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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

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This painting above is 9 feet wide and 4 feet tall. I wanted to reproduce some of the last surviving words, poetry, names, and art left on the walls of Auschwitz.  I Reconstructed it from photos and charcoal rubbings, etc., all the images I gathered together and then painted there are exact replica’s of the originals to the best of my ability.  Obliged.

Poem of the week:

A Little Ditty of a poem started in 2006 when we were on our way to Beirut from Haifa.  Turns out that the Israeli air force had blown up all the bridges in Southern Lebanon and the car rental place wouldn’t let us take the car over the border.  In any event a big chunk of Beirut had been blasted to smithereens.  But the great thing about religion, myth, poetry, is that it can take routinized destruction and death and turn it into a mythic story of profound meaning.  Like some of the stories in the bible that were shaped and rewritten over hundreds of years, sometimes thousands, before an armistice was agreed upon and one account was declared victorious, for a time.  Nowadays, that whole process takes less than a week of television or chatter in the blogosphere, and maybe just a day on facebook?  Martyr’s square in central Beirut is a place where one can watch this process unfolding.  Locusts, plagues, war, starvation (the end of a world really) killed many Maronite Christians and Muslims as well as a lot of people called “intellectuals.”  Then Revolt, counter-revolt, retribution, execution, etc., Ottomans, Brits, French, Jews, Wahabi’s and what not. It’s hard to keep the whole thing straight in our minds.  Scripture in the making, but it’s going to take some centuries to hammer the thing into shape.  They put up a huge statue of a guy right in the middle of the square to mark the infamous day of slaughter for all eternity but nobody I asked knew who he was or what he did, even wikipedia doesn’t mention who the guy was supposed to be though I can download a picture of the top of his head from outer space.  True, his face has been hacked and shot away over the years by just about every political group imaginable but you would think that folks would be curious about a huge chunk of battered bronze plopped down in the middle of their city.  We’ll just have to wait I reckon, that statue may have started out as a Marxist Baathist like Zaki ai-Arsuzi, and then wind up being a Catholic saint like alfred Delp!  Obliged. 

Tempus Fugit

The end of the world is always now somewhere
For some it was friday last
For others it was 1492 or 1942, whatever,

Still, I’v been to Quitana Roo

Time itself is not the scandal there it is here
It’s not a self at all

Time there is tracked, captured, sacrificed, worshiped,
Bled-out, never escaping it’s captors
There are too many traces left in tears and blood 

Something’s going to get us for sure
Even the ancients knew that much, but
No one has ever won betting against death, not yet 

But you don’t make calendars out of 
piquin chile and chocolate
Not if you want to survive to read your own horoscope
And avoid becoming the laughing-stock of history

Scratch your questions, prayers, complaints

Onto something concrete and don’t be specific
A wise prophet always leaves some wiggle-room
The “Book of Revelations” is a good example 

Deserving has got nothing to do with it

If that means getting what we got coming to us
Revenge has never been something to set our watches by
The gravity of our blunder beckons the heart of god from heaven
It plunges through the exosphere
On a Collision course with the world
Beautiful and terrifying we can only trace its fiery arc
Its downfall 

It’s not too late, there is still time to carve a message in stone

But the coming fire is already hot on our faces  
Hot enough to melt chocolate



  1. Ok. I know prolly need glasses but I can't be the only one who can't read that poem because the font is too small. I wanna read it.

    1. Oh great, I get one comment here in 3 years and it’s a complaint about my font size! LOL! The problem is Peleg, that if I use a bigger font I run out of room and it screws up the line breaks. Nevertheless, I upped the font size and went back and edited the poem and changed the line breaks to fit the size allowed by my format so you can read the dang thing. But if this costs me the Pulitzer prize in poetry I’m blaming you! obliged.