“When I Run an Art Museum I Will Feature Every Artist I’ve Ever Slept With” by Lovett Finnegan

Lovett Finnegan


Hopefully it will be a lot more by then. I mean,
I’ve already got walls layered with the two painters, print-
makers, and more poets than I’d like to admit, but damn:
Wouldn’t it be nice to pump through eight foot eighties
speakers something other than his bandcamp elec-
tronica and old Dutch recorder. I can
make a whole hive of them, the tall guys who licked honey
from my hefty thighs. 

When I run an art museum, I’ll’ve acquired many more
sheets from the past weeks’ orgies. Tie them
all around like canvas to a frame. Say they’re made from mixed 
media so no one has to face the fact that’s his hair, her
sweat stain, and someone’s ungendered cum. 

When I run an art museum, whoever calls me slut 
will not be standing by the nightstand stuffed full of my all
genre’d nudes: The French Classic called Cur-
ator, Seventeen and Read-
ing, the Chokwe call Spirit Guide, the Cubist, With Spit
in Her Hair

When I run an art museum, yes, I know the woman in the red
sweater will probably say, I just don’t understand
this whole range thing. So when I
run an art museum, I will guide her to the egg
tempera of white tail deer drooling into crabapples, call the string
connecting food to life 
every pillow I’ve ever fucked on. Understand?
I’ll ask. And when she says, No 
I’ll use my hand to pry open her mouth. 

When I run an art museum, I’ll plant 
a bee colony around here somewhere to fill every crevice
in her body. They will know her stomach and crowd
her core then float back home. Their little bee dance
will tap out, This is the one
who called you slut, like they think
I care, but really when I run an art museum, I will grape-
vine back to them, Oh bees. 
This is not connection 
in the art world. And, Go home. And 
woman, please don’t cry. I apologize
for the way they behave, those bees, but it’s a quarter
past five and I need to leave. 

When I run an art museum, if the red sweatered woman listens
and if I am right ’bout the bees, she will waltz 
through the door next day with oversized 
shades tucking her cheekbones in bed. She will say, After you 
sent me away last night, I slept with my finger
down my throat to feel
less empty and woke to brown puke ’cross the floor. 

When I run an art museum, I will not say I told you so. 

When I run an art museum, I will guide her sweet 
waist to my curatorial office and show her connection
in the art world. Point to the Goya, point 
to the Schiele, point to the muqarnas 
all the bees revealed. Invite them 
to watch as I eat her out. Gold hair blending into pink
and everyone in the room 
buzzing, moaning out, I under-
stand. Oh God I understand.

from Rattle #57, Fall 2017


Lovett Finnegan: “In the spring, the high school poetry teacher/soul-mom took the class downtown to the county art museum and library, which were separated by a large, fresh patch of clover and grass. We were free to roam so long as we had a new draft by the end of the day. I’d been using my college visits that year to explore as many new art museums as I could with the idea that I would one day curate. I kept note of curatorial choices I liked as well as the things I thought I’d do differently. When I turned the first draft of this in to my teacher at the end of that day I said, ‘This is the most fun I’ve had in weeks.’ And it was.”

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