William Levy – Two Mornings in Amsterdam (1): Lost Soles

A lot of people wanted
to be in his shoes.
Rob Scholte (36)
the great white hope
of the Dutch art
scene, a homegrown
Jeff Koons
handsome and bold
decadicly scrumptious
a kitschy, quirky intense talent
I thought
when translating his
pleonastic catalog for the
Venice Biennale
a few years ago.
Since then
he bounced between
global commissions
cocooned as an art celebrity
with money, women, villas
and cars.
One rainy morning in November
he slid into his BMW
parked on a sidestreet in
Fashionable Jordaan district
twisted the key in the ignition
switch of the vehicle and a split
second later there was an explosion.
Carbombed by a crafty critic
his lithe young blond
ex-model companion
suffered only minor
cuts and bruises
from this grenade serenade.
At the bottom of
every piece of ill luck
there’s the wrong choice
the slip of the will
opening the door
to disaster.
Rob Scholte always big
Is smaller now.
He can still paint:
His eyes and hands are intact.
but he lost both legs below
the knee, aesthetically brought
down a couple of pegs by harsh art
with a, hidden agenda.
(Shoes for Scholte committee
will not be meeting next Tuesday:
there were not enough heels to attend.)
The smashed and charred
was placed on exhibition
in a gallery
Radical readers everywhere
Brutus’ razor-sharp kritkos
they’d stuck Kit Marlow in the eye
for Dostoyevsky’s firing squad
to fantasies of pickaxing Trotsky
in benediction to lick
blood from the boot that kicked Pasolini
Khomeni’s rushdie to judgement
the Greenwich Meridian to stop time
the standard meter demanding
restoration of the sacred measures
the Anne Frank house
expectorating guilt.
The Scholte Affair
seems to be part of this trend.
Next March on a morning in Milan
an elegantly dressed
fundamentalist footwearphobe
made an extremist
fashion statement.
Taking Merrit Oppenheim’s
shoe work
(trussed-up heels
in the air
looking like sides of beef)
one step further
he shot Maurizio Gucci
in the face three times
then quietly walked away.
Assuming the stance
of the anarchist
in Conrad’s story
of the same name:
” I deny nothing!”

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Lost Soles” published first in Billy’s Holiday: Ten Lampoons in Verse by William Levy (Amsterdam: Transactions of the Invisible Language Society, no. 10, 1995).