At the National Monument

Ted Dodson


"Beijing", Large painting by Daniel Rich

I saw across the water on a boat
I was at the national monument

I had to borrow money
I didn’t have any yet and

I was at the national monument
I was unsure if (you could see me)

I borrowed money
I wasn’t wearing what

I had a hat said
I will today

wear today a blue
scarf and hat combo I

wear often enough
it would be blue I

wear today however
(really great) you

wore green instead
which never said I

wore a color
to see you in

and to see in you
more so than ever before

and how in the mind
can it be anything else

and not be in how
do I know that

and is a refusal
in orienting

and no insights
to dignity in thinking

that a technique is
rolled in utopia

that struggles with the
fantasy of thought

that recast myself
a pornographer of being

that fucking unwilling
to render simply

that to work
with eyes half-closed

is thinking outside
the national monument

is not a network
and rejects communication

is real, the

is not given to us
to think about there

is no state without its voices
recent memory precedes

I saw across the water on a boat
to my own orientation you

wear in relation to
the water the surface unfolded

and refolded across
a state or laundry line

that split so picturesque
what couldn’t be admitted

is the feeling of arrival
at the national monument


Image: Daniel Rich, Detail of Beijing, 2014, Acrylic on Dibond, 78″ x 59″. Courtesy of Daniel Rich and Peter Blum Gallery.

A complete edition of At the National Monument is forthcoming from Pioneer Works this month.