Monthly Archives: March 2018


Yesterday I hired studio time and space at Marjon Ceramics, and turned a twenty-five-pound bag of Cone 5 B mix into the vessels shown here. It was a wan effort, but it sure felt good throwing pots on the wheel again.



Alas, Stephen Hawking is no more. His was a mind for the ages, an imagination that conquered physical straitjacketing. He knew how to explore and navigate the minefield of modern ideas.

And he made dire predictions, notably about what we call Artificial Intelligence. So have I, but I only have pliers and screwdrivers in my mental toolbox, whereas Dr Hawking had not a mere toolbox but a laser-cutting-edge machine shop.

As coincidence would have it, at the time of Hawking’s death I was slogging through FOUNDATION AND CHAOS, written by Greg Bear and authorized by Isaac Asimov’s estate, and it deals extensively with the issue of robotic interference with human history. In it a 20,000-year-old robot, R. Daneel Olivaw, must see psychohistorian Hari Seldon through his trial for sedition and decide which of several courses to take to minimize the long-range effects of the collapse of the Galactic Empire.

FOUNDATION AND CHAOS was written in the late 20th Century, but its themes are remarkably fitting for 2018 Trump-regime America.

And here in that America, people buy for peanuts a hand-held device that contains a bit of artificial intelligence named Siri. She invites us to ask her questions–any questions. And she learns from us, each of us who use her, more about our likes, our needs, and our appetites. One of many scary prospects is that Siri may come to be regarded as someone who knows what we want better than we do, and will cleverly guide our destinies…

Here are the words to the acrostic.

Deities that used to be Jehovah Ra or Zeus

Evolved with technologic flair into our new A.I

And Ms. or Mr., Dr., mein Herr, Madame et Monsieur

Decentralize identities with entities Bi-Bi

Look not to Rimbaud, Rambo, Rousseau, Reeve nor Richelieu

You need to save yourselves with arms like piercing cyber-sais


Long ago–more than FIFTY years ago, that’s how long–Bob Dylan wrote “Mr. Tambourine Man,” including these words: “Yes to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free/Silhouetted by the sea/Circled by the circus sands…”

The phrase “Yes to dance”is positive and powerful. Here in the Valley, there is an ageless, mischievous couple, the poets Neil Gearns and Heather Smith-Gearns, for whom Neil speaks every single Friday on Facebook with the delightful phrase “Its Friday and on Friday we dance.” They have been saying Yes to dance, and Yes to each other, for many years.

So it is my attempt to return to a state of positivity, in the wake of the perfect storm of negative things out in the world and in my recent life, with this page, and these acrostic lines:

you’re relishing, not suffering, your bouts of o.c.d

ephemeral impulsiveness is so your cup of tea

since this is so, your Ginger Rogers feet need no persuasion

so let them glide and smooth their soles with gentle dermabrasion

to live is complicated but to soar is a b c

one loving soul two nimble soles three partners come to be


Prefatory note: I’ve just been through a breakup. No fault is assigned. I posted about the breakup on Facebook, and dozens of friends offered support and kind words. “Make a clean break,” said felinophile and caring friend Sandra. “Turn your angst into art,” said superbly talented, recent-award-winning artist, and dear friend since high school, Beth. “Make art your key love,” said sweet-natured sculptress supreme Deborah. And so this blog post comes to be.

The poem below partakes of several relationships I’ve had but tries not to be specific about who did what to whom, but also tries to avoid being a jumble of ambiguous mush. The three epigrams are of songs that the inner jukebox in my head has been playing in Scramble mode off and on since the breakup, three days and an eternity ago.

To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before
Who traveled in and out my door
I’m glad they came along
I dedicate this song
To all the girls I’ve loved before…

From “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before”
Lyrics and music by Hal David and Albert Hammond
Performed by Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias

YEEAAAHH…now I’m rolling down California 5
With your Laughter in my head…
To survive,
‘Cause those dreams are dead,
And I’m alive.

From “I’m Alive”
Music, lyrics and performance by Jackson Browne

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way I feel
When every Fairy Tale comes real
I’ve looked at Love that way…

But now it’s just another show
You leave ‘em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away…

I’ve looked at Love from both sides now
From Give and Take, and still somehow
It’s Love’s Illusions I recall
I really don’t know Love
At all.

From “Both Sides Now”
Music, lyrics and performance by Joni Mitchell

Collapse of a relationship! Clench fists hang head and sob
Concoct an explanation for the heart that lost its throb
Could be that there was too much scorn upon the daily cob

Lost hope and lost respect will lose the grip of what’s held dear
Loose talk and snarky attitudes make closeness disappear
Left unattended, intimacy withers, it is clear

Entanglements then trip the feet a home becomes a cage
Enlightenment occurs to one or both to disengage

And fancy explanations all add up to Just Don’t Wanna
And then the nearness stifles like an overheated sauna

Now come finalities and benedictions–one last look
New possibilities are on the next page of the book