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Monthly Archives: August 2019

For some reason the phrase “It’s just the wine talking” has been echoing in my head. (It IS one of my days off, and sometimes I’ll have some wine. Alas, there is no wine here now.) So let’s let the wine do the talking, via free-associative drawing…

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Though I’m stone cold sober, I got a bit of a buzz while I watched the drawing unfold. Virtual Wine, Friends–no struggle with the corkscrew, no calories, no hangover! Try it sometime! 🙂

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What happened again? Senseless violence birthed by hatred. To whom did it happen? It happened to daughters, mothers, fathers, and sons. Will it happen yet again? Most likely–but it depends on us.

“Onus” divides neatly into “On us.”

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Chaos Floss

Cameled Millie tends to scoff
Heavily into felafel
And her Office Box is boffo
Owing to her mishegoss
She’s the undisputed Boss

Doing a Chaos-themed work is like having a Get Out of Jail Free card. Any issue the viewer might have may be dismissed or resolved with “Well, it’s not SUPPOSED to make sense/be coherent/be consistent/be a well-balanced composition/rhyme perfectly/scan perfectly. It is a demonstration of Chaos, which is Randomness, or Disorder.”

But I don’t want nor need a Get Out of Jail Free card. Just as James Joyce cheerfully explained any passage of his landmark yet extremely dense Magnum Opus, Finnegans Wake, so too I am eager to demonstrate that there is a method to my chaos.

The title is “Chaos Floss.” What does that mean? It might mean Random Inconsequence, and I think it does, a bit, in this case. At left is a seeming agitated figure holding his head. He appears to be enclosed in an oval or sphere but is in fact enclosed in the negative space created by the two leftmost panels of a four-panel sequence. There are spheres, increasingly small, upward and to the right, which when viewed with the negative space of the figure’s enclosure might be remindful of a series of photos of a planet in orbital motion. The gravitational pull creating the orbit appears to be the “2019” of the signature/date slugline. Did the artist do that on purpose? Does it matter? Does it work with the rest of the page? (Note from the artist: I THINK it does, just as the rug in Jeffrey Lebowski’s front room “really tied the room together,” but I am not the best judge, being partial to my own efforts. YOU are the best judge.)

“Chaos Floss” may also mean the equivalent of Dental Floss, which is a stringlike product intended to improve dentition by extricating unwanted material from the gums and teeth. Chaos Floss in that case would be some means of demystifying the apparently chaotic and revealing the underlying order and-or purpose of the subject at hand.

In the second panel, there’s a guy in a chair, seeming to reach up to touch the underjaw of a giant bird. If you do an Internet search on “Jack Kirby Metron,” you’ll find a similar character, but one a great deal more sophisticated. Metron pops in and out of places using his dimensionally-transportive chair, and he is so hungry for knowledge that Orion of New Genesis claimed that he would “sell the universe into slavery” to get some. The bird I have drawn, that this Bizarro-Metron is reaching for, greatly resembles a creation of mine that I called “The Tutti-Frutti Bird of Benign Insanity.” So in my own private universe, this panel symbolizes the desirability of getting in touch with Benign Insanity. Even the most avid student of my oeuvre (and there are none such that I know of, avid or otherwise) would be hard put to have interpreted that panel without the help that I have just provided.

But I am not trying to be obscure. I would not expect anybody to struggle with the meaning of my image. I hope that, stripped of whatever meaning there may be, my images are visually engaging, and might lend themselves to storytelling that the viewer her/himself may provide. I try to make them so.

Friends, I could go on and on, but it is time, or past time, to wrap up. The poem has a bad and possibly meaningless pun in it, “Cameled Millie” (chamomile), and a lot of f-sounds and s-sounds and soft-o sounds. (“Asinine Alliteration and Upped Assonance?” he asked playfully, vulgarly.) The dark patterned bananas are a visual pun on “going bananas,” which is 1970s American slang for acting crazy.  Even more than Chaos, Craziness seems to be the theme of this page. I trust and hope that it is benign craziness.

I would love comments and questions, as always, Friends. Thank you for your attention!

2019 0821 haiku psych

This isn’t really Haiku, and it’s not really a Psych. But Acrostic Poetry is a procrustean bed, and making things fit makes some things paradoxically unfitting.

how like a Goddess
is the woman whose friendly
grin will always help

an agile mind creates
infinities of motley
keeping life comic

under a burden
buried by obligation
buoyed by Love’s Touch

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A few days ago I had a dozen index cards, a pen, and an hour till the Sun would damage flesh in the Valley not so much. So I spent that hour, maybe a bit more, putting the bare beginnings of acrostic poems on those cards. This is one of them.

“Agnostic Acrostic.” This poem does not claim any insight into the nature of God-if-any. Its author does not think of himself as an Agnostic, nor a Gnostic, nor an Atheist. I once wrote “why i am not an anything” and believed it were so. Now I think of myself as a Glimmer, i.e. “one who glims.” I hope to fully explore–and explain–what that means before my time ends.

This page would not exist if not for my former classmate and lifelong friend Terry Irwin. It was she who told me about “Slow Knowledge,” which if my recollection serves is the projection of the effect on an action taken by a tribe on descendants up to the 7th generation. If the action was deemed of probable detriment to those descendants, the action was not taken, no matter what immediate good came from it. My phrase “slow wisdom” in this poem derives from this, and my poem cannot do without it. 

So, Terry, many thanks. This blog post is dedicated to you and the fine work done by you and your design collaborators.

This page also owes something to Rachel Carson, who warned us of what happens when we fool with Mother Nature. For more details, please see “Rachel Carson, Speaker for the Silent” elsewhere in this blog.

Agnostic Acrostic

Arming ourselves against bedbug & flea
Could lead to Brave New World‘s Streptocock-G
Ringing a change from peut-être to mais NON
Ogles the boggles and ROCKS Status Quo
Slowing our roll and our role in this mess
Takes the Slow Wisdom approach–we’d be blest
If God-notions don’t squeeze us dry–o terrific–I
Could harbor hope if we DON’T wax Deific

So–what does Agnosticism have to do with “this mess”? Relying less on “thoughts and prayers” and more on the wisdom of forethought can both ease future messes and help heal current ones. That’s this humble Glimmer’s opinion, anyway.

One more acknowledgment: Thank you to the quite youthful, peach-fuzzed Bob Dylan who wrote “With God On Our Side.” Bobby, you were wise beyond your years.

2019 0819 false flora

It seems ironic that we would use manufacturing processes to replicate something that is richly rewarding to plant and nurture to maturity. Musing on that, “false flora” came quickly to mind. I leave it to my own AI replicant to construct and execute “false fauna.” Something tells me it will do a better job than I possibly can.

false flora

faking nature’s cold n stiff
and contrived as cultured pearl
laminate & plastics riff. o
some synthetics tilt & whirl or
even worse, REPLACE us–AAAa