poemimage

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

Tag: myth

I sent five ink drawings to a poet.

For the cover of her book with a theme – dreams, running throughout the powerful, prophetic poems.

I selected the drawings from two sketchbooks filling simultaneously, slowly, sometimes on the subway, sometimes in a cafe.

I work in these sketchbooks, as well as accordion sketchbooks, on and off, sometimes obsessively & intricately,  sometimes less so.

I love ink drawing and the history of ink drawings – the contrast of line, design. To be honest I don’t want to do ink drawings, it’s inescapable & too pleasurable. An addiction of sorts.

My early heroes were Aubrey Beardsley and later Jan Toorop.

Today I find myself mesmerized by the line of Pict or Runic art and the heavier B&W contrasts in lino & woodcuts.

I have a book from the early 1900s & the author is railing against modernity in ink drawings.

He’s right about traditional, technical skill but quite misses the point.

The quest to return to what was lost in our origins is not determined by accuracy in depiction.

But rather seeing the spirit of the thing.

Or what we imagine is the spirit of the thing.

 

 

JFK at Woodstock

Just before Jimi Hendrix played the Star Spangled Banner
A wave went through the crowd.
He’s here.

Sleeping girls with feet caked in mud stirred.
Boys asleep with long wet hair awoke.
He’s here.

Potheads spinning up looked down.
Potheads coming down looked up.
He’s here.

Country Joe and Buffalo Springfield and Melanie
saw something moving like a river & coming into view.
He’s here.

He spoke without using a mic.
Ask not what your country can remember for you.
Ask what you can remember for your country.
The crowd applauded and gave him a standing ovation.

‘Inauguration Day man,’ the guy next to me said.
I looked at him closely.

The pottery in the next to last image is of Cucuteni-Trypillian neolithic heritage. I thought it played off the idea of ‘pothead’ as well as being a vessel the motorcade passed through. The images superimposed over JFK in the third image are the Sri Yantra diagram and a detail from the Book of Kells representing JFK’s ancestry. JFK loved poetry and read for pleasure so these are perhaps fitting images of tactile and spiritual deep time.

I do not claim copyright on original images. I have created new, non-commercial artworks for the purpose of parody or commentary.

 

Distance Swimming

circle

In her mirror

detail with green ball

She feels illumined by an accelerating process

blur all

Initiated by the 20th Century.

watery

A darkening fog.

the heroic ball and glove

Klee-song,

hand

Cocteau,

newly

de Chirico,

love

Arise from her in swirling, serpentine eddies. A ventriloquist.

angles

She unties a boat on the shore. The underground river.

final circle

Languages of illumining clarity speed into each other like blood in water,

watery

As vast and translucent as the Northern Lights.

final circle

 & For reasons both utilitarian and mythopoeic

watery

The face in the mirror anticipates leaping.

final circle

& Distance swimming through shadow-lands,

watery

Beneath the precipice of shallow, atomic time,

final circle

Within and without darkened chambers & coincidentally

watery

 Light reflecting upon ancient vials.

final circle

 & Our spines an unbroken chain of receptor cauldrons.

watery

& Her gift. The mirror.

zoom

Paul Klee catalogue (1951), Giorgio de Chirico painting ‘Song of Love’ (1914), photographic still from Jean Cocteau’s ‘Orphee’ (1950), pictured: Jean Marais  and Maria Casarès

K.C. by Steven McCabe

boy and space 2

boy in space

Seeing the unseen between my eyes and outer space

new eye space

I was a boy painting my sparkling new bicycle

With house paint

now this

Squinting in the shade of a sunflower

Wiping soil and lumps of melted star off the brush

the sumerian flower

Aiming for that white-as-a-skeleton-invisible-sky-hourglass

Concept of two gods becoming one

sumerian lad

Me and my bicycle at the intersection –

Red lights fading my pupils dilated

triptych 2eye seven

from Jawbone – Ekstasis Editions – 2005

When I was a boy in Kansas City, one summer, I studied the sky. It was a dull white far off in the distance, and yet up close ‘it’ was invisible. So it dawned on me to paint my new bicycle white; up close the bicycle would be invisible, at a distance everything would seem normal. My mother was more than happy to keep me busy and found the paint and a couple of large brushes. I threw myself into the task, painting the seat, the chain, the handlebars…everything! Sadly the next day the paint flaked off and my experiment failed. Several decades later I was reading a creation myth about two gods battling in the sky. One god lost a foot to a sharp knife and black ‘blood’ (night of course) filled the sky. I remembered painting the bicycle, and decided to harmonize both ‘sky’ narratives, intertwining them in a poem. My editor reviewed my work and, being a minimalist, took out her pen; underlining, crossing out, and circling lines. In the end I had a nine line poem.