Capsule is a series featuring the writing of Robert Gibbons
[Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967), 1908
oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 29 in., Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA]
Vortex of Writing
Train Glasgow to Edinburgh. Same Mexicali to Guadalajara. Munich-Salzburg. Peroni Beer truck Rome to Genoa. Mail boat Rijeka to Split, bus Split to Belgrade, plane Belgrade to Venice. Barge Paris via Moret-sur-Loing to Sens. Drive all night from Memphis to Elk City, Oklahoma. In rental over high pass to Calistoga, or down Route I-5 out of Seattle with Mount Rainier forcing its way into corner of eye all the way to Olympia. Chauffer-driven van with assembled film crew all the way from Mexico City down to Veracruz. Even the inferno of Sunset Boulevard will well up with sixteen-year-old in the back seat, track marks visible on her arms. However late in early morning today, the deep desire for mechanical, physical, imaginal transport toward ecstasy, where travel & freedom (time & liberty as Apollinaire might say) merge into the vortex of writing. Walk down narrow rue Jacob, or Bertin Poirée by accident, or filled with purpose. Sentences in steps. Fragments up out of train tracks. Single words culled out of rancid diesel on anonymous Dublin Street. Shivering in a Glasgow café with luggage in storage at cheap hotel we can’t get into for another five hours, happily embracing. Wishing I could envision a seat at the Maestranza arena in Seville, (similar to our box above the orchestra in the Parterre at the Met?), or at the bar at the Ritz in Madrid before standing in front of Goya’s Black Paintings in the Prado. (Granted, I once turned the corner unprepared for Picasso’s Guernica in New York’s MOMA.) Once claimed to have left my past behind, but not today. Dive into Mediterranean in Nice to cure aftermath of sweet vermouth served at gallery opening the night before. Don’t even mind university professors boring me stiff in Edinburgh, what with all the time in the world to let their babble fall on deaf ears. But listen to Axel in Bremen, or Manuel in Oaxaca, or Bent at the Louisiana Museum outside Copenhagen, & one knows why one roams & wanders on foot, or by train, or bus, boat, plane, truck. Proust via involuntary memory hearing tap on lip of teacup calling up hammer against locomotive wheel.