Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gilbert Garcin Art & Sheila Cowing Poetry


In the dark, she shivers in his arms,
hurt, wild—like that great bird
that crashed through the living room window
last Christmas—droppings, slivers
the whole way into the kitchen.
He’d cradled it wearing gardening gloves,
it only shuddered. Now, nothing he says
quiets her, stops her asking:
am i pretty? am i smart? am i all
you dreamed of? as though she doesn’t know,
as though he is her mirror,
she is pounding, pounding the glass.

-- Sheila Cowing
Gilbert Garcin
correct account

Friday, January 29, 2010

Barbara Crooker Poetry,

All That Is Glorious Around Us

is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled
overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day
of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car,
160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later,
sitting in a café warmed by the steam
from white chicken chilli, two cups of dark coffee,
watching the red and gold leaves race down the street,
confetti from autumn’s bright parade. And I think
of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days
she has now, how we never think about the glories
of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs,
simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature
of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature
of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down
a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape
boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around
us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain’s
bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement,
where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening
street, this radiant world.

-- Barbara Crooker

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joanne Dominique Dwyer & Dan Park


Dan Park

"Subway Dreams"

"What's That?"

Photuris P.

The light that shines from a firefly is chemical:
luciferin and luciferase. A pigment and an enzyme.

They depend on each other. Neither one can produce a luminous body alone.
Even the arrival of the average child requires both the sperm and the egg.

A man and a woman in love is always the preferred choice for entry.
But sometimes one accepts a man-hating mother and an anonymous vial of sperm.

Or a man disguised as an angel, gray-winged, timing his appearance with
the arrival of dawn or the dismissal of dusk, wearing a foreign, yet familiar fragrance.

Immaculada was the name given to the girl-child born out of wedlock.
(The removal of rust by the sheer power of the wind.)

To make immune: from the draft, from the disease, from the theory of love.
To impale the innocent, accused of nothing more than stealing.

Could you make a list of every object that you have ever stolen?
A blue sweater, a bedpan, a can of tuna fish.

Two snow tires, a lifejacket, a deck of pornographic playing cards.
Fireflies from my brother’s jar and his ponyskin jacket.

Lucifer: did he free-fall, or was he pushed? Or was there a fault in design—
a missing enzyme? (A flower-covered coffin for the fallen angel.)

Children go out into the night carrying glass jars with air holes punched into the lids.
A random run, imagined flight, cupping light into the cave of two hands.

On the seventh floor, in the highest heaven, the place where God is said to reside
the oxygen content of the air is too low to sustain fire or life.

And children sleep with the insects held captive on their bedside tables:
a small array of constellations moving through diminished air.

-- Joanne Dominique Dwyer
New England Review FTW


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dan McCarthy's Guiding Light

“Guiding Light"
Buy it here for $40.
Dan McCarthy is one of my FAVORITE artists.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Katie Thompson and Her Suitcase Chairs, Revolutiony Road and Crazy Living, and a Gingerbread House

Katie Thompson makes chairs using old suitcases.

“If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t mind being completely insane.”

- Revolutionary Road
I could live here: Gingerbread House.
Location? Illinois.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nikki Giovanni

Oh, my: I'd forgotten how fierce her work is when she reads it. I love it on the page, but ooh-ooh-ooh do I love her voice and the way she punctuates each line and word.

Carol Ann Duffy, Snow Light, and Anuka (Ann) Baratashvili

Poetry corner -- Snow Light
By Carol Ann Duffy

I was born to the snow, brought to snow light, the glow light of late spring.

My first winter was all snow, ice floes in the river, the Thames frozen bank to bank.

For three years I was beyond snows comfort, beyond star-flake, hoar frost, rime, touch edit only once in a rusty patch, as if roadside and rock-salted.

On Kosiuszkos peak, it mended my snow-broken heart with coverlet, sheet.

My uncle promised me a bucket of snow, a bucket of hail, a bucket of sleet, and in my six year old purity and Adelaides heat I longed for the parcel, to grasp its cold deep, crisp in my hands. I dreamed of snow; snow beyond lamp-post and Narnia, beyond Fives winter adventures, even beyond that cruel joke. Snow, a quilt to lie down in, make igloos, eat.

Today its as if Ive ordered snow; thick flakes for you to mould and mountain, snow-shoe and slide on. You wont know what it is to be blind without snow, beyond brilliance, beyond its dazzling light.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco's "Daydreamin'" w/lovely Jill Scott

Lupe's "Hip Hop Saved My Life" gets stuck in my head. But, you know, if I have to have a song on repeat, this one's worth it. Yo, h8ers, hip hop isn't all gunz and hoz and bling. Lupe's a smart cat. I wanna play Scrabble with him.

George David Clark's "A Crossing" & Blooming Hermit House

Oh, my hermit heart yearns for this
(don't tell me it's not real: let me believe, believe, believe):
A Crossing
by George David Clark

Giant salamanders, blue-black and purple-black, lie
along the bottom of this stream in Northern China —

I cannot even balance the place’s name on my tongue.
They lie like bruises in the stone-strewn pools, two meters long

and older now than I will ever be. My naked
feet are the moon color of such fish as each night wake

them to hunger. My cold lungs ache. With bankside willows
going gold and half moon hunched where the cloud-flank narrows,

this stream becomes a kind of syrinx that can speak two
languages at once: beneath the perfect fluency

of water you hear salamanders in their submarine
discourse through the rocks and know that tooth-glint, that ghost-rheum

in their eyes. So how does a man cross here and not upset
the surface, cross so that only his shadow gets wet?

Linebreak is the best.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tea Hangers, &Time Magazine’s Top 10 Best Graphic Novels of All Time

Time Magazine’s Top 10 Best Graphic Novels of All Time: Obvious choices, of course, but goodies all the same. Favorites? Disagreements? The list:

1. Watchmen by Alan Moore

2. Sandman by Neil Gaiman

3. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

4. Maus by Art Spiegelman

5. The Adventures of Tintin: The Black Island by Hergé

6. Miracleman: The Golden Age by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham

7. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

8. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

9. The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

10. The Greatest of Marlys by Lynda Barry.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Mark Twain, Strolling Tattoo, Modern T-shirt by Brilliancy

"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next."
-- Mark Twain
I like the movement of this tattoo.

Modern Style
by brilliancy from Finland, Helsinki

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Riccardo Bucchioni

When Geek-ness Goes Retro

How tight is this t-shirt design by Riccardo Bucchioni?!
$18 and it could be yours...or mine....
Also, LOL to this:
Publicis Conseil, Paris

Alexander Ovchinnikov & Erica Bernheim

Alexander Ovchinnikov

from "Children's Book"
from "The Black Album"
Like a Face

Any tale of spontaneous human combustion
must take place in the South. History’s wagon carries
me in its horrible mouth of an entryway. An arrow
relies on less, taste this, rising from the swollen
finger raised to measure air’s currents.
The girl allergic to water battles for aquagenics.
Sweat, blood, saliva and tears blister her skin.
She bends her head for the most dangerous of kisses.
She drinks whole milk and is allergic to her
own body. She will dream of swimming and touching
snow. Her lips feel as close and sharp as razors, the light
explodes, and you surrender your addiction to No-Doz.
Something in breath dies slowly, a fern, a stilted horseman,
a moon seen in daytime, or this harvest gone rotten badly.
How long will you stay in this mess, waiting to learn
when to duck, when it’s safe to run: a plate of eyelashes,
a walk on water, nothing more. Loving days.
A maze with no entrance, and we strain to see
it anyhow. I find myself on the wrong side of your
affections, afflictions, you say, and suddenly these are
sidelines. I tell stories so often, I don’t remember the event,
signs written in languages I never learned to read.
What I told you made no difference, lighthouse, philosopher,
my sleep. Oh, but it trickles down the side of
a bed I never meant to lie in. Say something
about the state of dedication. What I wish for you
is nothing but fraud and petulance, camphor in
your proceedings, a brick in your mailbox, a wicked
bitter woman stealing your truck. I hope you can
believe this is not about you. You wake up
to find you’ve been tying your shoes with a dead man’s
hand. You try to build a fire beneath a chimney
with no flue.

-- Erica Bernheim

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chapterhouse by Liza Corbett & John Burnside's "After Lucretius"

Chapterhouse by Liza Corbett
These pieces are as crazy beautiful as they are grotesque-creepy.
The point is sharp, yes?
Her Blog

After Lucretius

Nam quodcumque suis mutatum finibus exit,
Continuo hoc mors est illius quod fuit ante,


It happens from time to time,
on days like this

– in winter, when the air is cold
and still,

the boats at the harbour
perched on their wooden stocks,

the gaps between the houses
filled with light –

it happens that I think of all
the vanishings I learned about in childhood:

that ship they found at sea,
unanchored, blind,

the table set for lunch, the galley
filling with steam;

the blank if the lamp-room
at Flannan, where they found

no sign of the men
who were waiting to be relieved;

the boy from a northern village, going out
at daybreak, to get kindling for a fire,

a line of footprints
stopping in the woods

and gradually erased
by morning snow.

When they speak about angels in books
I think what they mean is this sudden

arrival at somewhere else
through a rift in the fabric,

this glimpse of the absence that forms
between two lives

– and it comes as no surprise, on days like this,
alone in the house, or walking on the shore

at evening, that I'll stop dead and recall
the disappearances my childhood self

never quite engineered,
or how it is a legend in these parts

that one bright afternoon,
in wintertime,

something will come from nowhere
and touch a man

for no good reason; ice-cold on his skin
or sharp as a needle,

it finds him and moves away
and leaves no mark.

It's not what he expected, neither death
nor absolution, but a slow and painless

fall between the collarbone and wrist
that lasts for days

and when he disappears,
amidst the thaw,

there is nothing to show he is missing,
not even
an absence.

-- John Burnside
(From: John Burnside, The Light Trap, London: Cape, 2002.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alex Lemon & A Line of Trees


Car doors, bricks, a drill press-
I've broken my hands thousands of times

because I'm afraid of what they can do.
Seizures of black-and-white photos,

sixteen millimeter film. Flash,
flash and framed in spider-leg light.

Smile falsely and the piano hammers
unbearably loud. Is it a stream of blood

or a forgotten plant's winged roots?
When I die brokenhearted, bandages

will muffle the paradise I choke
from your electric fence, but know

that I knocked, openmouthed in a sarabanding
rain. Your Christmas cactus will bloom

fluorescent - terrible beauties will appear
on the orphaned child's tongue.

-- Alex Lemon

Monday, January 18, 2010

Grace by Frannie Lindsay, Ralph Waldo Emerson, & Sewn Collages by Angelika J. Trojmarski

Sewn collages by Angelika J. Trojmarski:

The very concept of sewn collages makes my heart skip a beat. What a stunning idea! I'd really like to see them in person. Reminds me, a bit, of the cards my friend Kristina used to send me. This takes the idea of sewing & paper to a new level. And of course, the very images this artist uses are fascinating. Seems to be glossy-like images from magazines? The fashion or advertisement variety? Yes? Talk about deconstruction and reimagination!

Oh, my roommate & BFF Viv knows me oh so well. I woke to this very special poem tucked into my inbox.

Grace by Frannie Lindsay

Praise my plain young mother for leaving
her husband's bed at four in the morning
fumbling around for her bifocals
carting her stained velour slippers
down the raw-grained stairs not tying
her robe sliding her violin from between
the magazine rack and the firewood
easing past the mantelpiece scattered
with wedding portraits

praise the caked galoshes drying beside
the basement door swollen away
from its frame and the top step's narrow slat
praise her large bare feet
their tough and knotty bunions
the cool of her hand on her sheet music
praise the scotch tape on the spine
of her Bach and its weakening glue
her penciled maiden name

praise the steadfast ladderback chair
and the music stand there in the basement
the set tubs the damp socks
and undershirts draped too close
to her shoulders praise her shoulders
limber and painless for three brief hours
praise the rosin's glide down her bow
the throaty fifths the sacrament
of her tuning

praise the measure she counted aloud
and the downbeat's breath-lunge
praise her calloused and lovely fingerpads
the noteprints the sixty-watt bulb
the mud-plashed screen through which
the unsorrowing ends of the night slipped in
and although she did not ask to be touched
praise how they lifted up the brittle
wisps of her perm.

"Grace" by Frannie Lindsay,
from Mayweed. © The Word Works, 2009.
Oh, yes.
I may have to print this image & text on cards and pass them out.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Is it weird that I love tattoos but don't have a single one of my own? Simple answer: yes.

I have a hard time choosing which tattoo I'd want and who I'd like to ink it. I've seen as many UGLY -- sad by true -- tattoos as I've seen true art. It's kind of terrifying to think you could walk in with an idea and walk out with what looks like a melted piece of cheese inked on your skin. Or maybe that's just my own tattoo-related anxiety speaking.

Permanence scares me a bit: I think it's why I've lived in so many different zip codes and travel as much as I do. To choose something that stays FOREVER is a thought that plays dangerous games with my blood pressure. Currently, I want no commitments, and thus, I think I've been unable to choose a single image I want inked forever.

And as much as I am scared of committments, I have them: I write every single day, stay in touch with nearly all of the kids & teens with whom I'm close from camp, support my alma mater, & manage to make plans that are more than a few days away (though, to be fair, the last thing makes me a lil' itchy & grumpy, though I'm nearly always glad I made the plans once I'm doing them).

Let's just boil this conversation down to the fact that I'd worry I'd walk out of the parlor with one or both of the following two things: 1. an UGLY tattoo that I'd have forever or 2. an allergic reaction to the ink (some context: I'm allergic to many, many things).

Thus, I swoon over other folks' ink! Lemme curate some prettiness:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Matthew Dickman's Poem "Love," Boing Chair by Pie Studio, & Viggo Mortensen

Sometimes, as much as I like to wave my populist flag, I am just as much a snob as some of the folks I met in various creative writing workshops and coffee shops around the world.

I saw the title of this poem -- Love -- and thought, oh dear.

I was pleasantly surprised. Don't do the poet thing and read the last line first -- the poem builds nicely. I enjoy that it turns and turns and turns again until love is examined in all lights and circumstances.

I doubt most of you will read the poem. It's okay though: mostly, I post things here so that I can share them and so I REMEMBER them. You know? Internet-based scrapbook or something.

by Matthew Dickman

We fall in love at weddings and auctions, over glasses
of wine in Italian restaurants where plastic grapes hang
on the lattice, our bodies throb
in the checkout line, the bus stop, at basketball games
and we can't keep our hands off each other
until we can—
so we turn to rubber masks and handcuffs,
falling in love again.
We go to movies and sit in the air conditioned dark
with strangers who are in love
with heroes like Peter Parker
who loves a girl he can't have
because he loves saving the world in red and blue tights
more than he would love to have her ankles wrapped around
his waist or his tongue between her legs.
While we watch films
in which famous people play famous people
who experience pain,
the boy who sold us popcorn loves the girl
who sold us our tickets
and stares at the runs in her stockings
every night,
even though she is in love
with the skinny kid who sold her cigarettes at the 7-11,
and if the world had any compassion
it would let the two of them pass
a Marlboro Light back and forth
until their fingers eventually touched, their mouths
sucking and blowing.
If the world knew how
the light bulb loved the socket
then we would all be better off.
We could all dive head first into the sticky parts.
We could make sweat a religion
and praise the holiness of smelliness.

I am going to stop here,
on this dark night,
on this country road,
where country songs
come from, and kiss her, this woman, below the trees
which are below the stars,
which are below desire.
There is a music to it, I hear it.
Johnny Rotten, Biggie Smalls, Johan Sebastian Bach, I don't care
what they say—
I loved you the way my mouth loves teeth,
the way a boy I know would risk it all for a purple dinosaur,
who, truth be known, loved him.

In the Midwest, fields of corn are in love
with a scarecrow, his potato-sack head
and straw body, hanging out among the dog-eared stalks
like a farm-Christ full of love.

Turning on the radio I hear
how AM loves FM the way my mother loved Elvis
whose hips all young girls loved, sitting around the television
in a poodle skirt and bobby socks.
that I was born after a long night of Black-Russians
and Canasta while "Jailhouse Rock" rocked.

Stamps love envelopes, the licking proves it—
just look at my dog
who obviously loves himself with an intensity
no human being could sustain, though you can't say
we don't try.

In High school I once cruised
a MacDonald's drive-thru butt-naked
on a dare from a beautiful Sophomore,
only to be swallowed up by a grief
born from super-size or no super-size.

Years later I met a woman
named Heavy Metal Goddess
at a party where she brought her husband,
leading him through the dance floor by a leash,
while in Texas cockroaches love with such abandon
that they wear their skeletons on the outside.

Once a baby lizard loved me so completely,
he moved into my apartment and died of hunger.

No one loves war,
but I know a man
who loves tanks so much he wishes he had one
to pick up the groceries, drive his wife to work,
drop his daughter off at school with her Little Mermaid
lunch box, a note hidden inside
next to the apple, folded
with a love that can be translated into any language: I HOPE

"The Boing chair is made of fiber-ply. This is a special board that made of various natural discarded materials such as leaves, grass, chip woods and even rice husk. The back and legs made of rattan." This stunning chair was realized by PIE Studio..

When asked who he admired most, Viggo Mortensen replied,
"My son, Henry, because he is kind, which I think is the highest wisdom."

I think Viggo's got it right. Knew I liked that man --
and not just 'cause he writes the poetryz & frolics in the wilderness.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What Kind of Artist Are You?

Language-Based Art & Longing

Always been a sucker for word-based art.
You knowz it. Too much poetryz & whatnot.

See, I'm not the sort to cling to what has been -- this past that is waxed so shiny and new. I used to cling to past memories -- oh, I wish I could have time traveled -- but something changed. I'm content now to consider the future. In fact, one thing I'd like to work on is existing in the present more than the future -- to find contentment while also reaching for more and more.

I do not long for past memories, but I do long for people and places -- you know, the confetti-like folks and glorious peaks and sand of our "happy places." I miss landscapes. I miss certain views. I can drive a stretch of land and feel my body respond to it. I drive a lot -- miles and miles -- and sometimes I'll talk on the phone and sing loudly to music and forget where I am only for my body to tell me I'm approaching exit 146 on I-81 or am about to cross the bridge onto Cape Cod. Ah, the physicality of longing.

I don't need no time traveling: Teleportation is where it's at.

Dolly Parton

I grew up in a family that loved their old-school country. My dad loved Gene Autry, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and the Grand Ole' Opry. My mom was of the Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline school -- she loved those women singing their blues with a twang.

My dad, of course, didn't really reach past the old-timey business. To him, Kenny Rogers was "modern" (Oh, there are so many jokes that could be made).

Now, imagine lil' LB watching television w/her dad and watching Kenny Rogers duet with Dolly Parton on "Islands in the Stream." Oh, folks, I was blown away. She is a force. One word? "Jolene." Another? "Coat of Many Colors?" Come on now, she's over-the-top and stunning, but her songs are as subtle as they are crisp. She knows how to work an image. Heck, she is an image.


"Islands in the Stream"

"Coat of Many Colors"

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tank Books, Flip-Top Cigarette Pack, Conchitina Cruz's "Disappear"

Talk about creative.
These will be the only cigarette packs I ever buy.
I'd love Hemingway's "The Snows of Kilimanjaro."

"The flip-top cigarette pack is one of the most successful pieces of packaging design in history. TankBooks pay homage to this iconic form by employing it in the service of great literature. TankBooks launched a series of books designed to mimic cigarette packs – the same size, packaged in flip-top cartons with silver foil wrapping and sealed in cellophane."

Joseph Conrad: "Heart of Darkness"
Ernest Hemingway: "The Undefeated" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro"
Franz Kafka: "The Metamorphosis" and "In the Penal Colony"
Rudyard Kipling:“The Man Who would be King," “The Phantom ’Rickshaw” and “Black Jack”
Robert Louis Stevenson: "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
Leo Tolstoy: “The Death of Ivan Ilych” and "Father Sergius”
Disappear by Conchitina Cruz

1. Three Shadows

What is a shadow? It is the self without a face or a name, all outline and no feature, the self on the verge of being erased. It is the incidental child of matter and light. Look how it spreads itself on the ground, weary but weightless, unable to leave a trace.

Another one of those days when we’re standing by the side of a road with our mothers, sweating in our Sunday dresses, waiting for the bus home. You stand in the puddle of your mother’s shadow, twisting your body so your own vanishes inside the darkness. I’m invisible, you shout, counting the three shadows left, then blowing me a stiff kiss. It’s cooler here too.

Is it possible for this not to be a story of disappearance?

2. After Hours

Your voice from a phone booth on a sidewalk, in the rain, outside a diner with an unreadable sign. Your voice speaking in code, coming to me in bits and pieces, syllable by syllable. Your voice doubled, echoing, bouncing off a stained glass dome, traveling through a dark tunnel where a train is about to pass. The lilt in your voice betrays you as you pretend to sell me potato peelers and non-stick frying pans. Your voice from another time zone, competing with the waves of the sea. In a letter with no return address, your voice cracks jokes and says “my feet hurt” in another language. Your voice in the tired words on my computer screen, hidden somewhere in the identical towns of postcards. Your voice like a shadow on a road.

3. Landscape

When we were children, you didn’t care for words, you only filled pages with vertical lines. Beyond the page, the bite marks at the tip of your pencil, bare knees, a scrawny cat sleeping at your feet. We lived in the city and I thought you drew lampposts, telephone lines, the long, rusty rods scattered in construction sites. Your voice insisting, no, no, these are trees.

4. No Rain

I walk one block and pass a series of testaments to failure—the skeleton of a building, a half-built bridge already breaking down. On the dusty metal fence hangs a sign that promises a highway.

You were in love, you wanted out of a city that screamed abandonment.

5. Another Routine

A new mayor, a new name for this road. The man selling sweet corn at the corner makes it a point to recite all the names to every customer in need of directions. I don’t listen to him as I make my way to this place, known to me now only as the road where you last stood. I stare at its slender body, following the shape of a tree that has fallen down, beaten endlessly by the weight of buses and trucks.

6. Inside the dark

I fall into a puddle on my way to catch a bus, and unlike a dog, I can’t sit around and lick my wounds, I have to walk away like nothing has happened. The face of Jesus looms on a billboard, but where is the comfort that can be bought? Let me watch the blind men by the terminal massage commuters for a fee, let me listen to karaoke music and stare at the stall selling cheap umbrellas, let me stand under the shadow of a lamppost as is my habit, though it is evening, the weather is cool, and you are gone. If I keep still enough inside this shadow, it is as if I am not here. If I keep still enough, there is no proof you are not here with me.

-- Conchitina Cruz

Katharine Coles, Christina Ung, and Maya Angelou


Don’t consult the cost.
Rather, mind the body.
Course, occluded, lost

In its heedlessness
It finds itself: too heady
To consult the cost.

Balance grace and dross;
Weigh desire and duty.
Cursed, occult, lost

In my nakedness —
Mea culpa. Steady.
I can’t account the cost

Of what I’ve won. At least
I kept my word. I’d stay
Any course to lose

Everything like this,
To be every body’s
Curse. I cut my losses.
I do not mind the cost.

-- Katharine Coles
Originally in The Antioch Review
Christina Ung
School Bully
Some of my poetry pals may loathe Maya Angelou -- you know how writers can be -- but I don't care. H8ers to the left! H8ers to the right! I like this poster. I like this quotation. What.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jack Gilbert & Up Up & Away & Passion Pit


I came back from the funeral and crawled
around the apartment, crying hard,
searching for my wife's hair.
For two months got them from the drain,
from the vacuum cleaner, under the refrigerator,
and off the clothes in the closet.
But after other Japanese women came,
there was no way to be sure which were
hers, and I stopped. A year later,
repotting Michiko's avocado, I find
a long black hair tangled in the dirt.

-- Jack Gilbert

Marination is everything when it comes to describing my relationship with Gilbert's work. Read his books when a grad. kid at Hollins -- my roommate K. had studied with him when he frolicked to UT -- Knoxville & she threw him our way -- and I loved them.

Sometimes, though, it takes me a while to realize how important certain writers are -- it takes me remembering a line or a poem years later for me to understand that they're as emotionally intelligent as they are finely crafted. You know? Like, when you're in a museum and you see something beautiful but you don't know what you really FELT until later? Or is that just me?

Maybe I didn't need Gilbert's work in the same way as I do now. Maybe.

Point? I think Gilbert is da MAN & I want to hug on to his work for a long, long time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Elle King

How in the heck have I NEVER HEARD of Elle King before?!
What a voice!

Linda Nemec Foster, Grégoire Alexandre, and Fitting My Life in My Car

In the Vicinity of Orion's Arm

"like the star beaming outward past its death"
-Robert Wrigley

Every day we die
a little more.
My young son
doesn't believe me;
with the telescope
he got for Christmas
he points to the stars,
unfailing lights of the past,
as examples of how difficult
it is to kill anything.
Infinity has not yet
begun to trouble him.
As if Pascal's true
fear of the eternal
silence of the heavens
was all a hoax.

How can I tell him
he's wrong. That death
is one theory of celestial
movement. And there
is no other. That what
we see in the sky
are ghost images:
the moon a blank
mirror, the galaxy
an open wound,
the universe a thin
veil of dust hiding
the empty mind of God.

I only know what
I know. How the universe
looks the same in every
direction. Layered petals
of rose or bleeding
womb. I only know
this night in late
January, sub-zero
temperatures, his
father positioning
a telescope in the frozen
snow of the backyard.
As if he could count
the endless blur of stars.
Imagining the faces
of everyone he's ever
loved who has died.

-- Linda Nemec Foster
Image = © Grégoire Alexandre
Source Align Leftviaviavia

So, those folks who know me in the real life know that I'm about to move yet again. I grew up in the Catskill region of NY, attended school near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, have spent most summers out near the ocean of Cape Cod, and currently reside in Nawlins.

I'm headin' to da Bean -- Bostonia -- by fall.

The great thing is that I've downsized all of my possessions so that they can truly fit in my car. I own little furniture -- my roommates came with more than enough for the living room, kitchen, and dining room, and I don't need much in my own space. I'm gone every single summer and travel a lot, so physical things are really more of a hassle than a luxury or joy.

It's actually kind of comforting to know that my possessions can feasibly fit into my sedan.

However! One of the great things about this move is that I could see myself in MA for quite some time. Thus, I may -- gasp! -- invest in my very own furniture. We'll see. I've got a gaggle of potential roommates, so there may not be a lot of room for new trinkets.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mad Men & Le Petite Prince

Batgirl, Charles Simic, and Jim Datz's Sad Octopus

I like this interpretation of Batgirl/woman.

The School Of Metaphysics

Executioner happy to explain
How his wristwatch works
As he shadows me on the street.
I call him that because he is grim and officious
And wears black.

The clock on the church tower
Had stopped at five to eleven.
The morning newspapers had no date.
The gray building on the corner
Could've been a state pen,

And then he showed up with his watch,
Whose Gothic numerals
And the absence of hands
He wanted me to understand
Right then and there.

-- Charles Simic
Sad Octopus.
Jim Datz is da man: Interview with the Illustrator

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dr. Seuss & Yong-jin Kim

"You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams."

-- Dr. Seuss

There are moments like this for me: I want to stay awake to tap out another poem or to read another book or watch just one more episode of a heartbreakingly beautiful television show or feel the thrill of a well-paced action flick or somber independent piece. Sometimes, I'm surrounded by these bright light people and I just want to laugh & laugh and talk & talk and be -- sometimes existing is just oh so nice.

Sometimes, I am in love with life.
I could own this refrigerator.
Designer: Yong-jin Kim

The frequently-used groceries are stored in the small refrigerator, allowing the user to conveniently open and close the small refrigerator when taking out and putting in food. This makes it easier to use the fridge, and it saves energy by blocking the outflow of cool air.

Pretty & Smart = I WANT.