Force

Light, Life, Love; Force, Fantasy, Fire; these do I bring you: mine hands are full of these.

-Liber Tzaddi

(Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60, June 2019)

Joy

There is joy in the setting-out; there is joy in the journey; there is joy in the goal.

-Liber Tzaddi

fortune in a bowl of ashes

Triplets

I went to Satan’s house.
His mailbox was painted black
A fleet of bonecrushers
was parked in his driveway.
The thorns on his rosebushes
were longer than shivs.
And sixty-six roosters scratched
in his front yard, their spurs
smoldering like cheap cigars.

I went to Satan’s house.
It was supposed to be an Amway party.
I wanted one of those
hard as hell steak knives.
The ones that can’t tell the difference
between mama’s sponge cake
and a chunk of rock cocaine.

I went to Satan’s house.
I felt a little out of place.
But Satan’s twin daughters soon put me at ease.
They tried on funny hats for me,
showed me jewels,
danced around my chair.
They read my fortune
in a bowl of ashes,
let me pet their Dobermans,
and watch while they rinsed out their pink underthings.

I stopped by Satan’s house,
I just happened to be in the neighborhood.
Satan came downstairs in a Raiders jacket.
His aura was like burnt rubber,
but his grin could paint a sunrise
on a coal shed wall.
“I see you’ve met Desire
and Fulfillment,” he said,
polishing his monocle with a blood-flecked rag.
“Regret is in the kitchen making coffee.”

-Tom Robbins, Wild Ducks Flying Backward

Paradise Lost

Just in time for the end of 2018, I finally finished this painting. It only took me 7 years. Seriously, I first started adding paint to this canvas back in 2011. For a long time it was just an unfinished black and white abstract underpainting with no real personality or direction.

I’ve been picking at it slowly over the course of this year and it really started blooming after I came home from a trip to Maui in September where I was inspired by all the lush vegetation and passionate volcanic energy.

The whole thing has kind of a tropical apocalyptic vibe and themes of destruction and miraculous survival in nature are implied. The title refers to this idea of natural catastrophe and subsequent growth. It also references (among other things) the life of artist and magician Damien Echols, who I saw speak on his book tour while I was painting this. In my mind, Echols is a figure representing the triumph of art and magic over oppression. I guess the subtext of this painting is hope in the face of environmental destruction, or life emerging victorious in spite of calamitous hostility.

(Size: 36 x 48)

Midnight Poem

The moon and the Pleiades have set,
it is midnight,
and the time is passing,
but I sleep alone.

-Sappho

her Simplicity

“Nature” is what we see—
The Hill—the Afternoon—
Squirrel—Eclipse— the Bumble bee—
Nay—Nature is Heaven—
Nature is what we hear—
The Bobolink—the Sea—
Thunder—the Cricket—
Nay—Nature is Harmony—
Nature is what we know—
Yet have no art to say—
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

-Emily Dickinson

Painting again

I haven’t posted anything here in a while because I have been in a bit of a creative dry spell. I am just now starting to paint and think about projects again. I’ve had some major setbacks over the past few years and life has taken some unexpected turns. But I am still here and I am still committed to my process and my path. Expect to see some new work soon…

Pisces Season

Song of the Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-WB Yeats

 

Growing downward

Growing downward

Be broken to be whole.
Twist to be straight.
Be empty to be full.
Wear out to be renewed.
Have little and gain much.
Have much and get confused.
So wise souls hold to the one,
and test all things against it.
Not showing themselves,
they shine forth.
Not justifying themselves,
they’re accomplished.
Not competing,
they have in all the world no competitor.
What they used to say in the old days,
“Be broken to be whole,”
was that mistaken?
Truly, to be whole
is to return.
-Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching, Ursula Le Guin’s translation.
RIP Ms Le Guin <3

Sphere of the Moon

In the lobby of a luxury lunar hotel
we were serenaded and questioned
by the metal men of past futures
ready to embrace the city of dreams,
the great horizon