Self-Reliance in the Age of Pandemics

Self-Reliance in the Age of Pandemics

Into the Wild, 2007. Directed by Sean Penn. Based on Into the Wild (1996), by Jon Krakauer.

It was never the case, at least not in the modern world. Outside a few. Outside a few lone souls, able to live on grass and berries. Able to hunt and gather, make their own shelters, their own clothes, treat themselves when they got sick. Pull their own teeth. Make and fix their own modest tools. Having next to no layers between themselves and the earth. Right there. Being there always. Right on top of the earth, like mother and child.

And they better be beyond lucky. They better not fall and break their ankles, legs, hit their heads, catch pneumonia or worse. . . . Read more. “Self-Reliance in the Age of Pandemics”

Zen Fields Beyond the Canvas

Zen Fields Beyond the Canvas

Flaming June, by Frederic Leighton. 1895. Museo de Arte de Ponce.

You were my dream
So the poets say
So they spin and wrack their minds
How to express what can not be

Love
     Love of
          Love of her
Of life

Of the stars
Anything that crisscrosses
Their eyes and ears
Their fifth or sixth dimension

Like the waves they see
As stand-ins for her
Like the mountains they see
As symbols of her strength

The irony the melancholy
Of it all is
Of course the non-abstract
Nature of her

The total lack of symbology
In the way she moves
     The way she smiles
Only when it’s necessary

Only when there is nothing else
To be done
She smiles at the perfect time
In a perfect way

Thus rendering all symbols
All analogies all parables
     Superfluous
At best

She was my dream
Because of that
Her dreamless self
The beyondness

Of it all
The stark raving madness
Of it all
As if no art were necessary

As if no dreams were needed
     Or possible
          Created
               Or imagined

Or pinned to page or canvas
By us
For us
She did not require them!! . . . Read more. “Zen Fields Beyond the Canvas”

Never Ever!!

Never Ever!!

Edouard Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. 1882

There are blue fields to love
And red oceans
     Of course
Plus black rain on May Day

But it’s always been
     At least for me
The sheer genius of flannel clouds
That knocks me for a push-pull

Or two or seven loops

Like a child’s long shout out
To our morning goddess
After they’ve had their swim
Their cereal their prize-winning song

After they’ve frozen their dreams
     For the image-zoos
          The butterbread-museums
The psychic kaleidoscopes of yore

And I know what you’re thinking
That all this is passé
So old-melted hat
So rolled-up thunder-eyed

Yes yes this is true
This is just a was once removed

But I ask you sweet madam
Isn’t this was a better land
A better plated sojourn
Than our pubs can serve last week? . . . Read more. “Never Ever!!”

The Anthropology of Magical Forms

The Anthropology of Magical Forms

Sigmund Freud. Photo by Max Halberstadt. 1921

I want to discover the magical links
Before they appear
Though to be honest I’d much
Rather actually see them

Than invent them whole-cloth
or whole-sale

Wouldn’t it be great if that were to happen?
Hallucinate my way into poetic fusions
Instead of just writing them?
Instead of twisting myself

Into pretzels alchemically
With nonsense salt
On top
Or on the plate?

This is what it all comes down to
For poets seers prophets and
Kitchen repairmen
Who turn the world upside down

This is what it means to have
Rimbaud’s gift
Lost too soon
To guns in Abyssinia.

The choice
The dilemma
The pick-em
The Trial

Real or imagined
Reality or the Absurd

One could ask: Why not both? . . . Read more. “The Anthropology of Magical Forms”

Finite Lives

Finite Lives

Kobe Bryant’s passing, at 41, is a tragedy, as are the deaths of his daughter, Gianna, just 13, and the seven others on board that helicopter. Millions across the globe have been impacted by this, perhaps especially the generation that grew up along with Kobe, watching his evolution into one of the NBA’s all-time greats. His peers in the game of basketball have spoken out, too, some tearfully, and it’s apparent they honestly grieve this loss.

My own reactions were heightened by seeing the reactions of others, the human family in moments most unguarded. There is something profoundly beautiful and moving in our ability to openly weep for others, to care inwardly and outwardly for persons we don’t even know. . . . Read more. “Finite Lives”

Only They Know What is Known

Only They Know What is Known

The Kiss (Lovers), oil and gold leaf on canvas, 1907–1908.

The eternal question(s): Does it matter what the artist intended? His or her background? His or her influences, research, working methods? Do these things matter when it comes to how an audience interprets or should interpret their work?

Yes and no and maybe and perhaps, in no particular order. As in, great works of art, at least, don’t require the acquisition of such knowledge (to be appreciated), though that knowledge may enhance the experience. It can also ruin it, or something in between. The continuum is there, with its myriad nuances and degrees. In short, only they know. The people on the canvas and in the museum. . . . Read more. “Only They Know What is Known”

The Ironies They are a Changin’

The Ironies They are a Changin’

Ulysses and the Sirens, by John William Waterhouse. 1891

Different times blah blah blah
Call for different blah blah blahs

As in
Right now there is no reason
For all of those blah blahs

And extra blah blahs
None

We need to be direct!
Tell it like it is
And not worry so much about
Offending the cliché police

The earth the sea the once blue air
     The glaciers the beleaguered soil

     The fires this time

So instead of stories about this or that
          Neuroses
This or that endlessly nuanced set of
               Ironic      distances

It’s time for swords
     Right under your nose
And clear cut goals
     Right under your nose

And beating hearts
Right under your nose
     Or
Wherever they typically go

When they need immediate attention
     When they need immediate care

Of course fables and parables and
Allegories and multiplex symbology
Still rule   always rule   will always
Rule

But on some level it’s got to be
Night and Day
Right vs wrong
Because all this ironic detachment

Has led to exactly the wrong kind of
Simplicity and lack of nuance

 

So ring that bell
     Bang that drum
          On key
          On time

 

Disintegration at Four O’Clock

Disintegration at Four O’Clock

The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dali. 1954

John Wick is cool
If you like that sort of thing
And I do
But not for the usual reasons

He’s in-de-struct-able
And that can come in handy – a lot

That’s really it in a nutshell

And, no, he doesn’t have
Superpowers – per se

He just survives when others don’t
– like moi
For instance
Like when I’m fighting my usual endless battles

Against ancient but lively assassins and
I keep dying over and over again

John Wick just goes from one head-bashing
     Back-breaking
          Glass-crashing
               Tower-falling

               Bullet-piercing
          Sword-goring

To another and another
As if he could and should say:

“Was that a fly a fly that touched me just now?” . . . Read more. “Disintegration at Four O’Clock”

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! Scroll Up