“Nothing human is finally calculable; even to ourselves we are strange.” ~ Gore Vidal, from Julian

Max Ernst Humbolt Current 1951-2

“Humbolt Current” (1951-2, oil on canvas with woodgrain)
by Max Ernst


Two for Tuesday: Deconstruction

Tuesday night. A bit warmer today, near 80.

Of course I had this post ready but forgot to schedule it. What’s new, right?

I spent the day with Olivia, and took her to Wal-Mart to get her a truck because she’s been taking a truck shaped magnet off the fridge and trying to roll it across the floor. Too funny. Anyway, when I asked her what color truck she wanted, she said yellow. Bear in mind she just turned two in July, and yes, I am bragging. So we left the store with a yellow Hot Wheels truck, a red fire truck from one of her favorite shows, Paw Patrol, and a small yellow car with a monkey in it.

Oh, and a new jacket, shoes, a jeans skirt, a sweatshirt, pajamas, and some kind of funky Rapunzel castle that makes a cool sound that I found on the clearance aisle for $2. Oh and then there was the kiddy makeup with lipstick and nail polish. Of course I blamed it all on her. Too much fun.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the selections.

More later. Peace.

                   

Arthur Boyd Blue Ram Balancing Nebuchadnezzar 1968 oil on canvas

“Blue Ram Balancing Nebuchadnezzar” (1968, oil on canvas)
by Arthur Boyd

Tear it Down

We find out the heart only by dismantling what
the heart knows. By redefining the morning,
we find a morning that comes just after darkness.
We can break through marriage into marriage.
By insisting on love we spoil it, get beyond
affection and wade mouth-deep into love.
We must unlearn the constellations to see the stars.
But going back toward childhood will not help.
The village is not better than Pittsburgh.
Only Pittsburgh is more than Pittsburgh.
Rome is better than Rome in the same way the sound
of racoon tongues licking the inside walls
of the garbage tub is more than the stir
of them in the muck of the garbage. Love is not
enough. We die and are put into the earth forever.
We should insist while there is still time. We must
eat through the wildness of her sweet body already
in our bed to reach the body within the body.

~ Jack Gilbert

                   

Paul Jenkins Eyes of the Dove colon Lucife Life 1959 oil on canvas

“Eyes of the Dove: Lucife Life” (1959, oil on canvas)
by Paul Jenkins

You with the Crack Running Through You

I can seep in, I can dry clear.

And yes it would still be there.
And no I couldn’t hold you forever.

But isn’t it drafty at night,

alone in that canyon
with the wind of the mind

dragging its debris—

I wanted to put
my mouth on you

and draw out whatever toxin . . .

—but I understand. There are limits
to love. Here is a flower

that needs no water.
It can grow anywhere,

nourished on nothing.
And yes.

 ~ Kim Addonizio

                   

Music by Agnes Obel, “Avenue”

 

“For we live with those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are song-like in their refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell.” ~ Michael Ondaatje, from Divisadero

“We live in time—it holds us and molds us—but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly . . . And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing—until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.” ~ Julian Barnes, from The Sense of an Ending

Sunday afternoon. Partly cloudy and absolutely beautiful, impending autumn, 71 degrees.

Tuesday night I watched a retrospective on Robin Williams on PBS. It was lovely, and the interviews really got into the man as much as the comedian/actor. I appreciated that they spent a good portion on the visits to the troops that Williams had made over the years as I had no idea that no other celebrity had performed before the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan more than Williams. The interviews were cut with selections from his last full-length interviews for “Pioneers of Television.”

But when the show was over, after I dried my tears, I realized something important:

What I had said the other day about the coda to Dead Poets’ Society being about Mr. Keating realizing a light had gone out wasn’t exactly accurate. While Keating is deeply affected by Neil’s suicide, the honor the boys bestow upon him at the end by disobeying the rigid headmaster and standing on their desks leaves Keating with hope; he has not failed these boys. Instead, he has enlarged their perspectives on the world, and if that is the only thing they take away from his class (and it isn’t), then he has made it possible for more lights to shine in the world.

Sad yes, but hopeful, so very full of hope.

To paraphrase what Pam Dawber said at the end of the show, if only Williams could have seen how his death affected the world. I continue to be amazed by the number of people around the world who are truly mourning for this once bright star in the firmament.

 


Blue Like a Desert

Happy are the solitary ones
Those who sow the sky in the avid sand
Those who seek the living under the skirts of the wind
Those who run panting after an evaporated dream
For they are the salt of the earth
Happy are the lookouts over the ocean of the desert
Those who pursue the fennec beyond the mirage
The winged sun loses its feathers on the horizon
The eternal summer laughs at the wet grave
And if a loud cry resounds in the bedridden rocks
No one hears it no one
The desert always hollers under an impassive sky
The fixed eye hovers alone
Like the eagle at daybreak
Death swallows the dew
The snake smothers the rat
The nomad under his tent listens to the time screeching
On the gravel of insomnia
Everything is there waiting for a word already stated
Elsewhere

~ Joyce Mansour

                    

Music by Gregory Alan Isakov, “If I go, I’m goin'”

“For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.” ~ Albert Camus, from “An Absurd Reasoning”

Fremont Ellis The Summer Rain acrylic on canvas

“The Summer Rain” (nd, acrylic on canvas)
by Fremont Ellis


Two for Tuesday: Kevin Hart

Armin Hansen Monterey Bay and El Toro Mountain 1921

“Monterey Bay and El Toro Mountain” (1921)
by Armin Hansen

The Word

Say wood and everything is clean again.
The word is all around you, like the night,
Impossible to grasp. Your mouth is dark.

A splinter found its way into your quick.
That old tree slit by lightning won’t be moved.
Last year’s thin rain froze hard inside a trunk

And now a honey flesh shines through cracked bark.
Your mouth is dark. Go far into yourself,
Let quietness gather there, then say the word.

                   

Emil Nolde Still Sea 1936

“Still Sea” (1936)
by Emil Nolde

Here

In a bare room where light pours in from the ocean
You are still sleeping
You are still here

And nothing more happens except the sound
Of a page turning
While you sleep on

The sound of a story turning and the ocean stirring
Near our thin room
With you asleep

Perhaps with the thought of a storm much later on
When you awake
In this bruised room

Two people still here perhaps with ocean light
Fragile and turning
Dark as your voice

That lives in the air and mirrors here. But look,
You are awake;
I am still here.

Music by Michael Giacchino, “London Calling” (extended version, from Star Trek: Into Darkness)

 

Sunday afternoon . . .

All images are by Russian artist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin (Кузьма Петров-Водкин, 1878-1939)

 

Life on Mars (Another New Year’s Day)

Words for the wind were filled with trees

I was filled with a feeling I couldn’t name

I knew I would never be seeing her again: the girl with the shy tuck to her head, in the folkloric
embroidered dress

In the aftermath I found myself in the mirror of ambivalent desire

Stripped of all continuous nature

The moon glowed blue through the tears in the clouds

The moon glows blue like Orpheus’ severed head

The tundra swans bark like dogs in the night

Or dogs bark like tundra swans

I have lost again the fluidity of tears

I am once more the child filled with unformulated words

A loony-tune torn apart by the trees

Or I found myself a stranger in my own bed

I couldn’t see or I couldn’t hear

Or the porous casement of my skin rippled by sleep

That old, lunar, crazy-making sea

I couldn’t recognize the sounds inside myself as thoughts

Their sloshing waves, the garbled stuttering tides, syllabic particles
loosed from the tack of grammar

Or I wake to find myself walking upright, a vertical figure in a horizontal field of burnt and broken trees

A walk takes shape, a walk takes the walker’s shape

How to pull this apart, part the air, the wind from the air, the trees from the trees?

Again the moonlight

Again the moon

The moon like Orpheus’ severed head volleyed by the sway of the boughs

I send my voice ahead of me along the trail

My voice carves the shape of a thought in the dense, viscous air

We fall redirecting evolution’s course

We fall toward one another, lift off and fall

We are the televised reunion of twins separated at birth

We locate ourselves in relation to the tundra swans

Is this life on the wet red moors?

Or I wake to find myself, my husband asleep beside me, breathing softly,

his hand resting at the small of my back

What opera is this?

Who turned the tides?

Where is the moon I know?

The unicorn? The virgin’s lap? The cloister? The frozen citadel?

Where is the girl with the slate-gray eyes?

Is this the soft delusion of a dream?

What are these glittering sparks?

Is this life on Mars?

Life unmoored?

Marks etched into the strand, the slate-gray margins of a Mars-Black sea?

Is this a marriage, a chronicle, a walk against the wind, a tender conversation
made private by the white noise of the surf, the whorl of screaming gulls?

Where is the first fine dust of snow, the dusty moths, the wind-slurred words?

Are these the straining ropes that moor the dream to its source?

What is the source?

Where is the first snow of the first day of the first breath of the world?

What day is this? What hour of the day?

Where is the snow?

How does it all turn out?

(….)

I woke to a blizzard

No words can describe it that haven’t described a blizzard before: white quiet cold

I opened the shutters unto a void of white, everything blotted out, a white hole
sucking in the sound of human enterprise

I walked into the white quiet void, I walked toward the subway

There were skiers cutting through the snow, children tumbling very quietly into the banks

Dogs nosing at the drifts, steam pluming from their red, panting mouths

~ Genya Turovskaya

See more at: http://www.pen.org/poetry/life-mars-another-new-years-day#sthash.vZc2Xjdm.dpuf

                   

Music by Asa, “The Way I Feel”