The sun came up this morning, just as I knew it would. My morning coffee tasted exactly like yesterday's: a tad bitter, but nonetheless revivifying. The faces of our dead Presidents on Mount Rushmore, are still there, speaking of their trials and tribulations from their scenic outlook of granite. Tonight, when I get home from work, my lover will make her way downstairs, wearing my favorite underwear. We'll lie in bed, pretending to watch a movie, both knowing what we really want. The Dow, no doubt, will continue its slide, just as the moon, that lozenge of indifference, will continue its path downward among the clouds. All of us— sun, moon, coffee, clouds— might feel a twinge of guilt: such indifference to profit and loss! Yet, all over the world, tiny birds with broken wings and injuries of all sorts are making their way back to their nests, even the waterlogged anhinga is drying its wings in the sun. It's good to know so much keeps going on, despite everything. Come closer, sweetheart, let's put the film on pause, let's profit from whatever we've got— before the closing bell, before the riffraff of recovery finds us and brings us down again.
Oh, this city. Oh. I love New Orleans. My throat still hurts but my voice is thankfully back. Mardi Gras is fast approaching: the parades are getting bigger and better. The Saints win will keep me and my comrades going for weeks. Don't say football doesn't matter to a city that celebrates to deal with violence, poverty, and the weather. Don't say football doesn't matter to a city with solid roots in Haiti. Those annoying news reports keep mentioning K*trina, but hardship is more than a storm. We believe in ourselves because we're underestimated. Bring out that tuba! Let's second line ourselves down Canal!
"I was always one of those people who never took no for an answer. Whether it was girls or work or sports or acting, when someone told me I wasn’t good enough I found another way to prove them wrong. … Every time I hear the word 'no' I think 'yes.' Every time someone says it’s against the rules I wonder why the rules exist. I don’t run home with my tail between my legs — I bang down the door to find out what’s on the other side."
*** I'd never heard this story before, but it fascinates me. His life in prison is told through the images -- this website chronicles and comments on them. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Also, the images are stunning. The crime is fascinating. This man and his work.
Wow. I'm at a loss. I don't feel like I can do any of it justice. Here:
"In 2003, Alfredo Martinez was jailed for faking drawings by Jean-Michel Basquiat. While in prison, Alfredo drew images on any paper he could find, with any pen or pencil he could get his hands on. He would then color his drawings with coffee grounds, sign the artwork with both name and inmate number, and ship them out of prison by labeling them as legal documents."
"one day a really large package arrived. ALFREDO MARTINEZ, Drawings from Prison, July 14, 2003"
"ALFREDO MARTINEZ, the first Drawings from Prison, Sept 3, 2003"
"with a little encouragement, larger pieces begin to arrive. these works were produced on homemade paper, using paper scraps, flour & water, a skill Alfredo picked up from a Russian inmate, and colored with casually available food stuffs, such as instant coffee packets. art supplies are absolutely forbidden in the federal prison system, due to their abuse in facilitating gang markings and tattoos. ALFREDO MARTINEZ, Drawings from Prison, Sept 3, 2003"
(Repeating this image because I love it.)
"based on this output, a show was arranged for Alfredo at THE PROPOSITION GALLERY. Alfredo had exhibited there previously, but relations had become a little strained, but there was no denying the beauty and forcefulness of the prison production. The card's image was a large rendering of the force feeding episodes. Alfredo was in Hunger Strike Day 55 when they strapped him down and put tubes up his nose. The show was called: 'THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA VS. ALFREDO MARTINEZ', Drawings from Prison. It ran from October 24 - November 29, 2003."
"Crafted in durable Canadian birch hardwood ply, Stagger has a triple gloss top coating. It flaunts open shelves with glass-door showcases and lower drawers. A gap that makes its way from the lower to the upper part of the product not only makes it look more artistic, but also allows for more storage. Eight weeks of labor goes into its making and you get all the pieces signed by the artist, who makes it." Source
First Things At the Last Minute by Robert Hass
The white water rush of some warbler's song. Last night, a few strewings of ransacked moonlight On the sheets. You don't know what slumped forward In the nineteen-forties taxi or why they blamed you Or what the altered landscape, willowy, riparian, Had to do with the reasons why everyone Should be giving things away, quickly, Except for spendthrift sorrow that can't bear The need to be forgiven and keeps looking for something To forgive. The motion of washing machines Is called agitation. Object constancy is a term Devised to indicate what a child requires From days. Clean sheets are an example Of something that, under many circumstances, A person can control. Ther patterns moonlight makes Are chancier, and dreams, well, dreams Will have their way with you, their way With you, will have their way.
I think it's the position of the pipe he's holding & the his expression. Also, I could see my dad wearing something like this -- no, not in an ironic way.
"It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default."
-- J.K. Rowling
As a supervisor, this is something I want to press home to my staff: mistakes are a piece of learning. We can not be afraid to try new things because greatness can come from it: an invaluable lesson, success of a program, something we didn't think possible or even consider. Seems to me it's a lot like science: you investigate one thing and sometimes discover something else.
And really, it's the same for education and art: you have to take a risk to really make a stab at anything. When did we start leaning towards caution? Interesting in a society like this. The rules business. I'm not saying we should all break the law and beat up old ladies. No. What I'm saying is that we have to encourage intellectual curiosity.
I highly recommend checking out the series. It's really well-done.
"Growing up in Mainland China, I was brought up strictly and conservatively, any untraditional and unconventional ideas of life-style can sometimes lead to misconceptions. I was numbed about the ideas of intimacy, sexuality, and love. Since I moved to the United States, my needs for self-expression has grown. However, my curiosity about how others deal with their identity in what is a fairly open society like America has increased. As a result I started to photograph people and life in America.
The goal of my projects are to raise the question about human nature, about emotions, feelings, desire, instinct and identity, to reveal things that you can feel it, that are unexplainable but yet still solid. I am fascinated with exploring the complexity of emotional nakedness and psychological connection/disconnection, as it is often expressed not specifically but explicitly. Certainly my photography is my perspectives and how I look at people and life in America. But most importantly, I want viewers of my work to make their own discoveries and judgments of my photographs."
The day the hospice nurse advised removal of his wife's belongings
for his sake the long boughs of her blouses
the curved pale bottles of perfume her tulipwood jewelry box
he began to slip small items into the fall of his front shirt pocket
curious the weight of a beaded eyeglass chain
a green pillbox one threadbare ankle sock
a plastic comb certainly the round of her wedding ring
rivering inside the cloth nearly enough
I would like this in my backyard. I would stay in it and write & read and be happy. One of my favorite childhood activities was making forts out of clothing and blankets or crafting snow-based fortresses. Also, who doesn't want a fort that it one part turtle shell and one part igloo?
"Carapace is an igloo-like structure resembling a turtle shell made up of an assortment of industrial waste bins. Artist Brian Jungen takes familiar trash and recycling containers and creates a structure that can contain us."
Soon, I will turn 27, my BFF Knox will be in town, the SAINTS will be in the SUPERBOWL, & I will do everything from run to Mississippi for good food and time in the Gulf to reach at beads thrown from the many Mardi Gras parades.
More and more visitors will come after this, I have to pack up my life, finish up the courses I'm teaching for Axia, wrap up freelance projects, and get my butt up to MA so I can begin my summer life of kids, teens, & my C4K Fam.
The artist also has Hitchcock, Hemingway, & Mad Men pillows.
“He used to say to me, “Have you ever noticed how grateful you are to see daylight again after coming through a long dark tunnel?” Always try to see life around you as if you’d just come out of a tunnel.”