Race¹ by Clara B. Jones

The game changed when race became fluid

And you learned to fry catfish in Chile

Before Lorna Simpson was shown at Sean’s gallery

Her “Cloud, 2005” praised by ArtSpace®


Hal Foster calling it signifier of cultural discourse

After Rosalind Krauss wrote the work is gray on a gray field.

The “serigraph on felt” inspired like e-streams

Disrupting abstract projects


But Mykki Blanco’s poems had interpretive power

Inhabiting non-binary boxes—

Like Selk’nam women doing the work of men.

Nam Chau’s mordant memory of Germany


Presaged climate change

Though poets were making plastic art

While children in Beijing died from toxic air.

You saw paintings you needed to have


And good taste has taken you far

But it’s time to move forward—

Avoid protest art

And weigh the cost of each installation.


¹Inspired by Art in America (December 2006)


Bio: Clara B. Jones practices poetry in Silver Spring, MD (USA). As a woman of color, she writes about the Arts, Sciences, Technology, and the Environment and conducts research on experimental poetry, as well as, radical publishing. Clara is author of four chapbooks, and her poetry, reviews, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in various venues.

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