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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Monday, November 12, 2018




“Disclosing his wounds to the listener was the same as bathing it in the river, until it became cool and one with the river.” Hermann Hesse.
“Thou keepest track of all my sorrows; thou hast collected
my tears in your bottle.” Psalm 56: 8.
Siddhartha’s Kaddish:
As the monk burned
the serene unknowing of his golden robe
plunged
into raging mindfulness
the now
would like to rest in peace
instead of chasing naked sighs
through saudade moors of eire
Celts its believed
lived circular lives
unbesmirched by dualistic papists or
ghosted by mortal green subtexts
blistering saint patrick
for all those hallowed nuns
who rescued foundering babies
from potato slurries of famished grace
And where was our lord then—?
under lock and key
as the cosmos kept expanding
exploding our reliquaries
yet we still don’t know for sure
how our postmodern ideas of “truth”
got kick-started
anyway these are now questions for wall street
not science
or the old testament
Limbo though
devas and asuras know
got born in mother’s heart
on a ganges river shore
watching her lost children drift away
on swirling currents and
insufferable winds
Fluttering above the funeral pyre
butterflies see
seven more colors than we
tongues of ultra-violet flame
shimmer over mourning cocoons
glazed
with splendored pigments unknown to human eyes
schooled to the black and white
of gød’s printable word
Oh I don’t doubt for a minute
lazarus came forth from his tomb
jetztzeit
stink and all—mad as hell
but who hasn’t been pissed at christ
for arriving after the fact
What if
truth be told
jacob had beaten that angel
locked it in a cage and took it to market
hoping to barter angel-tears
for babylonian currency
maybe a small dacha on the sea of tiberius
just compensation for his limp
Not everyone could agree on the cage
but nobody except jacob could see the angel
other than orthodox butterflies
so when his captive refused to cry
jacob hid behind the vale
filling bottles with his own tears
so great was his sorrow
for breaking gød
Jacob’s angel chooses the cage
a monk’s heart chooses the fire
to burn and not to burn
like little gidding’s shirt of flame
like the tears of esau
like the grief of any virgin mother
cradling a dying gød in her arms
when every other gate is shut
the gate of tears remains open
this is the new and everlasting covenant
jerusalem falling falling
into the red bliss of the roiling sun
the fire and the rose
not yet
one
(For Thích Quảng Đức, killed in Vietnam, June 11,1963. at my age of 66. Acrylic on canvas. 30 X 40 in.)
Obliged.

Sunday, August 5, 2018






"Structures of Visual Perception." 9 feet by 3 feet, acrylic on board)

For Marilyn Monroe (Born Norma Jeane Mortenson; June 1, 1926 Died on this day, August 5, 1962).


Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe): "Horse killers! Killers! Murderers! You're liars! All of you, liars! You're only happy when you can see something die! Why don't you kill yourself to be happy? You and your God's country! Freedom! I pity you! You're three dear, sweet, dead men!"

In "The Misfits," (Marilyn's and Clark Gable's last movies) three broken-back old cowboys hunt wild mustang horses for scratch and dog food while believing that their lust for Roslyn (MM) will save them from death. But in this scene Marilyn is outraged by their violence and barbarity and she attempts to stop the slaughter. The screenplay was written by playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn's husband, and its based, I think, on an earlier actual experience. I am reading Miller's autobiography and he recounts that when he and Marilyn were living at Amagansett long island she encountered the surf-net fishers early one morning. The fishers drug their nets onto the beach then marketed the "money fish" but left all the writhing "trash fish" to slowly suffocate and die on the beach. Marilyn was horrified and began to get up early and follow behind these fishers and gather up all the dying fish and return them to the water. She became obsessed with stopping this daily slaughter that was ignored by everyone else and began saving the condemned fish every morning. Marilyn (like Pope Francis it seems?) rejected the economic ideology that classifies life as either 'trash' or 'marketable, but her life-saving work took a painful, physical and spiritual toll on her. A soaked-through Marilyn could often be witnessed shivering, stumbling, along the beach weeping and trying to get the dying fish back into the ocean, until one day she completely collapsed. Marilyn never fully recovered from that "break-down," and subsequent suicide attempt even though she was hospitalized for "treatment." She eventually recovered just enough to finish "The Misfits," but perhaps at the cost of her life. Other than academic/σαρκικός I have never really had much of an interest in Marilyn, but it was this story and movie that have caused me to engage her again with more seriousness, sorrow, and maybe even reverence. I agree with what Clifford Odets said: “If they tell you that she died of sleeping pills you must know that she died of a wasting grief, of a slow bleeding at the soul.”

Marilyn's last words on screen were, "Which way is home…How do you find your way home in the dark." But I don't think that Arthur Miller's answer is true, he wrote, "To have survived, she would have had to be either more cynical or even further from reality than she was. She was a poet on a street corner trying to recite to a crowd pulling at her clothes." But Miller was also one of those desperate clawing men pulling at her clothes. What Marilyn needed was not more cynicism or fantasy but the kind of love that finding her broken and suffocating would return her to life-giving water.

Marilyn Found Poems:

To the Weeping Willow

'I stood beneath your limbs
and you flowered and finally clung to me
and when the wind struck with earth 
and sand--you clung to me.

Don't cry my doll
Don't cry
I hold you and rock you to sleep
Hush hush
I'm pretending now
I'm not your mother who died.

They taught my body
to squeeze grapes.
Warm wine poured out.
And once or twice,
a slick skin.

O, Time
Be Kind
Help this weary being
To forget what is sad to remember
Loose my loneliness,
Ease my mind,
While you eat my flesh.

Life
I am of both of your directions
strong as a cobweb in the
wind — I exist more with the cold glistening frost.
But my beaded rays have the colors I’ve
seen in a paintings — ah life they
have cheated you

When the hourglass
takes off its dress,
the sand loosens and spreads.
You cannot find a footing
in me. They always said
I was terrible in bed.

I have always been
deeply terrified to
really be someone’s wife
since I know from life
one cannot love another,
ever, really
We're all dying aren't we
we're not teaching each other
what we really know,
are we'


Obliged.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018




Christian church calendars name today, ‘Silent Wednesday’
or ‘Wednesday of Shadows.’ 

Also occurring on this day in history:

Mary of Bethany anointed Jesus with expensive oil >> Lady GaGa was born in 1986 >> In 1854 Britain, France, and Russia, began the Crimean war >> Liturgy committees everywhere begin preparations for Jesus ‘last supper’ >> Virginia Woolf filled her pockets with rocks and drowned herself today in 1941 >> Judas conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray Jesus (that is why today is also known as “Spy Wednesday”) >> The Premier performance of PT Barnum’s “Greatest show On Earth” occurred today >> Paris was sacked by Ragnar Lodbrok and his Viking horde in the year 854 >> The donkey who carried Jesus into Jerusalem went back to hauling water and wood for Roman occupiers >> Today in 1933 the Reichstag conferred dictatorial powers on Adolf Hitler >> The Supreme’s song, “Stop! In the Name of Love!” topped the 1966 pop charts >> The Gospels record that today Jesus taught parables about: *Vineyards, *Taxes, *Wedding banquets, *the Destruction of Jerusalem >> In 1655 Puritans defeated Catholic forces in Maryland and outlawed Roman Catholicism in the colony >> Raphael completed his remarkable painting ‘The Madonna of the Chairs’ >> Today was the day that High priest Caiphas first plotted with Quisling collaborators to murder Jesus  >> The Largest dinosaur footprint ever was found in Kimberley Australia >> Jesus’ Disciples complained about Mary wasting expensive oil on Jesus >> In 1917 Jews are expelled from Tel Aviv and Jaffa by Turkish soldiers >> According to legend Barabbas was arrested on this day for opposing Roman occupation >> In Poland on ‘Spy Wednesdays’ Roman catholics throw an effigy of Judas from the top of a church steeple. Then he is dragged through villages as the devout hurl sticks and stones at him. What remains of the effigy is drowned in a nearby stream or pond >> Astrophysicists just announced the discovery of a “ghost galaxy” that contains no ‘dark matter’ >>  Today a cock in old J-town crowed twice.
Pax.

     

Sunday, December 10, 2017








"He's a bandit and a heartbreaker.
Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker"

From a poet/songwriter I admire greatly and a dear sister who died young. I use to play a couple of her songs. Once a young armed robber and sex-worker she learned music and Jesus in jail. She asked some difficult questions and she suffered greatly, eventually dying of a heroin overdose. Thank you for your words and music. May you always be in blessing. 

Sweet silver angels over the sea
Please come down flyin' low for me
One time I trusted a stranger
Cuz' I heard his sweet song
And it was gently enticin' me
Tho there was somethin' wrong
But when I turned he was gone

Blindin' me, his song remains remindin' me
He's a bandit and a heart breaker
Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker

Sweet silver angels over the sea
Please come down flyin' low for me

He wages war with the devil
A pistol by his side
And tho he chases him out windows
And won't give him a place to hide
He keeps his door open wide

Fightin' him he lights a lamp invitin' him
He's a bandit and a heart breaker
Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker

Sweet silver angels over the sea
Please come down flyin' low for me

I heard the thunder come rumblin'
the light never looked so dim
I see the junction git nearer'
and danger is in the wind
And either road's lookin' grim

Hidin' me, I flee, desire dividin' me
He's a bandit and a heart breaker
Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker
Yes, Jesus was a cross maker
Yes, Jesus was a cross maker
Sweet silver angels over the sea
Please come down flyin' low for me
One time I trusted a stranger
Cuz I heard his sweet song
And it was gently enticin' me
Tho there was somethin' wrong
But when I turned he was gone
Blindin' me, his song remains remindin' me
He's a bandit and a heartbreaker.
Oh, but Jesus was a cross maker

Sweet silver angels over the sea
Please come down flyin' low for me

Blessings and obliged.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judee_Sill


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Judith Beheads Holofernes. Artemisia Gentileschi. c,1638.

*Biblical story—Possible Trigger Warnings.

“Judith Beheads Holofernes.”
From the Book of Judith: Ch.16, Vs. 2-11.

The proud king bragged
Borders would be set on fire
All disloyalty would be punished
He would make prey of infants
Take virgins captive

But YHWH struck him down
Not by the strength of men
Nor by the proud sons of Titan
Nor by tall giants
But by courage and beauty

Judith’s vanquishing face
Anointed with sweet oils
Locks adorned as a crown
Sandals dazzling like precious gems
Robes of golden deception
Her beauty took his heart captive

And with a sword she cut off his head.

*(Artists have made many depictions of this biblical scene but I admire this 1638 version by Artemisia Gentileschi most. That’s her holding the sword. Understandably many have been quick to read into this shocking picture a visual response to her oppression by her father, her rape by her art teacher, and her subsequent torture by authorities during her rape trial).

Sunday, May 28, 2017




 “If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.” Mitya to Aloysha.  Book XI.



Saturday, February 18, 2017


Already

Already
By age 2 we were artists;
Poets by 3
At 4 we discovered un-seen worlds
Turning 5 we could fly 
But 6 meant school, rulers, visibility, work, mirror-gaze;
Leaving our wings behind us

Late afternoon
Soon children will be home from class
Each day small parts of them disappear
Multiply and divide into others
Even as they grow into bigness
We shall not come to know love by the pound
But by the mile


Love from grandpapa kids <3 nbsp="" p="">





Tuesday, January 17, 2017



I'm trying out a new writing style: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy in Space.


“Imagine the amazing good fortune of the generation that gets to see the end of the world,
This is as marvelous as being there in the beginning.” Jean Baudrillard.

*Deep Space 9 1/2 weeks.*

Scene: Chief of Security charges into the command bridge shouting excitedly:
 
   “Captain somehow a chimpanzee has escaped the science lab.”
     “Look out!” shouts the First Officer, “he’s gotten ahold of a loaded pistol!”
       “Who brings a gun into space,” asks the Weapons Officer alarmed,
         “One shot would pierce the hull and doom us all to a hideous death.”

Right then the chimp took off his space-diaper and started peeing all over the captain’s chair.
 
   “Ha ha, at least nobody’s bored anymore.” Joked the Second Officer
      “Especially after so much hyper-sleep,” added the Ensign.
             
 “Can’t we all just agree to get along?” The Star-Navigator pleaded.
      “Living in a space ship is really dull and this chimp is entertaining.”
        “Even funny sometimes.” Crew person #2
          “When he’s not masturbating.” Crew person #3
             “Or pointing his gun at us.” Crew person #2

   “Who knows,” The ships chaplain prayerfully offered
      “Maybe its God’s will that the chimp got this gun?”

   “Yes.” Nodded the first-mate, “and we’d all be safer if everyone on board had guns too.”

    “Maybe we should just make the chimp captain,” added the second-mate laughing.
     “That would teach those snobby suits back at corporate a lesson.”

Many of the crew nodded their heads in agreement and smiled at the chimp with approval;

   “Thats madness,” the Science Officer argued through clenched teeth.
 
   “Let’s take a vote,” suggested the Second-Officer.
     

Thursday, December 15, 2016



I have been posting through Brother Christophe’s surviving journal from Tibhirine in one of my old Facebook posts and todays entry has has dwelled in my mind since first reading it months ago.

10/23/1993. The 23rd. from Brother Christophe.

I warn you: I am
going through you I go before you and
I breathe into you the Way
and oblige you in truth.
I baptize you with myself on the cross
go
take my I love you
be me

Many of my recent media feeds attend to the terrible death and destruction in Aleppo Syria. I remember when Algerians were suffering in a similar way in the 90’s. Around the time of the massacre of the Monks of Tibihirine we were visiting France and there was great consternation in Paris about how to deal with this new phenomenon of 'islamic terrorism’ and the murder of innocents in France’s former colonies. Many called for renewed military involvement and air strikes. Anti-Muslim persecution and demonstrations were becoming more common. I sense now that even among my Christian friends there is frustration and despair and perhaps an acceptance or desire for some overwhelming violent force to stop these calamities in Aleppo and elsewhere. I suppose we might want to believe that this imaginary force could be both perfectly just, totally compassionate, and absolutely discriminate, and that only evildoers will be killed and all innocents will be spared.    That is a false hope.

I warn you: I am
going through you I go before you and
I breathe into you the Way
and oblige you in truth.
I baptize you with myself on the cross
go
take my I love you
be me

Its important to remember that its possible that the 7 Tibihrine monks were actually killed by Algerian soldiers fighting the monks captors. There is evidence that Christophe was killed during an Algerian Govt. helicopter strike on the rebel’s camp and that the survivors beheaded the monks afterward for propaganda purposes. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what the suffering people of Aleppo should do. I don’t trust the Russians, Syrians, the rebels, Turkey, Israel, or my own government. I say desperate prayers and Catholic relief services and others are doing good work among the refugees and need financial support, but its easy to fall victim to frustration and despair even/especially in the midst of our own relative security and well being. Today’s entry by Christophe is one of my favorites although I don’t understand it in any deep way. But those words “I breathe into you the Way,” have stuck with me the last few months and have been helpful during my own struggles so I made of them a short prayer for Aleppo as well as for my friends in need.

*May the god of love and peace breathe into us the Way*

I sometimes can imagine god responding to my call using parts of Christophe’s prayer:

I am
I breathe into you the Way
I oblige you in truth
I love you
be me
go

Shalom.