Embrace The Rot

In response to a particularly nasty downtown Ventura blight, Askew poetry journal editor Phil Taggart did what artists do: he got creative.  The poet/filmmaker, artist declared it a public art installation for last week’s ArtWalk Ventura and made a film (of course) with an accompanying poem (of course) that basically made a mockery of the New Art City’s obsession with image but more importantly,  affected change, proving that art can and does directly impact communities. A matter of days after the film was uploaded to YouTube, the eyesore that had been sullying Thompson Blvd. for many months mysteriously vanished.

Here is the film. Below is the poem.

Last Stop by Phil Taggart

at this bus stop in the late seventies I met the Wildman

he was headed to the valley to dig new with Mister Z.

truth    baby     word

today abandoned a burned out RV

leans up against this empty building

the fire taking a corner of its structure

this is the thing you know the real thing

modern post modern urban real urban apocalypse

where business addresses art addresses national security

addresses leisure addresses the circus.

why not replicate and renew this cosmopolitan entertainment space

with some bbq and alehouse dreamscape      its history and future      now

think Sistine Chapel, Oh Superman, Michelangelo’s David, Angor Wat, Disneyland,

some really excellent carnitas at a local taqueria

think ethnic exotic food trucks from gentrified inner city scenarios

with Mike Davis autographed cocktail napkins

we are this charcoal, melted aluminum, frayed asbestos, powdered fiberglass

a litter of fast food convenience store nirvana

embrace  the notion of rot

its impermanence accelerates

in an estatic free market whirlwind

the dream that we all share with twinkies

immediate    erotic    toe rings

and cute little pink golf carts.

we are all wild here

our feet tracking in the debris

the holy debris anointed  truth

then it all slips away…


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