Cary Barney: “Golub”


On the bus home you ask me
what we’ve seen.
I try to conjure Leon Golub–

huge rags of canvas shouting
red and black from gallery walls,
flat, scratchy, torn, bleeding, exploding,
dog fang and tank tread
rendering the dead,
manacled victims dangling,
naked puppets dancing
for laughing torturers,
Moloch triumphant,
a piss-yellow sphinx
slashing at us with knived paws

and you listen, clutching fervently
at what’s already being erased
by the flipped-switch gene
that killed your father too
and fifty-fifty might get your kids.
Hold on, Rosendo,
to whatever shards we can save for you
of this dwindling world.


Cary Barney was born on Long Island, raised in Massachusetts, received a BA from Marlboro College and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. He has lived in Spain since 1991 and teaches theater and writing at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s