April draws near…will you help me?

I need your help.

Next month is National Poetry Month and my damn muse has gone and drown herself…or however one explains a loss of voice. I need to just start writing again – if you write, more words will follow…so Anne Lamott says in Bird by Bird.

This is where I am enlisting your help. My goal is to write at least 15 new poems next month. Inspiration is needed to complete this goal. A brilliant artist/writer posted a couple of poems recently based on ekphrasis – it got me thinking, “poems can be inspired by a work of art!” But there are so many, ergo, you can help me by posting a title of a work, a copy of the piece, or a link of your favorite art pieces in the comments. Each one posted will get a poem (no promises on quality).

Deal? Is anyone out there? Will you help me? Please?

 

just thinking out loud…

Arbitrariness is the pitfall of unlimited freedom. ~ Suzi Gablik

Gablik’s book, “Has Modernism Failed”, is an interesting read considering it was written during the 80s. Did Andy Warhol’s vision stick – it is no longer about the art, but about the fame? Be famous for 15 seconds and place a high price tag on your artistic creation.

Suzi Gablik is writing more about Warhol fame, though, when she tackles the question of where art is going in this ‘post-modern age’.  Her chapter on pluralism ends with this cautionary line:

In the era of pluralism, when there are no longer any limits to what we can imagine or produce, very few people, as far as I know, have any real sense of what art is for. (p. 87)

Decades later, I cannot help but wonder if her sentiments still hold weight. In 2014, has the art scene evolved since this 1984 book? Has art lost its luster and purpose in the hands of those who are seeking their 15 seconds or economic success? Does the art world trump the literary world when it comes to worth and PoMo works?

I pose these questions to the writers, artists, and thinkers who happen upon this blog. It is one of those days where the mind has gone a million directions, but can go no further with an answer.

That said, Yoko Ono’s recent interview regarding her Conceptual art from the 1960s, helps me to realize the powerful vision of the artist can transfer and become even more powerful in the viewers hands, even in this Post-modern age.

“All powerful art has many layers of drama” ~ Yoko Ono

a new song

Sadness can always be fixed with a jazz rift that teeters on the left edge

A blink, he said, was all it took before she became mist

Rain often turns to snow when we close our eyes to senses

He offered her an olive branch but she preferred flowers, not fruit

Ice glazed over the rusted chain still secured to a now tireless ride

She sighed when a dozen pink petals spilled out of his letter

Smoke danced in swirled rhythms with each bus passing

He stared into the yellow lights of the passing midnight car

Thunder softened the blow

She no longer knew where she would go

White blanketed the dirty streets in crystalline innocence

Somewhere she was sleeping, he wondered if alone

Dawn spread slowly, pinking a tired city

She turned, pained, toward the sun

A morning dove above her broke the silence of winter

Perhaps, in Spring, a new song ~

 

 

 

 

There

There is warmth in(side) you

There is ice 

Touch it before it melts

Here on earth

It shall melt quick

There it shall never die

Quixotic notion

That you can taste the warmth with your eyes

Did God bless you senseless as those animals

That roam there

In a room built of lenses so their children could play in an African sun

There is danger in manufactured imaginations if we dare to materialize dreams

Shut that door before what is (in)side eats you alive

Melt before these frozen landscapes

Final exit

There is warmth

There

Do you ever start to look at words as you type them across the page? Personally, I do not care for words such as there, especially in a poem, but there was such a lull within its voice inside my head that I could not help but play with its notion. It helps that I’m currently streaming NPR’s First Listen. Beck’s latest if very ethereal – there is a hypnotic quality in the words as well as beat. Sometimes music resonates a state of mind that eludes a quality that is an essence of how I would define a part of me – this is one of those moments. Perhaps tomorrow this shall be a fleeting concept, but tonight I ride the wave of a guitar that promises a thread of existence weaving itself between awake and dreaming.

There is no need to apologize for posting bad poetry on a blog that claims no pedigree. I apologize anyway. Far, far way in pedigree-land, the fight for what defines (confines) poetry continues. Boston Review seems to be the hotbed of this debate at least once a year. (Personally, I think it is a conspiracy to make incoming MFA poetry students have something to talk about, and justify their over priced admission to a discipline that no longer embraces its roots.) I just came across this latest scuttle, having only skimmed the annual sacrificial lamb, which seems to appear every July. After the bleating ceased, the blood still pools and has been collected to keep the beat of the offence in question alive.

Why can’t we all just get along – is the Man not constantly trying to shake the creatives down until there is an outcry when things go too far. If only public pressure would produce more results, such as the President apologizing for his eyebrow raising remark against pursuing an Art History degree. It seems that everyone drinks the tea after they get to Washington.

Perhaps there is too much dreaming. In a land of excess, perhaps we should only practice erasure. If not another piece of art was created again  

There would be no more warmth

Goodnight, dear George…

Listening, trying to invoke an inspiration beyond its semi-silent interlude, at time of transition from awake to motion to sleep to deprivation. Only there is a stop-gap that keeps stopping the rhythm of these fingers that never seemed to attack the fingers of George Gershwin when he sat down to compose.

As I sat this afternoon, at times so relaxed that I felt a meditative epiphany, the orchestra serenaded with Gershwin’s brilliance, but it was the maestro at the Steinway who commanded complete attention as his hands performed the most complicated dance upon the ivory keys. There is an immediacy to the rhapsody – we feel the country industrializing beneath its very beat. Close your eyes and imagine the engine’s steady sway as it plows through snow-covered steel tracks carrying a load of passengers ready to punch-in for their daily bread. So many, though, were closer to the breadlines, or at least the lines of inequality, as the songlines carry us downtown. Downtown, all the way South, where sweet tea made up for life that was far from sweet. Gershwin’s  sultry notes linger as we imagine the cotton burning beneath a sun that never sleeps.

How did this Jewish maestro understand the worn souls of African-Americans down South? How does any soul, who understands a history of repression, not recognize another in a state of equal despair.  One can only wonder what Gershwin would have produced had he lived longer – experienced the full magnitude of WWII – witnessed the Civil Rights movement – certainly the shedding of so much blood would have taken us deeper into the psyche via orchestration. We shall never know for Gershwin died in 1937, at age 38, of an inoperable brain tumor. While absorbing a bit of Gershwin’s songbook this afternoon, I couldn’t help but wonder if the energy, the elegant explosions, were product of an unconscious sensing there would not be enough time.

George Gershwin’s music was an apt segue of our most recent ‘holiday’. Who cannot listen to Gershwin and question dear Geroge’s romanticism?  It was a wise move of the DSM symphony to have Gershwin on the playbill this Valentine’s Day weekend. However, I’d like to think it was to commemorate the historical composition of “Rhapsody in Blue”, that debuted on February 12, 1924, at the “Experiment in Modern Music” in NYC. Ninety years ago, Gershwin debuted a composition that was written during a train ride from NYC to Boston – the rhythm of the rail’s noise opened his mind to lay the tracks for a piece that created a whole new destination. Hearing that slow cry of the clarinet today, in an environment designed for acoustics, reminds me why music can make one’s soul weep.

Exit stage left ~

This post was a test to see if I could sit and write 750 words. It is to be a new mission, to establish a habit of writing, whether I have anything to say or not. Of course, they are  supposed to be words that are nonsense, not actual posts, so perhaps I shall give myself a bit of grace as this will not meet the intended number. (Oh, and be assured, I will not be posting 750 words of nonsense each day!)

Perhaps, I just wished to reach out to you, dear reader (if you are still stopping) with a small offering for a weekend that leaves us celebrating, and sometimes, remembering. After all, winter is a time to remember, for it was Terry McKay who stated, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories”. (“An Affair To Remember”)

So, on that note, I shall leave you with something to wrap you in warmth this cold February evening.  May we all remember to dream. ~ a

dream scape

the dream ended weirdly, what dream ends as Hollywood, really… Perhaps it is the constant resort to use a facility, perhaps it was our reckoning of a city gone under siege, yet I had just spoken with a man who was going to let me trespass on his land so that I could smell the trees, so that heavy, yellow ruts of grass clumped with shards of frozen snow melt could trip me as it romped with the dog far into a country of no country in suburbia – how everyone lined the streets in panic, thou, dogs ran wild and I kept on seeing pink, and my boss (my real boss) how did it end, was it that dark street filled with human panic, there was someone, a young man who took my hand- I wonder where we are now…

Dreamscapes are rather amazing. I blame last nights on too much sugar and carbs before bed. Who knows, perhaps the new app playing sound waves geared for sleep are causing warped wave patterns – this is the second odd dream in three days. I feel my childhood creeping in- so many dreamscapes, highly colored storyboards that swept me away in daytime too until the night terrors came…then, I gave up sleep all together – it was when life became forever changed.

A week ago, sitting in my favorite coffee shop, I streamed this onto a little notebook. I was rather curious about it, what I wrote, so today I reread it…

how sad are we when
a blanket covers a garden

to prevent frost, but the
sun comes undone
a candle lights the way
under a trellis gate
wrapped in gold bandages
wintered bramble
spikes catching a red feather

quick, a fallen wound
tonight we celebrate you
or is it her
turning an age
turning over this packed skin
a thin scrim of soil, cracked
no one remembered
she had died

that explains the tea cup
of frozen ice

sing a sad song to her today
it’s never too late
even the forgotten
hear

under a blanket of snow
a clover moon
shining

a vibration will reach
to a solid core
gone molten

sing to her
it has been silent, too long

address unknown…

Piano keys promise a magic not forgotten. Imagine fingers gliding right into treble, until notes sound a melding of rain drops and iced pellets that fall upon a Midwestern winter landscape. Eyes closed, forgetting the smell of wet dog and generic walls that have become home for so long that there is a loss of how many years. Perhaps it is baby grand sounding in a dark corner of a city bar, a clamouring crowd waiting for Sunday’s nightly specials to begin while a  sliver of moon rising, painting slushy concrete a fashionable sheen. However, what if – what if we changed things, channel a different vibe… ambient notes,  a la Eno, and a far off echo of Nakai’s warble. A train whistle shattering crystalline silence, announcing civilizations arrival into white crusted pine boughs and green skies.

These are two scenarios that have long played in my mind – the city dweller vs the wilderness survivor. I was a teenager who longed to be a New Yorker, even though I had never even visited. It seemed a place of great sophistication and intelligence; where everything that could conceivably happen would transpire without much effort.

I was also a teenager who lived to be outside, to feel real ground beneath her feet while marveling how trees swayed even with no breeze. It was not a Midwest sunrise longed for, though, but that of the Alaskan wilderness, one barely grazed by human hands. Again, a place never visited, but there was a certainty  that a cozy cabin could be mine.

Neither happened.

Yes, NYC has finally been crossed off the list with a thick black line just slightly thicker than the ones that are starting to form in the corner of my eyes. New York is a place for minds broader than mine, younger, that can function within the confines of small spaces. Spending a bit of time with Goodbye To All That: Writers On Loving And Leaving New York confirms these suspicions. A city for romantic notions of coffee shop writing and calling unique brownstone home…if you can afford it, make it, and remain inspired.

Alaska, though, has resurfaced as something that could happen as I begin to understand the sacred, or better stated, finding sacred space.  For me, that requires a landscape of vast majesty. Not a majestic vertical rise of steel beams, but wide expanses of evergreens that reach for a place that might just crack open, in the middle of the night, a blaze of reds and greens. A place for those who understand nature can break you, but she can heal you as well. A far off land, where if one closes their eyes, they might just…

So, this opening of landscape has me envisioning a new space – one of possibilities. Perhaps, opening a new cafe where only thing on the menu is a feast of dreams, written in a language that not even I can discern. I’ve thought about creating a place that might find my anam cara, who will certainly be a spiritual soul hacking it out in a landscape of remote beauty. A place that knows no boundaries. A place where no one knows my name.

We shall see — if the dust starts to gather about this place, just know, I’ve not given up the dream, but have decided that perhaps it no longer can be found at the YHC.

celebration Eve, an imperfect night ~

i love you (I love you)
who is you (You is who)

(warning: this shall be an imperfect post – it actually has already begun for those opening lines were  a longer poem an hour ago, but I wouldn’t allow the muse voice yet (she was yelling in my ear in the bathroom) until 10 pages were read from three books next to me -

SEEKING, perhaps it is Fitting to read from all sides on this religious of eves (for some) – Fitting that the chapter read from On Heaven & Earth : Pope Bergoglio & Rabbi Skorka  dialogue their thoughts on atheist and other religions, While Hamza Yusuf explains how reading the verses of Matharat al-Qulub will mend humans’ fractured heart, While Krishnamurti writes of how we can create a new culture, Not through a religion, a politic, But through Creativity…)

orbs shall shine tonight upon this earth from a far off place
a place filled with calm, a bundled home, energies compounded in
brilliance until reaching our senses, detecting its mastery, instinctively

(mastery is for the universe, not me – i (I) would love to be perfect if it were not certain that in wanting it, it is killing what is Me – the only thing perfect that i know is she, a dog, who was an answered prayer – it is no coincidence that a dog (human’s best friend of unconditional love) is god backward)

what is G_d (insert Your word for the divine)
what is the divine
are we not
mir -
- ror

(if we are mirror, then, does that mean All is imperfect – our design against attainment of perfection- imagine a hole that allows certain things to be lost to the universe, to reabsorb or transfer into energies, so even if we strive for it attainment is beyond our grasp as grasping lends to only a larger opening for it to leave – one’s energies, to become a diamond, are never lost, just redirected (perhaps allowing orbs to glow even brighter))

i burn bright tonight (I burn brightly)
will you (You will (i hope))
reach out to this warm light and
we shall celebrate nothing (and everything)

(just gaze up tonight (seeing or not) as a child does hoping to glimpse that old man and his magic creatures)

find it in your right pupil’s reflections (a pinpoint star dancing in a black orb)
and transfer it to your all seeing Third (it is There, between both orbs)

and

create a vision that dwells in possibility, then
breathe in until filled with beauty so bright
that your exhale fills a bit of that hollow that resides
within me ~

There is inward beauty only when you feel real love for people and for all the things of the earth; and with that love there comes a tremendous sense of consideration, watchfulness, patience.

If we awaken creative beauty inwardly, it expresses itself outwardly, and then there is order. ~ Krishnamurti, This Matter of Culture

solstice eve

In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning.

how do I continue in a life with no meaning?

And you cannot have love if there is no beauty.

beauty covers this world, does it not?

Beauty is not something you see—not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building, or a beautiful woman. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is.

what is love

Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your heart and mind. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order.

this life, this world, seems out-of-order

If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems. – Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p 86

Krishnamurti’s quote arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago. It made me sad for I have known for a long time that love has alluded me. This is a rather pathetic statement, yet it is an honest one. Krishanmurti would say it is a statement that misunderstands what love is. I do not counter.

Today, I found the longer piece of this quote and read it. So many bits of wisdom found in just four pages of rumination. I will simplify my conclusion:

To love, as K. writes, is to find Your child again.

At the end of the page, I wrote this as I my mind wondered, wandered…

Where did you go, my dear, upon the willows that bowed to feet still unbound?
Gone are smiles that grace an open voice that knows nothing of proper laughter.
Did those many branches entangle your spirit until the winter wind froze
all the pieces into fabric only used by common man, but, what is common -
what is man – when a talisman coin finds it way into an empty palm
lined with a thousand years of other lives,
yet this one remains uncertain in today’s noise.
Did you fly into that doves gaze when he pushed you high,
trying to catch the sky with toes, you think – stretch – just a bit more…
for there is no knowledge that it cannot be done.
Come undone – unwrap these frozen binds so we can
become friends again and our blood will circle,
letting nature pool until roots are neither for soil or kin.
When that last glimpse of the Sun rises before it sinks again,
grab it in your eye and hold it – then let it go
until your mind sees it inside. Look for me,
on that side, a star – a light of you,
gone golden. 

Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing: there is no center at all.
Then there is love. ~ Krishnamurti, “Freedom From the Known”

“truth most holy”

Beauty is where the self is not. ~ J. Krishnamurti

I wrote the above at the bottom of the page of Krishnamurti’s book, Total Freedom, knowing it was something that I wished to expound upon on here. Sadly, what happened, what has been happening, is that the thought shrivels as the day wears on -
twilight and the beyond  normally pry open a fissure until the muse swirls from a filament to a full blown flame  that spread across this page in unstopping breath – the tapping of keys so strong that the poor pup scampers away (she has an issue with noise) but, that tapping, that incessant drive to create has dissipated into – silence

a silence
that i imagine she fears when closing her hollow eyes
awaiting the angels she has anointed real-
and her words echo in me tonight
“help me – help me – help me”
there is nothing but the waiting

thanksgiving for this life
yet, we must dissipate
return to the dust
become the beauty
only to be found where
the self is not

You see, my nonna lays waiting for her moment to arrive, while we watch – life is but an illusion. It is humbling, this thing called dying. It is our fate, yet, we shall never really die if we remember life goes beyond the reaches of individuality, touching the core of humanity. Perhaps, that is why it is so hard to reason why we fight – we only destroy our own life in the end.

I apologize in advance, for perhaps you signed on here recently thinking this be a place of art writing or a place of poetry – not a place where we discuss our fate. That, my friend, is the Yellow House Cafe – even if I try to remove the self in hopes that you shall experience some type of beauty from this page.

It seems the further I run from spilling forth what is in me, the further the muse goes into hiding. There was beauty in the study of art, but it did not take me so deep that I forgot myself – it seems, for me, that must be done while writing upon this page… or gazing into a sky dressing for night with a winter moon rising ~

 

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