poemimage

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

Category: Visual Art

Transformation of a Document

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The document exists within a moment. Perhaps a sweet moment.

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And the moment exists within the skin of a document. Perhaps bitter.

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Perhaps not. Yet you begin the undoing.

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You unwrap this moment, and every moment you see. You can’t help yourself. This moment tastes like nothing you’ve tasted before.

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 You’ve been out there working in the dark too long. You can’t see a thing.

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You say the darkness is naked and for the darkness you must undo all of the moments.

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You document everything.

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And now look at you, at the very beginning of your moments.

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In my very early twenties I drew two ink drawings titled ‘Fragmentary Moments of Momentary Fragments’ and ‘Momentary Fragments of Fragmentary Moments.’ As you might imagine the drawings were very similar.

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One of the images used in this digital composition is Ancient Household, a 1945 sculpture by David Smith. I find David Smith’s line (particularly in his early work) strangely comforting. He seems to suggests a reality we once knew.

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 & Also the Cathach of St. Columba, a 6th century Irish manuscript: https://www.ria.ie/library/catalogues/special-collections/medieval-and-early-modern-manuscripts/cathach-psalter-st

(detail)

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The moments continue

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A Small Experimental Drawing (and the law of intended consequences)

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After visiting the JMW Turner exhibition for a second time at the Art Gallery of Ontario and wading through the busloads of students and groups of seniors from retirement/nursing homes I realized how fortunate I had been on Friday night when the place was half deserted. Possibly half full.

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Again I am reminded of Turner’s grey. Vanishing yet insistent. Drawing the eye. Drawing the eye into. Possibly even halfway in.

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Sometimes one is drawn by the air of an unexplored territory. Or summoned by insistent mystery. Summoned halfway into a vanishing mystery.

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I focus on the brilliant whites in Turner’s work, and escape the crush, wandering into a drawing exhibition pulled from the print & drawing vaults.

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Three of the works refresh anew my dilemma. I think of the Judge’s black robes.

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 I join a raiding party. The Captain’s name is Font. His horse is called Halfway.

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The raiding party does not solve my crisis. Nevertheless I raise the end of a burnt stick from the fire.

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Marking the edge of the law. My declaration marking the edge of the law.

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There is no natural boundary to the embedded law of intended consequence.

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Another edge must roll it back to where it came from. Or swallow it. Leaving its bones along the trail.

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The edge of the sun!

The ambers, and whites, and Naples Yellow in Turner’s sky, radiating with silent resolution.

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Let me tell you a story about Naples Yellow.

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I visited an artist one night many years ago.

There are many stories to tell about that night but I will tell you this one.

When I was leaving, at the bottom of the stairs, the artist began talking about Naples Yellow.

And did not stop.

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The artists, the art periods, the art movements involved with Naples Yellow.

The secret uses of Naples Yellow, The powers of Naples Yellow, the magic of Naples Yellow.

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Perhaps Naples Yellow can solve my dilemma.

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Letters From Attica [an excerpt] by Sam Melville (1934 – 1971) & the Frederic Rzewski Composition ‘Coming Together’

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I think the combination of age and the greater coming together is responsible for the speed of the passing time.

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it’s six months now and i can tell you truthfully few periods in my life have passed so quickly.

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i am in excellent physical and emotional health.

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there are doubtless subtle surprises ahead but i feel secure and ready.

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As lovers will contrast their emotions in times of crisis, so am i dealing with my environment.

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in the indifferent brutality, incessant noise, the experimental chemistry of food, the ravings of lost hysterical men, i can act with clarity and meaning.

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i am deliberate–sometimes even calculating–seldom employing histrionics except as a test of the reactions of others.

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i read much, exercise, talk to guards and inmates, feeling for the inevitable direction of my life.

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Sam Melville (Letters From Attica)

Above is how the spelling appears on more than one site.

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I narrated this text four years ago or so with professional musicians performing Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together & Attica.

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Sounding this text to the music was one of the most emotional things I’ve experienced: hypnotic, exhausting and exhilarating.

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Frederic Rzewski selected this body of text for his composition.

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A performance featuring narration by stage actor Steve Ben Israel with Frederic Rzewski on piano: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSuuwJFw4wU  The video opens in a new window so you can follow the text here if you wish.

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Credits and information about this recording: http://incessantnoise.blogspot.ca/2009/08/frederic-rzewski-coming-together.html

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aeroplane

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Experiments at the Hadron Collider

were perhaps on my mind

as I digitally revised

the image of a crowd

observing an early flying machine.

various flights

The serendipity of the moment

was surprising.

I realized I wanted

to add text.

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The first page I turned to,

in the first book I opened,

a paperback I bought for one dollar

many years ago

titled

Cinema in Revolution,

mentioned the word aeroplane

almost immediately.

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‘Generally speaking the character of the local people helped us a lot.

They are very sensible.

Nothing surprises them; they continued about their business

without paying any attention to the camera.

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They did all the market scenes themselves,

at our request,

perfectly calmly and amiably

and exactly as we wanted.

They are really excellent people.

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When we needed to collect a large number of them

 together for the final scenes,

the aeroplane served as bait.

We offered them trips in the plane.

Well, as I say, nothing surprised them!

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They saw an aeroplane for the first time in their lives,

and they got into it as calmly as might be –

a man must not show that he is frightened of anything.

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As for the monks, the lamas, it was even more simple:

they said that all this had already existed long ago,

only men had not considered it useful,

so had forgotten it…

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Pudovkin was very impressed by all this.

We made the film,

with a very strong feeling

for all its living material.’

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Interview recorded in Moscow (1965)

with

Anatoli Goloynya – Cinematographer,

Storm Over Asia.

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Page 149, Cinema in Revolution,

Hill and Wang, 1973.

Edited by Luda and Jean Schnitzer

and Marcel Martin.

Translated by David Robinson.

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As a result of the Khrushchev cultural thaw

Russians were able to see the work

of the Soviet experimental filmmakers

for the first time

since they were suppressed

under Stalin.

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Director Vsevolod Pudovkin’s 1928 film

Storm Over Asia 

can be found on YouTube.

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In 1848,

an archaeological expedition working in Egypt

discovered hieroglyphs of flying machines

at an ancient temple in Abydos,

several hundred miles south of Cairo.

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I do not claim copyright to the original image

of spectators & the flying machine

(photographer unknown).

I have revised the image to create a new work

for non-commercial purposes.

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‘Mythological Visions of the Nature of Time’ (William Irwin Thompson)

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In the post-Pleistocene period the glaciers retreated,

the seashore rose 300 feet,

the tundra turned to forest,

and the great herds disappeared

from Western Europe.

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 And gone with the animals

was the great ‘high culture’

of Ice Age humanity.

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It is not hyperbole

to speak of the high culture

of these hunters and gatherers,

for cave paintings like Lascaux

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are complex works that speak rather eloquently

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for the abundant leisure

and rich cosmology

of their creators.

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Primitive humanity devoted

most of its spare time

to matters of ritual and art.

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As a contemplative people with time on their hands,

they gave much thought to menstruation and the moon,

observed nature,

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constructed a calendar,

told stories,

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and painted hundreds of thousands

of images

on the walls

of the caves.

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As the Sistine Chapel expresses

the flowering of the culture

of the Renaissance,

so Lascaux expresses the flowering

of the culture

of the Magdalenians.

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In more ways than one,

the two great murals have much in common,

for they are not mere decoration;

they are mythological visions

of the nature of time.

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‘The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light: Mythology, Sexuality & the Origins of Culture’ – William Irwin Thompson

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A Golden Compass by Hafiz

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Forget every idea of right and wrong
any classroom ever taught you

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Because
an empty heart, a tormented mind,
Unkindness, jealousy and fear are always the testimony
you have been completely fooled!

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Turn your back on those
who would imprison your wondrous spirit
with deceit and lies.

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Come, join the honest company
of the King’s beggars –
those gamblers, scoundrels and divine clowns
and those astonishing fair courtesans
who need Divine Love every night.

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Come, join the courageous
who have no choice
but to bet their entire world
that indeed,
indeed, God is Real.

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I will lead you into the circle
of the Beloved’s cunning thieves,
those playful royal rogues–
the ones you can trust for true guidance–
who can aid you
In this blessed calamity of life.

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Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

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Yes

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I did a drawing

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And decided to call it

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‘Yes’

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Because there are so many reasons

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To say

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‘No.’

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After an extended break I find myself slowly catching up with the many interesting posts I missed. A short while longer to finish some things (I haven’t really been taking an actual…holiday) and POEMIMAGE will be active again. It will be my pleasure to introduce you to many interesting poets and writers whose work I will be addressing visually.  As well I’ll relate some of my own ideas and writing. I need to complete my end of the ‘Blog Hop’ bargain after Richard Guest generously shared my page with his readers. Thank you for gracing this page with your presence.

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Vincent in the Sky Above Bologna, 1493

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A star hung in the sky just above

The brim of his straw hat.

He gazed upon a city.

I hope nobody mistakes me he thought

I hope nobody mistakes me, he thought.

He gazed upon a medieval woodcut

On Christmas Eve.

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I used Google Earth

To track the movements of the past,

Finding where the sky began…

I had to do this

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Before unplugging

For a few days…

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To contemplate what I might awaken

Soon, &

2015,

So soon upon us…

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& In this season of celebration,

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A star alighting upon Vincent,

Wishing you

  A Happy New Year.

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The woodcut, depicting Bologna, is by an unknown artist, 1493.

Self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh, 1887.

Bologna street scene from Google Earth, 2014.

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I do not claim copyright of the original images.

I have recomposed original images to create a new non-commercial work

for purposes of parody or commentary

under fair use provisions

of the copyright law.

vincent overlooking Bologna

Solstice (with Van Gogh sunflowers)

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Patty Hearst in Hibernia

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On April 15, 1974,

Patty Hearst,

A 19 year old university art student and heiress,

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Kidnapped by revolutionaries,

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& Suffering from

Stockholm Syndrome,

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Appeared on camera,

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Robbing the Hibernia Bank, (Sunset District Branch, San Francisco),

Alongside her new comrades.

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Pulled into this place,

Across time & coincidence,

Into this name

Pursuing

Consciousness &

Thirst,

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Into, possibly, a

Type of

Portal…

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In Rudolf Steiner’s slim volume ‘The Druids’

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He discusses The Mysteries of Ancient Ireland,

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& the Mystery Centres of Hibernia:

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It sounds strange today that an older humanity experienced sweet after-effects of sleep in the limbs, the arms, right down into the finger-tips and the other parts of the body. But the research of the science of the sprit shows that it was so; and the genius of language has retained something of this, though in a crude and materialistic form. A sleeping-draught was once something spiritual, that is, sleep itself, and it was only later that it became an actual liquid draught in a material form…

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In modern initiation we ascend from our ordinary ideas to spirit-sight, but in those days, while ordinary human beings passed from their dreamlike life into sleep, for which they cultivated a consciousness and experienced this after-taste, the mystery priests had the ability to feel their way consciously into sleep and so learned what this after-taste implied…

ph just like a woman

Her thirst for

draught of sleep,

&

A waking-dream of

Clouds or plants…

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 This was the consolation which the priests of the Mysteries could give their people in ancient days; they made them see that plants are not just beautiful but are permeated by the weaving of the spirit; that the clouds do not just sail through the air but that divine spiritual elemental beings are active in them, and so on. It was towards the spirit of nature that these initiates led the human beings who depended on them for guidance…

ph with a blurPatty Hearst yelling commands at bank customersPatty Hearst yelling commands at bank customers

Digitally collaged images include security camera footage,

An ancient navigational device,

A neolithic stone structure,

A stone carving,

(authors unknown).

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I do not claim copyright of the original images.

I have created a new composition

for non-commercial purposes

of parody or commentary.

Patty Hearst yelling commands at bank customersPatty Hearst yelling commands at bank customersph sombre