11 June 2000
The Unknown

Newspoetry Architecture Review: The New Jimi Hendrix Museum and Robot Zoo

Seattle (Associated Poets):

Microsoft millionaire Paul Allen
Is investing in a broader
Cultural Mission
In Seattle

The world's largest collection
Of Hendrix memorabilia
Housed in a
"Great Public Structure"

The Space Needle still rules
My second favorite American monument
After the arch, its elegant simplicity, its math

But downtown Seattle's new
Jimi Hendrix Museum
Is Gone!

blasted kookasaurus molded metal blob audacious out of
control in your face sheets of molded metal copper flying blob spaceship
with a rocket engine red whooshing tracks of plated windows acid rock

I think it reminds Paul Allen of LSD.
Frank Gehry is pretty cool though.
I admire the audacity.
Paul Allen should sink some dough into literature.

Museum promise limited--but Seattle's a town needs a new thing.

Strong coffee man / Wired at the times.

No apparent flat surfaces
Or angles.
"Where are the fucking windows, man?"

The structure is purple, blue, red
Its curving flank
Ornamented with scales
Of panels

Despite all my reservations, perhaps because of my reservations, I'm strangely enchanted by it. Though the word enchanted seems far too light to attach to such a structure. This building is boisteriously bulky. A mass that makes demands. For me it is the architectural, the constructed equivalent of the tulip's yawning fecundity. The building mutates as you circle it, a central flower, launched by a rocket, morphs into a robotic gladiator whale; the monorail disgorges its passengers deep in the flower's entrails. The brazenness of its vulgarity has disarmed me. Will the ceasefire last or will my current enthusiasm embarrass me eventually?

Q: So whattaya think of the new Hendrix museum?
A: As far as some random millionaire coming to our city and making a building we don't need, I like it fine.

We gotta go see the robot zoo though.

Newspoetry at Spineless Books