CAMP & KITSCH
Modes of Cultural Appropriation & Resistance
Allison Adelle Hedge Coke
hot summer steam-heavy
when they were young
half-lean half-sass full-ready
over to Angostura rounding
banks in swift steps
until I plunged in, swam out,
while the boys cleared the beach
in no time, draped brown, brown.
Those maxed deep waters blue
kept me cradled, held there
while each one of five slid
in to wade nearer bank shade
before float lines sliced drag,
Once an enemy onshore said,
“Well, she’s not afraid of deep water”
then, he too, climbed into black jeep
squealed away like skipping spider.
July 18, call from Bismarck
just up north. The next to youngest swam
way out, to depth three times
my cradle hold, then under Lake Oahe.
Airlifted, guided into coma, life support
allowing atrophied lungs time to loosen
enough for flow to travel.
He unraveled. I joked, just stick to the rivers and the lakes
that you’re used to, when he woke.
I meant, I’m sorry I didn’t keep them careful.
Always taking the dive, leaning into freedom
watery echo peace, surrendering to water/sky
while they controlled the beach, just by being,
So last week Russell’s like, come to dinner with me and John Olds.
John fucking Olds. Sold his last sculpture for half a million dollars, no joke. Anyway he’s been huge in New York since like the mid-nineties, and Russell’s been working for him for a year and a half now, but I’ve been playing it cool since I got to the city. Haven’t even gone by the studio or anything. Peeping around corners or whatever.
Then Russell’s like, come to dinner with me and John.
So I’m like, OK, where?
I mean I’m actually excited, like what else am I going to do to get out of my shithole sublet on a Friday night? But still. Playing it cool.
Russell’s like, This Chinese place off Bowery.
So I’m like, OK, why?
And then his voice does that thing like he’s putting on his dad tie. He’s like, You’re an artist, he’s an artist. It’s time you start making these connections and really working them.
Uh huh. I kind of don’t think John Olds is going to be into a painter from some bum-fuck suburb in L.A. Especially a painter who went to some ritzy East Coast art school, since I don’t think John graduated from college. He’s like this super masculine, hands-on sculptor. Dildos and goopy black paint, etcetera. I mean it’s interesting, but kind of tired after the nineties. So I see why he loves Russell. My stuff, I don’t know.
Anyway Russell’s like, Come on, it’s just a dinner, but seriously, it could lead somewhere.
Chanhee Choi*, Kyle Goen*, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Anne Lindberg, Portia Munson, Kevin Ritter, Elyla Sinvergüenza, Gabriel Yarince Perez Setright, Linda Stillman, Ken Tannenbaum, Adejoke Tugbiyele, Fredman Barahona
Maddie Butler*, Andrew Demirjian & James Proctor, Richard Holeton, Stuart Moulthrop, Jody Zellen*
Helen Hofling, Jennifer Maritza McCauley, Katie Vane
Jan Zlotnik Schmidt
Eric Benick, Latiana Blue, Emma Bolden, Dorothy Chan, Lucia Cherciu, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Emily Hunerwadel, Loss Pequeño Glazier, Rikki Santer, Laura LeHew
Amy Brady, Dylan Suher
* works only available in digital edition