In a few days I'll be leaving to go back to my life on the other side of the ocean. It is always hard to leave friends behind. The kindness and generosity, the humanity, their wildness as Giant fans, their artistic flair... all that will be missed. Also the friends they invited to watch the movie Bagdad Café together after eating cornbread and corn chowder, a great salad and enough beer for a café in Antwerp. The chairman of all the groups, the lady who walks and walks with her dogs, the friends who have known me since 1991, my roaming friend and activist... I learned from all of you. I will practice gratitude for all you have so generously given me.
My friends C&I and R and myself watched the the game last night. I am just learning the language and symbols of basebal, am still confused about certain actions, but have already my darlings in the Giant team. I am proud to know the bottom and top of an inning, I know the importance of the 7th game and I love Sandoval and of course the intensity of Bumgarner... I am even willing to wear a SF cap, even in Belgium... Penske, Panik These Guys are amazing... I know, I kwo I know still nothing about this sports but it has a hook in me.
Now I even understand Sheerman Alexie's poem:
The Game Between the Jews and
the Indians is Tied Going Into the Bottom of the Ninth Inning
Walking to the post office to have my mail forwarded when I leave, I saw a yellowish snake crossing the street sporting a tiny rattler. The snake was about 60 cm long or two feet. I ran to the bar calling Dave, Dave there is a rattler crossing the street!
Dave is a cook, so he grabbed a big pan and hit the snake on the head. That however, funny as it looked, did not kill the snake who now got mad. I heard the tiny noise of the white rttle ending in black. Dave then grabbed a sizable rock, dropped in on the snake's head. Why? rattlesnakes are territorial, so you don't want one install itself in your backyard, or next door. Of course they are a useful member of the desert population eating mice and such. Their bite small as the snake may be, can be very dangerous. I don't know what kind of rattlesnake it was. It did not have a greenish hue, so maybe it only ad one type of poison rather than two like the Mojave greens who are really dangerous.. One poison will eat away the skin and the other swells the limb up that was bitten en can cause neurological damage I was told. Did I take a picture? No! Am I going back for a picture of a dead snake? No! And no! The head remains poisonous after the snake dies. The snake crawled into a yard of a house where nobody lives; So no one should get hurt by the young snake's premature demise. The heat of the asphalt must have drawn the cold blooded animal out of hiding Was it necessary that this happened? In what book? In whose rhyme and reason? The encounters with snake in the desert on a warm day will happen again and coincidences of meeting will occur at random, it is a possibility. Yes Emily Dickinson, we all live in possibility, always remembering to gather paradise. But paradise without a snake, what meaning would that have had for humanity? The shadows have stopped in the tree covering the shimmering air over the asphalt.
This happened just now -
Did it really happen? Is this part of a biography?
And then I saw a tarantula
. Then I took a picture of it scurrying away alive and well.
The bluegrass festival off the route 66 near Kingman in the Stetson winery was delightful. With several people from Chloride present we enjoyed the atmosphere and the music. We started out at 10 am with gospels performed by the The Central Valley Boys. Peter Hicks on the violin was remarkable. They performed several songs in the traditional style as a sign of respect to Vern Williams. So we were treated with Oh Suzannah! and Bald knob Arkansas.
After this really fitting Sunday morning Gospel bonanza the Snap Jackson & the knock on wood players gave us a brilliant set. The banjos stirred up memories of Tony and Norris playing and the ballads made me think of Dave... Americana, Bluegrass, souls blends in to a fresh new sound. The musicians have fun on stage and so did the audience.
The last set we listened to was performed by The get down boys out of Los Angeles. The rhythms and their own songs are just excellent. I also appreciate that they support new movements in Bluegrass. The sound people are musicians in their own right and went up on stage at one point.... In this set the vocal harmonies were just stirring and moving. Also note the mountains in the background...
Selling items for good causes is always part of the festivities of Old Miner Day. The bake sale is impressive, the choice is incredible, rum cake, upside down pineapple cake, oatmeal cookies, peanut cookies, brownies, cinnamon cookies, law fat, splenda cake for diabetics, chocolate chip cookies for all of us. Of course women do a lot of work, hammering and decorating, you name it.Of course there is the parade with old cars, Shriners, the local
volunteer fire department and even the election was part of it. Local play actors dressed up for the occasion.
As an avid reader of Daily Writing Tips, I just discovered that when I named my small dog 'Doggy Dog' that I committed a hypocorisma, which is a diminutive and a pet name. It can also be a diminutive name or an altered name. I didn't call her 'bow-wow' though. Altering a name, or just addressing some one as 'dear' can be rather condescending if one doesn't really know the person. Small children and elders are often addressed with hypocorisma... which can be insulting or infantilising... depending on the situation. So normal speech is more respectful, it avoids the dumbing down of the person spoken to.
The pump to the right has the hose hanging sleekly down. The small
pump's hose is tangled up and has texture, wear and tear. "It has become an dynamic tangle with tremendous cracks and splits and ocher tubes inside" states Steve; this is more interesting to me. I want to tell stories about it: mysterious strong use and exposure to the elements? It is challenging to create a look like that which yet is authentic, giving the art piece a look of decay and use, wear and tear. Some one pointed out to Steve that his work was apocalyptic. I feel it is post apocalyptic because his work is renewal of what has been damaged, destroyed or
neglected. In his work Steve likes to elude to as many as possible reasons for why it looks as it does. The after effect in a piece can address all the imaginable causes.
The fetish pieces can refer to old windows with katsinam and cobwebs and insects. One day Steve wants to create his own glass vessels with extra bulges.... guarding the mysteries of it. I wanted to create something that is lasting and I want to protect them. Some work will not last: it will fall apart with the power supply, the red lights, water and snow and all that.
The magic of beauty is the immediacy of bringing together different elements.
Note the quality of the different lines, how they adhere to the paper or lay on the paper.
Steve works on his technique and it shows in the feeling emanating from the drawings.
Steve opened our conversation with: "I had a very clean living, my mother always had the house in order. The streets were covered with white shells and not with gravel, living near the ocean. I would sift through these shells and one day I found a small rusty piece of metal among them. I was fascinated and I took it with me and dropped it in my drawer. More and more pieces came and it became a box full of stuff, found objects, and the art evolved from that.
An artist has a vision about what he or she is doing. So Steve sculpts with steel and electronics and drawings. There are different sources of inspiration: man made, objects from nature
all of it mixed up in his mind. From natures it may be rock formations, twisted roots and his mind brings them together making new objects of them.
Things, yet what things? Steve is not content in re-expressing things as they are in the most common sense. It becomes a mixture of what we routinely see in our life. He clarifies: How that life affects me causes me to blend the emotional, spiritual and physical into a new construction. All that happens in my imagination. Sometimes I think of things ahead of time and then I sketch them out. It can be a rack of coils, yet stacked up it is more interesting.
Success, says Steve, is when I have created something that mystifies me and if the public is also mystified. What they see may have nothing to do with my intent. More and more I have made an effort to create my own material sometimes on the basis of found objects like old pieces of vacuum hose or electronics. What happens when I create a version of an object it feels like creating an artifact that never ever really existed. Yet there was a basic object I have seen. Creating these found objects is very satisfying.
So full of
life even in the space around the plants and all that prickles our tender
buttons – Buttons pushed I listen to you tube about Stein - I have a hard time
reading her work but listening to people reading her and speaking about her work then
she gets to me, through to me. So the desert becomes my cultural landscape with
its loose arrangement of life and lifeless – both as good, as necessary,
open, dangerous, fractured in grandiose unity. Desert is a word, a word
pointing to sand rock plant and the size of land. Can the word paint or point, refer,
represent, not yet I know the names of all the rocks and all the tints of beige
rust brown... Stein get very close to representing through her words.
floods have passed, disturbing, changing, sifting grains of sand. Desert is a
language I don’t fully know nor understand. I know not fully in my foolishness
cactus, cat claw, mesquite rosemary, Joshua tree, creosote, shifting sands,
rocks, dead branches supporting life, yet I have my garden weeded on the edge,
branching off of thoughts dead ends, barbed wire concentration camps. Tracks,
traces, tramping of feet, paws, always change changing and dangerous beauty not
reflecting in dry raging living. The separation of being alive in an alive
changing place – standing still alive in an alive changing place – wandering
thoughts among the standing still. Buttons pushed should be joyful – fearless,
light, befriending slipping shadow – in the desert- not through the desert,
over, next to --- just in the desert is a home –
days of friends, talk and walk relentless repetition of 23 years, two ears.
All town yard sale- bought a peace sign made by a city hippie, signaling,
signing my intent. In this small town no treasure hunt, no treasures to be
found but sharing, but loneliness on the dry air. Books, reading, absorbing
Modpo 2014, drinking it all thirstily, parched as I am. Where is the world – In
a book, in Tender Buttons – under desert blues and skies – No color but rock
and sand under cerulean skies, sands sifting lies –
a bit about water, water pipes and repairing. He knows allabout the civil war – traces his
heritage back to decorated men and mostly unknown women – women giving birth
after seven months, burying husbands and children. He knows about black powder,
Harley’s, selling his to stay afloat - - - floating desert, mirages of
trembling sun of airy words which don’t want to settle, sink in, in the soul –
His loneliness pointing at drowning in dry sand.
inhabitance of desert nights. Stars. The sun reflecting on the moon and the
dark inhabitance of timid thought spreading, spreading in dark drunken flow.
The secret plenitude of the loneliness of words when Stein's difference is
spreading in sound, accent, un-pointing to reference or meaning yet meaningful
– Desert my abstract painting, un-resembling. Words embracing a dry wash.
is the desert, not resembling anything but itself. This is occupation. My
occupation, deranging, pitting word against object. The desert distance separates,
rearranges, reappearing strangely orderly, in its permanence of occupation. The
Dickinson desert gathering paradise... for occupation this, decidedly different
than Stein. Gertrude Stein gets an inspiration – This – This is – This is sand,
circling in the wind, wind circling sands. This is – this is morning – this is
evening – here is sand - where is the sandman.
depends upon a dry wash
So I am
in a grain
of life –
by Dickinson and Stein after looking at the desert for 23 years, noticing its
rhythmic changing work of water and wind, of time passing into now again – The
desert always differentiating in its collapsing washes, the mysterious lake
after the monsoon in the repetitive rearrangement ofthe element of wood-herbs-sand-stone-plant-bone. The
desert, a home for now, changing me as I write about the flow rearranging
grains of sand.
Following my friends car when we were on the road to Saul, who took all the people and animals in and fed us all. We drive through Salinas Valley, rich soil, good crops, Mexican workers in the fields. The clouds dapple the mountains surrounding the this grand valley. Salinas, so I had to think of "Somewhere near Salinas, I let her slip away..." From me and Bobby Maggee. The song was performed at Tony's funeral and I remembered the other old songs the buskers in Antwerp played in the streets. Remember: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz. My friend all got Porches, I must make amends.... Of course after the fertile Salinas valley came the desert with its know dangers and warning signs about rattlesnakes. The Joshua trees and creosote, the dry mountains. Everything unruly, yet in its place.