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An Inordinate Sorrow

July 18, 2022

An Origin of A-R-T by Liam Rector

Winsome Bob meets Katherine & drops Nancy.
Nancy burrows even deeper
into her studies of semiology, at Yale.
Bob, following his penis
after languid years of domestic affection,
goes to Ann Arbor to join Katherine,
who fitfully jabs at her doctorate
concerning the History of Art.

The Needlewoman

Artist: Diego Velázquez


Bob takes up Arts Administration at U. Michigan,
picturing a foothold
into the world of money & aesthetics
for Katherine & himself.
Meanwhile Nancy drops her studies (at Yale)
& flees to the opposite coast, to read.

As is often the case between money & aesthetics, matters
between Katherine & Bob
grow extremely problematic & accusative.
Bob, about to hit 30 & tired of life
not seeming as lyrical as it is rumored to be,
dashes off a whining epistle to Nancy,
to her sad end of the continent,
to which he scampers

Domenico Fetti – The Repentant St. Mary Magdalene (1617-21)

after discussing things with Katherine
hedging his bet by leading Katherine to imagine
that he may someday return to Ann Arbor,
their Arts Dream still intact, & he ready to move
on it, possessed then by an unusual clarity of mind
and a thoroughly winnowed-out sense of purpose.

The Nude Lady

Nancy, by now, has been
in Los Angeles for 7 months,
recovering her love for the great books
and the solitude out of which great love
has always grown.
“No fire” is all she has for Bob
after the attempted reconciliation,
the shore lapping at their feet & so on …

Calling Katherine in Ann Arbor Bob discovers Katherine
wants no more of the lad,
that she has met a Transportation Consultant
in whom she is vaguely interested.
Bob, losing all aplomb
& sensing the criminal in himself for the first time,
accepts a hefty fellowship
from the University of Massachusetts

Vincent Van Gogh – Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1896)

where he vows to recount this tale
in all its brutal animation, honing in
on how static it all seemed as a narrative event
but how many moves, how many telling details,
how much inordinate sorrow
it actually involved.

Liam Rector was an American poet, essayist and educator. He had administered literary programs at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Wikipedia

Born: 21 November 1949, Washington, D.C., United States

Died: 15 August 2007, Greenwich Village, New York, United States

7 Comments
  1. Interesting poem. He must have been good in writing.

    • Yes I found it so lovely.
      Imagine wrapping up love stories in a single poem.
      As the reader you can fill in the details.
      I know I should have spent more time reading around the Poet’s life and his contribution to the immense body of American poetry and literature, yet I preferred the poem to take centre stage and we can then all at our leisure read more about the writer.
      Thank you for reading my blog Kinge.

      • The combination makes it an even better story. The poem was good and we can fill in the gaps. Welcome and wishing you a beautiful day 🌻

      • Thank you kinge. Yeah it also just suited my hobby of exploring artwork. There is so much to see and mostly I make an intuitive decision. Thanks for the flower, wishing you a wonderful day.

      • That’s an interesting hobby you have. Been noticing it in your posts, especially the photos you post and articles shared to. Welcome

      • Yes it is, in the absence of great art exhibitions or my not being able to visit, so naturally I do enjoy the cyber views.
        Thank you.

      • Welcome🙂

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