BY TIMOTHY DYKE
after Ellsworth Kelly’s “Austin”
Begin with questions about allegiance to minimal
forms. I decide not to chase any kind of mimicry.
I will be a weed on the white wall or a bug crawling
through. My path is mostly linear, guided by place.
My plan was to build my vacation around remedying
the BBQ Error of 2012: I bailed out of the Franklin line.
I read about the Ellsworth Kelly structure online.
There are those called by Jesus, but Our affinity is minimal.
The quiet space in the art museum can be remedying
for those who seek the Spirit, not through mimicry
but through form’s essence. Color is shape’s place.
In the mythology of Calvary, Jesus Christ is crawling.
John overdosed on lithium and vodka on Long Island. Crawling
begets ascension. In DC in the 1990s on acid, we stood in line
to enter the newly opened Holocaust museum, a place
to see Ellsworth Kelly’s panels, tablets or tombstones, minimal,
sacred monoliths. I know an ethno-botanist who studies mimicry.
History has a way of forgetting. John’s last email, Re: me dying.
Lisa invites me to a church for her son’s cello concert remedying
the problem of where to meet. Downtown is crawling
with more than tourists. Lisa seeks meditation. I kneel in mimicry.
She breathes into a halo of squinted rainbow light. Line
of vision settles into bounced sun ray. Love’s ism is minimal.
Peace shares its symbols. Truth is love in this secular place.
Spin songs into dream clouds. Emerging from her happyplace,
Lisa wants to fix me up with her sons’ sperm donor. Remedying
my social life becomes only one priority. My interest is minimal
until he invites me to see big screen Bringing Up Baby. Crawling
wildcat is funnier than frightened wildcat. Talking Jaws in line
at the Paramount, I aim for authenticity, not any kind of mimicry.
He tells me he thinks the Kelly thing is Rothko Chapel mimicry.
He hasn’t seen Austin, says modern art makes him feel out of place.
I try to say what I think about death, but it sounds like a line.
Let us seek simplicity when wounds of mind need remedying.
I used to look in mirrors to see shame on my skin, crawling.
Now I seek ecstasy in smoked brisket. In the major, find the minimal.
The joy of color is crawling to light. There is sorrow in every place.
Ideas of love keep remedying the fissure between shadow and outline.
Epiphany can be minimal. The taper in God’s geometry defies mimicry.
“Visiting Austin to see Austin last summer inspired me in so many ways. I am thrilled to share the sestina I wrote after reflecting a bit on the experience. I'm grateful to Bat City Review for publishing the poem. “
Timothy Dyke is a writer and teacher who lives amongst parrots in Honolulu, Hawai'i. He is the author of the chapbook, Awkward Hugger, and the prose poem collection, Atoms of Muses, both published by Tinfish Press. Tinfish will publish his new book, MAGA, in 2019. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in Drunken Boat, Spork Online, New Guard Review, Gramma Poetry, Santa Monica Review and other publications. In 2012, he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona.