to the guest critic in my studio art course who said my work looked like graffiti by Eve L. Ewing
but that’s not this drawing, you feel me— ?
actually this is a reproduced rendering from a Dan Flavin installation study
“sixteen ‘monuments’ for V. Tatlin,” 1967.
an index of my misspent youth
leaving school and taking the 82 to the brown line to the red line
to the Water Tower and walking to the MCA and watching
the fluorescent tubes in the dark rooms,
leaning against the wall like a dare,
like going to get a drink of water
and finding yourself in the stairwell with an older boy.
all the gum poppin i’ve done, all the feckless scrutiny
in the Tate, the Pompidou, the Prado, the MoMA,
15 at the Whitney Biennial,
10 snatching up expensive crackers off the table at a gallery in River North.
i mean yeah
we can talk pitchfork. we can talk permission wall.
we can talk freight car. i mean you wanna talk we can talk.
i speak wheatpaste.
and I speak your thing too. i speak white wall. i speak placard.
so what i’m saying is
that’s not this drawing you feel me
but i speak two pens
so holler at me whenever lady, if you got a question or something
Eve L. Ewing is a Chicago-born poet and essayist. Her work has been published in Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, Union Station, Bird’s Thumb, and Blackberry, and the anthology The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop (Haymarket Books). She has been a Pushcart Prize nominee and a scholarship recipient for the New Harmony Writers Workshop. Eve is an editor and staff writer for the website Seven Scribes, an organizer of the Louder Than A Bomb youth poetry slam in Massachusetts, and one-half of the poetry duo Echo Hotel, alongside Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib. She lives in Boston. Author photo by Justin Dawson.