Monday, August 1, 2022

Art Museum, Paul Vogel

Beneath a full moon 
the museum resembles 
a bird of prey; its wings 
form a moveable plasma lamp 
armed with sonic ascendancy cannons. 

Sensors on the fins monitor 
wind speed and direction. 

A pedestrian suspension bridge 
connects to an entrance hall 
of flying buttresses, pointed arches 
and ribbed vaults. 

Down below, a group of cyclists 
sorted by age, sex and basket size
ride by in their underwear 
celebrating the Lunar Mortis 
sponsored by the Church of Khonsu. 

Before the museum stands 
the greatest sculpture in the city 
“The Unnamed General 
on His Unnamed Horse” 
both lost in the Great Jalapeño Fire. 

Balancing formal acuity 
with evocative content 
it unites the populace 
and projects shared values. 

A noxious gas is released 
and the midnight crowd enters the exhibit 
in an orderly fashion 
watched over by muscular docents 
armed with thermal handguns.
Slam circuits vibrate 
through windswept corridors 
of speaking walls 
covered in hermetic runes 
and biomechanical tubes. 

The first image displays 
in crystalline detail 
the pregnant uterus of a New Forest pony.
The second image shows 
a small group of squirrels 
tussling over a pine cone full of nuts. 

Copper flashing 
and sheet metal paneling 
manipulate the plane of focus 
towards the view looking west 
showing the Ring of Flames 
mounted on variable geometry pylons. 

A glass wall surrounds the courtyard. 

In the center, submerged in blue liquid
is what appears to be a baby’s arm
holding an apple. 

The museum cafe offers 
an ever-changing menu 
of contemporary cuisine 
inspired by the feature exhibition
“Nature and the American Vision” 
appropriate for appetites 
both hearty and petite. 

A holographic menu appears 
at each table. 

For dining al fresco 
service extends to the terrace 
offering a view of the Great Aqua Pit. 

Hand railings protect visitors from injury.
A healthy selection of beers 
and imported whiskeys 
enlivens the performance 
of traditional Irish music. 

Sample a tray of Weyauwega cheese. 

Visiting artists promote 
updated cultural hierarchies 
while keeping patrons busy with trivia.
Today’s special treat is Smart Fescue 
a rare breed of sentient plant life
renowned among city botanists 
and grown using the Cage System. 

An interactive hydrologic touch-tank 
contains lake sturgeon and stingrays 
as well as captive orcas 
festooned with ornamental starfish. 

Head-mounted goggles, haptic suits 
and omnidirectional treadmills 
offer visitors multidimensional 
telepresence immersion. 

Underlying algorithms are preserved 
as consciousness is carried 
across to new platforms 
collaborating with viral systems 
to enhance glowflow personalization. 

An assembly of dilithium crystals 
form the walls of the intermix chamber.
Last is the inclusive Gift Shop. 

Store assistants present each visitor 
with an individualized 
commemorative stone. 

Popular gift items include 
Kandinsky wallets with 
magnetic money clips 
Larry Sultan Oranges on Fire tea and 
Frank Lloyd Wright leather checklettes 
which come in two styles 
Classic and Grand. 

Make sure to ask about 
the membership discount.

Paul Vogel is a poet from Milwaukee. His most recent chapbooks are Ecology Center (2021) and Art Museum (2022), both published by Associate Adjunct Press. He edits, a poetry website designed by Sam Helgeson.

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