Friday, December 10, 2010

Big Blood Painting

The famous artist rolls out of bed at about 9:36 – he puts on his paints. He looks out the window at the snow falling and wonders what amazing work of art he will create today?

I hide behind myself in a standoff with another rabbit, sprinkling the
last bit of time – onto bread. Follow my past for breakfast.

And in the smell of the work is the whiff of oil paint gasping at the wall of meaning. A voice tells me that objects have life – they have a look, they do things, they have power, they represent nothing and they represent things.

Engrossed in meaningful nonsense. Smitten by air and structure and things that are but aren’t, ironic color keeps finding its way into the canvas. It is cold in the studio and to keep warm I think about jumping figures… and violins…, how they dance upstream and disconfigure apparent justice.

I just sit in my studio. My paintings are my roommates. They pass equations down a family tree: these gentle hands and this wild heart beating, a bristling guide to me in the medium. Here is my mind locked into a passive resistance to lethargy; now in my sleepy chair there is little to do other than gaze, wishing it to become something and then seeing it. The figures dance – having a party- laughing – heads looking past the pennants of suffering.

And so constructing a fantastic fantasy out of the pungent, fecal decay of self deprecation, I dream our world as a series of scenarios that coagulate in clumps, disassemble and move on to the next.

I inhale all the morality, ethics, generosity and love that are inherent in humanity and pass it to the canvas in a show of spirit without reason.
Energy is busting again – contain it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Little Conversions

Hello to Positivity – goodbye to death and the good depressive souls that are left alone to observe the freefall of birds in the amber afternoon sky.

Secrets are owned not by their owners but by some amorphous sphere of influence, and in that arena often dangerous soups are fomented – when one part of the secret tricks another and you’re left with performance anxiety. Secrets lie like unremembered slices of your story.

Because when we are children we don’t know about secrets, assembling them in random desperate grabs at fun and burying them beneath tasty talk.

Small conversations and little conversions fill to the brink the orange breakfast nook and then hang around the rest of a life.

And for the songs of movements the crowds have their palms turned toward the thalo sky. They make you sing God Bless America and All of Her Sanctioned Properties.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dirty Nasty Writing

Dirty nasty writing. Putting a hat on under the sun and beneath it a face. Climbing the nest to see shoes under socks waiting on the red and gold tile, posed to surrender to the hard facts. To move and then flex and move while light razzes raison reds and reveals what is underneath. For a trail of principles there is no benefit. For the trial in error the most of a capture is trim. While away in the time zone waves are lapping up on shore – lapping up the sand.

An Eastern European grayness, a shore to shore parade of ships transporting the vague personalities -- along. Perspiring metaphors rise out of the earth pulling up life behind them, branching out from our trunk full of orgasms and old clocks ticking the space away, fright reflections fool your eyes and fire escapes that climb to where one can sit on the roof of the fifth story and see everything that’s worth watching and you ponder the earth is warm, a warm building. But cold highways pass through. It’s collecting green and brown depression pitched between gray buildings - concrete masses with dark windows marching in lock step ever upwards and revealing only clues of life inside – designing, laboring, meeting, like by god’s water cooler.

Every window is an entrance to irony, deception, and virtue behind it. Each window throws back an idea to the world around it taunting and teasing us to discern that which is inside and what is out. And every fire escape betrays the windows and their damn meaning – running rudely from ceiling to floor and from ceiling to floor over and over. Bring us airborne to safety to leaving our deceit, vanity, and narcissism behind – the windows laugh at our delusions and create illusion simultaneously warming us inside and showing up at our environment and parsing who we are.

But inside those windowed hallways with silence – kissing rays of sun – combing the walls flooding yellow yellow enacting with plaster and mahogany doors on brass hinges where as children we ran, disturbing the neighbors, but filled with the joy of springing over bodies through passages tubular and of lightful color. Betraying the average loyalty to our parents.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Which will pitch into the night swollen with darkness and smelling of worth; which will run like the rivers to a place of respect and love, fading as car horns in a cool grey afternoon and then rise like smoke in distinct praise of the atmosphere…………

Which will stare into the warm auburn tea, which will translate smoke into message, and raise the cloud cover and put out the paper in the morning with breakfast on it.

Which will migrate to the place where everything blends like colors run amok- this place that is understood only by people with a vibrant capacity for unreality, for chaos, for nature – mostly women – this place where the source of human power was born.

Which will come to me at my feet with tongues hanging out of their passive mouths, their eyes agape with the thought of another day – in heaven. Which will stay aborted.

Which will step by step mark the beat of branches torn from their limbs and thrown into the cold, wet detritus smelling of musk and searching in the passes for worms and insects. Which will stand in for any challenge with teeth whitened by white strips and refuse to pay for their share.

Which ever lasted together, they were upstairs before the last call for dinner – the bell chimed in the hard hands of the nun.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Purpose of Shadow

It is what we are made of and yet it’s all we can do to control this mass of organic material that clings to our consciousness.

Much less turn to the window and without any idea why, rant at the light – trying to enrapture its charge in the folds of our mental cloak; enable a lit idea that eludes us.

To capture shadow is to be forever free, and in the way of frequent arousals, find a basket of forever thoughts.

And yet

Thinking as some do, and some don’t, and we see that when they do they won’t.

Isn’t it odd to have a darker world that follows us wherever we go. A world that has been associated with bad things. More than sadness shadow bends beyond the walls. It shifts past the break in surfaces; it elucidates the barrier that surrounds the image of our moral selves. The equating of shadow to our sense of drama pulls at us like the moon pulls the ocean.

We live so close to the shadow world but then without it we would be formless, flat shapes of color, walking around like characters in a Miro painting. Two- dimensional figures pressed up against a landscape without a hiding space.

Then we always think of ourselves as being born out of darkness – a reflection of our individual births from the womb. And then our shadows irrepressibly stay with us as alternate selves; they are a reflection of our bisected minds compartmentalized by the barrier between positivity and negativity, living spirit and wasting death. For want of reason we cannot consider our corpus as negative so that leaves our shadows as such.

And so the more shadow we surround ourselves with the more we tend to think of ourselves as unreliable animals, unpredictable. That is because perhaps the more shadow that surrounds us the more we live in a world vibrant with imagination – beyond the social mores that contain us.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 6

We Are Curious

Look into any dark closet. Search out something that could be something else. A dimly lit edge of a hairbrush or the deepening inner soul of a shoebox. Study the closet closely until you can find the shape or form of something unidentifiable. Is it inside of us or outside? Is it real or imagined – maybe the edge of our subconscious or the tip of it so that our unknown mind is just beginning to emerge there. See a vague thing there – we don’t know if it is a part of us or something apart. When we fall asleep we begin to dream like we are in the closet. We have stepped into another room where a performance that has no narrative is being acted out by an illuminated impression of our memories. Things occur randomly and we recognize some, not others, we are afraid, or saviors.

But then anything, if not us, becomes us – a man with a wooden box under his arm – a woman with blazing red hair – a hard-walking Asian woman whipping her hair away from her face, partially exposed, a sort for children to adore. We mentally swallow these things and they strengthen our arms and legs with new and thickened dreams. The beat of music with an exotic flaring principle shifts into view. Accordions exhale their dismal tone until another chord fills those expanding lungs. Every step a new door - a black lady twisting her hand upward and forward toward energy and focus, her words follow – a white man in a white shirt with a white cell phone affixed to his head crossing the street leaving his pants behind – a visitor from the other side of the table with his own electronica and a turquoise scarf - while crossing the street with old tennis shoes and a dog’s tail and a friend with a sign and a mind that is filling quickly with coffee drinkers, while sign bearers are ejected from the street corner and an angry dancing shirt walks into view and music that makes the body twitch makes now the mind twirl – that’s dreaming man.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 5

We Love to Breath

We take time to observe our breath on cold days. When we see it it reminds us that we are an organism that walks and talks and lives – quite a long while. And on the edge of sleep we can hear ourselves breathing – and when making love. Sometimes when we are frightened our own breathing increases our fear and then wound around our own dilemma we forget about the dream of breathing. The clock chases our breath: remember the rhythm set by our lungs. Shadowy nights in the woods remind us that the moon is breathing with us – there in all of it’s yellow, flat glory – quiet, calm, and affective in us.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 4

We Love Sound

We listen to baseball fans singing “1, 2, 3 strikes your out of the old ball game,” while semi trucks rumble over thunderous hooves. Then Mozart plays a series of chord changes that step ever so slowly up up up, each one weighing more than the other in emotional tonnage, each one grasping part of our wisdom and self conflict and dragging it along. Voices from some distant apartment escape through a window half stuck unclosed – voices that describe an entire series of one sentence plays, a cross section of a dream so tiny that it has to recoil down alleyways into light wells down elevator shafts, and into crawl spaces to establish any authority, and even that soon fades away into the chorus of collaborative aural urges that history emits – and too to be drowned out by the sound of the ice-cream truck as it rounds the corner followed by cheering children, waving their voices in their hands making columns and pulses of lines at ninety degrees and the expectations on shaping rhythm.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 3

We Love Perversity

We love perversity – when it inflames us – when we have to hurt ourselves to remind us that there is a material world - that pain reminds us of flesh and bones that surrounds out consciousness stark and aware. We know we love everything we’re not supposed to. We love the violence in the movies and a good story about infidelity. We are totally fixated on the Holocaust – and those handsome all-powerful Nazis are a real turn on – the glare of a hundred thousand National Socialists goose stepping in perfect synchronization, not in the stadium lights of night, but in a stadium lit by nightmare – fascinating – fascinating – our human condition that can collectively periodically become insane. We are perverse and love this –we seek to duplicate it and stop it all at once – we move toward self destruction as we try to save ourselves. Every day a murder occurs that is more bizarre, and yet creative than the day before – and the newspapers love this – and we do as well. Horror becomes us.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 2

We Get High

The office was a hollow core of cubicles and silent computers. At 4:30 what could you expect? Still by habit he collected all the elements of his desk into a private regime passively entombed by the barriers of photos of his family and pen holders, file holders and the like. He felt modest advance by the plaudits he received for reducing the company’s debt. But nowhere had he put his hopes such as that which now rose up in the Internet. Bracing himself against suede he studied the stocks. Investments were up – way up. This was the break - this was it. He had imagined it could happen. Anything was possible now. We get high.

Light filtered through the stony niche that framed his hut. It was as chilly a breeze that swept across the earthen floor and seemed to flow up to his chest. He moved. The air followed him rich with the smell of Blue Blood Rivers. Sheep moved reluctantly away from the huge dog that shepherded them. Velvet grasses separated exposing a glimpse at the distant dark clouds. Sounds of the river rose and fell, washed from bank to bank and carrying an abundance of food to him and his. He drank the tea musky with saturated herbs that had been prepared overnight, until he felt his senses able to feel and touch and see things from the inside out. We get high.

Our group stays strong – it is observant. The council can ad new rules as is allowed in our bond. It is allowed. - but no behavior is allowed outside of those rules – our group is pure. Our group acts for the greater good. We never break our bond and that is why we are the most self-referential of the peoples and mix only with our kind. It must be right – we must be destined to be supreme – only we can keep our selfish urges in check. It is for the overall good that we are unified in our selflessness. We are pure. We get high.

Oak wood groaned as the soldier’s boots ascended into the thoughtless darkness. Stifled, steps, round and round – until nine steps could be seen, then eight, then the frame of a doorway. As vest coated men, bedecked in hard cloth armor, weapons hidden, assumed their positions in the vaulted chamber. Passions of every kind had been lived out and swallowed in this vault where the light was stained by colors, standing as high as eight men, and icons shed a level of order to every thought that was a partner to the old stories – unsettled figures paved the sides of the vault, only pronouncing the absence of human presence central giving space to that within. Every shade of brown escaped from the floor only to be turned into dazzling color. The sound of private voices making public pronouncements sang, almost inaudible. Then vestments and ancient jewels assumed their positions carrying staffs and incense, the smoke releasing pungent flowers into the air. Words and motions that had survived the plague, the reformation, starvation, all swept the rest of the light from the group and swallowed any internal dialogue, rushing it into a vertical firestorm of praise. We get high.

Three more staggering people came in to the house and flopped down on a massive couch – where did that thing come from anyway. Didn’t Rob borrow it from his old girlfriend – the new one that jumped him at Danny’s. Well anyway there we were laid out on the couch, feeling kinda bluesy, well no actually feeling young and right and ripe. Anyway the noise was so loud from pulsing music – images on the set were reduced to a silent movie which was actually OK because it was funnier that way and none of us cared 'cause we love indulging in indulgence – on the big couch. We don’t give a shit. We get high.

I like to be called “Chief”. That’s what they called me in Local 28. I like to reflect on my time there. Local 28 is really my baby. Why I decided to run for the council I don’t even know. Things were going so well. Then those vendors, looking for deals, looking for control of the South Section, chasing me around with there promises. Jesus how could I be so stupid. But I’ll give it one more try. Just got to work harder and put everything into this one. If I just don’t fuck it up. God how could I be so stupid. After my brother pounded on me for my first ten years – still can’t take care of myself. Of course my family is better equipped than every one of our friends, or acquaintances I should say. Just look at that new driveway – that thing is a piece of art. Even if I did have to pay the contractor double. We get high.

This day was a tag day. Last night honored the new and fertile women of the family. Those magic women who would perform on this day were now in the river washing off all the dusty horns of stained men, of stained animals, of the wondrous world of questions. Cutting time meant final preparation for bonding with men – girls, breast ready, and with wildly wet-oiled legs were laughing. Those girls– all the girls above the young ones picked their beloved cutter. Knives prepared to nip in neat rows the pinched tender skin of the girls. More lines in rows of corn and potatoes, under the soft and well curved pale valleys in each body; only this age, only this time until the sun sets on a life - this was it and as pain gathered, her other self stepped toward her to pull her up into every day and night since time began and then there was no mind of pain at all. We get high.

I am working with a brush that has had just about all of it’s bristles cut off – the ferule that holds the bristles is loose – the glue having faded that held it solid. Bristles so short will hold very little paint, so I am really scratching color into the canvas a half inch at a time. The loose ferule ads an element of unpredictability to the accuracy of the brush and therefore a consistent need for a dialogue between the brush and I. At times I need to whisk the brush over the canvas to get the paint to transfer – at other times I need to gouge my way along. I know what this image will look like when done but I’m rather hoping without reason that I will have further clues to guide me in the short term. Sometimes I adhere to the continuation of the line – other times I work from a point further down the line and work my way back to where I left off. Sometimes I release hardly any paint and medium into the line and then with the help of that moistened stretch it is easier to release paint when I go over it. There is something especially gratifying about working so tediously in step with my emotional frequencies – much like a brick layer with the knowledge that each small movement and gesture will eventually accumulate to be a building, but meanwhile right now the inspiration comes from laying that mortar on just perfectly before the brick is laid into place. It is in this play between expansion and smallness that the universe seems touchable. We get high.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Observations on the Human Condition 1

We Kill

This is morning - it is warm and why not? The fields of corn bend and sing - and why not? People down by the lake take flying leaps into the water - the splashes sound out the words, "people kill", and why not? We are who we are - we create sensational beauty - and we kill. Are we some kind of virus? - transcendental glory to be seen through the microscope - and yet a plague for that which is attacked. An aggressive horror, a nightmare in sepia noir, yet ripe with the flutter of butterfly wings dropping sunlight onto red and blue flowers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

This Morning.....

I am mulling my way around. Thinking about shit that I should be - or chances won or lost. Wondering when some really good ideas will shift my life from same ol', same ol', to an alien world. Or thinking about passivity and what is the point at which one loses the will to struggle, and loses all emotion - becomes an empty shell.

And then the young lovers rise to go - so beautiful, and emitting weird laughs - life is strange, that.

I have always been very good at engaging in life and its heat: the heat is intense in it's variety and shapes and levels.

There are times when suddenly everything clicks - and a sudden surge of energy, a sudden elevation of spirit - a harmony with my studio's ambiance - and the music is grand - every image dances - the smell of turpentine intoxicates - moments when life is there in my heart, taking me away on a romp, running and ruining my imagination - it's all about power in such times.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thoughts on a Sunny Day

It's interesting to me how the sort of things that I would photograph in San Francisco in 1984 are the very same as those I would photograph in Seattle in 2010. Same longing - same lust. do we ever change our abilities to create?

I wonder about the man with the crutch and the swagger. How does he live? What does he think about? And the boy making noise on his drum. What does he hope for? Is anyone any better than someone else? Sure the sun is shining and people are up - feeling good, high. Sun is breathing life into them - they've got that feeling - but is anyone any better than someone else? And if I draw a square, is it any different than a curve that swings way wide of the batter?

And if a cluster of people cross the street at once do they hear a sound in the middle of the crowd that gives life to the world? And if a beautiful girl turns to the sun one minute and then turns away the next - is she still thinking about her weekend passed?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Human Beings and Yet the Same

I followed myself through alleys until I noticed her. She stood there laughing - at my work. The sound of her voice tickled me inside - and I laughed too.

The consequence of all that beauty: "it's nice to be alive", she said. I nodded and looked at the trees - her knees.

I built a house for us.

Full of bangs and bumps and volumes of emotion that translate into pictures and words and men smoking cigars in place of the scent of steak.

Beautiful women fly through as if tethered on ropes and suspense.

I built a house for us - well not quite - full of dreams and illusion and cries of more. More lawn to mow - innocent blades of grass filled with water

and a

Banana Holder

Well anyway, the search continues: self indulgent - soul preserving - I see myself, already past - who was I? I never got to know me really.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Human Condition

We are not a species, a race, a population - we are a condition - part disease, part ethereal presence living in an environment of frequencies, of synapses, of collective sensations with energy and velocity - now and then landing on a peid a terre where all the frequencies settle and become physical.

You want to hurt yourself so you feel something real.