Archived Exhibition

Lane Hagood: The House of the Solitary Maggot

Thu, Apr 3, 2014 → Sat, May 3, 2014

Lane Hagood

Art in America

Warning to the Reader


The author will not answer for any problems his writings may raise:

It may be hard on the reader

But he'll have to accept this from here on in.

After pulling apart the doctrine of the Holy Trinity

Did Sabellius, great humorist and theologian,

Answer for his heresy?

And if he did, it must have been something!

He did it the craziest way,

Basing his answer on such a heap of contradictions!


The doctors of the law say this book shouldn't see light:

The word rainbow can't be found anywhere in it, 

Much less the word sorrow

Or torquate.

Sure there's a swarm of chairs and tables,

Coffins! Desk Supplies!

All of which makes me burst with pride

Because, as I see it, the sky is coming down in pieces.


Those mortals who've read Wittgenstein's Tractatus

Can beat their chests

Because it's a hard book to find:

But the Vienna circle broke up years ago,

Its members scattered without leaving a trace

And I've decided to declare war on the cavalieri della luna.


My poetry may well lead nowhere:

"The laughter in this book is canned!" my detractors will argue

"Just crocodile tears!"

"These pages bring yawns instead of sighs!" 

"He kicks and screams like a baby crying for the breast"

"The author sneezes to make himself understood"

All right: I invite you to burn your ships

Like the Phoenicians, I'm trying to develop my own alphabet.


"Then why give the public such a hard time?" my friendly readers will ask:

"If the author himself begins by putting down his own work,

How good can it be, after all?"

Watch out, I don't put anything down

OR better yet, I'll praise my way of seeing things,

I'm proud of my shortcomings

I'll praise my creations to the skies


Aristophanes' birds 

Buried the corpses of their parents

In their own heads

(Each bird was actually a flying cemetery),

The way I see it

The time has come to bring this ritual up to date

So I'll bury my quills in the heads of my readers.


– Nicanor Parra