the trouble with the robert frost
“two roads diverged…” encyclical
is that the two roads are just two.
in real life, it’s so complex:
the crossroads is a dandelion
of three dimensions, maybe more.
some circumstances force a move.
some preferences are imposed.
and fear, that strongarm bully, steals
the will from making wisdom count.
at time a traveler suggests
just with a smile: it’s time to go.

each breath inhaled is choosing life.
each kiss exchanged is choosing love.
each journey says a better place
awaits. but journeys may play false,
with distance that no yardstick tells.
the real journey’s in our heads,
in touching soul-to-soul; in goals
we keep, or not; in choosing words;
in scratching itches till they bleed
then learning that they’re best ignored;
and letting go begins a trek
along a path that must astound.

There’s a group on Facebook that is revving up for a two-month stretch of daily artwork on an index card. This is known as the I.C.A.D. Challenge, and it runs June 1st through July 31st. Meanwhile, group members, including me who just joined, are warming up, some with one of the ten prompts the group leader has provided.

I got my feet wet yesterday with one of those prompts: “Make a doodle of your own name.” Today I did a prompt of my own inclinative devising: “Draw one of your personal heroes.” I drew Jack Kirby, using as photo source one of the photographs in the book KIRBY: KING OF THE COMICS by Mark Evanier. This book was loaned to me by Russ Kazmierczak, Jr., who, when he saw my index-carded Jack Kirby, urged me to post it. So here we are.

kirby 052315


The last Letterman aired tonight. Most of this page was done during the show, but I wasn’t quite done when the show was, so I kept going till 11:59 PM. So it’s all DAY OF the show, anyway.

Day Vid LETTER Man

Daffy hijink’s revels–hey, let’s check the Monkey-Cam
Distribution’s vetted till he has a Big Ass Ham
And at last the nightmare’s done for both Dubya and Bubba
As he’d won the kiss of Julia Roberts–Hubba Hubba
Yes to pairs of World Wide Pants–enough to clothe a nation
Yet we’ll daydream–of a Dave returning to his station

I just finished watching the climactic conclusion to MAD MEN, which has been hyped to pieces and made the capstone to a binge-watching marathon. I trust it won’t spoil things for those who haven’t yet viewed it to say that I hope that the Coca-Cola Company paid through the nose for what must be the ultimate Product Placement. I also wonder if the series was conceived with this punchline in mind. I note the precise timing of the ending with one of the most famous happenings in advertising history.

Remember the scene in WAYNE’S WORLD where Wayne and Garth scoff at “selling out,” all the while holding up blatant product-placement products? Pepsi was one of those products. I wonder if this whole series was Coke’s revenge.


Mad (brought to you by Coca-Cola?) Men

Merchandising brought this dream
M I N E D to order per a scheme
AVARICE, you weave your lace
And you net by product’s place
Does this coca-chewing clan
Deal in…cola? That’s the plan

10426275_10203751842664959_6033008096862755325_n (1)

Here, as Paul Harvey used to say, is The Rest of the Story regarding my transaction with Rachelle Olsen (see last post). Rachelle and I got together at the Clarendon Hotel in central Phoenix, where she was displaying at a phenomenal exhibition called ARTELPHX 2015. She had my painting, but it was not the painting she’d initially offered (see last post). Instead, it was “Koi III,” a painting I had publicly expressed a particular fondness for. It had been on display at the Fair Trade Cafe with a price tag of $275–and believe me, that’s a bargain. Even at the price it represents the highest payment-in-kind per hour I’ve ever made writing. (Previous record $26.00/hr. Nice work when I could get it!)

Ownership of this magnificent painting has its perks. The image makes a fine screen saver and can be photoedited to suit a mood or occasion. And doing so aptly demonstrates that there is nothing like the real thing.

10426275_10203751842664959_6033008096862755325_n (1)~2IMG_20150516_211348
10426275_10203751842664959_6033008096862755325_n (1)~410426275_10203751842664959_6033008096862755325_n (1)~3

Valley artist Rachelle Olsen, mentioned previously in this blog, made me an offer I could not refuse. If I would write her “Artist’s Biography,” a succinct crystallization of her artistic focus, career and philosophy, she would pay me either in cash or a painting of hers. No fool I, I chose the painting. This evening I go to pick it up. It looks like this:

rachelle painting 051615

Here is what she got in return:

“Rachelle Olsen is the artistic force behind the Phoenix, Arizona gallery

Impossible Blue Studios, which showcases her paintings in acrylics on wood and

canvas. Born in American Fork, Utah, her upbringing was in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Though she is mostly self-taught, she has benefited from the tutelage of Burdell

Moody of the Belleza Gallery in Bisbee, Arizona. Her signature work is the

depiction of realistic subject matter in a geometrically expressionistic manner,

uniting pictorial elements with pixelesque vibrance. There is speculation that her

work partakes of her unique synaesthetic sense, which occurs in about one in 25

people and which transfers sensory input from one sense to another. She may, for

instance, hear a sound and have her brain ‘translate’ it to sight.

“Ms. Olsen’s work has been showcased in such diverse Phoenix venues as the

Firestage Theatre, the Fair Trade Cafe, and “Equinox” on the Art Detour. Her work

is in the collections of Jobeth Jamison, Eric Shelley, and James Wannerton in the

United Kingdom.”

After we agreed on the deal I asked Rachelle if I could feature her in one of my blog posts, and double-acrosticize her and Synthaesthesia. She readily agreed, and here is what I did.

 synaesthesia n rachelle 051615

And here is what it says, synaes-synthesizing all over the place:

Synaesthesia & Rachelle

Sensoria draw lines across the [sand]
You C a sound to freeze U where you [stand]
Nor ought we give the C a [reprimand]
A [beaten] C [delineates] what’s [grand]
Effective photons hit us in the kisser
Salacious tactiles tickle aural viscera
The translate them into a textual [or textile] doc
Hot contrails stream their vids from Mock to Mach
Essential oils taste green as mink we stole
So fletch that arrow & make William tell
Intentionally odd hues bright & droll
Avail her of a oeuvre si si belle [work so so beautiful]

Most of us have heard of Edgar Allan Poe, but H. P. Lovecraft was a greater influence on the fledgling horror writer Stephen King. Lovecraft’s TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS (Kindle-downloadable, by the way) gave me the willies about 35 years ago. This is a long-delayed paying-it-forward.

cthulhuku 051315


h. p. lovecraft had
issues. one of them was a
big fat hairy deal.


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