Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I sat down to wait for a bus.  Soon, a man joined me at the bus stop, and immediately said, loudly, "I hate this bus."

I made a small, word-free sound of acknowledgement, and thought, "Urban nut."

Then I remembered that I used to used that bus line a lot, when I had friends who lived on it.  When I used the line a lot, I felt just like that.

It's very long between buses.  I felt like I never got a break, but always had to wait for almost the whole time between busses.  It felt like the bus line itself enjoyed making us all wait impatiently.  Speaking of urban nut.

But different lines do feel like they have personalities, independent of the drivers or riders.  The 30 Stockton, when I used it a lot, felt like a bunch of puppies to me, because there would be a long pause between buses, and then several.  I thought busses were like puppies who couldn't imagine being apart from each other.  I didn't really get mad at its spottiness because puppies can't really help themselves.

The bus line that the man shouted that he hated felt to me like it was maniacally laughing at the waiting riders, when I was a person often waiting for it.

Urban nut being,  perhaps, someone with different experiences than me, or even the same experiences that I haven't remembered lately.
A man ranting angrily down the sidewalk was ranting at a particular "you."

In successive sentences, the man yelled, "You're an ogre!  You're a monster!  You're a nightmare!"

For a street rant, those are words unusually clean and mythic.
Walk on dirt, and feel what kind of art is needed in a bumpy world
A man in the back of the bus had some electronic music on, ambient-style, played quietly.

It was doing its ambient job.  I didn't notice it for a while.  I just felt the bus itself, bus as object, was in a good mooc.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Green with many cheerful yellow dots--the park grass and its dandelions.

The green looks even greener because of the dark greys moving around in it--a pigeon bobbing its greys and regal purple neckpiece up and down as it eats.
I had a dream where the Supreme Court of the United States was in the process of deciding a case based on the expression of the eye of the eagle in the Great Seal of the United States on the one dollar bill.

The decision was going to depend on how bellicose the eagle's look seemed or how benevolent. They were sending out for the original artwork when I woke up.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Little toddler Jesus toddled on without candy canes or chocolate bunnies, living in a time before refined sugar.

Some things were sweet then, but not so fiercely sweet.

Was small Jesus good-natured above average? In any case, he didn't have to deal with the zoomy, then cranky, feelings created by the sugar high/sugar low cycle that follows the refined sugar "Yum!"
A poor person asking for change, an addicted person asking for a light--it would be nice if they got it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

--"But is it hurting still?"

--sidewalk voice, woman talking on her cell phone

Monday, April 16, 2012

If a person was killed dead by the government on a Friday, and then was walking around alive on Sunday, on the Saturday between, that person might have unusual knowledge which, however, they might have trouble sharing with people who hadn't had a similar experience.

I wonder if Jesus, after getting over being dead, looked up his friend Lazarus, whom Jesus has raised from the dead, and talked to him about life and death and betweenness.
Birds' shadows are flying on the sidewalk. Solar light unites again.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Alec Clune's book "The British Theatre" begins, "In the beginning was not the words, but the grunt and the gesture.:

And before that, I think, the humming silence, alive with knowing.

Sometimes performance, done with heart and skill, goes back there, before the beginning, and there is a living pause that says everything.

Performers have to be gutsy and generous to give that pause its true length, because it definitely isn't about individual star people, but about the star stuff we're all made of telling us how to go on.

The phrase "the humming silence" I got from the book "The Mists of Avalon," a retelling of the Arthur legend by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Bradley wrote many books, under the science fiction label, with a lot about psychic communication. "The Mists of Avalon" which I think is by far her best book, doesn't have much, in quantity, about psychic activity, because it isn't inherent in the original material, but what it has is really strong.

Morgaine, a bad person and force for bad, in the original, is the main character and a whole other kind person in "The Mists of Avalon."

The book is largely about old nature religion, women powerful religion, versus uptight Christianity. There has been for centuries non-uptight Christianity, live and let believe, in England, but now a different, fierce Christianity has come to be the only one.

Morgaine is supposed to be a leader in saving the old religion, and she fails, partly because of her individual flaws and bad moves, and partly because the flow of history is flowing the other way. What it is possible for people to know is changing.

Arthur is king is was consecrate both ways, Christian and nature, or he never would have been accepted.

But now he's having Christian communion performed in a way that is, from Morgaine's point of knowing, a betrayal of his nature consecration and of the better reality.

She intuitively knows she needs to be at the ceremony, and she goes as a pathetic looking old woman in the crowd.

Because of her skilled, deep, magic prescence, communion is different and deeper. Not because she decides but because the deep uses her.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The center of your body is _______.

The center of your mind is_______.

The center of your knowledge is _______.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

It's raining and sunning at the same time. There's hope.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Maurizio Cattelan is an artist who makes objects.

For his late 2011-early 2012 retrospective show at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, he had objects from every phase of his career hung in the central rotunda, almost all the art he had ever made, hung all up and down the central rotunda on cables, making them, as a group, a great big temporary artwork.

Cattelan grew up fairly poor in Italy, trained to be an electrician. He had seen art in his life, because he lives in Italy. But he hadn't seen contemporary art.

He happened to see in a gallery a recent work in which the artist painted a self-portrait on a mirror. That was a huge revelation of possibilities to Cattelan. The gallery owner helped Cattelan and art by loaning him a series of books on art now.

Cattelan's art is like some of the Roman art around Italy in that it often is objects that are like human figures. It is like the medieval and Renaissance art that is around Italy in that the human figures, and other objects, are in full color and realistic.

So here's a kid, pretty young, sitting at a school desk, that looks to be an actual, much-used school desk. The kid is wearing actual clothes, white, red and black running shoes, blue jeans, a grey hoodie with the hood up. The desk is facing a wall; the kid is looking straight at the wall. The piece is called "Charley Don't Surf. "

The kid's hands are laid palm down on the desk and each had has a pencil driven into it--through it?--so if they were real, they hands would be impaled to the desk, and the kid would be in pain. He doesn't look in pain. Looks like a kid staring at a school room wall.

It's appropriate that Cattelan was trained as a technician, because his work is technically very good. The kind of high precision and high gloss feeling his human figures have is often associated, in our shared human space, with perkiness and upbeatness, and a feeling that you feel good, so now is the time to buy something.

Cattelan's skill often is used to say something unnerving. The skill and the familiarity of his objects looking just like their models is a set up for getting something to think about that I often don't know how to think about. This is good.

His skill and lightness of touch make being unnerved, sometimes deeply unnerved, easily.

I think of the kid at the schooldesk staring at the wall with hands impaled on the desk, and a reimagine him having free hands and a piece of contempary art in front of him An original art object made by someone that was made in the time that the young person has been alive.

And he goes "Oh, yes" and starts to make what will be a cascade of art object, around the world and then in one museum's rotunda for a while.

That happened without Cattelan being exposed to actual art of his now in school, but what a long shot, and think of all the kids we miss and their amazing productions that don't happen.

Italy has many picture of a guy with a stake driven through each hand. Some by famous artists, some sold a religious stuff stores like Cattelan once worked at before he was an artist.

Enough already with the pain in the hands, acknowledged or unacknowledged. Head and hands are for finding out what head and hands are for, and we need to help each other with that.

--information from the book, the catalog of the show, "All Maurizio Cattelan" with text by Nancy Spector

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Grey sky, in soggy pieces, helps the earth be greener.
Alkman wrote it in the 8th century BCE, before our current commonly used year numbering system started. Willis Barnstone translated in his book (1962, 1967 CE) "Greek Lyric Poetry."


Often at night along the mountaintops,
when gods are reveling by torchlight,
you came carrying a great jar
(like one shepherds use) but of heavy gold.

You filled the jar with milk drawn
from a lioness, and made a great cheese
unbroken and gleaming white.


I feel that is what you're up to. I get to get nourishment from the great cheese and from the sun points of light on the jar as dawn grows.

Monday, April 09, 2012


Poems are
not said

they can be anything
from shopping lists
to legal briefs

but it's what not there
that's there

nothing to do w/

always something

words work best
when they know they can't

nothing changes
but vocabulary.

--David Meltzer, from the 2011 book "When I Was a Poet" Number Sixty in The Pocket Poets Series of City Lights Books

Poetry writing tempts people to write like they aren't usual people or that the world they live in isn't quite the advantaged and disadvantaged place the rest of us live in.

Beat poets stay in the overbuilt world of sometimes shimmering beauty, beauty sometimes shimmering from the built and sometime from the natural, and they write poetry that is real poetry and unsnooty.

David Meltzer is a Beat poet. "When I Was a Poet" shimmers, is brief, adds valuable depth to alive now.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Dragons breath rainbows around us. We are protected and possible.