Pink Figure

This spot of Burgess Smith Road is cool and green with a creek that’s narrow enough to jump over. The forests are thick and tall, nicely unkempt. A couple of gravel paths head up the hills and curve around, keeping their destinations secret. Who knows what might happen when I walk up one? Please take…

Bridge on the Ohio

Approaching the bridge into Indiana on a warm winter day, I am again struck by the structure of the thing, the joints and bolts, the idea of building high over the river. I think about the people decades ago sketching and erasing and probably smoking a lot. I think about the Yoko Ono album I’ve…

Chandeliers, Hotel Utica

Thick columns reach from the marble floor up to rows of chandeliers so huge, so bright even Judy Garland must have stopped and cocked her head back to stare up like a mortal at the wonder the first time, like me. I follow one row and then another, back fifty, sixty years, a century. For…

ROM: VARIATIONS

ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM, TORONTO Five intersecting crystals crash into Bloor Street, and people walk by as if nothing has happened. The chaos of angles and grids, the canted planes, the force with which the perfect shapes enter the earth . . . these are not from our world. I stand and look at the impossibility…

Rock and Roll

The plaza, the pyramid, the escalators—the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants to be important. Inside, visitors pass each other awkwardly, riding up and down. The view from the café across the tubular trusses to the gift shop below is dramatic. The costumes of living and dead inductees hang next to each other on…

Anecdote of the Arch

We’re driving I-64 for 320 miles when we get to East St. Louis and notice how this part of it, anyway, looks like any place with a Lowes and a Wal-Mart and fast food ghettos. Then suddenly in front of us the arch glows in the white sun, rising above the bridges and underpasses, taking…

Cityscape: Lexington, Kentucky (#1)

Modest, downtown mostly hugs the ground, the few tall exceptions sources of pride and embarrassment. I’m easily drawn to Triangle Park, near the center, with its long curved fountain. The water is loud and colorful, a miracle framed by busy streets. It makes me happy. I try to see what color the water is, exactly,…