Monday, May 04, 2015

These—three studies—for the Lola Ridge / Gwendolyn Brooks sheet presently under construction, the image built after artist and NFL athlete Ernie Barnes's picture MY MISS AMERICA (1970):

In 1959 Ernie Barnes was drafted by the Baltimore Colts. Barnes also built the picture used in the opening credits of the television series Good Times (1974-79), one of the few shows which, like Sanford and Son (1972-77) and Rosanne (1988-97), sensitively and rigorously attended to issues of class. So the Ridge / Brooks sheet, the object tentatively titled BACK YARDS after two poems, one by each. First Lola Ridge's poem "Back Yards" (1923):
Under the seamless snow
The sky is like a vast ash-pit
Where the buried sun
Rankles in a livid spot.
And then Gwendolyn Brooks's "A Song in the Front Yard" (1963):
I want to go in the backyard now
And maybe down the alley
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today. 
Good times. Always.