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A Sequential Meditation, Concerning Two Images, With Variations

meditation 1

We saw the

Haunted expression

On her thin, young face,

Digging out books

Half-buried in the rubble

Of her neighbourhood.

meditation 3

Who did she lose?

meditation 7

We saw

News flashes from Ferguson,

Reviving memories

Of roots & branches in

Martin Luther King’s

Cascading & thunderous

 Vision of Love. 

meditation 9

We discover books as

Symbolic:

Meaningful as Old Ideas & New Ideas,

Meaningful in texture and weight,

Fluttering like birds, singing or calling

Your name, her name.

meditation 10

We listened

To the bulletins from Palestine,

Remembering Martin Luther King’s

Historical analysis/ lack of paralysis,

A prophetic

Vision of Peace.

meditation 25

Pages lay motionless in the sun-drenched wind,

Their script fading to a whisper.

meditation 14

Heat and humidity envelop Little Dixie,

Chains click and rattle like ghosts,

An officer of the law/ empties his weapon/ into an unarmed man,

What has been done cannot be undone.

meditation 15

Plantation windows shutter shut,

She trembles, avoiding shards of glass.

meditation 12

The road is steep, leading to the fields,

Flowing with vanished olive groves.

meditation 16

She wears a paper-thin dress against danger from the sky.

meditation 18

“The arc of the moral universe is long

But it bends towards justice.”

meditation 28

The future rumbles

Like distant thunder,

Reverberating

Within

A Vision of Justice.

Meditation 11 copy

She cups her hands,

Alabaster stars radiate,

In the cauldron,

Of an obsidian void.

meditation 25

*

The photograph of the Palestinian girl climbing over the rubble collecting her books was uncredited. The photographer of Martin Luther King is unknown to me. Upon discovery I will post the information. I do not own the rights to the original images. I have created new works for purposes of juxtaposition and commentary under fair use provisions.

*

Today

today a

Today you forget again

You stay with forgetting

(again)

Today you forget again

You stay with forgetting

(again)

You taste forgetting

today e

Again

You taste

Forgetting

today b

You taste forgetting

(again)

You stay with forgetting

(again)

today c

You forget forgetting

You taste forgetting

(again)

(again)

today d

You taste forgetting

You forget forgetting

today e

You taste forgetting

(again)

today a

Today

today b

you

today c

forget

today d

(again)

today e

A Broken Ankle (and Oliver Cromwell)

1

At the nine and one-half week mark

Your foot is still swollen

23

Your ankle looks like a loaf of rye bread baked

On a winter night and placed inside a blanket

As winds howl through cracks in the walls.

4

Or something meaty and coarse

Illiterate peasants tear between their teeth

Marching beneath a mercenary banner

15

 Fighting a war for glory and power

Though not their own.

13

The instructions are:

Elevate, ice, and exercise,

Form the alphabet three times a day with your foot.

17

Do not dangle your foot for hours above any battle scenes

Celebrated in embroidered tapestries

Warming cold castle walls.

12

For the last month you have worn an air cast

Made of plastic and plastic fabric

Following six weeks of plaster and then fibreglass

Monstrosities.

1417

 You march beneath the banner of a cane. This is next.

137

 The electricity goes out. You push past a blond woman on a horse

Climbing the stairs. She’s dressed like a fish.

Or so it seems with glimmers of moonlight passing through cracks

In the roof.

1717

You rescue two children.

This is not possible you are on crutches.

2

 Oliver Cromwell’s army is marauding through the streets

Looking for Irish to enslave or decapitate.

16

You tear down a tapestry showing Puritans Arriving in America

And roll up the children.

You put a loaf of fresh bread between them

Dragging the tapestry to the corner of the Great Hall

Behind a counter with pastries, a cash register, and postcards.

1314

 You find your crutches.

Your air cast is light and removable

For a month and a half you wore what felt like anvils

And told yourself you weren’t going crazy.

This doesn’t really bother me you said.

1512

 You tell yourself you won’t be captured.

At the fracture clinic they said you would walk in

On September 8th with a cane and a limp.

16

Your foot fits in your unlaced walking shoe.

Oliver Cromwell is trying on wooden shoes.

Where did he get those?

He laughs a high-pitched laugh.

3

 His Puritan followers board a ship for the Caribbean

Leading captives bound neck to neck.

17

 You walk right through them and shudder with cold.

You limp into the sunshine

Stopping at your neighbourhood cafe.

121317

1981 (The Phantom of Liberation)

phantom of

In 1981

The Phantom of Liberation

Paid me a visit

81 heads

Commanding

A sketch

twin egg

I obliged

Thinking that was all

That was all

There was to it

burn blur copy

Hello and goodbye

To the Phantom of Liberation

centre eye

But the Phantom

Must have said

Eat my body

blue monuments

I complied

Thinking that was all

That was all

There was to it

blue conte

Hello and goodbye

To the Phantom of Liberation

dream section

They found a foreign body

In my heart

And said it’s spread

To your brain

And your wings

new ore

I said I don’t have

Any wings

face of the phantom

They said I was covered with wings

Beating ferociously

Refusing to stop

And bothering the neighbours

geo2

I asked if I should move

To a cemetery

something

They wanted to know

If I was trying to escape

Liberation

Or the conditions that require

Liberation

intersection

I listened to their question

Thinking that was all

That was all

There was to it.

the conditions

Too Late

1

I realized (too late)

We had left alchemy

Out of the equation

Configuring

Stars, pathways, and

Heartbeats.

 I hastened to manipulate

The voluminous footnotes to my

Apology.

Rounding and pulling

Like working with clay.

Evaporating

Like working with love.

My apologies began

To glisten.

It is never too late

To listen.

1 again23

As a Horse Enters the Room

622839

William Blake lifting and parting silken rays of translucent ecstasy, without a thought to his own gain, rambling upon the aftermath of a village, the merciless beast of empire pressing her breastplate to the ground, and the spewing of milk, unseen, in the clover-scented breeze.

mirror image1633

 William’s words rising upon the feet of a woman, in a tintype portrait, as he drapes her shoulders with blue silk curtains emblazoned with golden script. I would do this all again she thinks, folding the air around his eyes into the mouth of a small, and infinitely glowing, sea creature:

2448

 The eye of the sun blinking, penetrating her fingertips, rays drifting, a glimmer sinking into the pasture, the sun dipping into a hollow made by sounds, half rolling, half floating to the chants and whispered songs of mothers, the sun warming milk, rolling like a wheel of honey igniting fire in the body of bees…

57aaaatextural

William’s words a wooden chain, encircling, and binding him to her, as she drapes his shoulders with flowery blue skies enveloping a fiery wheel. I would do this all again she thinks, folding flames into the mouth of a small, infinite ocean:

1412

All times spinning as one time within her, traveling a great distance, as she kneels, washing the feet of the tribes, working William’s words with oil and rope, folding the air around a breath, around time. Flatlands curve beneath a massive groaning, the weight settles, night pushing cold metallic air…

3456aa

The sun returning with snow and white deer, the tribe dances swimming to distant, gold-flecked trees shimmering in violet heat. The army catches them by surprise. Soldiers measure their fingers.

64b35gradient

She is lost between a vision and a longing, the sun rolling to her, balancing, on the back of a horse. Clouds high and purple, above wheels and crops:

twirling portrait

 Walking barefoot into a night-wind as thin as paper, billowing like sails. William’s words a tool, a device, the rigging. Her fingers explore cracks filling with watery ink, tracing lines in the margins of the page, lifting like wings, like translucent rays, silken.

25
William Blake stops his pen, turning his gaze from the slightly moist paper on this humid afternoon to the sun at her feet, shifting in his wooden chair, hearing a door unlatch, pressing palms to the fading window.

over

Lifting his gaze, from the ivory-amber page, to a flight of bees, glancing over his threadbare shoulder, as a horse enters the room.

18

*

I felt melancholy in the expression on this woman’s face. I imagined somebody out of place in her culture situated somewhere in time & proximity to both the England of William Blake and echoes of the indigenous cultures of North America. Somewhere in proximity to both the ethereal visions (and cries for justice) of William Blake as well as the nature infused spirituality of indigenous peoples. I imagined her sensing something beyond her immediate experience with a certain sympathy.

*

17

*

I purchased the Tintype photograph of an anonymous woman at the Clarence, N.Y. flea market in perhaps 1990.

*

11

*

William Blake’s handwriting courtesy of the British Library public domain Discovering Literature webpage http://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians

*

38x

*

1874 sketch (or print) of the Sioux Sun Dance courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Provided to Wikipedia Commons by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration as part of a cooperation project depicting American and global history. Public domain or licensed under a free license: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sioux_sun_dance,_1874_-_NARA_-_530871.jpg

*

10

the empty cafe(s)

this collaged image

The lovesick man

although looking inward

is watching modern warplanes roar past.

Perhaps aiming for the cities and civilians

of Gaza,

Guernica,

Wounded Knee,

Nagasaki…

grosz world war one battlefieldblind willie mctell

Nobody

can sing the blues

like

Blind Willie McTell

creviceblind willie mctella flash

Nobody 

can sing the blues

like

Blind Willie McTell

let there be light

Digital collage: Details from Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ have been superimposed over photographs of rubble in Guernica and Gaza. The face of radical pacifist Martin Luther King Jr. is layered within a painting by antiwar artist George Grosz titled ‘The Lovesick Man’ (1916). Battlefield terrain from World War One frames the George Grosz painting.

“Nobody can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell...” from the Bob Dylan song Blind Willie McTell. 

The copyright of original images remains with the holders of same. Under fair use provisions I have composed new work for non-commercial purposes and commentary.

upon

 

 

 

 

I Said to a Cab Driver…

ink A

First a bit of background: I’ve been wearing a cast on my leg and foot for over 40 days. Xrays tomorrow. I’ll find out how well the 7 screws (and my body’s healing processes) have done their job.

ink B

Had surgery on May 31st. Pushed through and had my book launch on June 12th with Never More Together. My friend William Beauvais played classical guitar. Mother Nature cooperated during a week of rain & gave us a glorious evening on the ‘Tango Palace Coffee Company’ patio. I was exhausted yet enjoyed it all.

ink cc

During the last 44 days regular life has come to a standstill. Getting from point A to B is laborious. Summer plans changed. One notable illusion dissipated, a couple of very hopeful (creative) ideas germinated, names and faces came (via telephone and in person) out of the past, I met many kind people and had interactions I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve come to the simple conclusion that (living in) the universe gives us experiences and it’s up to us to make of them what we will.

inked d

And yet I’m also puzzled by synchronicity. The why of what, the what of when, the when of why. This seems to exist of its own volition. Unless the self has the power to mysteriously will coincidental events into existence. Paging Dr. Jung…

inke e
The first four drawings from my sketchbook are from a planned series showing facial profiles as well as a spiral motif. Again I return to Jung’s quote that in times of crisis humanity returns to primal symbols. The final page is post-accident and shows the symbol but not a profile. It has a different feel to it. The drawings from ‘before’ seem to be describing an immersion, or perception of reality. The most recent drawing seems to be aiming. Has ‘experiencing perception’ been replaced by a direct line of reception? Is this what pain does?

e ink Read the rest of this entry »

Inner and Outer Worlds Permeate Poetic Pulse and Melody

afternoon in paradise 3afternoon in paradise 4.afternoon in paradise 5

The streetcar stops beneath a railroad overpass

Snow still on the ground.

Melody stirring a pot of homemade soup

In the apartment she shares with her mother

Near the courthouse.

afternoon in paradise 7afternoon in paradise 8

A scratchy sofa

Something forgettable on TV

afternoon in paradise 6

I pass through her kindness like a boat cut loose.

afternoon in paradise 11

How can I prevent

What I don’t know will happen?

afternoon in paradise 13

Her eyelids lower

Contemplating a surreal image,

Her laughter like the northern lights,

Her smile

A Maya Deren film.

afternoon in paradise 9

 Jealous ghosts

Lay in wait on darkened country roads

Rising against immortal young gods

Speed-yearning into the future.

paradise

Does one simple gesture reconfigure a timeline?

Take the second bowl. The cauldron of vocation.

Leave town with her though you hardly know her.

Study poetry or dowsing,

Wash the ghosts away,

Listen to the northern lights sing into her,

Singing blacktopped roads into a charcoal labyrinth.

afternoon in paradise 1with detail bwith detail bwith detail bwith detail b

Creative Literacy in the 21st Century

visual literacy 3

Sandra Dee & Bobby Darin at the Oscars, 1964, with ice cream and a Camus quote.

visual literacy 1

Sandra Dee & Bobby Darin at the Oscars, 1964.

Insanity

American warplanes spray the jungles of Vietnam with chemicals, 1960s.

A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
– Albert Camus

camus

Albert Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our time.” Source: Wikipedia.

Bobby Darin performing his hit song ‘Dream Lover’ in 1959.

Bobby Darin singing his antiwar song ‘Simple Song of Freedom’ in 1969.

ice cone
Read the rest of this entry »

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