Saturday, May 31, 2008

Heart-Shaped Nail

Pain seen from a distance
has a certain romance
the idol as fetish on its way to indifferent oblivion

one desires a rescue immediate, immacculate
at sea
from mediocrity and insignificance
I want to count... Okay: 1,..2,..3,..

And as the indistinct features
of the unknown
start to take shape

One finds herself shot
through the heart
by an angry madman
with a nail for a heart

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

the Designer

the Buddha gives you the finger
you know you're gonna have a bad day
the instructions to your your prayer wheel
are in spanish and a bunch of homeless guys
with shotguns are coming down the hill.

a coffee filter for a skull-cap (you hope the Rabbi doesn't notice.)
Someone is poking the manticore from behind and it hasn't figured out
where the problem lies. Yet.
once ahead of the rain the running never stops
the beasts must still be watered and fed otherwise
you may become the food-
(that thing you eat will eventually eat you, anyway.)

R.I.P. , Utah Phillips

Monday, May 26, 2008


This is a dream sequence
A player (Brian Dennehy) he has several parts:
Bloom and Daedalus
Boylan and me.
Out to the tower- a man in a chicken suit
Morgan on the cheap

of course, this is nonsense- this is madness- I don't need to tell you!

All these men set out to sea
in little paper boats
No wonder there are so many memorials

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Set back, Heroes, no one cares!
There were women, here, once.
Now the circus is full of rats and bats and roaches,
but the mice retain control

A dark, tiny-titted world- shrivelled and nipple-less
where the warriors suck at the hind, dry one-
re pleat with falling teeth and shifting hairpiece-
the comb over is truly attractive, yes?
Leopold Bloom and Mack the Knife make their rounds
in the rain it all looks like lonely love

Yes. We have mistaken mania for genius and silence for wisdom.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


How much can anyone get away with? How big are your arms, how far is your grasp? How long will it be until somebody yells,
"Stop That Man!?"
There are feathers in the lungs of the saints today. The miracles have run out. The biopsies start here.
The dream-machinery is at work, full-tilt, but a gasket seems to be bursting somewhere in the mechanics- reality leaks out- a teaspoonful becomes a tsunami.
Let the big guys collect the data- what will they do with it, once they have it? Store it, keep it dry for a thousand years, then lose it, throw it away or watch it go up in flames.

Monday, May 19, 2008


* In case it is not clear, this is a diary. Aside from my true life there are certain appropriations, and certainly unfulfilled desire. The rumbling of my mortality dislodges small rockslides of regret. Things I would have given into, such desires as having the quality of my undeservedness to their fulfillment. A starving boy at the feast, again refusing to eat.

Now the slow method of winding up, the beginning of the last act- I missed the intermission, I was in the bathroom- it still is not decided whether this is a comedy or a tragedy- as if it really mattered. As I gather little acorns and make them mine own- in the gleaning there may be some method of understanding- the unified field where the grid of the continuum stretches out forever in all directions, no vanishing point anywhere you look.
The only vanishing act is ours. "We are in love with what disappears*."

* "I have not lain with beauty all my life
and lied with it as well,...." (Ferlinghetti, again)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lotus Eater

An answer is a claim. It may be true or not. An answer is a claim to know. Something.
How long was Odysseus in the land of the Lotus Eaters? How long will you or I be there?

The ship sails next to find Polyphemus- holy shit - we'll be in trouble then?

Falling is not flying, or is it?

This is one possible answer to the question of the nature of the real-

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Robert Rauschenberg died yesterday. He was 82 years old and came from the same town (Port Arthur, Texas,) as Janis Joplin. In an interview with NPR that he did a while back, he said that he didn't work with ideas- only materials- he was curious to see how things looked. I think what he meant was that he distrusted ideas, alone, (read: concept or story-telling, or iconography,) to sustain his effort and keep him engaged. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but this is one way to sidestep the whole problem of imagery. (What picture do we paint today?) I think he might have been the artist who said, "take something, do something to it, look at it, do something else to it,..." (I'm paraphrasing, badly, and I may not even have the right guy- but if not, this seemed to be Rauschenberg's way of doing things.)

I believe that my own practice and approach may be, in some small way, similar; I'm not so much worried about the outcome as I am concerned with the process, both in selection and execution. It doesn't matter if I am empty or not when I start- something will usually happen, as long as I show up.

This usually means, if you are being honest and true to yourself- you are often working way out in front of any audience that you care about. It always takes them a while to catch up.

Goodbye, Bob.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Death and the Maiden

So, in keeping with this somewhat morbid theme of the last week or so- some thoughts on typically Germanic iconography.
-an ancient armadillo/asleep for centuries/in the cellar of the Kremlin/raises its horny head/opens its square third eye/and looks around blinking/and then at last/unglues its great gut mouth/ and utters/ecstatic static.
-from Lawrence Ferlinghetti- "Moscow in the Wilderness, Segovia in the Snow. (I will take you somewhere old.)

I bought a new hat from one of those outdoor mall kiosks- it didn't change my smile, though.
borrowed from Terunobu Fujimori

Yes I guess I appropriate (so much nicer word than steal-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mister Death

My little dog always barks at this old man in the neighborhood. I don't know why, perhaps he threatens her in some way- he probably smells scary to her.
I went to San Luis Obispo last week to attend the opening of my show at the SLO Art Center. As part of the event, I was interviewed by Crissa Hewitt, an artist and radio show host, for the local NPR affiliate- KCBX. The podcast of the interview can be downloaded here
I have been thinking a lot about Gerard Hopkin's "the Windhover" lately. I remember how forcefully this work struck me when I first discovered it some thirty years ago. I'm not sure if it is completly wonderful (I could do without the last six lines- but I seem to connect with the first eight lines at a very deep level.) I think this poem is about the beginning of the end. The silence in it is miraculous. For me, it explains the duality of existential lonliness versus un-self-conscious exhiliration and transformation. Despite the looming futility of all this, everything is O.K.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

tis a Tale Told by an Idiot

There are times when each of us is overcome with weariness (is it over yet?) The bombs keep falling and the voices keep saying "more."
But this is meaningless noise and babble- even these drawings- the emmissions resulting from solitary consolations. Pay no attention. The Universe is not speaking to us.
Who we are will have to be enough.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Father Breath

We went to Pismo this weekend and took our little dog for a run on the beach. I spent much time, there, walking and reflecting. Earlier in the week I saw part of a documentary on Ovation called "the Source," and found much of it inspiring and moving. The film deals with the Beat Poets and their struggle for authenticity- until the struggle was no more-
While walking and thinking, I could not get the segment of Ginsburg's "Father Death Blues" out of my mind.
When I compare my effort in this life with some of these people- I am meager in comparison- but none-the-less, I am skimming- floating-skating on a surface of some kind that I can barely see- (it's way too close- you see.)
Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell.

Allen Ginsberg