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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

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Golden Crowned Kinglet

Invisible Killer.  Daniel Imburgia.

I found this beautiful little bird
Dead on the concrete floor
It had crashed into a large picture window
Newly installed and freshly cleaned
I warmed her in my hand and waited
While her Spirit decided if she would stay
I called her *'Lizzie' after Elizabeth Taylor
Who survived many near-death experiences

I prayed for Lizzie but nothing too specific
I wanted to allow space for her and the
God of birds to consider all voices
See the big picture so to speak
Reflect upon future aeons
Who am I to say who lives and dies?

"Golden Crowned Kinglets
Are an exceedingly tame bird,
Often entering human habitations and
Allowing themselves to be picked up or stroked."
(Audabon Field Guide To Birds)

For a hundred thousand years at least
Tiny Kinglets have been flying above these cliffs
Migrating up and down the west-coast
Over glaciers a mile thick and arid desserts
Evading terrible storms and hungry predators
Until men (sic) erected
Stupendous windows on this bluff

In human words the Kinglet's songs when
Flocking and mating translate as a
Very high jingling--'tsii tsii tsii' followed by a
Thin sibilant 'Tsieeee' that chatters toward the end;
'Tsii tsii tsii tsii tiii djit djit djit djit'

Each song has a purpose just as
The window on the bluff has a purpose
As some believe that "Nature has a purpose"
Or as one might speak of a being
Reckoned by what it chooses to see
And what not to

Obliged.

Thursday, January 21, 2016



To A Grieving Poet:

Forgive us when we say
There are no words
Let us mourn together
Their ultimate failure and
Make for them bodies to
Dwell among us
Incarnations of word-flesh
Are no going down though
But a rising
Into speakable love
We are told that
Energy is fungible
Matter thrums
Quarks accelerate
Particles collide, but
My broken child
Is all the universe

That matters

obliged.

Monday, December 14, 2015


I am making a book of Black-Birds
I hope that this photo and poem may be included.

Jackdaw Fool -- Daniel Imburgia.

“There is a world elsewhere.” Coriolanus, William Shakespeare.

It began the day I was born
When the drugs wore off and
I first opened my eyes to the
Light which would come to
cause me such
pain.

I was addicted to amniotic fluid plus
nicotine, alcohol, and barbiturates
and a biting satire that would
cost me friends among
the snugglers.

In the darkness god
was everywhere and
we had no secrets until
my parents circumcised me
after that I began hiding when
people spoke of
fathers.

During catechism they tried to
blame me for god's murder
so I confessed weekly to
being the cause of paradise lost
and I would punish myself
accordingly.

Doctors invent new medicines for
my condition but still no cure so
pain-management specialists
administer the bread and wine
at sunday communion
until the market objects.

The Jackdaw reminds me
that he is god and
I should have no other
the sun is also a jealous deity
and she makes dire threats
flooding rivers charge the banks
demanding my worship
a newborn fawn dwells
at the center of her universe, but
the willow I planted now shades the
old Japanese pear tree and so
it no longer bears fruit
or speaks to me.

I come to miss that darkness
I fear less abiding in mystery
attending to the voices of silence
speak not of unforgivable sins
or the promise unkept
why wait for someone to
come get us from
somewhere else

Obliged.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Snoot and Tehya

The Eucharist is not a chew-toy: Why My Dogs Are Roman Catholic.
(#Hegelianmaster-slavedialectics).

I should have more respect than to eavesdrop on my dog Snoot when he is praying but from what I overhear he may entertain some questionable forms of Eckhartian creation spirituality with universalist overtones but I long ago gave up attempting to challenge Snoot's or anybody else's divergent theological suppositions--Yet when we leave Snoot home alone I put "Nature" shows on the TV for him to watch but perhaps I shouldn't presume that he would enjoy watching wild packs of free roaming timber wolves chasing down fleeing caribou while he lays on soft carpet gnawing a green toothbrush shaped kale and chia-seed stick (and I choke down my vegan bean and sawdust burger) when what we both crave is to tear the throats from of our prey drink their blood howl at the moon and dance naked around a fire swinging fists full of entrails into the air while ripping bites from the raw bloody hearts of the vanquished--

"Civilization" is the most violent word imaginable especially after it's horrifying apocalyptic phase is accomplished and it has begun to somulate its victims with "Adventure Cruises," "reality TV," and populist mega-churches leading to the false worship of an imaginary Snow White Xmas-card religion celebrating a Disney-Christos born painlessly in a spotless manger surrounded by Bambi, Thumper, and Mrs. Possum, when the actual Bambi was Jewish (written by Felix Salten) and he and the rest of the forest animals were refugees running for their lives from anti-semitic falangist maniacs intent on genetic/religious purity and destroying the forest for their own profit--

Perhaps that other infant messiah, the brown Palestinian Jesus can help me resist these "civilizing" projects and maybe its this outsider Jesus who barely escaped with his own life once as a baby when CEO's concerned about commodities markets and the bottom-line figured it was more economically efficient to just kill every newborn in the ghetto rather than take a chance on a future hostile corporate take-over--maybe its this alien survivor Jesus that is the one being discussed by the other soon to be slaughtered sheep in their own secret language and who are wondering whether this peculiar 'Messiah' will oppose and confront the slaughter of ALL of the innocents or will he just gorge himself on beers and God-father's pizza while cheering his brain-damaged home-team to another Superbowl victory or if instead he will he become a wild desert coyote prophet messiah who burns like volcanic magma against the empire's principalities and powers while hanging about with tax-collectors, whores, and lepers, exchanging barbs with the daemons he extracts and transplants into the herds of tiny piglets who clog our minds and arteries and who will at the last trump be cast into the lake of Lipitor--

Our dogs Snoot and Tehya love it when company comes over because they get more attention and food is always getting dropped on the floor so the other day some folks came over and we were  exchanging japes and jibes and watching the romantic comedy "bringing up baby" and peacefully bantering in a cozy little house chuckling at this movie couple's antics who are so obviously in love with each other but are having such a hard time consummating the relationship because of an endless series of mishaps and hijinks--*oh how will they ever get together?*-- there is wine and moldy european cheeses we pretend to enjoy within the parameters of socially administered Jouuisance and all the rules of acceptable interaction are unconsciously being interpolated and obeyed--imagine us as an Althusserian community of yellow-labs who have learned to carry our leashes in our own mouths as our sashaying flaneurs amble about the town without exercising any apparent means of external control over their thralls as exactly on cue we grinning golden-hearted dog/angels wag our bottoms and choke back our repressed rage--

Kathryn Hepburn reads: "…'he's three years old, gentle as a kitten, and likes dogs.'" She puzzles, "I wonder whether Mark means that he eats dogs or is fond of them?" But our stomachs are full and we're all a bit tipsy/drowsy and our two dogs Snoot and Tehya are laying on their sides like two bloated heifers snoozing oblivious to the dramas---until Snoot lifts his head and begins licking his testicles right there in front of everybody so we'alll just sort of ignore him and swirl and snuffle our shardonay but then Tehya takes an interest in Snoot's private parts as well and gives them a quick sniff but decides that a dropped prosciutto wrapped canapé is more interesting so she lunges for it when this transgressive act of wolf code-breaking expropriation incites some dormant instinct deep inside Snoot's limbic cortex where some tiny amt. of wildness I haven't lobotomized yet with 'atta-boys' or 'bac-o-bites' survives and it awakens in him with such violent fury that he pounces on Tehya like a velociraptor to claim his right of possession and restore the household pack to the established dog-order while we humans are all too shocked to move when this terrific dog-fight breaks out--

Now Tehya is a Siberian Husky with fine sharp teeth and she is much closer to her Canis lupus ancestors than the Malamute mongrel Snoot is and so she battles tooth and dew-claw for the right to the canapé and in an instant my 9 X 12 carpet is transformed into a battle-field stained with blood, fur, and cured meats as two ferocious beasts attack growl howl and snap at each other--its not a fair fight though, it seldom is, but Snoot is a boy and he's got 20 pounds on Tehya and he eventually bites her so hard that she yelps in pain and surrenders by rolling onto her back and offering her throat and soft belly to her masculine overlord--Snoot cowers over her scanning the room defiantly as if to ask if any of the rest of us wine-swilling domesticated E.D. plagued males wants to question his authority--but the entire incident only lasts maybe 10 seconds and we are all still too shocked by this breach into barbarism to even move but just as I start to rise from my chair to defend my sweet baby girl, Snoot on his own accepts Tehya's surrender allowing her too rise to her feet and then they begin to nuzzle and lick at each other playfully a bit when the next thing you know his ears go half-back and his tail stiffens and now Snoot starts sniffing Tehya's private parts and then just like that he is humping away at her backside even though his testicles are in a dumpster behind the veterinarians office because although he has been "fixed" sometimes phantom urges compel him to just keep going through the motions in a humiliating sacramental parody--

So when people ask me why I assume that my dog is Roman Catholic I tell them that its because its the church where they hang a half-naked life-like statue of an executed terrorist up on the wall for everyone to witness--its a church where Jesus' wounds and blood haven't all been sanitized and tidied up and the whole filthy mess tossed into the dumpster behind the chapel because in the Catholic church they worship blood and they make more and more of it each time they gather turning water into wine--wine into blood--and then that blood mingles with our blood and other bodily fluids through a miracle of redemptive miscegenation and for just a few moments each week it overflows the gilded grails we keep constructing for it in the blasphemous hope of containing and controlling the power that inheres to sacrificed hemoglobin and as we sing elegiac sagas ministers scurry about attempting to mop-up any of the blood that escapes onto the floor contaminating our shoes so we won't track it out into the parking lot or streets, shops, or homes, but still sometimes you can see those bloody trails drying and fading in the early sunday morning sun or being washed away by rain and tears, after the music changes into a silent whistle and we beasts who have been broken and bred to civilization take our leashes back into our own mouths as we lead ourselves out into the life-like machine world of blood-less grace.

God bless and obliged.

p.s. I started writing this at morning Mass recently the day after Tehya died as a sort of a farewell obituary.  We miss and love her.


Wednesday, October 28, 2015



This painting was my attempt to make a copy of Vincent's "Wheat field With Crows," for a "Forgery Art Show" here on the Island a few years ago.  The accompanying poem references Wallace Steven's "13 Ways of Looking at a Black bird."

13 Other Ways Of Looking At a Black Bird.  Daniel Imburgia  (Way one:  Through Vincent's Wheat Field with Crows)

I.
The crow as knowing
Growing in the sky-scape
Racing the storm among
Double moon swarms

II.
Only these crows can testify
To why Vincent was murdered
In a wheat-field where miraculously
Un-healed he survived

III.
Wounded by lead-gray grieving
Bleeding Cochineal lake
Vermillion contrasted against
Vandyck brown and smalt viridian

IV
Invisible to all but he
Three advents direct his fall
Cawed by the 57 black birds
Inscribed in his final canvas

V.
Experts accuse the Jesuit crows
Rose in fear and fled from
Vincent as he erected his
Easel and gauged perspective

VI.
But hearing the shot and cry
Why would darkness flee
He whose deprivation and lack
Exposed only more mystery

VII.
Field, sky, birds, roads,
Chose this pilgrim pigment
Instead of chrome stars Umber
Gashes in murderous constellations

VIII.
Rising ochred tears of grain
Strain to fly among the swirl of
Blue rosettes without a why
Bend, break, fall, and die

IX.
The sower scattering his seed
Heeds the internal coming to be
Shakes each kernel from its husk
Un-forsaken by eternity

X.
The work of being world and making
Breaking earth in old peasant's shoes
The slow bleeding-out day to day
Unconcealing our mortal clay

XI.
Come we have upon the altar
Slaughter, bread, psalter
Cowled priests and bells
Spells, water, wine, blood

XII.
Conjured winged tricksters rise
Disguised from his unrepentant palette
Spectres snatching tatters and dregs
God's self-portrait hued by saudade

XIII.
The artist seeks with naked heart
Not apart but inhabiting the wheat-field
A scare-crow clothed with scraps
Of grace and ragged love

Blessings and obliged.

Sunday, September 27, 2015



Before Pope Francis there was another and I wrote this poem for him…and Bella.  Benedetto XVI once wrote, "In the end, even the "yes" of Love is a source of suffering--love always requires that I allow myself to be wounded otherwise it ceases to be love."  Those are hard words for me to embrace right now, except for grace.

Sedia Vacante
Papa Vecchio
E Bella

#1. The Agony in the Garden

Benedetto tallies his rosary alone as
Fall shadows the single window
Where light escapes over the Leonine walls
Shoe-less Sisters have left tea and schnapps
Beside a phone that no longer rings

#2. The Scourging at the Pillar

Flushed Cardinals once bobbed their beaks
In and out of feeders near his cell
But the old man no longer chases away
The black crows who rob their seed and
Steal their chicks

#3. The Crowning with Thorns

Once there was a young woman in Schulstraße
Who tormented him with night-sweats and doubt
But she did not survive the war and his
Cloistered loins never burned for another though
Her body was never found

#4. The Carrying of the Cross

Mozart has finished his quintet but
the old priest is so deep in prayer with
The Virgin Mother
Just a single eye cracks when
Purring Bella claws into his lap

#5. The Crucifixion and Death

Only the boisterous cheers and applause
Carried by the wind from
The far side of Vatican hill
Cause his fingers to forget their place
Among the five sorrowful mysteries


Outside my  studio/shed




























Klediments:

"The world is divided between capitalism and fundamentalism – in other words, between those who believe too little and those who believe too much." (Zizek).

“All paradises, all utopias are designed by who is not there, by the people who are not allowed in." (Toni Morrison)

* I am making a list of all my beliefs that I would be willing to spend 5 days in jail for as my staunch sister Kim Davis in Kentucky did.  So far its a very short list.

* Not that anybody in the debates asked for his birth certificate, but I believe that #2 Presidential candidate Ben Carson was born in Detroit to Seventh-Day Adventist parents. (wiki)

*I'm so over self-validating, closed-circuit systems of mutually reinforcing assumptions and their apologetics that ever more deeply beg the question, and the mental/emotional knots they tie folks up in."  (David Fetcho)

* Roman Catholic politicians of all kinds may disagree, but I'm not sure that Pope Francis is entirely on board with the historical religious project of converting or killing all heretics, infidels, and unbelievers.  Interestingly, it seem that others are willing to take up the challenge?  Well, God never closes a door without opening……

* ''Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.'' (J)

*  “Prayer holds together the shattered fragments of creation. It makes history possible.” (Jacques Ellul )

*Sometimes, no matter how often or loudly or how much apparent love, grace, and forgiveness, I proclaim, my own prayers still seem boil down to, "Lord, smite my enemies."  Fortunately, I am my own worst enemy.

*  “When you live in the dark for so long, you begin to love it. And it loves you back, and isn’t that the point? You think, the face turns to the shadows, and just as well. It accepts, it heals, it allows. But it also devours.”  (Raymond Carver)

*  “Nothing true can be said about God from a posture of defense.” (Marilynne Robinson)

*We know that the Jews were prohibited from investigating the future. The Torah and the prayers instruct them in remembrance, however. This stripped the future of its magic, to which all those succumb who turn to the soothsayers for enlightenment. This did not imply, however, that for the Jews the future turned into homogeneous empty time. For every second of time was the strait gate through which the Messiah might enter."  (Walter Benjamin)

“Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.” (Wendell Berry)

* "And that work of liberation is not *glorification* of the self, but rather a kind of social freedom for the continual and persistent resistance against other lords." (prof. Ry Siggelkow)

**  “What is honor compared to a woman's love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms or the memory of a brother's smile? Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy.”  (George R.R. Martin)

*  Forgiveness loves the past with hope—rather than with desire—that it will not in the end have been simply what it was." (prof. Craig Keen)

I have seen enough death to know that dying isn’t just dying. There are a million ways to die and live.   Jesus has the one. We have our million."  (prof. Anne Michelle Carpenter).

*  "So awestruck were we, by the falling stars, that we never noticed that the world was burning.  And as the smoke filled our throats, our final words — we spoke without knowing we would forever after be silent — were ‘thank you’.   Then we too were burning.  With the plants, with the oceans, with the animals,we were all of us burning.  Our lungs blossoming into flowers; the fire in our bones at last released to join the fire in the earth, in the air, on the water."  (Dan MzacKenzie)

"Light has come into the world, and the darkness will never overcome it." (J)

Blessings, and very much obliged.    

Sunday, September 13, 2015




                                                   "Momma they shot me."

99 days ago Tywanza Sanders died in his Mother's arms in the Charleston church massacre.  I witnessed his mother Felicia Sanders on video this morning praying God's Grace and mercy for all her son's killers. I had already forgotten about her with so much else going on in the news. I don't really believe in Jesus, not like Felicia does, not yet. But I stifled the rage and hate that inhabits my inconsistent heart and I prayed with her--that is to say, I silently mouthed the words; 'forgive them.' Sometimes I wonder how God mourns. So like many others before me have done, I brought my wounds and prayers to Jerusalem and wept upon the marble Stone of Unction where Jesus mangled body was prepared for burial. The ancient marble slab at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is now half worn away by all the tears and kisses of the centuries of mourners. Some believe that when our sorrow and grief have melted that stone completely away, then Jesus will return and gather all those redeemed tears into a New World. I pray it may be so. I pray that we don't just replace the stone.

Mother; Felicia, forgive me.

Late Gothic Pieta from Lubiąż in Lower Silesia, Poland.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Over Whidbey Island towards Mt. Tahoma.

Got to do some cloud watching.  I thought I saw Pak-Man gobbling the sun, some others saw an elephant or polar bear upper right; but someone else saw that rock monster from The Hobbit decomposing below the sun.  A bit of an argument broke out….I'm not sure how to tell who won or lost?  Maybe its like Grace?

Czeslaw Milosz wrote that, "When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever say he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal.’  (An old Jew of Galicia, from "The Captive Mind").  Obliged, Grace, and Blessings.








Sunday, August 2, 2015


*** Klediments:

*** https://youtu.be/CkPo6_EwSZ0

*** 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 these fishers and gather up all the dying fish and return them to the water.  She became obsessed with stopping this daily slaughter ignored by everyone else and began rescuing the condemned fish every morning.  Marilyn it seems (like Pope Francis?) rejected the economic ideology that classifies life as either 'marketable,' or 'trash,' 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 until recently, 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.”

*** Not so different than most of us, Marilyn is/was too often made a prisoner of the discourses that attended her.  But she was also, it seems to me, very aware of the web of narratives that attempted to define and ensnare her, and she often tried to resist, challenge, play with, and profit from those narratives.  However, the Overlords of culture and administration are more clever and powerful than Marilyn and many others suppose and often those who set out to confront the 'death-dealing' masters of the 'precession of simulacrum' suffer mightily from the encounter.  So of course I trust nothing that is written about Marilyn, and nothing that was written by her; i don't trust words--and neither did Marilyn.  She adored all poets though and wanted to be one, and so she was.  Not that being a poet instead of an actor would have saved her.  Here's a favorite of mine by Marilyn written in 1958.

That silent river which stirs
And swells itself with whatever passes over it
Wind, rain, great ships
I love the river – never unmoored
By anything

It’s quiet now
And the silence is alone
Except for the rumbling of things unknown
Distant drums very present
But for the piercing of screams
And the whispers of things
Sharp sounds and then suddenly hushed
To moans beyond sadness – terror beyond
Fear
The cry of things dim and too young to be known yet
The sobs of life itself

And bear the pain & the joy
Of newness on your limbs

Loneliness – be still




***  How could that poem not break open your heart and heal it again?  The Marilyn who wrote that poem is the same one who saved the dying trash-fish on the beach and saved the wild horses and the same one that escaped "The Black Dahlia" serial killer (or one of them).  Perhaps we could call her *Saint Marilyn of Amagansatt*  Patron saint of those who are suffocating, and those who were raped at age 6, and those left to die as un-marketable, and whores and those who must live life as only marketable, and the patron saint of horses (if horses have saints) and especially the patron saint of the beautiful who never got their own saint until Marilyn died.  

***  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, floundering, and suffocating would return her to life-giving water.

Much Obliged.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Madre dei Dolori
(Mother of Sorrows)

 “Every morning I sit at the kitchen table over a tall glass of water swallowing pills. (So my hands won’t shake.) (So my heart won’t race.) (So my face won’t thaw.) (So my blood won’t mold.) (So the voices won’t scream.) (So I don’t reach for knives.) (So I keep out of the oven.) (So I eat every morsel.) (So the wine goes bitter.) (So I remember the laundry.) (So I remember to call.) (So I remember the name of each pill.) (So I remember the name of each sickness.) (So I keep my hands inside my hands.) (So the city won’t rattle.) (So I don’t weep on the bus.) (So I don’t wander the guardrail.) (So the flashbacks go quiet.) (So the insomnia sleeps.) (So I don’t jump at car horns.) (So I don’t jump at cat-calls.) (So I don’t jump a bridge.) (So I don’t twitch.) (So I don’t riot.) (So I don’t slit a strange man’s throat.)”  ― Jeanann Verlee

Obliged.