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This is an example of composition as balancing act. About forty years ago Professor Scott of the University of Arizona had us strip works of David (pronounced Dah-Veed) and Poussin (pronounced Poo-Saaan, sort of)  to the essentials of gestural lines. Presumably, if the sum of the angles relative to the bottom edge of a given painting add up to zero, or close, it’s a Good Composition.

I suppose it was an enlightening exercise, but it had all the excitement of diagramming sentences, and about as much practical use.  Then as now I’ll look at a drawing in progress and do my best to intuit how best to engage the viewer with the next enhancement (or, as with some erasure, disenhancement). I’d rather taste the soup of a drawing than diagram its sentence any day.

The acrostics remain without poetry. If the drawing is good enough to remake on non-scratch paper, I’ll do a remake and work out the words. If you’d like to collaborate with an obscure artist/poet, feel free to fill in some poetry. If you do, show and tell via comment, and you’ll make my day!

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Every day billions of us doom billions of us to death via kinetic energy. Most of the death-dealers don’t give it much thought, even when they’re squeegeeing off the mortal remains of their fellow creatures from their windshields.

We are killers, yet the ghosts of what we smash (or eat, or consign to starvation through eviction, or exterminate) don’t tend to haunt us. Our factory farms make a mockery of “reverence for life.” The havoc we have wreaked (or “reeked” as above) is all the more horrific for being commonplace.

And we name some of our children Alexander, and some others David. One dealt death wholesale, one retail (not Goliath; Uriah). It is no coincidence that Anthony Burgess named the berserker of his A Clockwork Orange Alex.

Socrates is said to have said “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

NOTE: Berni Wrightson and Mike Ploog are illustrators. Wrightson has worked with Stephen King, on Creepshow and The Stand and The Song of Susannah of the Dark Tower series. Ploog did some comic-book continuity in the horror genre as well; some of his panels from Werewolf by Night have been stuck in my memory for more than thirty years.

 

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This has been a week of doing several things at once, as are all weeks, for all of us. But when a few things forestalled my journal paging, the word Multitasking sprang to mind, and solved my daily problem of what to journal-page about.

David and Bathsheba are mentioned, as they were, sort of, in Leonard Cohen’s melancholy anthem “Hallelujah.” (I have listened to one of k.d. lang’s versions on YouTube approximately three dozen times.) My new avatar reminds me of Cohen, and the paleness of my face thus makes me a pale imitation. I wasn’t trying to imitate him, though: that pesky software Gravatar kept bugging me for a picture. The hat was purchased on the Redondo Beach pier last spring by my girlfriend, who gave it to me; it was the Performing Poet’s Fedora I always wanted. I have only worn it in public performance a handful of times, but many people have said it looks good, so here it is.

As for the heart of the matter, it is, as always, the human heart. May yours be full and fresh.