Posts Tagged ‘craft’

blue sky rambling

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

So, what about that big blue sky and those withering palms
and how about those wet days and sultry nights aloft

What gives with the shuffling crowds at the Sunday market
and all those guys in shorts on such a cold day in December.

Have you seen the long noses on those fake-oldde street lights
and all those signs on peoples’ lawns selling their bank’s assets

And all those items that have reached their pull dates intact
with the samples and bargain prices when you do the checking yourself?

Its a cold day in the desert and all those crazy ideas are floating around
catching in the skimmer and rolling off the roof into the yard-waste can

While everyone else is shivering and huddling or fighting and killing
and gathering for the armageddon or the put-off elections or some party

To which no one is invited but all must attend in their finest raiments
of blood and fiber, swelling the ranks of the downtrodden and faint

While the rest of us sing on in solitary bliss with the dishwasher growling
as we pass on the rest of yesterday’s lunch to some who really needs it.

So, what about that blue sky — is it lifting you up and filling your sails
or taking you down to the depths of entropy without any help?

This discordant nonsense is all we’ve got — more mundane anarchy:
Its up to us to make it into a song and dance to it lightly, right or wrong.

You may not see this a verse but, who really gives a damn so let it be –
anything and nothing but a scrambled bunch of words to feel and see.

Yeh, what about that big blue sky and those withering palms
can you make it a party — or only something else to make it through.

the scent of cents

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

What I really love about being an artist, a painter,
is the creating of things that no one has ever seen.

Creating environments in whose two-dimensional space
I loose myself in a world that is totally fresh and new —

colors and shapes that are filled with energy and movement
that propel my soul off its feet and into a weightless flight

through what becomes a multidimensional scape where
physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional intertwine

to make me one with the dance of light and fire,
of sound and wind, of muscle and blood that is the ringing

of a bell, the refracting of a ray, the heat of a thrill,
the breath of life and the mystery of death revealed all at once.

Its the complexity of the simple and the simplicity of the complex,
the amazement in the mundane and the peace of chaos

that brings me back in spite of my more practical nature
to explore the idiocy of intent and the sanctity of the perverse.

Roll on silver diamond, bring me back the painted face
and out of the mustached harlot a return to the source.

Grind on as I move about you like a humming bird in hunger
doing everything that makes sense more than the scent of cents.

mind find grind

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

I’m not asking for much
just to be in touch
with the voice inside
who lately’s chosen to hide.

I watch others clever inventions
and artfully gravelly voices
make my soul seek its intentions
while they seem to have real choices.

Where are those words that once seemed to float
in torrents that gave me such pleasure
the ones that could make the word “goat”
just right to fit with my newfound leisure.

Do I really have to take things in my own hands
and force it if you will
or does it simply come from one of those glands
that feed the longing skill.

Its forced and I know it, it just doesn’t feel right
it hasn’t that ring all poignant and warm
if it doesn’t just flow on its own, out of sight
and then, reeling back with such wonderful form.

Where are you oh welcome stranger whose left me stranded
on the distant shores of wanting and vacuous flight
feeling not just wordless but wain and wrong handed
Come back and please, just help me write

Flowing words and catchy phrases
that lift the soul and tickle the inner orchestra
with thoughts and sights that spur praises
at the insanity of meaning and acoustic aphasia.

Does it matter what’s said and what we read?
Of course you fool, and you’d best take heed
To force the muse you will certainly strangle
whatever little thoughts it started to wrangle

And leave this sitting all dazed and confused
when all you wanted was to re-meet the muse.
There’s something inside but it just needs to bubble
in its own time to yield without all this trouble

as it cries for silence to surround its shell
or at least the end of such irrelevant chatter and din
but from which must arise at last and as well
the pieces of trash that make it ring deep within.

Om mani padme hum
the mantra rings still in the temple of my mind.
It takes a fossil fueled ‘varoom’
and makes it into a beloved ‘bump and grind’

Out of the clatter comes a song
if only the rhythm you can find
and see that really, all along,
its all just part of the presence of mind.

what was it

Monday, July 20th, 2009

what rakish and daring exploit was I going to write about?
it seems to have totally slipped out of my mind this morning
as I settle in to my studio moving the four bicycles I have there
to accommodate my sitting to attack the keyboard which records
my inner wanderings and thoughts into its virtual library.

I try to fight off the distractions of others’ noises in pursuit
of their own agendas and mysteries on this fine and sunny
summer Monday morning just past the hour of nine.

This is the time I’ve determined is the best if one has to
travel about on errands — Most who start at nine are there
and those that started earlier are taking their first break
so the roads are quieter now after the rush while everyone
seems to have gotten out of my way just for me and a few
others who also have this figured out — aah, ain’t life great.

But I’ve still not recalled the event I wanted to chronicle
perhaps a diversion into something else is in order
it was something I know so well and can recall every detail
but at the moment its gone just beneath that surface film
that can more than cloud these memories in some shadows
cast by what I don’t know.


So after a diversion I still can’t recall so will be on my way
to return later when that thought returns for real. so long for now.


It was around 1967 when I shared a painting studio
in the abandoned Collins building downtown
in Seattle’s skid road

I built a small car out of cardboard boxes
to look like a child’s drawing of a car — boxy

it was covered with large pieces of newsprint
I’d gotten from my uncle who worked at the Times

and painted bright pink with black lines
and in the driver’s side window

was pasted a print of Ruben’s Child
and of course there were wheels and bumpers and lights

I took it down onto the street below
and set it into a parking space and paid the meter

We watched from our fourth floor window
as cars stopped to park then seeing it — drove on

This must be street theater we thought
so ventured out into other neighborhoods

In the U-District we again parked the bright little boxy car
and sat in a restaurant across the street to watch

It was beautiful to observe this child-styled artwork
in its contrast with the mundane surroundings

and to witness others’ amusement and wonder
at what and why this anomaly was

In a moment when our attention was diverted
by our conversation or coffee

we suddenly noticed the car had been removed
and was headed up the street in a meter maid’s cart

By the time we got out onto the street it was nowhere in sight
so, dejected we walked back to our car just up the block

As we passed by a small City storefront office we stopped
because there just inside on the floor

was our little pink child-styled car offering yet another contrast
that caused us to laugh and thrill at this circumstance

We entered immediately and inquired as to what it was doing there
since we had indeed paid our fare at the meter

and exclaimed that just because our car was so different
was no reason it should be impounded without notice

I wish this tale had a more exciting ending
like a day in court or perhaps some media coverage but alas

We were sent on our way without prosecution
since after all it was only art — hummph.

And this is the kind of thing that made Andy Warhol
and others famous while we trudge on in obscurity

Having fun and creating anomalies whenever and wherever
we can leaving no footprints and packing out our wastes.

what ya pay for

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

my neighbor across the street
is getting his house painted
by a guy without a sprayer

Sprayers work as well or better
than any brush or roller can
if properly used

The prep work is the basis
for any good paint job
that will last for years

The neighbor works as a manager
at Microsoft and makes big bucks
and maybe this explains

the painter with a brush is probably
charging more and taking longer
for a “better” job and
he does drive a newer truck

so the neighbors can tell about
the special job they got and
even invite the painter over for parties

from whence he gets
more referrals for those special jobs
that are “better” than anyone else’s.

Others meanwhile get their houses
painted by the guys in the old van
with tunes arockin’ and bud asmokin’

and most likely wouldn’t invite them
over for a barbecue nor
send any business their way

and then there’s that nice new truck
wouldn’t want to embarrass those clients
with anything less parked in front.

My house needs painting this year
and I’ve got my own old van
so I’ll paint it myself.

what I like about bicycles

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

What I like about bicycles is
their simplicity designed to fit
the human body and propel it
forward most efficiently

While details and mechanics
may change the basic layout
remains the same – two wheels
handle bars seat and pedals

Form and function are meeting
in the barest of arenas here
as the body fits into this array
and dances with the parts

suspended in the air while moving
breath and muscle blood and sweat
to glide in rhythmic revolutions
over the earth beneath

If perfectly fit in size and angle
the bike and body blend into one
breathing watching adjusting
as the mind projects the path

forward and around with subtle hints
at azimuth and angle direction
and speed navigating obstacles
while keeping the course

past sights and sounds that surround
and fill it with joy and desire
as the heart pumps oxygen into
its carrier and endorphins burst

upon the scene being played out
as riding becomes the present
and all-encompassing experience
that is cycling and even when stopped

the cycle itself can portend that trip
by its aesthetic arrangement
of mechanical parts in the simplest
arrangements so placed

that its juncture with the human form
can be minimal in contact and thought
simple in operation by design
and a beauty to behold

one gear one body one brake
leaves the mind uncluttered
as the body and bike unite
with time wind and path

midspringnight’s dream

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

The muse has returned from its mid-spring night’s dream
of my old friends John and Doug and the band of merry pranksters
from the halcyon days of grass and acid, the second renaissance
that brought about the summer of love reborn last night

as a romp on the hill to the tunes of rock where I sat transfixed
awaiting a breakfast of pancakes on a couch with four girls so young
and promising in their wisdom unfit for their age in bodies to match
that thrilled my heart and loins as I left them to their joy and sisterhood

to return to the building where ensconced at small tables were
old acquaintances chatting of things and sipping espresso in bicas white
while I searched for my friends in my dream last night aside my mate
who life has trained to have everything in a neat little boxes with tags

while mine hangs out not even in bags but strewn with an abandon
that to me makes order like Thelonius Monk and Miles Davis arrangements
to her Bach and Mendlesohn played on the same instruments with
different styles in a place where I can enjoy her music and she but tolerates

the cacophony I crave to her pedantic ordering that makes my heart sing
as the opposites ring like a bell that reverberates to my core in love
that keeps me from the boredom and death of my own cravings met
and this was only a faulty remembering of my mid-spring night’s dream

perhaps brought on by digestion of a most beautiful Brazilian meal
and exposure to some truly amazing tiny folk art images by the cook’s
mother past in a neighbor’s home where love and life are evident
in the very surrounds crafted and assembled with care and skill

in their own special world, the ones we all keep in our big boxes we call
our castles and castles they are for this is where we reign and look out
on the world to see what differences pass and which we like and those
we don’t but put up with to appreciate the differences that bring song

to the streets rather than bullets and rocks, singing and dancing rather
than death and crying through the barking and grinding and roaring
of leaf blowers and trucks, of howling dogs and rats along with cats
and the occasional lizard and fly in this land where you and I live and love.

I only got pieces of that dream the muse left behind in the dust of morning
and the cool of night passing too fast in its ending scene to be caught
in words but left in feeling on the theater seats of my minds arena to be
spread like apple butter on the toast of this verse, lettered only in crumbs.

bring the fire

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Words licking like fire from inside
that huge cavernous space where the heart
lives so seemingly quiet though warm
and obviously the home of something

that can at times sear the very wind
and at others be that wind so softly moving
in and out making a web of living
and breathing and speaking words

FIRE and feeling bursting with angst
or just wandering around in search of
a place that offers something, anything
PLEASE, burn me brightly once more

I love that feeling of your fiery flow
as it passes from me out into the open
ears that MUST take it in and see it
flash onto the screen of mind and heart

to either spew back invectively or pass forth
with rebuilt vigor as a whole new font
a raspy filtered utterance that moves molecules
and boulders from recalcitrant hearts.

in defense of platitudes

Friday, April 17th, 2009

We’ve all heard them and been told how dull and boring their repetition
can be in creative writing and regular conversation.

Trite and hackneyed are their descriptors and the fact that many are truisms
is lost on our sophisticated minds.

Their conflicting beacons are seen in “He who hesitates is lost”
countered by ” Haste makes waste.”

But are these words and phrases so often repeated not really sound advice
past along for centuries in verbal/tribal exchanges?

“A stitch in time saves nine” is one worth heeding and endures
all these centuries for more than its subtle rhyming.

The squeaky wheel always does get the grease and the early bird
its worm but its been proven that a watched pot can boil.

So, next time you see or hear one look deeper for the origin of its intent
and you may find “a word to the wise is sufficient.”


Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

There’s nothing quite like the experience
of designing and building a high performance engine,
coupling it to an equally perfected drivetrain
and putting it all into a chassis fitted with tweaked suspension,
surrounded in a highly finished and modified body
and, partaking of the thrill of applying it all to a road,
winding or straight, feeling all that power and engineering
working in harmony with the soul.

After months of measuring bores and honing surfaces,
milling and porting cylinder heads the mind fills
with images of perfection and close tolerance fit.

Careful assembly of specially machined parts
and sequential torquing of stainless fasteners
follows the final cleaning and coating
for maximum oil flow.

The custom ground camshaft, the handworked cylinder heads,
the hand balanced pistons and the fitted rings
come together in the dynamically balanced inner workings
with the stroked crank and Rhodes lifters.

All gaskets hand-cut to match openings
which have been expanded and smoothed for maximum flow.
Newly machined and polished surfaces coated with sticky assembly lube
meet their respective mating surfaces honed
and gauged to allow an aircraft-quality fit.

Over seven hundred pounds of steel, aluminum, brass and bronze
put together with hospital clean surfaces
in a grease and oil encrusted environment
with a floor littered with chips and shreds of metal,
with the ever pulsing beat of post-beatles rock.

More days of fitting the assembled engine
with the highly modified transmission
to the balanced and custom-made driveline
and the high ratio limited-slip differential and
the unit is ready to be fired up.

All could be lost if the boosted oil pressure
isn’t delivered to the camshaft in time or
if the new and very tightly fit components
generate more heat than the modified cooling system can relieve.
If it doesn’t kick over soon enough because of the high compression ratio
or a misalignment of ignition timing,
all could be trashed in an instant.

More stress is involved in an initial startup
as the engine must run without stopping for about thirty minutes
to break-in the newly ground camshaft and lifter mating surfaces.
Everything is rechecked. The oil level, fuel flow
to the high performance intake system, the electrical connections.

Turning the key sends the electrical impulse to the starter
and the coil and spark plugs.
The starter groans as it turns the tightly fit and unbroken-in components.
It strains under the unusually heavy load, not fast enough for ignition.
Seconds pass in slow motion.
Is it going to start up or will all the hours and dollars be lost?

A cough, a sputter, a sudden kick and blast inside
the polished combustion chambers
brings the engine to a howling birth.
RPM is kept above 2500 RPM for break-in,
varied for spreading the fitting motion
as all those expensive and handworked pieces of metal
grind into each other in synchronicity.

The sound is amazing as all those components
can be pictured working with each other.
The horsepower and torque can be heard and felt
in the deep rumble and vibration moving throughout the tight chassis.
The ground shakes beneath this fossil fueled behemoth.

Once broken-in, its time for a road test.
Careful low-RPM driving for the first few hundred miles
then its time to take it to the next level – the bake test.

The idle is pretty rough, arhythmic and relatively high.
Tires are sticky, the pavement dry.
The light turns green, the foot hits the floor and the beast moves slowly forward,
tires spinning and smoking, engine roaring, body shaking, pulse pounding
and a wide grin on the face as the tires get traction
and the resulting contact with the pavement
applies mammoth amounts of torque.

The body is pressed back heavily into the seat.
As the transmission slams into second gear
the gravity increases two-fold, the rear-end does a powerful drift
from side-to-side and the steering wheel is nudged left then right
to maintain a forward course.

The exhilaration is unmatched.
The high-pitched wail of the tightly assembled
and highly tuned engine reverberates deep inside,
mixing with the roar of the free-flowing intake and exhaust
to overpower and outmatch the pounding heavy-metal
emanating from the bumping audio system.
The epitome of visceral.

Going too far too fast on city streets — its time for the freeway.
Through the on-ramp and merging with the flow
of the inner-city traffic. Up to speed.

Moving along with traffic, an opening appears.
The foot again hits the floor, the transmission shifts down
the tires light up, the engine screams
and in just over a second of increased gravity
the needle indicates 100+.

The feeling of tremendous acceleration
coupled with the visions of the perfectly self-crafted components
moving at such high rates, producing such power
is amazing and addicting.