poemimage

Where text meets image. Where the visual intersects the literary.

Month: October, 2021

Heroes

Heroes in a time of heroes

Return Now to the wild.

I juxtaposed an image from The Book of Kells with a photo found online showing friends or neighbours (or actors) eating dinner on TV trays in front of a television ‘set.’

My father told me once our family had the first television ‘set’ on the block. Yet still my parents and the neighbours, in the new subdivision built on chewed-up farmland, socialized on the street, in lawn chairs, late on summer nights beneath the stars (no glare of streetlights yet). Ice cubes, shaken from metal trays cracked open with a handle, floated in iced coffee served in metal drinking glasses. Sometimes my mother would call me to empty the glass ashtray. Glass and metal and dark. They remembered something about then.

Then felt closer to in the beginning.

Originally this post contained an oblique rhyming poem I edited, in real time throughout the day, down to two lines (above). This is writing to go with the images. It’s not a ‘received’ poem.

Violaine my prism-eyed darling

Golden-robed & ink-wash thin

Walk me deep into that winding forest

Bind my heart as it shudders and spins.

True love, true love, I whisper

As eagles on stallions arrive

No need to rescue me fierce-creatures-of-fire 

Violaine heaving inhales – preparing to dive.

Moonlight on dark waters 

Blood surging in golden beehives

The winding forest blown over 

As eagles on stallions arrive.

Violaine your fingers crooked

One silver nail broken in clay

True love, true love, I whisper

Coffee cooling on my TV tray.

In Now rescue me fierce-creatures-of-fire

In Now touch that dial

Heroes in a time of heroes

Return Now to the wild.

Water flowing across me washes

This recalcitrant heart in my bones

Maybe we’ll meet in Heaven though I am a sinner

For another TV dinner.

Humanity

His voice reminds me of William Blake’s poetry about children,

or sacrifice in a dark ocean storm, or a sunflower standing against the wind.

Like Guernica or a battlefield nurse

or Christ when they came for him in the garden.

Good father may your telluric chant

be blessed with the speed & power of a thousand

shooting stars.

Double-Sided Images for ‘Book’ in Progress

The double-sided pages are numerous sheets of paper laced together. I soak the papers & they dry warped and crinkly. Eventually all the pages (more to come, some with text) will be attached and ‘foldable’ with a back and front cover. Sort of a very loose idea of an accordion book.

It’s All Too Beautiful

Across the years I return again and again to hear The Small Faces sing Itchykoo Park. It all seems such a dream. Steve Marriott’s pleasure and Ronnie Laine’s pleasure and their back and forth expressions. Their Carnaby Street fashions.

I argue with myself and contrast realities. The rebellious joy in Itchykoo Park juxtaposed with Joos de Momper the Younger documenting great Babel. Soon to crumble. Soon to fall.

The laboratories & the madness of Babel. Soon to crumble. Soon to fall.

No Wonder My Hand Looks Old

I took photos this summer of flowers. They looked like flying bees. Or bee-like entities.

Sitting outside in a cafe patio this past weekend with my Hypnogogia Book 1 & Book 2 drawing collective buddies Charles and Marc I touched a tickle on my knuckle. Then a yellow jacket bit me. I think he bit me and stung me. Didn’t feel bad at first. At three in the morning I woke up with a swollen hand filled with pulsing needle-like pain.

Made a paste with baking soda. Soothing. The paste was dried in the morning on the plastic lid like terrain on a fragile planet. The powdery planet or maybe the paste planet.

My hand puffed-up like a blow fish. From one little bite! Or sting! Or both. What shocked me the most was how old my hand looked. How both hands looked old. The bigger and the lesser. In other news Bob Dylan is 80.

Last night I watched one of those ‘reaction’ videos. Younger people react to older songs. One guy loved Dylan singing One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) in Rolling Thunder Revue.

Dylan brought his Rolling Thunder Revue to Toronto Dec. 1 & 2, 1975. One More Cup of Coffee (Valley Below) is on the playlist both nights. I don’t remember which of the two nights I went. It was a long time ago. No wonder my hand looks old.

Watch here

When I was a boy in the Missouri Ozarks I disturbed a yellow jackets’ mansion down some secret hole in the dirt. They attacked. At that moment the mailman walked up and said, ‘You’re not going to let those little things bother you are you?’

Well, yes.

I remember amber-coloured sorghum syrup in a tin gallon can. Maybe aluminum. I remember tapping down the lid. We spread sorghum on bread and poured it over pancakes. Sorghum likes to grow in thin clay soil. Missouri has a lot of thin clay soil. When they boil down the grain for syrup it’s called ‘the long sweetening.’

I said this to myself right now in the cadence of the voices I heard as a boy. The long sweetening. Sounds like a phrase from long, long ago. No wonder my hand looks old.