poemimage

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

Category: Drawing

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.

A Memory from July 10, 2013

I am working on a new GIF to accompany 5 lines from Lyon by Pierre L’Abbe. The stanza he sent me is so evocative I keep creating new images. So a few more days until I post that.

In the meantime, in a file folder, I found a poem & drawing from July 10, 2013. Close to eight years ago. My dryer was broken, though not the washing machine, so I went to the laundromat with bags of wet clothing. I brought a pen and paper.

The memory of writing a poem in the laundromat impacts me more than re-reading the poem. The poem touches on loss. It was a big deal at the time. As big as the universe. The drawing seems to be about the future. And loss as well.

He examines something, a memory, maybe it belonged to somebody, while his body transforms. He’s growing wings made of fossils or maybe a spiked spinal column has departed. Disappearing. His tears fall channeled into ancient patterns. Or maybe those channels teach him new patterns. Giving him fuel. Leaves, or flames, grow from his eyes. A drawing about vision.

A quickly sketched ink drawing might express many secrets. Something unknown always at work.

GIF Experiments: 24 (The Ronettes… although)

I’m glad I was able to post a GIF today. I was working with a large volume of images interpreting five lines from Lyon by Pierre L’Abbe and need more time. I will (knock on wood) assemble that GIF this coming week. In the meantime I offer this ‘slow-moving river of a GIF’ featuring (ostensibly) The Ronettes, although they too were code for something else I suspect, considering when I drew them.

GIF Experiments: 22 (The Charge of the Light Brigade)

Although the title in the GIF looks like a book and the GIF looks like a book trailer it’s not. However I created poetic text after the fact.

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The Light Brigade

As in

Let There Be Light.

Witness

The mechanics of charging light.

Witness traction activate

Clouds of unknowing known

As muscled determination.

The mechanical opposite to A sucker born every minute.

Touch your tongue to the tent of your mouth. Announce

Charge

Pronounce light

As in

Let There Be Light.

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Notes on the GIF: Intimations of Runic script transform into curvilinear vegetal design indicating a charging beast. It happened visually by itself (so to speak) during the design process.

Finding ‘his’ footing. Gaining traction. The irony of a ‘massive’ beast doing double-duty as charging light. Charging like flashlight beams in a force field? Surely he is not disembodied.

This GIF ponders our pressing situation, universal as it is, and the question of something, anything, out of the blue in reply.

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GIF Experiments: 20 (World’s Greatest Guard Dog)

The ‘Guard Dog’ above is absurd on an obvious level. He’s clearly a harmless creature not a guard dog. Yet he is the World’s Greatest Guard Dog. Absurd. Or maybe the treasure he is guarding only needs a tiny woof and it will hide itself. I don’t know – maybe. I like to think the DADA artists might have smiled upon this little guy expected to be, or pretended to be, fierce. I’ve read they enjoyed the anarchic chaos of Keystone Cops movies and, of course, the genius of Charlie Chaplin. John Heartfield and the DADA artists created not only wildly inventive and incisive commentaries on war – war profiteering – and class privilege but did so with scathing absurdist humour. Heartfield lived in a dangerous time. His artistic satire put him in great danger.

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

1/10 complete by one unit of measurement

I purchased a 33′ roll of Italian paper substantial enough to receive water-based materials: ink, gouache, watercolour, aquapasta medium and water-soluble graphite. The idea is to work in sections and following each section to pause, reflect on the work, and cross-reference it to what I believe to be relevant source material.

GIF Experiments: 17 (Line Drawings + a Song Title by Van Morrison)

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Language in a Landscape

One of the images I used for a backdrop in Zoom during my virtual poetry reading at The Art Bar Poetry Reading Series on April 6th. During the first lockdown I painted this 18″ X 28.5″ work (acrylic & water-soluble graphic pencil on cardboard) while exploring concepts of lost text and mystery languages. My reading (video filmed and edited by Charles Hackbarth) can be found @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/artbarpoetry/permalink/10165105586530503/

In my computer floating freely I found a digital file of (shall we say) cartoonish ‘Druid-monk’ images. He’s working beneath a light bulb (of course) and creating an icon of spirals. One is a cauldron-spiral. Perhaps I was thinking of manuscript illumination.

Then I found an ink drawing/collage from my (rather dark) 2011 exhibition at Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto.

After combining them in Photoshop I was going to call the series ‘Temptation at the Manuscript Factory’ – humour inspired by a miniature I’d created many moons ago for an art gallery and gallery owner (both gone) who annually held an International Exhibition of Miniature Art. Instead I worked with a line from my unpublished poem Celtlandia Has Fallen.

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Celtlandia Has Fallen is a sort of a quest poem, inspired by ancestral yearnings. There is something in the DNA stirring. In the Continuous Vegetal Style I served her. I don’t remember this, but in the poem ‘I’ do.

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You Told Me You’d Be Home By Ten

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