The Ones That Got Away – a sestina

For Machine Project at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 15 November 2008

Garden on top of the elevator. Student driver parking valets. Child docents.
Clap-activated lighting. Boat puppets. Laser eyed statue heads—please guard
your eyes. Beware of pie toss. Saint Bernard with brandy neck-cask wandering
around the landscape paintings. Abandoned luxury items. Preparator workshop.
Can we drill into the floor? Whoopie cushions, everywhere. A voice hidden
inside a pedestal occasionally shouts out a comment or interjection.

Zombie mob. 11 a.m. blackout on the lawn, snoozing to sunburn: Bladdo!
Sunset solitaire. Escalator skiing. Knitting while drumming. Docent
lecture: a close analysis of the design of those lovely little couches hidden
amongst Greco-Roman artifacts. Synchronized fountain wading. Security guard
misinformation campaign. Cookies… with curators. Solar oven workshop
and bake-off. Business card menger sponge. Professional dog walker wandering

the halls with a pack of hounds. Giant skunk. Loud procession wandering
through the entire museum. Welcoming birdsong. Art curators: Fight!
In a dark exit, a mysterious toilet. Motorized birdhouses—a workshop.
Contemporary art pole dancer. A surprise massage from a guard or docent.
Edible plants of the Miracle Mile. “Please Don’t Touch the Fogel”—guards
keep people away from him. Truth or Bronze Casting? Hot tub hidden

in a stairwell. Skunk hunter with giant net. Methane gas alarm: the hidden
story. Carnival barker. Giant kitten. An insect door for insects wandering
in and out. Op-art handball. Acoustic theremin. Please be on your guard
inside the Richard Serra sculpture, as you may be mugged… by Hamburgler!
A secret play: “Afternoon with The Silent Guard and the Grumpy Docent”
Bumper cars. Grammar rodeo. Edible weed salad for sale in the gift shop.

Machine Project hot sauce: now there’s something for the gift shop.
Obligatory Wizard of Oz reference? Paranoid-critical texts describe hidden
histories of object provenance. Mime trapped in real vitrine. Docent
tour on the changing fashionability of small heads. Wandering
paths marked with arrows on floor. Poetry stairwell. Monorail!
William Shatner oil painting. Giant lawn darts. LACMA security to guard

Machine while we’re away. When confronting infinity mirror, guard
yourself against the vast power of infinity. Postcards in gift shop
of an overweight photographer reflected in a shiny art object: Nude!
Art appreciation air horn. Behind a revolving bookcase, you find a hidden
wing of the museum. Remarkably poor carpentry. Helpful docent wandering
through museum, discussing the art. Wait… is this person actually a docent?

The scent of popcorn. An oil drum with burning trash and hot dogs, disregarded.
Wandering through the artifacts of modernity, a lone zombie seeks the gift shop.
Hidden grow lab. Animatronic tabla. Erotic pottery, broken. Lost nose: Found!