These images were taped together and stuck in an old sketchbook. I love the idea of triptych. I got to thinking what this one was about, or rather, what I was trying to say other than putting things together and seeing how they relate. I do remember this was the day that we costumed as gypsies and I was tied to a Metropolitan column. Screaming during the photo shoot until a crowd had gathered. We did, however, disappear before the police showed up.
It had something to do with that evening’s wall installation for a nightclub. We made illustrations painting white dancing macabre figures on black plastic trash bags. Behind on deadline, and very impatient, we doubled the number of images in half the time by wet coping them on more trash bags, Rorschach test style. Ugh, that reminds me of painting backdrops in an abandon house, winching as we heard the rats chasing across the sagging sketchy roof.
You know, creepy.
Of course there were, and are, also the true quiet profound moments. Those just don’t seem as loud, or come forward as often.Strange.
Hello up there stop
Supply and demand has flubbed gone awry as there is not any chocolate in the house to be found stop General time is standing still and specific time goes out of the window without being sent stop On my desk sits a dark oxblood leather attaché wallet stop It is soiled in the bottom edges with splattered bird droppings and the lock smashed and half missing stop So it seems I have in my possession the curious case stop But the brown shoes have now gone missing stop The moonlight over through you stop Alert all who may not care
About three-thirty in the nighttime, I came across a makeshift temple with a handwritten sign. Anyone that trespasses will be recruited.
The sky is alight with a form of distress signal I am unfamiliar with. The stars are not quite still, but alive with vibration as though the earth’s mounting energy obscures the clear deep space. Leaves close as com/radicals dart away into the greenery. Running along they trail fire with the ironic confidence of Hansel and Gretel.
I am drawn to this warming flame, it leads me. If the way out is unbound and clearly open then the way in is too clear. Without boarder crossing, without fence caging. No wall to leave messages for others to misinterpret, or to tell of a particular angle. Left unbound to play with fire’s emotion and the appropriate longing to inter/fear with the fire. All’s fair, so there is no need to qualify the hankering for the inner war of passion and the outer, too real. With eyes of fire no one can see. In this is confusion nothing is forgotten, only left behind.
I’m hit and assumption fills the being I am. Dropping my chin I see an arrow protruding from my breast the see the blood leak and rush into the earth in an anxious soaking to become one with the subtle energy that we all belong to in the end.
Looking up, I sway to an ancient internal rhythm and fall onto my knees. Eyes see vulture forms as ink spots above me, then twist and depart as if they were a mere thought flushed from the sky. Everywhere an echo of the outskirts of civilization.
I now long to take a partner by the hand. To follow and join with the parade I am slipstreaming into, but my mind turns and sees only one. Anteros is wiping his tears as he laughs at my shocked numbness. Not asking nor waiting for a reply he turns and haphazardly lets another arrow fly. It is shot into the sky power/full straight and at its far zenith levels, overcome by the earth’s pull of gravity. The weighty point leads a graceful arch down from the sky. Somewhere another is hit in the back. This victim’s victim wonders why, even as he knows the answer.
The moon fades to blackness and I am left alone without senses. I hear no longer the breeze through the heavy flapping green. I see no longer the details of this plane, only three mutinous shining moons. Three romantic old men mocking each other. I feel no longer the heat of a burning heart. Only a low resonating hum that becomes deeper, stronger and overwhelms me. Aware of a nonexistent kingdom so close that the only wholei/ness is the roof of my mouth as it expands, extending to exist beyond.
Not seeing the possibilities can sometimes be a half Hallelujah.
They peered into the cryptic question and gazed on the round table of post cards trapped between glass and masonite. Someone belched. A wooden chair creaked.
The brave one gave it a meek try,
“The answer can only be; Wonder.”
A complexion of 'eureka' and 'I wish I’d said that' scurried around the table till it hit the final player on his left side. He didn’t budge his poker face.
He remained stone for the rest to figure on whether he was seriously thinking, seriously numb, or just seriously miles away. They each gave up the read, breathed again, heads turning back toward private thought.
It was then he spoke out of turn, not knowing whose it was.
"It’s simply the Tenth Daughter. The stepchild that makes us think of something kind-of-like, sorta-to, or quite-near. Kind-of-like talking up sacred geometry. Speak that to a client and they'll eat that BS up real fast. Sorta-to like suffering through the present situation to have an enlightenment of it later.
And kind-of-like listening to a genius stutter."
The table commenced synchronized nodding and from up above it looked as though they were rehearsing for a Busby Berkeley Esther Williams swimming moment.
Tenth Daughter of Memory / deathbed revenge
(Next month perhaps Tom will have a happy little muse)
First of all, a deathbed does not seek revenge. Imagined or real.
People come to me as a last resting place. A place where you know where you’ve been, but not to where you are going. As elephants traveling out to the bone yard, or where you’ll find the deathly wounded sheltering in holes and scrubs. This place distracts from dreams and focuses concentration. A place people walk into knowing, having somehow decided, they will never walk back out. Everyone spends his or her life circling in on me. It’s like a parlor game. Reality always seems in the next room. Eventually I win.
There is history here. However, none of it judged.
What is missing is the future telling. Foretelling the future is taking away free will. Whose will is it any way? What would become of us if we controlled the present to foretell what is to be? I deal with the absolute/tion of death not the meander towards it, and certainly not the way it is handed out.
Everyone knows there is an end to everything that breathes. Does a cure take away free will? That is not miraculous, that is not prophetic, and that is not revenge for the living. No, I do not take away free will, it is will in process.
Second; I am in good shape, not broken down. Though once in a while I am, for lack of space. It is then I need to be re-built. That’s when I come in a kit of 22 easy to assemble symmetrical parts. For more rental dough I come with a pillow, for an uneven total of 23 parts. It is indeed a hard mean little pillow. You pay for the plastic wrap of new.
Thirdly: I do not recognize indulgences. You will have had to already taken care of that before you get to me. I simply pronounce the unconditional after passing the threshold.
Stretching the rules Right Over Yourself
(And I mean) tedious random notes from a notebook.
Not very often, I’ll look into an old codex and read where my mind was at the time. Try to figure out my connection to the page. First, of course it’s deciphering phonetic spelling, and the mistakes of my furiously getting something down.
Dream of a refusal to listen to silent books.
A combination of misunderstood and thirsty.
Look for an alternate tribe.
Revisit an old painting -She Carried a Blazing Flag and was Looking for a Cause.
Meet someone who wants to become a pamphleteer. Not the type you run across the street to get away from.
Decide whether life is detritus. Or not.
Always remember that understanding poetry is kind of like asking someone to untie some else’s knot.
O me to be trapped
Forever on the outside
to circle trying
To understand a/way in
But glass is solid
To name a hard nothingness
Without a crack or
Muntin of a meeting place
And so to recoil
Into my own hush-hush prism
Of well defined space
Figuring the alien
Out there circling
The glass bowl of a sharp eye
Within an/other eye
Creepy but now contented
Strange but for contents
You’ll know when the light is on
Remember there’s no
Way hiding the obvious
Though safe from weather
Except from the winds of change
— Of normality
And the winds of cunning words
Does all of this count?
Is this place indeed soundproof?
If I can’t hear them,
Are they allowed to hear me?
I can see I can see through,
I can see stones lined
Up like gray broken teeth.
Standing in a row
Announcing just quietly
That someone has gone
Down beneath to stain that spot
If you cant see me
You aren’t here you are there.
Eyes clear and open
Though imbedded with mem/ries
Streaking the one good
Decent enjoyable view
Why the need to think about
The day after now
And the yesterday prior?
The glass and stone meet and play,
Who will always win the game?
Moment in time is magic
Highlands are between
The yearning and the learning
This will conjure up
An episode of kinda
Full of excuses
With emphasis on humane
Life is an algorithm
Warrior cloud heads east
History of logic is
Full of dramatic
Episodes of eureka
That will lend credence
Well this is nothing like that
Needing somewhere to place them
Words are not my first language
Compassion near by
Obvious not yours either
Plateau in the clouds
Ends unexpectedly soon.
If we cant escape our fears,
What then, will they do to us?
choka — for 10thdom
Dropping her fetters in the wings, she walks into the straight jacket of the theater in the mind.
She squints her eyes with childish solipsism making the eidolons mere whips in the dark space. The others had fallen into an echoing silence over the years, long ago. And just now.
Offstage in queue they sport costumes of heavy antique bullion and quilted brocade designed and built many years ago, mimicking a hundred years before that. A set of lovers coo, a pirate is selling buckets from a red corvette, another dangling a silver spoon, a child inside a feline, a drooling hunchback, a chorus in deep eggplant chiffon, each waiting a turn while the henchman fumbles with a noose.
Brushing by the understudy she hears break a leg whispered under a breath. The cliché rings in her ears until the deafening roar of the audience applauding becomes inescapable because of its absence. A queue is up. Closing eyes altogether, she gathers herself and charges out onto center stage expecting to be spell bound.
Settling into first position, centering, she glances up at the vacant right box. The big seat is empty. It is unworn and has always been empty. He is not coming. Again. There is freedom in that seat being empty.
Her eyes travel to the pit where the conductor’s arm is paused midair. Once and again a bond with the stick is made as it begins to flaunt and conjure and she easily steps into the slipstream following the major chord.
The exalted feeling is somewhere amid earthbound limitation. That gift does not come from a butt in the seat. Habit dictates she play her part without hesitation, as there is a cycle to round every week about this time.
When there isn’t scenery one must chew the curtain. The deep crimson fabric pulled up into a sculptured form hovering and leering at the wraithlike audience. The newly replaced footlights again glare like skinned eyeballs staring down and daring a reaction. Her flow steps up into the air and glides from stage left to right. This is when you can believe you are in the presence of a god. She knows sometimes it does not happen. Sometimes everything is in place and there is only disappointment. A spin turns staccato, as she becomes a marionette leaping and dragged down stage.
Rejected again. They aren’t coming. You think my dancing stinks? How about this move…
With a chaotic thrash of the body her leg shoots out and a foot ends in a severe punt to a footlight.
How does this one grab you?
Chaos takes the dance away from her.
One by one the lights erupt, flicker and die.
…And this, ass, they are foot-lights, yes?
She spins and hits with deft precision of practice until the only glow left is coming from her face.
The music ends in a deadly crescendo as her breath heaves and the lyrical stillness left behind brings her back to perennial dark Monday. Audition was again over for another week. She descended the stage steps into the house, making room for Next.
A few choices;
I’ll be satisfied with this, and leave it go.
A loose knotted ending so the spirits can come sit for a spell,
and then be on their way.
Then they went down together, and the King awoke, and the Queen, and the whole court, and looked at each other in great astonishment. And the horses in the court-yard stood up and shook themselves; the hounds jumped up and wagged their tails; the pigeons upon the roof pulled out their heads from under their wings, looked round, and flew into the open country; the flies on the wall crept again; the fire in the kitchen burned up and flickered and cooked the meat; the joint began to turn and frizzle again, and the cook gave the boy such a box on the ear that he screamed, and the maid plucked the fowl ready for the spit.
And then the marriage of the King's son with Briar-rose was celebrated with all splendour, and they lived contented to the end of their days.
Bunuel/My Last Sigh, D.Thomas/Portrait of the Artist as Young Dog,
J.Steinbeck/East of Eden, M.Hurd/Goodnight Moon, Unfinished Script/JHH, M.Twain/Joan of Arc,
H. Melville/Moby Dick, N. Gaiman/Mr. Punch, Bros. Grimm/Briar Rose.
J.Steinbeck/East of Eden, M.Hurd/Goodnight Moon, Unfinished Script/JHH, M.Twain/Joan of Arc,
H. Melville/Moby Dick, N. Gaiman/Mr. Punch, Bros. Grimm/Briar Rose.
He held the winged doll in his arms cradling it as he swayed back and forth imaging the life it represented.
Squinting into the sun he thought of the disadvantage of sword fighting against the light with the opponent in silhouette. He moved toward the surf and knelt down dragging the figure onto the sand. The silk brocade fabric wicked up the salt water splaying it in a meander following the woven pattern upwards to the collar. The darkening of the form interested him and he studied it with intent, not hearing the small girl child come up and plop beside him with familiarity, the obvious question asking on her face.
He silently cursed his inability to defend and responded begrudgingly,
“Just playing at magic.”
Her look remained unimpressed so he continued,
“This is a do-it-to-it doll. Somewhere it’s happening to another real live dragon. And I’M doing it.”
He made a jab to his chest with a thumb extended from a fist.
He realized having said so the idea relied on a leap of imagination. Glancing at her sideways and seeing her charmed, he eased and had a try at being humble.
“And that makes me St. George. The magic dragon slayer. "
A soft mist encircled the early morning moon as it rose from between the sugar trees. The reflective spotlight quickly embraced all that lay in its wake as if tardy and making up for the mistake.
“Merry we meet.”
She lit a white candle on the stone altar and stepped into the circle.
It was then she felt a dragging motion as if water deadened her limbs and crawled to her neck, holding her firm as if the strangling would be slow over a period of days. At once she became aware of the necklace she had worn since her fifteen birthday. It had become a tight reminder of old songs and past chapters; all hard won to be neatly forgotten.
This convincing had the young girl emptying her pockets of the tools and findings of the day. With the look of someone having to pick out of retribution and with great ceremony he moved his hand over the collection as if sensing energy. With disenchanted enthusiasm his hand hovered over the spilling of broken Coquina, an entire twirl of tangerine peel, a bit of string, a tangle of monofilament, a barbed fishhook and broken stick. He scooped up the fish line and held it out to her.
“Let out the knots and I’ll show you.”
She struggled with that task as he easily fashioned two spears from the stick and shell with the string. He pierced his finger in testing the weapon's worth and raised an eyebrow in expectation of her compliment. She gave up the de-knotting, noting it a ruse to keep her occupied. She traced his glance to his bloody finger then back to his eyes.
She immediately regretted it. Having gained tribal trust, his smirk now seemed to tell her he would simply gross her out with playing at boy torture punishments. He doubted her, but prided himself on not discriminating upon a person’s gender, as that was to act in ignorance of a deeper truth. He ignored the retort and pushed ahead.
“This is how you kill a frog without really killing it.”
She broke the necklace and tossed it toward the candle, hitting just so, making it sputter then reignite bolder. This became a sign, a chance to reunite with the inner plane. She wanted to burn clean and begin again from the supernatural that is naturally potential.
Walking the perimeter of the circle, she made a safe countenance against the spears of invading authoritarian hierarchy.
The young girl modestly withdrew her body, as she craned her neck toward the experiment for a better look.
Not wanting her to help further, he positioned the dragon between his feet and held fast as he readied the implements of despair. Ignoring the rules of the blood-circle, he challenged the air between himself and the fire breathing dragon foe of medieval legend. With a burst of adrenalin and a spear in each hand he forced the spears into the head of the doll meeting up through the center scale.
She gazed up toward the moon and saw an apparition winging toward her. An ecstatic ride held her in a trance and whispered vaguely in a language she had yet to understand. Two eagles crashed inside her head, exploding in a light unbearably brilliant and the electrical resonance left sparks scattering throughout her being. She tore at her hair until the divine ecstasy eased. Centering herself as the ancient Omphalos, she moved out from there not looking back.
With a bend and a twist he released the victim from the spears.
The dragon lay disfigured, an interpretation of death.
The Medici sure knew a fine piece of land when they
We had trekked all afternoon with the cypress twisting along the paths. Aged statues had very few pieces left so guessing the character became harder and harder to figure. Most were propped and suspended by awkward metal rebar and metal tubes, leaving empty space equivalent to what was missing. A few of them looked as though a game had not ended, and players took turns, rather slowly, fitting in a stone puzzle piece of the body each had been dealt.
We had visited Neptune in his abbreviated habitat. He stood rock on rock, threatening his trident at a fish, while sea deities hid beneath in the hollows crouched out of the way of him doing his business.
We had chalked the mosaics and taken the obligatory photo ops. Looking around there were literally masses of opportunities begging to be violated.
With all of the other amusements in the Baboli Gardens we were still disappointed that a high sharp wire wall had sealed off the Grotto of Buontalenti. The structure seemed to be in repair, but it didn’t look as though the maintenance man would show anytime soon. Yes, 423 years can be a very long time for fake molten rock to look rather slimy and rotten. I think they may have just got sick and tired of foreigners putting their hands all over it. The day had been planned around visiting Buonarroti’s Prisoners. Actually, the fakes, as the real works were in the Galleria dell'Academia. There, the trumpet in your head goes off for David, not the six prisoners lining the nave. Mickey thought himself a tool of god, and reckoning god created free-hand, did the same. With the frenzied spirit upon him, and chisel in hand he hacked in a cloud of dust to expose the figure locked inside the stone. They say religious frenzy. What they mean is — out of time and over budget. These restless men are claustrophobic, possessed, struggling to free themselves from the stone. The figures were abandoned just as they surfaced from a pool of water. Perhaps he was satisfied with the bellies emerged shiny and finished like a target. There are no apologies in the grooves from the chisel. Emotionally charged work has always intrigued me far more than the perfection of David, who in his temple is treated to reverent gazes and hushed voices.
Of course, on the flip side, Mickey may have simply been delighting in a practice of 3/D stone sketching by pulling out muscular, tanned, and sweating bodies of the workers from the Carrara marble quarries.
Oh, how we wanted to climb that dangerous looking barbed wire and walk into that chamber. It was the only way in, unless of course you climbed on top and dropped in through the ceiling cupola.
We never took these things personally.
After we had gained entrance, we reckoned we were obliged to stay until dark.
The bathing Venus was no longer alone. The mural to the back ‘looking out’ from the shelter of the grotto was a pastoral setting of wild beasts that simply glanced over the hidden place. The play of faux, relief and dimensional made the grotto look expansive. There was a nice little kitten that had followed us in apparently taking an easier route. She was a bubbly little thing the color of whipped butter making herself at home by loitering with sheep, and curling up in a Shepard’s goblet.
Michelangelo’s men were impressive in this venue. Two of the prisoners were graced there but not imprisoned by the hardened merd that had been slug everywhere around. The well endowed bearded man and the see-no-evil figure were embedded, but stood out in white form from the Mannerist sculpture that also inhabited the cave. The two were slumped over and forward, leaning into from opposite corners.
We camped in the back near Rossi’s Helen and Paris. Talking about the surreality of situations, thinking of past moments, and wondering if we would ever think of this one hence.
On our way out in the wee hours the cypress had grown eerie sparkle lights, glowing from the damp ground to the tiptops high above us. They lit up in time, in turn, in tune with each other. How thoughtful the lightening bugs had been to enchant the garden. I half expected to see Puck fall out from behind a bush, quote a snatch of Shakespeare and disappear again into the briar.
(Kyle'd do just about anything just to hear me laugh.)
Exhausting the possibilities is fun.
Every once in a while I put out a bit of the dictionary from the ongoing work Lonnie and I are building. Here I go again.
• ready-fire-aim; The ability to start before you are altogether ready in order to initiate a beginning.
• perfection; Something that needn’t be determined in a concrete way. Something met with that is distracting.
• orphan / widow;
A word left alone, set at the top of the page on a line by itself. Lonely, confused and about to jump off. A typography term.
• dance; Code word for big argument about to happen over here. -e.g. “I’m cutting in on this one. I will take this dance.”
• mock-up; A quickly built idea in 3D to see if it is a feasible design.
• mustard & shrimp; A color story.
• working designer, a working artist – and in order to keep the “working” part of the title in the equation an artist must work. A lot. That means there is little time for the stars to align and the majestic creative muse to descend with gifts of glorious expressions of great art. No, it is more like hurling yourself in to the creative flux at a moment’s notice. It is necessary to turn on creativity at almost anytime and produce work.
• sticks; A gimmick learned for the Hong Kong episode. This skit had been organized and rehearsed numerous times, but whenever we were called upon to perform the ditty it seemed always to be changed into something none of us had ever heard of. -e.g. An inner circle joke became to compose a bewildering look in a confusing situation and ask, “Sticks?”
• scope creep; What happens when a project grows in scope silently and uncontrollably.
• left field; A proverbial place that you end up preceded by either putting your foot in your mouth, failing to impress a peer, or not paying attention to what is going on at the board meeting. -e.g. “It’s a hit! The idea ball is floating over into left field and everyone at the table is scrambling after, trying to figure it out.
Lonnie falling during the 1535 days.
Who then is the father of time? The detritus mess from which we came from. He is the one who keeps everything from happening at once, twice. The problem of which there’s too little. He is past the age that he feels he is obliged to like something and for this reason carries a scythe.
Gone, gone beyond, gone beyond
The sister of mercy is obligation. When she kicks in she will forever after have worry as a distraction. However, distraction is sometimes an inoculation against depression.
Gone, gone beyond, gone beyond
The brother of love’s favorite tools are mental telepathy and leverage. A verbal taser gun is often useful, but not mandatory. He is the cartoon character looking both ways before crossing the street, seeing it safe, puts a foot out and immediately gets flattened by oncoming traffic.
Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond
The second cousin of scatology is creative disruptiveness. Involuntary, consistent, and memorable. Faithfully and continuously changing the scrip to a new genre between dark & iffy. Branded a Grapheme because as a child he complained of fuchsia headaches and mentioned the letter A wanted to be red. He had been unaware his experiences were unusual until another pointed out others did not have them.
Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond
- heart sutra
The mother of reinvention states that what mother said at one time is destined to be said again. The biological function she offers speaks and has listeners, but not of the understanding sort. Like being served before you order; being forced to eat before you are hungry.
The voices spoke inside her head more clearly than she had heard when they were alive. The now disembodied words circle inside the mental haunted house. They wager and scold with a verbal finger-wag.
Light up the smudge stick and hand it over.
The human condition is such this.
Saying what we are trying to mean and answering what we don't want anyone to hear.
All the while hoping we won’t carry any regrets and others will read between the lines.
She has lived long enough to be moved into top place.
Now misunderstood gets its first-hand chance.
Food for thought only.
Walking in an art gallery today I crossed a mandala of sorts, a loosely painted target on a perforated board. There were holes left where arrows had flown in and shot through.
I froze for a moment too long, petrified, and was tossed back into the inexpressible. Akin to the overwhelming grief of not seeing someone ever again. The tug of dread unexplainable. The idea of always and consistently missing the mark. However, so perfectly deliberate in missing, that it seems by mere calculation one should recognize the pattern and surely catch on and achieve the point.
A ring tone blares behind me, from inside my pack, jolting me to reality. That’s what damn cell phones are good for. After the brief call, I look again at the artwork. The painting was simply a piece of cheap pegboard the painter had cleaned brushes off onto.
Let smirking scholars writhe in their favorite bondage
And hold you plaintiff to the charge of art…
…your ghost pervades
staged-up like falstaff or the wild welsh rimbaud
You'd laugh to see the monograms they make of you
Oh, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Thomas,
Why don't we feel whatever we're supposed to feel
Oh, Mr. Thomas let us ramble through the midnight
Let us throw bottles at the ferris wheel
Let us paint library on the library let us raid the moonlight
Let us steal whatever we're supposed to steal
For Mr. Thomas — Robin Williamson original / Van Morrison
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