Kyle Laws | River City Poetry

The Bell and the Glass
—An installation of Duchamp’s
The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors 
and The Liberty Bell

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Again, in front of The Bride I sit,
bared before leaving Pueblo,
a Colorado town on two rivers,
stripped back to an apartment
on Tulip Street down from SKF,
Swedish ball bearing factory just
over the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge.
I’m 18, commuting to high school,
crossing a bridge in a Tempest.
On Tulip Street, I park on a hill,
hope the brake holds. Days when
it doesn’t, neighbors call out
and I chase the Pontiac down streets
marooned near tracks so Father
can form steel.

There’s a mechanical apparatus in
the lower pane of Duchamp’s glass.
Three windows that look out come later,
in a studio in Pueblo with a pull-out bed.
Duchamp’s glass broke when traveling
between Philadelphia and Brooklyn—
Father’s birthplace. There’s a pattern
to the break. It did not harm the piece.
It added texture, something you could feel.

“Can salvation have the marks of sin
that others can see?” I asked before leaving.
“Because you may not like the marks,
the cracks in glass or brass,
anything containing that much liberty.”

– Kyle Laws


Source: Kyle Laws | River City Poetry

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