / Laleh Khorramian / Jason Lazarus / Mamiko Otsubo / Samuel White

Opening Night Performances: Thank You Rosekind, Doom Trumpet, No Sky God, Mark Golamco

She was a lion sitting on her dad’s shoulders. They formed a totem of two heads, one large, one small as they walked down the street. Powerful with her lion-painted face, she stuck her tongue out at a man passing by. He tripped on the side of his foot and then fell to the ground.

The girl’s father didn’t realize that his daughter scared the man, causing him to fall. The man already had a fear of children. The girl’s father also didn’t realize that had he reached his hand out to help, the man wouldn’t now have two permanent rods conjoined in his hip bone, and wouldn’t have lapsed into a permanent hallucinatory state from which he’d never recover.

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