aldo poem memory story

by Dougie Padilla

so, do you remember
back in the olden times, like
maybe fifteen years ago
when aldo grew up and destroyed
most all the civilizations of babylon,
grew them out of bag after bag of clay,
created endless small ancient buildings and towns,
labored long ecstatic hours/days/months,
all in his studio/gallery in the california building
in northeast back in was it the zeros?

well, me, i remember him,
mad as a hatter, dressed all babylonian,
tromping thru his enormous earthen
creation of that great city,
destroying each and every bit of his
long hard work, the gods run amuck,
run amuck all the while 70 or so patrons
watching that mesopotamian game
broadcast to the gallery next door
like it was the superbowl,
the great distancing of television
mirroring the schizo lives
we all live these modern days.

me, i broke thru the “police lines”
and into aldo’s studio just in time
to see him, entranced, destroying every bit
of babylon, destroying his fabled creation,
and then saw him stagger and fall from
the large platform that had birthed babylon,
fall to the floor, costumed guards
racing to his side to minister to his recovery,
babylon razed, civilization reimagined,
audience entertained, archives fed, legends
ignited.

it was the most astounding performance art
i had ever encountered (and i’ve seen my share).
backed with years of reading and research,
years of patron corralling and fund raising,
months of clay structure building and rebuilding
that great miniature babylonian culture,
only to have it all ravaged in a heart beat
by a mad artist/god,
bent on riding a great tidal wave of art
into posterity.

my god.

how honkin’ brilliant.

copyright dougie padilla 2019