Monday, May 31, 2010

People Become Things: Carreg Samson

This is a watercolor painting called, “Wales - Carreg Samson Abercastle,” by British artist Ian Sidaway.

Carreg Samson is a Neolithic site in south-west England. The standing stones are believed to have been erected possibly as long as five thousand years ago.

Abercastle, Carreg Samson at Wikipedia

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but rocks stay that way for centuries.

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but people crack, crumble to pieces.

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but rocks watch civilizations fall.

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but people fall, watch each other fall.

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but rocks on rocks always remain rocks.

Sometimes people lay on top of each other
like rocks, but people on people become things.

People look at rocks on rocks and make paintings.

If rocks looked at people they would crack, laughing.

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Unpolished And Uncut Stones From “Rocks On Rocks” – #1

Unpolished And Uncut Stones From “Rocks On Rocks” – #2

Unpolished And Uncut Stones From “Rocks On Rocks” – #3

To Push Away The Universe Itself

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cookies And High Heels In A Clean Kitchen

French Open tennis starts at four a.m.
and Jupiter rises at two-thirty.

I might stay up all night. Write a little.
Draw a little. Make a little music.
Set up my telescope for Jupiter.
Then check out the tennis on the red clay.

If seeing is good, my highest power
should let me see Jupiter’s missing clouds.
Well, I’ll be able to see where they’re not.

And if it isn’t raining in Paris,
Maria will take on Justin Henin.

Now that Jupiter is missing some clouds
I hope looking at Jupiter doesn’t
change me and take away something from me.

Some people used to believe just looking
at something created contact with it.

This is Maria pretending to cook.

Cookies and high heels in a clean kitchen.

Ancient lore advises if you’re ever
kidnapped and taken to the fairy realms
it’s best not to eat food they offer you.
Legend has it fairy food will change you.

I am hoping Jupiter won’t change me.

And I am hoping that I have the strength
to politely refrain from pretending
to sample Maria’s pretend cookies.

The high heels. The yellow bowl behind her.
I already have looked at the picture.

Before sunrise I’ll look at Jupiter.

The morning Sun will shine on a new me.

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Return To The Kitchen

New Light For My Nefarious Doings?

No Time, No Distance

Planetary Colors And The Grail Quest

All The Sunlight Is For Laughing

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Return To The Kitchen

Back on Tuesday I posted about kitchen sinks being scientists from another dimension studying us humans by observing us in the kitchen.

Porcelain Scientists With Metal Helpers

I got an e-mail saying I should have included a certain Zappa song/video along with that post.

That made me frown because I had considered including that very Zappa song/video on Tuesday but decided against it.

It was one of those nights—Tuesday, I mean—when I wished I had an editorial board to talk over decisions with.

I actually did try to think it through rather than just impulsively choose to do one thing or the other.

The basic quandary was my post was about kitchens being weird. Well, Zappa fans know—and I’ve posted about Zappa quite a bit so I am a Zappa fan—Zappa wrote a cool non-rap rap song called, “The Dangerous Kitchen.”

I wanted to include the song with my Tuesday post because it’s another example of someone trying to squeeze entertainment value out of their kitchen. But it’s about the kitchen being something like dangerous, not weird in a science fiction sort of way.

Also it’s been a long time since I put up a video of myself making music — Quasi Una Zombie Fantasia — so I was trying to hold back on posting videos of other people doing music until I can catch up and do some more of my own.

So I gave it a lot of thought and, eventually, decided not to include the Zappa song with my Tuesday post.

Then—of course!—just hours later I get an e-mail and it’s someone wondering if I knew about the Zappa song.

Uh, yeah!

So I’m putting up the Zappa song today.

I’m working on getting more of my own music up here. I was a little pissed off (and I’ve been pissed off for seven months, really) that the last time I put up a video of myself singing and playing somebody commented “WTF was that?” but that was the only mean comment I’ve ever gotten on the blog in four years so fuck them.

I will have a lot of new music from myself soon, but I’m making many, many changes to how I do things around here—especially in the video/sound department—so it will be a while yet before I get anything up.

I like this Zappa song very much. He did a lot of stuff like this—odd interactions of voice and instruments. If you listen to the bass, it is mimicking his vocals very closely. It’s pretty cool stuff. I don’t remember the production notes from the album but Zappa often performed this live so it’s not just a bass line over-dubbed onto a vocal track—although it may have started that way. More so than anyone I can think of the studio was an instrument for Zappa. At some point, though, Zappa and his bass player must have actually rehearsed this and gotten everything grooved for their live performances. (Or possibly it’s not the bass player, but rather it’s Steve Vai ‘talk-playing’ on his guitar on an over-dub. I don’t remember.)

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The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

“Perfect In His Generations”

Today will be a relatively short post and I’m going to jump around a bit.

Basically I wanted to link to a story about to Dr. Craig Venter creating a synthetic cell in his laboratories in Rockville, Maryland. And I wanted to speak in the same post—not to draw a connection, but just to juxtapose the topics—of an obscure conspiracy theory built from a seemingly trivial Bible passage.

Synthetic cells: It's life, but not as we know it

Okay. That’s the link to the news story. As I understand it, Dr. Venter didn’t create “life” from scratch, but rather digitized functional DNA, copied it synthetically and implanted the copy in a cell and the cell functioned. This opens up the possibility of engineering real, emergent DNA rather than just copying it and re-introducing the modified DNA into a cell. Scientists—and the people who fund them—can create modified plants, animals and presumably people.


One of the few bits of Biblical prophecy many people have heard directly is from the gospel of Matthew, 24:37, where Jesus characterizes the future end-times by saying, But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Nobody really knows what the world was like in the days of Noah. But there is a little known passage back in Genesis that many people either haven’t read or just skipped over, but which some conspiracy theorists have fixed on.

Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.Genesis 6:9

That one sentence, nine words, has gotten a lot of attention.

For an interesting and straight-forward Biblical exposition, Richard T. Ritenbaugh has a nice page on the web: 'Perfect In His Generations'

But it’s interesting to note that just before that sentence in Genesis, there is another passage that also has generated a lot of attention from translators and conspiracy people.

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.Genesis 6:4

Nobody knows what that means, either.

Many fundamentalists interpret the ‘sons of God’ phrase to mean that the Fallen Angels interbred with human beings. This is consistent with certain other Biblical injunctions for women to wear “coverings” to protect them from the angels.

Conspiracy theorists note that as Ritenbaugh points out in his exposition of the phrase ‘perfect in his generation,’ the Hebrew phrase translated as ‘perfect’ really means ‘complete.’

So the conspiracy theory is that the Flood happened because Fallen Angels—Satan and his minions—interbred with human beings so extensively that by the time of Noah only Noah and his immediate family retained a ‘complete’ human genome.

Now, today, for the first time in history, scientists have the means to fiddle with the human genome themselves.

In the old days Satan was able to destroy humanity—from within—by using sex to corrupt the human gene pool. Today what physically makes us human—our genes—can be ‘improved’ by science. Regardless of whether the changes are in fact improvements or not, the bottom line will be that we will cease to be completely human, in the historical sense, when the human genome becomes changed, corrupted.

And, remarkably, this change might mirror something that may have occurred many thousands of years ago through the direct intervention of incarnate Evil.

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When We Meet Monsters

“She’s A Pussy Cat”

Freedom From The Wild

“This Was A Different World”

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Porcelain Scientists With Metal Helpers

I’ve never looked at
my kitchen sink wondering
if the sink’s faucet

and the sink itself
extend from a dimension
where organic life

is a mystery
and porcelain scientists
with metal helpers

investigate us
by studying our kitchens—
what we eat and drink,

how we wash dishes.
But it occurs to me now
sinks and their faucets

might be counting on
our blind trust in our kitchens
to learn our secrets.

They know how we cook.
They know how we eat and drink.
How we wash dishes.

Sinks and faucets know
how women take care of their
fine hand washables.

I will be watching
my kitchen more closely now.
If there’s a pathway

to a dimension
of porcelain scientists
with metal helpers

watching us closely,
well, paths can be walked two ways.
We can travel there.

We can study them.
I want to know everything.
And the kitchen sink.

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Sunshine On Breakfast

Dining At Impossible Kisses

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Squirrel Silhouetted Against The Moon

Just after sundown in the bright twilight
I was looking at the Moon, a few days
away from being full. On the east side
of the street in a tall tree a squirrel ran
along a branch and leaped out into space.

The squirrel, silhouetted against the Moon,
landed on the very tip of a branch
of a tree on the west side of the street.

The squirrel had found a way to cross the street
without worrying about cars coming.

The Moon shines on stuff like that all the time.

Too bad the Moon doesn’t have its own blog.
Too bad that squirrel doesn’t have its own blog.

When they get theirs they both owe me a link.

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Sparrow And Moon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Modern Romance In The Noir

So, set ’em up, Joe. It’s time for two new songs.
One for the dinosaurs. And one for the road.

I Hear Dinosaur Music. It’s Beautiful Music.

If the dinosaurs wait too long to come back
they may not find too many humans to eat.
I don’t believe the so-called Sixth Extinction
will play itself out in a linear way.
I suspect some critical number exists,
possibly a set of critical numbers
depending on the order of species loss,
and when that critical number is achieved
the species loss curve will go exponential.

If the dinosaurs want to eat and fight us
they’d better find a way to reappear soon.

I’m not too afraid of their reappearance.
It will help out the entertainment business.

No one wants to go out to a club and drink
while some crooner sings about frogs dying off.

But somehow there’s modern romance in the noir
listening to some damn punk kids do Sinatra
and asking Joe to set-up a double round
when a Tyrannosaurus eats your sweetheart.

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The Sixth Extinction

excertped at Mass Extinction Underway

(Species loss is a very political issue and the numbers almost certainly are not as bad as activists assert. However even if you discount the most extreme projections species loss is a terrible thing.)

You Damn Punk Kids

The World And The Supervillain’s Nightclub

Big Glass Views Of The Heavens

The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

Musique concrète at Wikipedia

Pierre Schaeffer at Wikipedia

(This post originally included stuff about musique concrète and Pierre Schaeffer, as an elaboration of my note about Brian Eno in “The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs,” but that stuff got cut. However it’s still interesting and I’m going to be talking about it in the future so I’ll leave in these two links.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cézanne Thinking

One of these paintings
was to study the motif.
The other painting

is the end result
of thinking through, painting through,
the scene’s challenges.

If Cézanne ever
was ‘through’ with a scene. I think
he is still thinking.


Both of those paintings are called, “Le Cabanon de Jourdan,” the top is watercolor, the bottom is oil. They are special not just because of their beauty, or because they represent Cézanne approaching the same motif in two different mediums using different techniques. They are special also because they are believed to have been painted in 1906, the year Cézanne died. These two painting are among the final works the artist created. Typically artists make watercolor sketches as preparation for a more involved oil rendering. But many artists, and certainly the impressionists, sometimes reversed the process and created watercolors based on oil compositions they felt were especially successful in one way or another. Cézanne, too, was an exceptional watercolor painter. He did not use traditional wash techniques but rather approached watercolor as something like a very fluid oil medium, where the touch of the brush stroke is almost always preserved on paper. In his later years his oil painting techniques began to be influenced by his watercolor work. Either of these two works may have been the study for the other. Each is remarkably beautiful in its own way. Since Cézanne left no journal we will never know the real back-story to these two paintings.

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Asymmetry In Its Simplest State

The Tache And The Touche

Tina At The Window

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is This A Junkyard Church

Is this a junkyard church, this decay
around us, bricks, steel and broken glass?
Do rusted gears not turning say mass,
is their oxidation how they pray?

Thick clouds turn sunlight to shades of gray.
A photographer kneels in the grass,
hesitant to intrude, to trespass
the broken bricks and cut wires display.

Tiny computers, tiny motors,
focus the camera in the dim light.
The photographer just frames the shot.

Old factories. Old houses. Old stores.
Broken junk transfigures in our sight.
Tiny glories that won’t be forgot.

When the Eiffel Tower was first constructed very few artists created images of the structure. Many people in France hated the blunt iron tower with its two millon rivets.

The influential French novelist Huysmans denouced the Eiffel Tower as, “the spire of a junkyard Notre Dame.”

The French artist Georges Seurat may have looked like a timid clerk, but he approached art and the world around him with the careful, brave mind of a scientist and, as a friend described him, “the heart of an apostle.”

Seurat thought the structure of iron and rivets was beautiful. He painted the Eiffel Tower late in his career when his approach to image-making was completely his own.

Quotes from, “Seurat,” by Pierre Courthion

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“Sexy As The Dead Bridges”

“Organic Chemistry Is So Hard!”

Ancient Cities Of The Moon

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shanghai Rain

I have thirteen cactus plants growing
in a planter on the table next to my bed.
They look like small, green, pointy versions
of all the skyscrapers in Shanghai
except they don’t have millions of people
going to work in them every day
and they don’t inspire everyone in the world
who is still inspired by steel and glass
rising up against the sky.
Cactus plants don’t need a lot of water.
Now and then I check the weather in Shanghai.
If it’s raining over there
I water my cactus plants over here.
There are almost twenty million people
living in Shanghai. It looks like the future.
It looks like the future and the world is watching.
I have thirteen cactus plants growing
in a planter on the table next to my bed.
They look like small, green, pointy versions
of all the skyscrapers in Shanghai.
I keep a close eye on them.

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Five Songs: #3 – Shadows

Empty Lots

Adventure’s Waiting Just Ahead

In Shanghai We’re All Dramatic Chipmunks

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Monday, May 17, 2010

Industrial Landscape, Industrial Decay, Jazz

Fly me to the Moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words
Take my hand
In other words
Kiss me

“Fly Me to the Moon,” Bart Howard

If you do a Google image search for the words industrial landscape the first page of results looks like this:

Kind of bleak.

If you do a Google image search for the words industrial decay the first page of results looks like this:

Looks pretty similar. Abandoned railroad tracks. Dilapidated factories. No people.

The whole concept of the industrial landscape in the Western modern world has become synonomous with the breakdown of industry, not with all the benefits industry can deliver a culture.

Just about a hundred years ago this was what people considered a statement about the industrial revolution:

The old city in the background. Massive steel girders riveted together into a huge structure in the foreground. The gentry and the working class both present. It’s a different kind of look for their world, but people saw the industrial world as a world of life.


Both of those Google image result pages for industrial landscape and industrial decay do not show any people at all. The breakdown of industry is seen as a world in itself. The world. In that world, what place is there for gentry or workers?

In the context of Jungian alchemy there is a kind of inter-locked pair of axioms, neither coming first but both dependent on the other. I mean the beliefs:

What is outside us we take into us and what is inside us we put outside us.


In the context of the entertainment business, a movie that has come to symbolize change and, specifically, change from the old to the new is, “The Jazz Singer.” In 1927 that movie was released and became a sensation because it was the first ‘talkie’—the first movie release with a real soundtrack. And every studio had to upgrade and follow suit. The days of the silent movie were dead and gone almost instantly.

Jazz, even Hollywood jazz, was perceived as modern and driving the future.


Last Friday I told a story about an aspiring jazz singer I knew (not Lena Park!) and her contempt for Stevie Nicks pop songs. In the context of that post I was siding with Stevie and I embedded a great Stevie Nicks performance.

Since jazz has disappeared from public consciousness—along with industry and any industrial landscape not blighted—here is a jazz performance that kind of makes it clear why someone might regard a pop performance as kind of trivial. Embedding is prohibited but the image-link clicks through:

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“Sexy As The Dead Bridges”

Adventure’s Waiting Just Ahead

In Shanghai We’re All Dramatic Chipmunks

Squirrels Of Chaos And Delight

Squirrels And The Lost Mountains Of Tibet

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Epistemology Of Stevie Nicks

The clouds
Never expect it
When it rains
But the sea
Changes color
But the sea
Does not change

Stevie Nicks, “Edge of Seventeen”

For today I wanted to have an elaboration of yesterday’s post. I wanted to have something about the nature of art and some measure for assessing value. Some way to speak to or about the complaint some people make about some art and entertainment being dubious. Yesterday’s post included a quote from an art critic who labeled Karen Kilimnik’s work as “feeble.”

I don’t have that post but I have a couple of Stevie Nicks stories that touch on this issue.

All my life, the best musicians I’ve known have been jazz musicians.

The second-best guitar player I’ve ever known had a collection of bootleg tapes of bad performances by famous musicians. He traded these with friends. It is a hobby shared by a lot of people in the entertainment business. One of his favorite tapes was Stevie Nicks recorded live singing something during one of the bad stretches in her life and without audio processing of any kind on her voice. It was pretty horrible. It sounded like some hoodlums had chained up an old drunk behind a car and were dragging her along an alley and she was screaming in pain as her bones cracked.

But no matter how many musicians I’ve heard laugh uproariously at this tape, every musician I talked to still did covers of one or two Stevie Nicks songs and every musician—although sometimes grudgingly and only in private—would admit that they still liked some of her songs and still enjoyed hearing her sing when she could keep her voice together.

I knew a woman who was an aspiring jazz singer. One evening she asked me if I ever heard of Stevie Nicks and I said I had heard of her. My friend said a lot of people at her shows had been requesting a Stevie Nicks song called “Rhiannon” and she asked me if I’d heard it. I said I had heard it. “My bass player taught it to me,” my friend said. “He did an arrangement for us. Do you know that song is just two fucking chords?” I nodded. I said, “Yeah, but it’s a good song.” My friend looked at me and just like in an espionage movie her eyes narrowed. “It’s just two fucking chords,” she said. “We rehearse songs that take us hours to get right. And people are requesting this stupid Stevie Nicks shit with two fucking chords. Are people fucking retards?” I said, “Well, you know, you can use more than two chords if you want to. When I play it I harmonize the whole bass run kind of.” “Yeah,” my friend said, “but the whole song is still just two fucking chords. What the fuck?” But she performed the song. And even though her band never took the trouble to make a cool arrangement of the song, every performance I saw the audience loved it. My friend never would admit—even grudgingly and in private—that a two-chord song could be a great song.

One time I played a song I wrote that mentioned Stevie Nicks for a young woman. The song included these lyrics:

      What if tomorrow morning
      Everyone in the world
      Dressed like Stevie Nicks
      That would be cool

The young woman had never heard of Stevie Nicks. And the aesthetic issues of dressing like Stevie Nicks had never made the transition from women of my generation to the younger set. I’d hoped to springboard from talking about dressing like Stevie to talking about writing songs like Stevie to get a feel for what the next generation would be thinking about two-chord songs but I never got the chance.

I bet that art critic who doesn’t like Karen Kilimnik doesn’t like Stevie Nicks, either. Maybe she never even heard of Stevie Nicks.

She’d still look cool if she dressed like Stevie Nicks.

That says something about the power of art. Even “feeble” [?] art.

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Dreams unwind
Love’s a state of mind


Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Feeble Post

Over at Wikipedia’s page on Karen Kilimnik they quote a very mean review of her work that appeared in a British paper a few years ago. The review begins with a question that I find almost incomprehensible:

Wan and whimsical paintings - why does anyone want to make them? Why does any self-respecting painter ever set out to be feeble?

Laura Cumming, 2007

“Feeble?” What the hell is that about?

I’ve posted about Gwen John. [Jeffery Camp On Gwen John] Would Laura Cumming describe John’s soft, plaintive images as “feeble” and consequently dubious?

I took the strange question personally because I wrestle with the issue of “feeble” [?] art myself, and I wrestle with self-respect issues myself, too.

Whenever I do a cartoon, I almost always have a hard time because I do a quick, small pencil sketch to identify what areas of the image I may have problems with. Then I do a larger pencil sketch. Then, in the traditional manner of graphic artists, I ink the pencil sketch and render color in one way or another. Most recently I’ve been using Prismacolor markers.

But I usually feel a very strong imperative to stop at either the large pencil drawing stage or even at the small sketch stage. I like them.

I like the gentle images pencil sketches create. The “feeble” [?] images seem to me darn close to being end products themselves. And although I usually like and enjoy the more forceful ink and color renderings, they don’t really feel as immediate and powerful to me as do the original pencil sketches.

For various reasons I’m not going to go into here I recently bought some Liquitex acrylic paints. (I know some people who simply don’t take any image seriously unless it’s a painted image.)


This afternoon I did a quick, small pencil sketch of a woman that I’d intended to be the first stage of the “normal” process of then creating a larger pencil under-drawing which I would then paint over.

But I liked the little sketch so much that I just stopped to think about things. Here’s a scan of my little notebook. The original is 4 x 6 inches:

So I’m kind of stalled—I mean philosophically—right now. I need to figure out a way to think about this, to get comfortable either with what I do or with changing what I do.

I don’t like to post about unresolved issues but this has been on my mind all afternoon and it’s about all I can post on right now.

I’ll try to get better for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Light For My Nefarious Doings?

While Hiding Behind the Sun, Jupiter Loses One of its Belts

... Jupiter has lost one of its belts, specifically the Southern Equatorial Belt (SEB) which figures prominently in Jupiter’s overall appearance.

Astronomers aren't exactly sure why this happens, but the flightiness of the SEB is actually not unprecedented. Jupiter’s bands are actually clouds, with the SEB being primarily made up of ammonia ice, sulfur, and phosphorous hovering above the planet’s toxic, gaseous surface. The belt took leaves of absence in both the early 1990s and in 1973, so its disappearance now, if anything, is a bit overdue (it seems to be on a roughly 15-year cycle).

But due to the orbital dynamics of Earth and Jupiter, this particular disrobing was far more abrupt. Jupiter has been hanging out on the other side of the sun since late 2009, obscured from our view for the last few months. The belt disappeared while Jupiter was hiding, making for quite a drastic change in appearance when it recently re-emerged.

If this occurrence follows the precedent of the others, the planet should maintain its appearance for another few weeks – possibly even months – at which point a bright white spot will appear and begin seeding the former belt with dark blobs, eventually restoring the SEB to its former dark color. And if that doesn’t happen? Well, that’s not really a problem. Jupiter has looked more or less the same as long as we’ve known her, so if she wants to shake things up a bit, that’s her prerogative.

Clay Dillow, for Popular Science

I bought a new pair of pants today. And a shirt.

A cloud belt around Jupiter has disappeared.

My new pair of pants are black. My shirt’s muted red.

Jupiter lost about half its ochre color.

I need to lose weight to fit the slick, clean-cut look.

Jupiter’s the solar system’s largest planet.

If the physics gets freaky at Jupiter’s core,
the “small brown dwarf” theory might ignite like blazes.

If one of my supervillain schemes hits it big,
I’ll look cool running my supervillain nightclub.

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All The Sunlight Is For Laughing

Planetary Colors And The Grail Quest

Big Glass Views Of The Heavens

The World And The Supervillain’s Nightclub

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Seeing Zombies In Christina’s World

To make this painting
a graphic novel someone
would have to invent

a graphic novel
kind of back-story for it:
Christina’s crawling

back to her farm house
after zombies attack her.
She killed the zombies

but they bit her legs.
Now she can’t walk and she knows
she will slowly change

into a zombie.
Will she commit suicide?
Will she ask someone—

mother or father,
her boy friend or her best friend—
to kill her quickly?

To save Christina
from becoming a zombie,
what will people do?


If somebody makes
a graphic novel from this
and Christina’s World

stays alive that way—
new media for new eyes—
will Christina be

a real life zombie,
alive but not Christina?
Is that monster art?

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Christina’s World at Wikipedia

Seeing Things In Christina’s World

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Compass Like A Piece Of Clothing

Letty wears a compass like a piece of clothing.

She wears it clipped to her belt or to her purse strap.

As we’ve been walking around downtown Chicago
I’ve watched her check the compass every now and then.

At some point I said, “I think your phone can do maps
that tell you directions and show you where you’re at.”

Letty shrugged. She said, “I love my compass. It’s like
a phone that’s connected to the planet itself.
Connected to the lines-of-force from the north pole
to the south pole. Always showing me which way’s which.
And not with computers. No monthly payment plan.
Just the astrophysics of the planet spinning.”

Letty wears a compass like a piece of clothing.

High fashion clothing. Designed for a cosmic look.

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Dirty Laundry In Cézanne’s Country #1: The Garden

Dirty Laundry In Cézanne’s Country #2: The Woman In The Garden

Dirty Laundry In Cézanne’s Country #3: The Message

Dirty Laundry In Cézanne’s Country #4: The Reply

A Piece Of Clothing

Friday, May 07, 2010

Poor Lucy Falling To Pieces

How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.

Lucy Westenra, from her diary

There are mysteries which men can only guess at, which age by age they may solve only in part. Believe me, we are now on the verge of one. But I have not done. May I cut off the head of dead Miss Lucy?

Abraham Van Helsing, quoted in Dr. Seward’s diary

Poor Lucy. I was in a library today.
They were raising funds by selling old paperbacks.
I didn’t buy a “Dracula” for fifty cents.
The pages were desiccated, the binding cracked.
The story of Lucy was falling to pieces.

Young people who know her through Wikipedia
will think of her as false, a facade, believing
her role, “unrealistically idealized,”
a criticism that is never leveled at
the gun-toting, blood-transfusing, stake-pounding men.

This is a mystery I can only guess at,
I can only hope to possibly solve in part.
Poor Lucy has been staked. Beheaded. Had garlic
stuffed into her dead mouth. And now in books and films
she’s portrayed as a wanton, creature of the night.

When an age is defined by creatures of the night
those creatures see themselves in every other age.
Dracula transformed Lucy into a monster,
a copy of himself. The world changes her, too,
makes her a copy of itself. Like Dracula.

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Lucy Westenra, at Wikipedia

Saving Lucy

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Not A Moment To Feel Pain

I have sometimes clicked through a video
frame by frame taking an hour to watch
some acting business moment by moment.

Very often a beautiful girl’s face
will be frozen in some weird expression
that looks absurd but you don’t notice it
because it’s a flash viewed at normal speed.

Very often someone’s graceful motion
will be frozen in some weird position
that looks awkward but you don’t notice it
because it’s a flash viewed at normal speed.

We see these things but we don’t notice them.

These odd moments are absolutely real
and for hundreds of years painters saw them
but painters of all schools rejected them.

Video doesn’t reject anything.

I wonder about the endless ugly
stalking around outside us and in us.

We see so much painters would never paint.

There is a monster moving very fast.

It’s eating us but it’s moving so fast
there’s no time not a moment to feel pain.

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The Picture Manifold

Water, Clouds And The Alchemy Of People

Rembrandt, Magic And Substance Becomes Mind

The Act Of Making Was The Prayer

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Thinking Of Mountains

I don’t have a passport yet
and I don’t have lots of cash
so I won’t be in Europe
to watch French Open tennis
from a chair next to the court
on the Roland Garros clay.

But if I were in Paris
as much as I love tennis
I’d be thinking of mountains
while I sat by the clay courts
and the two mountains I mean
wouldn’t be these two mountains:

Rather than sit in Paris
I would want to walk in Aix
and visit Cézanne’s mountain
and for that I’d break out paints
without even attempting
to draw it as a cartoon.

And though the red clay is cool
I’d rather be down-right cold
and visit the volcano
erupting under the ice—
it’s like real-life alchemy—
melting the Iceland glacier.

In the Godzilla movies
monsters come out of mountains.
I could see a dinosaur
escaping from the glacier
where the Iceland volcano
melted away ancient ice.

I’d like to write a story
about the kind of monster
that would emerge from the rocks,
the wild, convoluted planes,
the tones, half-tones and shadows,
that hypnotized Paul Cézanne.

I bet these Hollywood days
the only script that would sell
would be about a monster
that hid in these two mountains
and how a brave scientist
solved the mystery with science.

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The Fuzzy Green Balls Aren’t Monsters

Maybe The Fuzzy Green Balls Are Monsters

Roland-Garros 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sundown In The Place Called Atlantis

Right now Venus is bright in the west after sundown.

There must have been evenings like this when Venus was bright
in the glare from sundown in the place called Atlantis.

I wonder: Did Atlantis crumble and crack apart
when the people there stopped looking at things like Venus?

I’m going to look extra carefully tomorrow.

Someone’s got to make up for all the people watching
reality shows on TV rather than the stars.

I won’t care when this place crumbles and cracks apart but
I’ve got one or two puppet shows I want to put on
so I’ll do what I can for now to keep us intact.

Right now Venus is bright in the west after sundown.

I’m going to look extra carefully tomorrow.

It’s a wonderful job, but someone’s got to do it.

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The Occult Technology Of Lost Songs

When Any Woman Visits My Studio

Ancient Cities Of The Moon

Cynthiae Figuras Aemulatur Mater Amorum

Monday, May 03, 2010

Chopin: Keyboards And Butterflies

One of my favorite things about doing this blog is that often I will do a post that has one or another link to some topic I’m interested in, but that post will one way or another lead me to some other topic that I never would have pursued without the prompting of doing research for the original blog post.

That happened recently with last week’s post Yellow Dress: A Keyboard Odyssey.

I was, for the most part, mainly interested in the yellow dress part of that post, and the keyboard. But I became interested in the Chopin music.

I am kind of conflicted about classical music.

Some classical music I like very, very much. But I have had bad experiences with people from the classical music world. I’m not going to dwell on this right now, but it is not an accident that one of the running themes of Impossible Kisses has been to link Beethoven to Britney Spears.

But after posting the Chopin piece last week—mainly, as I said, for the image of the yellow dress by the keyboard—I read up a little about Chopin and he was a very interesting musician. Chopin was a profoundly piano-centric composer and he used the piano for inspiration and expression in a very personal way.

A friend of Chopin, a writer, described Chopin by saying he, “ neither Polish, nor French, nor German, he reveals his higher origin; he comes from the country of Mozart, Rafael and Goethe. His true country is the country of Poetry.” [Quoted in, Chopin: His Life & Music”]

And from an Impossible Kisses point of view, one of Chopin’s compositions has come to be known as the “Butterfly Etude.”

I will be writing more about classical music at some point in the future and Chopin has made that possible. For me Chopin has rescued classical music—and the keyboard in particular—from the unpleasant shadows of the Beethoven/Britney Spears references. And that’s a good thing.

Here’s the “Butterfly Etude,” Chopin’s Opus 25, Number 9.

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What Is Love? 4—Forbidden Love

There’s Nothing Beethoven Could Do To Help

If Beethoven Were A Fish

Beethoven On Gilligan’s Island

Leptons, Quarks, Gauge Bosons And Britney Spears

Why Did Beethoven Cross The Road?

New Year’s Eve At Impossible Kisses

Beautiful Music