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Monthly Archives: January 2022

2022 0127 bunny vomit

Since this post is set in the Quantum Multiverse, where causality is flavored with superimposition and the future has the potential to affect the past, we start with the final result of the page I made last night, and get to how it came to be later. Last night I met with my friends Birdie Birdashaw and Russ Kazmierczak for a sketch session at a coffee&beer place called Sip.

Russ is the creator of AMAZING ARIZONA COMICS and has been making his Arizona-based adventures, including but not limited to his superhero Speed Cameron, a blend of human being and, yes, speed camera, for many years. Birdie, the creator of bunny vomit, has been doing stickers of notable personages lately, and he did one of Russ’s Speed Cameron, with a killer slogan. When Birdie gave me the sticker I stuck it on my shirt. When I got home I stuck it on the edge of my laptop screen and took this pic:

Here are my two drawing buddies at work:

After I took this pic I showed it to Russ (at left) and told him that two words had popped into my head, and he wouldn’t be able to guess in a thousand guesses. I let the suspense build and then said “Sling Blade.” Russ cracked up, and Birdie instantly did a gravelly-voiced, spot-on Billy Bob Thornton imitation. When Russ is focusing on his drawing, he sometimes bites his lower lip and gives himself a faux underbite.

Here are the Three Sketcheteers all at once. The combined Draftspersonship of these three powerhouses could easily heat up a city, and will, some day.


As for Bunny Vomit, truth to tell, the first time I heard the term I got a bit nauseous myself. Let’s not pretend I’m not an old codger with Baby Boomer tendencies. But I did not understand the biological quirk that makes it IMPOSSIBLE for Bunnies to Vomit. (Please look it up! They cannot!) So what the underrated and oft-misunderstood Birdie B has created is a character, and ejecta, that might ONLY exist in a Quantum Multiverse. His Bunny might almost be seen to have a Superpower. But if you want the Straight Scoop on that, straight from the bunny’s mouth, so to speak, check out Birdie’s site at http://www.bunnyvomit.com and be transported.

Meanwhile, here is the acrostic for the page:

Bunny Vomit

Bulimic? No. I play one on TV
Upholding all that I hold far & wee — O
Now we see a syncopated GeM
Now traffic in a Substance not quite Phlegm — I
Yearn for such relief–I’m not exempT

Fun fact: I often call Birdie “Bird.” That nickname oddly conveys the respect I would show Charlie Parker, were he alive and in the same room, and also tips my hat to Larry and Brad.

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My friend Patty W sent me a link to a YouTube video “to occupy your mind.” I welcomed the distraction. Bad news of many kinds has been quite blustery lately.

But Gary Lachman, proponent of what Ralph Waldo Emerson called “New Thought,” offers far more than mere distraction. In the video he did a brilliant analysis of how Donald Trump’s disregard for facts, and action on behalf of “alternative facts,” is an example of the effective use of what Lachman calls “Chaos Magic.” The real-world example Lachman gave was when investors were checking what was happening at one of Trump’s construction sites, back in the day. Though literally nothing constructive WAS happening, knowing the investors were checking, Trump had an earth-mover methodically digging a hole on one side of the site, and depositing the dirt on the other. The investors, satisfied that work WAS being done, went away.

Long ago a dear friend of mine warned me about my pessimism. “Thoughts are things.” Lachman repeated that wise advice in his video. He says we are all capable of Magic, but must beware of how we wield it.

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My Big Brother from Another Mother, Bob Kabchef, shared my poem “vapor trail” with his readership today, prefacing it with a description that tickles me: “The guy’s a veritable volcano of virgin verbaciousness.” Thing is, though, volcanic though I may be sometimes, I owe a lot to Bob throwing title prompts at me, during a weekly event that I produce for our Facebook poetry group Poets All Call. Yesterday he offered a bouquet of titles, three of which were

Eloosive
Pasta your prime
I never knew that

Funny how the mind works. “Write a poem, Gary” will yield brain fog, confusion, and unproductiveness. But “Write a bunch of poems using these titles, Gary” and I am off to the races. I cranked these out in less than an hour.

Eloosive

The loosely-jointed burglar
Squeezed thruogh the junkyard’s crevices
A dog much like a murderer
Was also on the premises
A silent lethal frothing beast
With much adrenaline released
His mission: see the thief deceased
But Burgle-Man was wily;
The challenge made him smiley.

He topped a mound of carcasses
Of Ford and Studebaker
The doggoe climbed sans barkuses
To make the thief meet maker
But slipped on chrome, an effort-ender
The thief said, “Thank you, Freddy Fender!”
He knew the dog would change his gender
If given half a chance;
Best leave this scrappy dance.

The thief slunk out of sight, and grabbed
A carburetor, slinging
It to a heap away, which clabbed
And rung a tone for zinging
And Hellhound was beguiled away
And our eloosive thief ran très
Vite to the fence and up, to sway
Atop, and yelled “Yoo Hoo,
Au ‘voir, O Doggie-Poo!”

Pasta your prime

One minute on the microwave
Another on your lips
A lifetime in your fat so brave
Engirdling your hips.

The pasta you so willfully
Devoured in your youthfulness
Metabolized so skillfully
And vanished, in all truthfulness,

But as the decades drift on by
We slow, we stroll, we’re no so spry,
And pleasures stir and goodies fry
And sing a glutton’s lullaby

Inveigling in its rhyme,
Your ribs are Pasta Prime.

I never knew that

I never knew that
Nor did I know this
Nor the other thing
But it’s not for lack of trying

And sifting through
A lifetime of Thisses
And all those Thats
And the host of Other Things

For that particular That
This specific This
And the like-no-other Other Thing

That we all wonder
And whisper
And worship
About:

This Unknowable
That Indescribable
Other Thing
On the Other Side.

****

Many thanks to my Big Bro Bob, who is a fine and expressive poet in his own right!

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First came the houses on the horizon, then the blossom, then the stairs, then the figure going down the stairs, then more stairs, then Lady Liberty, then Lunkhead the Holy Barbarian. But the blossom needed a flower pot, and the pot needed an Easter Island head. By that time I knew I had tapped into a dream-making machine, though I was awake. Therefore I inscribed it, and then signed and dated it, but then a bird and an aloft cow and an elfhead begged to be added. Done, done and done.

2022 0117 risk disk

Though it is undated, and may be reworked at a later time, this drawing is essentially done as of today, January 17, 2022. Today is Betty White’s 100th birthday. Betty is no longer with us but her legacy of empowerment for women–she led by superb example–and reverence for animals is alive and well.

Two days ago I briefly served as a Docent for the Glendale Arts Council, spending the afternoon at Sahuaro Ranch Park welcoming visitors into the Fruit Packing Building, where the Council’s 58th annual Juried Fine Arts Show was in progress. After I had done my duty I took a long hike to my friend Martin Klass’s house. Before I had gone a mile I was walking past a mini-flock of sheep, and I stopped to take pictures, and some of them left the flock and came up to the fence, thus:

2022 0115 sheeps

I was subsequently compelled to write this about our encounter:

no baa, no humbug

out the gates of sahuaro ranch park
and east on mountain view
west of fifty-first ave
reside livestock
including sheep
who were clumpingly champing on grass
bout fiddyfeet from the chainlink

and were so bored
that a pedestrian with a phone cam
was a welcome distraction

and three nay four
came up to the fence
to say hello
and mouth-grab dry leaf from the links

they were mellow
matter-of-fact
and i hope not disappointed
that i gave them only
murmurs

Two days later, rereading the poem, it seems to me that it sounds eerily similar to the “voice” of William Carlos Williams in his famous poem “This Is Just To Say.” I gratefully acknowledge his influence.

As for my own poetic voice, in the form of the acrostic poem in the image above, here it is, transcribed:

risk disk

ruminate in fleece array’d
indolence: it’s toujours gai
sacrificial-lamming desks
keep it pesky–add some pesk

And the image, which was sketched and calligraphed on a card approximately 3″ by 5″, is a rather muddled blend of at least three faces. the central face is that of the ewe in the photo, the one on the right. It is flanked by a couple, one of whom has one hand on top of the other’s, though that is nearly impossible to see, what with the superimposition of ewe-face and poem. There MAY be a duck’s profile helping the ewe’s right ear do double-duty, and there MAY be a grinning clam doing the same with the left ear. (In this surreal Image-Universe, clams are every bit as sentient as were the oysters in Lewis Carroll’s famous poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”)

I say MAY be, because this image is preliminary to a much larger drawing on the same type of paper, but with 32 times more square footage. (Inchage? [smiles]) I hope to spend at least a week on the larger, more elaborated, less murky drawing. It is inevitable that I will find new things to say and draw to honor Betty White and her love for all creatures, which is ancillary but vital to this image. (Notice how the sheep is saying “Happy Heavenly Birthday, Betty White!) I love the idea of having some small part in continuing the divine Ms. White’s earthly mission. And so, inspired by the example of mypoet and professional-organizer friend Michelle Frost, today I made a modest donation to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Friends, I urge you to make some donation to some animal-advoicacy group today.

2022 0117 aspca donation

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“Everybody’s gonna tell you it’s not worth it,/Everybody’s gotta show you their own thing./You may try to find your way up around it,/But the need for Love is still the same…” Jackson Browne, “The Times You’ve Come”

The word dimension is slippery. It seems to mean something like “an aspect of something that it must have in order to exist.” But it also seems to mean “property” or “measure.”

As wire “quadrifoaled wireframe,” this new one was built one dimension at a time, but note that the implied distance with a size difference has already added a third dimension, so that the folded paper/space unites the three dimensions in what may be argued a fourth dimension. There is an outside-the-grid consideration with the text elements “year” and “ning,” which when fused become “yearning.” The distance between the two word-components is analogous to the distance between the two human beings depicted in the image.

A few decades ago the Phoenix Art Museum had an exhibit showcasing the work of Alexander Calder, who became famous for his Mobiles and Stabiles. The show included vodeo footage of Calder playing with doll-like circus characters he’d created from wire and cloth, and he was delightfully playful with them, e.g. making a growly lion-noise. The show also had some drawings of his that I at the time thought absurdly minimal and simple-minded. I remember muttering “He’s getting away with murder” when looking at a piece of newsprint of perhaps twenty square feet of area, upon which he’d drawn an arc across the width, and then placed a second arc near the middle, above the first arc and with points touching down near the fist arc’s crest. He might have drawn the arcs in a total of five seconds or so. Absurd, right? But he was demonstrating how quickly the human mind will convert the least pattern of line into anythin from a mountain sunrise to a close encounter of two spheres. In so doing, he informed my drawings, including this one.

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This fabulous painting, “Reef,” was created by my artist/writer/poet friend Richard Bledsoe. He posted it on his Facebook timeline and I commented that it had a nice “Hey, let’s put on a show!” feel to it and asked him what his asking price was. He messaged me the price privately, and I told him that was a bargain. Sold!!

So yesterday Richard and his wife and soulmate Michele met me at the Fair Trade Café, right off the Roosevelt light rail stop in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, to transact and snack. We all had bagels. Richard and I had ours with jalapeño and hummus, and Richard and I had coffee. Michele, whose heart goes out to all animals, especially the unfed and/or distressed, fed torn-off bagel bits to the birds (Sparrows with just a touch of Ravenous Vulture). In an hour that seemed like five minutes to me, we talked about mushrooms, psilocybin, Robitussin, flies, distressed kitty-cats and birds, Mystery Science Theatre 3000, Richard’s work as an upper-echelon Small Business Accounts Complaints Department for a major financial institution, Michele’s work with adults on the autistic spectrum, painting from memory versus painting from a photo source, loss (Michele’s father and my father both died of heart attacks at 49), and my wish to include them in my Volume III of my “Eminent Poets of Greater Phoenix” series. I left rather abruptly (“Welp, got a train to catch!” and by running some I was able to board just before the doors closed) with the heartening feeling that Lifelong Romantic Love is not only possible, but manifest in this vibrant pair of lovebirds. The life that they have forged together is truly thrilling to behold.

Richard Bledsoe

Richard has a thoughtful, incisive blog about art, artists, art history, and art philosophy. Here is a link:

https://remodernreview.wordpress.com/

Michele Bledsoe

Michele has a website for her work with autistic adults. Please visit!

https://www.seedsforautism.org/

This year I have resolved to take more time with my drawings. With this drawing I turned my resolve into reality. I have worked on this drawing for several days. I stopped when it seemed not to benefit from further fussing. I do suspect, though, that when I look at it later I’ll see a few things I will want to fiddle with–but I won’t; this one stands as is.

2022 0107 drawing tabletop