Sun, Leaves and Hills

Sun, Leaves and Hills

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store). 

Sweet, soft, clean, and hot—
        too tired to remember what I’ve washed,
        too happy to care. This is how we get there.
    Home, into each other, every night.
    Home, still inside you, you still inside me,
        every sweet morning in the early light.

I want to live where this peace flows
        over you from inside me
        and over me from within,
        over and around us like rushing water,
    the impossible stream gushing from the stone.

Share

Six Sigma

Six Sigma

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store).

 

We’re all running up the hill
that most of us come tumbling down.
One in a million gets caught on the sill,
between over and around.

What do they do there, the rare and unfallen?
Is it any fun to be alone by the gallon?
Then again, we’re all so strange, one way or another.
There are so many human planes to wack out on, brother.

Share

Black Swan

Black Swan

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store). 

“The Swan”

By Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Robert Bly

This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.

And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down

into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

***

“Der Schwan”

RMR

Diese Mühsal, durch noch Ungetanes
schwer und wie gebunden hinzugehen,
gleicht dem ungeschaffnen Gang des Schwanes.

Und das Sterben, dieses Nichtmehrfassen
jenes Grunds, auf dem wir täglich stehen,
seinem ängstlichen Sich-Niederlassen—

in die Wasser, die ihn sanft empfangen
und die sich, wie glücklich und vergangen,
unter ihm zurückziehn, Flut um Flut;
während er unendlich still und sicher
immer mündiger und königlicher
und gelassener zu ziehn geruht.

Share

Sympathy for God

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store). Image inspired by Northern Ignorance’s “Deliverance”—which, while it is about whaling, made me think also of  the Biblical stories of Jonah/the whale and Noah/the flood… Parables about God facing the limits of His own wild and free creations. 

 

“Sympathy for God, Who Is Not Angry—Just Disappointed”

I warned you idiots.
I let Hitler do it.
How much clearer could I get?
Six millions Jews, the whole schtick.
An order of magnitude or worse might happen next, and quick—
     between melting ice-caps and this new Fascism shit.

I’m not angry—just disappointed.
I’ll always be your Father—that’s anointed.
When I asked Cain where Abel was, he pointed
          at the murderer asking, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”—broken,                   disjointed,
                    feeling himself both seen and unseen: marked.
                    That’s why I had him live: to feel known again, remarked.

War started then.
You’ve been at it since.
You’re only human.
You’re only as human as I made you, and My love for you is
          lose and win
          wash and rinse
          Mengele and von Neumann.
You’re only as human as I gave you, and My gift to you was
          the living world
          the kitten curled
          the universal die gently tossed, not hurled.

I could have sent more angels,
     but you hunt everything with wings.
I could have leaked more cables,
     but you didn’t read most of those things.
I so loved the world, I sent My only begotten Son.
You killed Him, as expected—but now, everyone?

And yes, I expect you to keep faith and fight on.
          Even as the last dying pairs stumble blindly for an ark that won’t                float.
          Even as the last billionaires restock their cellar, range, and moat.
          Even as the unfaithful point at history and gloat.
As civilizations fell, they also served who only stood and wrote.
As yours takes much of the world with it, so must you write on,
     as is the task of the small and humble ones.
     Be glad (but not too glad) I only give you so many suns.
     Be glad (but be not proud) I made you love flowers and hate guns.
     Be glad (be very glad) I was never very fond of nuns.

Share

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store). 

“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”
After Oliver Sacks’s book by the same name.

was perfectly fine. It was she
who wore her brain on her brim,
multicolor thought waves swirling out
like bonnet ribbons around a May pole
like unfurling flags in strong winds
and like sweaters unraveling before kittens,
the cloth becoming yarn before their flickering eyes,
the cats mistaken for mittens by surprise.

Share

Refugees Welcome

Oils on 40 x 40 cm stretched canvas (web store).

“And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”–Deuteronomy 10:19, NIV Bible.

Refugees are welcome here.
What’s contentious about this?
That people who need shelter
should come where we can offer it?
That boats at sea must aid
other vessels in distress?
That human beings with enough
help others feel safe, be free,
rebuild their lives and happiness?

Share

Kupfer Opening Success

Many thanks to my ridiculously sweet hot man (R), whose logistics masterminding made my art opening at Galerie Kupfer Saturday night a great success. I’ve never seen an opening or gallery packed like this—from 7 p.m. until closing time. Thanks also to Kupfer manager Alex’s masterful PR. I was nearly hoarse from talking with cool people. Thanks to everyone who came to support me, and enjoy good art and good people.

I gave away my poetry book (to the worthiest possible reader) that was on display by the beautiful artist portrait R made, by the artist statement he helped me rewrite so that I am talking about myself properly. A new copy will reappear there as soon as possible. Other than that, the current exhibit continues intact at Oranienburger Straße 65 in Berlin-Mitte.

Share

Throw-away Tuesday

A stack of failed paintings heading to the trash, including one with a dude carrying a lantern towards the stormy sea through a red vineyard. Sometimes called the most valuable painting in the world, its referent “The Red Vineyard” is famous as the only painting Van Gogh sold. 

“Red Vineyards Near Arles”

Carrying a torch over red vineyards near Arles
for the boat tossing in the wild sea below,
I realize I must be here before Van Gogh.
Sometimes dream-time gets caught in the snarls.

The Romans made a canal link to the Mediterranean.
But that, too, would be calmer than this. Try again?
These vineyards became the only painting Van Gogh sold.
Taken by this storm, he wouldn’t grow old.

Carry a torch for the despairing sailors lost at sea.
I offer my light to you. Will you offer your light to me?

Share

The Feeler

The Feeler

Oils on 40 x 50 stretched canvas (web store). 

 

She’s not the chiseled thinker
with his head on his hand,
staring down as if to tinker
with the future on demand—
or as if to undo what has already been done.
The race of the feeler can never be won.

She’s feeling her whole body.
She’s feeling her whole heart.
She’s feeling for somebody.
She’s feeling every art.
She feels as if to be here now—nothing more or less.
She feels from her deepest core. She feels happiness.

Share

Birth of Athena

Oils on 40 x 50 cm stretched canvas (web store). 

Come to my opening tomorrow, Sat. 4 Feb at 20:00 at Galerie Kupfer in Berlin Mitte (event page, Facebook event page) to see this new painting and more!

“Birth of Athena”

You know how it is when you lay with the goddess of lulz and wisdom,
and have second thoughts. So you swallow the bitch—the available plan B
being homicide. But it doesn’t kill her. Eventually you figure the headache will kill you.
So you have your closest friends split open your skull with an axe.
We’ve all been there. The fully armored, battle-crying woman leaping out.
The mind of god becoming a full-grown woman with a shout.

Share

Proper Lighting and Proper Boxes for Proper Art

In two days, I have a solo show of new work beginning at Galerie Kupfer in Berlin Mitte (event page, Facebook event page). Last weekend my ridiculously hot sweet man R made these beautiful flyers for the opening Saturday night. This week, we spent an afternoon installing proper gallery lighting in the venue, Kupfer Bar, with the wonderful owner Alex who is busy bringing in artists from the comedy, visual arts, tattoo arts—every corner of the local creative community.

Because R is a logistics mastermind, I learned a lot about how to do lighting. And because it turned out so well, Alex said I can book the next few shows in the space. I want to make them political, and at least one should be a refugee art show. Please get in touch with me if you want to talk about that.

Then we made these beautiful wooden boxes to transport and ship my work. First we calculated sizes, and then scavenged sufficient unbent pieces from among the ski poles at the supply store. Then R drove a large vehicle with these materials back to our place in the freezing cold, laughing at me because I thought it was a terrifying large vehicle to drive—remembering that time I chain-smoked and played loud rap to feel tough enough to drive a flat-bed truck that was smaller. (He has driven a double-decker bus.) Power tools and friendly help using them followed (h/t Jeremie). Then making the box structures with wood, tape, glue, and staples. And finally packaging the work with moving blankets and packing tape in the beautiful wooden boxes. Overall I thought it was a lot of work—so many steps—specialized equipment—and R thought it was little. I guess I’ll learn and then it will seem like less.

So now Kupfer has proper lighting and I have proper boxes for my proper art. It never would have occurred to me to make them myself. I used to put on shows with a car—no packaging required, although some damage to the work seemed unavoidable. And I used to buy bulk cardboard boxes and ship my standard sizes that way. This is so much better for the art—it’s safer in transport to shows. It’s so much nicer for clients—buy proper art, get a proper box! And it’s the sweetest thing to have a partner who spends all this time and effort helping me do my work better. I feel madly loved and supported in doing what I need.

Share