“We will never walk along the river again,
So walk with me in this poem.”
The night shift belongs to the poets.
Posted in art, Books, Coffee, Collage, Poetry, Quotes, Writing, tagged Anna Karenina, Bassam's San Diego, coffee shop, collage, fountain pen, literary cafe art, writing on December 3, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
“We will never walk along the river again,
So walk with me in this poem.”
The night shift belongs to the poets.
Posted in art, Calabria Diaries, Drawing, Poetry, sketching, Watercolor, Writing, tagged Calabria, Calalunga, drawings, end of summer, figs, Fisherman's shack., graphite, la Baracca del Bucaniere, sketches, Watercolor on September 18, 2013 | 1 Comment »
The fastest drawings, right before leaving.
So many watercolor sheets to fill, and beautiful travel magazines to cut up for my collages.
I had to leave them behind and go…
Until another summer.
Like being in a Van Gogh’s painting….
Posted in art, Calabria Diaries, Drawing, Painting, Poetry, Watercolor, Writing, tagged birthday flowers, charcoal, Drawing, graphite, Grumbacher all-purpose paper., mom, Watercolor on September 7, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
Today is my mom’s birthday, she didn’t want me to buy flowers, so I painted her some…
Posted in Architecture, art, Calabria Diaries, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged night photography, night sky, stars over the mediterrenean on September 4, 2013 | 2 Comments »
Posted in art, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, Ernest Hemingway, Poetry, Writing, tagged digital manipulation, Drawing, Hemingway, honesty, ink on paper, mea culpa, photoshop, portrait, sketch, tradigital drawing, writing on September 2, 2013 | 4 Comments »
Sometimes it takes finding a portrait you do not remember drawing….a sketch you do not immediately recognize as your own- yet find intriguing and technically correct, to remind you you are an artist, you can do these things.
You, in fact, do these things- it is your work, a beloved toil- your ink on paper is like rubber on the road for others.
Days with no art are never complete, nor true – or honest, as Papa Hemingway would say.
I can’t help but thinking one should not need such reminders….
As Stephen King used to address his imaginary interlocutor…
Conscious of my erratic posting frequency lately and sudden absences and reappearances, I feel it is right to append few words to this latest image and not once more slink out without, if not an explanation, at least a taste for things to come.
To the handful of Sketchbloom aficionados, a reassurance that this digital sketchbook has many pages yet to be filled.
This hiatus was a leavening and not the intermittent sputtering of an engine about to give out.
I have been traveling and working within and without, intensely, compiling new travel material and unearthing little gems to share from the past four years.
Call it a spring cleaning of many, many drives that was long overdue and undertaken in the mind first and, secondarily, going through storage media in different geographies.
It’s going to be a long, luscious end-of-summer, of images like frames of a wanderer’s life-movie , of odes to my father that will live next to art made by hands, of necessary, daily making, of teaching…and thoughts, words and warmth that become memories and poetry.
I finally (finally!) feel caught up and organized, ready to knock out creative projects I have flirted with for years. Along with the biggies, a lot of posts ready to be shared.
My cardboard suitcase is always packed, and I’m taking you with me.
by Stuart Dischell
She plans to be a writer one day and live in the City of Paris,
Where she will describe the sun as it rises over Buttes-Chaumont.
“Today the dawn began in small pieces, sharp wedges of light
Broke through the clouds.”
She plans to write better than this
And is critic enough to know “sharp wedges” sound like cheese.
She plans to live alone in a place that has a terrace
Where she will drink strong coffee at a round white table.
Her terrace will be her cafe and she will be recognized
By the blue-smocked workers of the neighborhood, the concierges,
The locals at the comptoir of the tabac down the block,
And the girl under the green cross of the apothecary shop.
She plans to love her apartment where she will keep
Just one flower in a blue vase.
She already loves the word apart-
Ment, whose halves please her when she sees them breaking
The line in her journal.
She plans to learn the roots
Of French and English words and will search them out
As if she were hunting skulls in the catacombs.
On her walls she’ll hang a timetable of the great events
Of Western History.
She will read the same twenty books
Every morning she will make up stories….
She looks around her Brighton room, at the walls,
The ceiling, the round knob of the rectangular door.
She listens to the voices of the neighbor’s children.
A toilet flushes, then the tamp of cigarette on steel,
The flint flash of her roommate’s boyfriend’s lighter.
When she leaves she plans to leave alone, and every
Article she will carry, each shoe, will be important.
Like an architect she will plan this life, as once
The fortune in a cookie told her: Picture what you wish
To become, if you wish to become that picture.
Thank you The Poetry Forge.
Posted in Architectural Photography, Architecture, art, Collage, Design, Digital Collage, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, Featured Architects, History of Architecture, Photography, Quotes, Research, School Work, Spontaneous Constructs, Theory and Criticism, Writing, tagged Architecture, collage, deconstructionist, dream, jim kazanjian, Photography, Rumi on February 4, 2013 | 1 Comment »
You have to keep breaking your heart
until it opens.
Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told.
Reblogged from here.
Posted in art, art,poetry,writing, Featured Artists, Photography, Poetry, Quotes, Writing, writing, tagged cancun, cruel winter, featured artist, jason de caires taylor, Photography, poem, Poetry, underwater sculpture on January 24, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
‘We should be so anchored in that stillness of the ocean,
so much so that waves do not bother us.’
‘Avoid the bridge, he says.
We need all the poets.’
One last brilliant morning, and watch,
I become seagull.
Has poetry ever brought back a lover
except in dreams
Has it ever changed one heart
Have words ever mended
That is a job for Time.
My poems are songs for no-one, you see.
I sing them on a street corner
For the wind, for the rare passerby
There is no hat on the pavement,
You can keep your change.
Respectability will not keep you warm at night.
All these books, my house is made of them,
their wondrous stories
they are but paper and weight in the dark.
The sun kisses me and I fall asleep
in a room bathed in golden light
the sunsets are getting longer these days
- look at this cloudless sky, the heat of summer in January,
how can one not be happy?
That is not what I came for.
There are constellations on my skin
You will never see
Here is Ursa Major,
Yours was the final, absolute silence
Of deep space -
I was tethered
Night stars are beautiful to look at
But, oh, they cannot warm you
Diamonds are heartless
In the dark,
He speaks a tongue I do not understand.
During the day he absolves me.
When Life gives, take.
She is a miserly landlady, sometimes
And this is not a kind Winter.
When the thick walls of the city are besieged,
they absorb the injury of cannons,
fiery arrows, climbing soldiers.
To a point.
A fortress, like a ship, like a dam,
is still made by human hands.
Lo, the smallest breach and the tiniest rivulet
Bring down civilizations.
San Diego, January 2013
This is something that has been marinating for weeks in my mind.
Poetry and art exorcise life’s sorrows…they bring closure when/where there is none to be had.
Surrender is accepting that you will not know all the answers…it is making peace with not understanding- something that is incredibly arduous for someone who seeks clarity and communication in all things.
And yet, words deliver, they free and heal us. For poets, a sealed, completed poem makes sense of the arcane.
Poetry allows us to move unencumbered by the baggage of emotions (as these are now, at the same time, crystallized and released) , unrequited feelings, unanswered pleas.
Poetry is the answer, it is the peace we seek. The poet finds words, and like breadcrumbs, they guide through the forest. Poems are maps through the dark regions of the heart.
Tonight the sky is cold and clear
- trace filigree of stars.
The moon, mother-of-pearl,
the constellations are aligned.
It is a night for leavening.
I was precipitating towards him
I could not resist him,
more than one resists gravity
(he had me at ‘epitome of inevitability’).
We first made love
on sheets of paper
I wrapped myself in his words
I sent him distress calls -
we were two ships in the night.
He told me I didn’t have to
explain myself when I unraveled,
he quoted my poems
-the only one who ever
kissed the tips of my fingers,
or my forehead every time i saw him.
How does one forget ?
A gaze that caresses,
the perfect first kiss.
How does one erase?
The only cure for love is more love.
I told him better later than never
he said never late
I called for him so many nights -
the days of forgetting were so long.
When I am upset I wash walls.
we’ve been dancing around the fire for so long
it’s time to get burnt.
I was ready to,
Poetry came instead.
Nothing extinguishes the flame
of fickle lovers
as a yes.
My heart bled wasted ink,
a dumb moth continuosly scarred.
I will never know the hieroglyphs of his skin, or the sound of his singing-
the light of his eyes was not for me.
A beautiful vessel,
the essence deserted him
and eluded me.
As for the girl,
pepper and spice,
I can finally look back at her eyes
-those wells, the light that pulls everything towards her as an
undeniable whirlpool-and not sink.
The angles of her face
don’t bruise any more .
There is just love.
The careful letting go
of a butterfly.
Maybe next time, Luna
I am surrounded by Beauty.
The spring i pursued
was but a mirage,
my thirst was quenched
by the sweetest sand.
There is drought,
but I am hearing thunder
a strong, kind rumble that displaces air–
has the rainy season finally come
or is it another summer shower?
He kissed me a suspended, light kiss
held my face
like one holds a vase
i was not sure if he was drawing me closer, or letting me go.
You were not a dream,
you were more like
a moment of clarity after
months of drowsiness.
I know precariousness
And things that don’t last.
I sleep with pen and books.
Do you know what it means to
spend the night writing?
Everything you do
can be a prayer.
I was lying next to you
like a big yes.
are the only ones that last
1.Time and Vessels:
“She had a way of moving that moved him as much as music, which was what moved him most of all.
Surely the spirit animating that peerless body must be unusual too?
Why would nature make a vessel like that, if not to contain something still more valuable?” ― J.K. Rowling
Love is always the same
-it is only the vessel that changes-
that’s what the poet meant,
it took me a year to understand.
Love moves from one heart to another, selfsame.
You can never lose Love.
Listen to songs from around the beautiful Earth.
Angel, you can always find the seven notes therein, sleeping.
The same Love is asleep in the Other.
Until it is awake.
You can find the same warmth on skins
milk to dark chocolate,
sand dunes to ashes.
The same kind fire lights all eyes.
The same Sun and Moon no matter
where we are…or how far we are from each other.
All is Good.
I am full of Love for you.
The flower can’t keep from opening.
God is the Love in the lover.
The lotus-heart is hidden beneath layers.
a. The main function of fires is to warm,
not to burn. My heart is singed, but tempered.
b. The unattended fire dies.
Your words kept me warm
on the long walk home.
Thoughts you had for me,
caresses on a winter day.
Now, try to imagine
a flooding river
6. Let Go:
There is nothing to go back to
there are no mistakes
nothing to miss, fix
There is only driving.
I leave my cities of salt behind,
I see the lonely Friday afternoons,
on the rearview mirror.
Live as though
you are soon moving to a new city.
7. The coldness of stars:
“But who could bear to know which stars were already dead, she thought, blinking up at the night sky; could anybody stand to know that they all were?” ― J.K. Rowling.
The further you look in space,
the further you look in the past.
The sun is a benign star
made of fire
It burns as I burned for you
It is a star that colors my skin
- my body responds to it the way it responds to the moon.
Gypsy: You are both stars, don’t forget. And the stars exploded billions of years ago, to form everything that is this world. Everything we know, is stardust. So don’t forget, you are stardust.
A handful of stars in your hand.
A candle is meant to become just flame.
Do not render a perfect heart when you go.
The silence of the Sphinx
Ice in my veins, it slayed me.
He taught me
one does not learn
and to do so only if what i had to say
was more beautiful than silence.
10. Poetry and Poets
Empty this bucket heart,
My poems are puzzle pieces
put together in the heart of the night.
Milk the night ravings – distill them as grapes with wine.
Stolen words feed our ravenous souls.
There are problems that can’t be solved
they can only be lived
-some say there are no problems.
Do not chain eagles or falcons.
If you don’ t believe in God
believe in Love, or another.
Peace is a religion, too.
And, in the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid cities.
Only burning patience will allow us to conquer a splendid happiness.
Posted in Architectural Photography, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Digital Manipulation, Music, NaBloPoMo, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged digital manipulation, Gillian Welch, Jenna Ann MacGillis, performance art, Photography, Poetry, san diego space for art, the desperate characters of Mercer county, the way it will be, throw me a rope on November 10, 2012 | 3 Comments »
The set above was designed by Jenna Ann Mac Gillis for the performance
‘The Desperate Characters of Mercer County’ which took place at San Diego Space for Art on November 10, 2012. Read all the lurid details of this Americana story here.
I can feel poetry
rise out of silence
like an undeniable tide,
a Polaroid floats to the surface.
The words appear
Oh honey, just take out your lighter,
they are written in lemon juice
Loving you was like
carrying a cardboard suitcase
in the rain
In the absence of
I collect mugs by my bedside
Ride in empty buses
-straw bale leggings-
and always get to the theather
after the movie ended
I walk among the Saturday night revelers huddled around a screen
-the miniskirts march in lockstep
It’s date night in San Diego
a cold one too
knights in shirt sleeves have donated their coats
and presents are opened inside cars.
I steal glances and compose poems
that don’t help anyone tonight.
The lines start to sound
like a Gillian Welch song.
If you have a mind like a diamond,
expect it to cut.
I was in love with the dream of you
And now I am shackled to a ghost.
Some kinds of pain never die;
they can only ease a little,
and not every day.
Poem at 4.17 AM
You left me with all the pieces of the engine laid on rags – garage floor
I sat there wearing my nightgown trying to make sense of the puzzle – there are no instructions and I’m not a mechanic
I sat there for a year.
On some nights I imagined them chess pieces, and played against
you, them, myself
On some other nights I wrote on walls with no ink or feather
about snake charmers
and wolves in sheep’s clothing
Narcissus was tired
The Prince’s treasure, under lock, turned out to be a room full of mirrors.
Mornings I thought
For a summer I made sculptures and looked at photos
That night in the warehouse, our distracted dance, our last
You drove away
with an engine-less car.
San Diego, November 2012
Posted in ArchistDesign | Studio, Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Articles & Essays, Competitions and Collaborations, History of Architecture, Lectures, Poetry, Portfolio of Work, Research, school, School Work, Writing, tagged History of Architecture, Louise Gluck, Poetry, the undertaking, updates, visual notes for architects and designers, writing on October 27, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Another month rushed by, seemingly accelerating towards the end, as though sprinting to the finish line. The year’s end. Another year.
This past month brought also new beginnings and renewals. Just like accountants, professors measure years differently from the general public.
So this, other, new year that starts with the fall -the harvest- brought Spring in October : experimental mixed media and history courses, new energy, enthusiastic and curious students, expanded involvement, new projects and many welcome social occasions…and always, the company and camaraderie of my gentle and wise kin.
I love my job and feel so blessed. (I have just been given a Service Award for Five Years of outstanding contribution to the school, celebrate good times..)
I hosted my very first reception for my Graduate students’ work in the History of Architecture course this last week. The title of the exhibition was
‘ History of Architecture: Analysis and Synthesis through Visual Notes’.
My past students’ critical, and sometimes lyrical and poetic work –their beautifully rendered drawings, sketches and diagrams–have been gracing the halls of my school and received much acclaim. This body of work and research into this alternative method for teaching history is the topic of a forthcoming paper, which I will present in the Spring.
I am also launching a project called Builtculture, which I will be editing. This is something I have been working on for few months along with a stellar Graduate student of mine, Samar Sepehri. Builtculture is a repository for lectures and cultural events happening in San Diego and the So-Cal region, for the architecture and urban design discriminating aficionados. It exists in form of a facebook page for now, but will soon morph into a simple yet useful calendar site–as soon as I can catch my breath.
Planning to post photos of the Visual Notes Exhibit next week -need to scan few more examples and ‘teasers’- and to share Builtculture when it is ready too. I am thinking about adding an Academic section to my work site, Archistdesign, for such endeavors.
All of this to say, really, is that my full-time job and volunteering [ for community build and garden build projects , I have learned to build a deck and plaster, aka architecture for social purpose ... yes!] have taken ahold of my heart and days lately, and my art has had to wait.
I also (also!) will have my poetry published. New poems have been brewing and blooming, maybe I will share one later tonight.
I know that there are few of you who follow these ramblings of mine , who gently coax me when I have not posted for a while, and wanted to reach out and declare that I do not want this to be a ‘ travel blog’ , a dalliance…but that I also have to make peace with the fact that I am nor cannot be a a full-time writer, poet or artist, (although I would embrace these lives and crafts in a heartbeat, teaching is my calling) and that I cannot post or work on my art everyday. Life itself needs to be explored, precious work completed, books need to be read, and body, soul, and spirit nurtured daily. Perhaps, I have been given too many passions for just one life. These are heavy gifts and Chet Baker sings ‘I fall in love too easily’…
Before biding my hopefully brief adieu, here is a poem that I recently found among old correspondence.
It is nice to be old enough to have that.. Speaking of correspondence, see ‘ Young Goethe in Love’. I died.
The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .
The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .
There you are — cased in clean bark you drift through weaving rushes, fields flooded with cotton.
You are free.
The river films with lilies, shrubs appear, shoots thicken into palm.
And now all fear gives way: the light looks after you, you feel the waves’ goodwill as arms widen over the water;
Love, the key is turned.
Extend yourself —it is the Nile, the sun is shining, everywhere you turn is luck.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven,
Pour, cupbearer, the wine of the invisible,
The name and sign of what has no sign.
Pour it abundantly.
It is you who enrich the soul–
Make the soul drunk and give it wings.
Come again always, rich one,
and teach all our cupbearers their sacred art.
Be a spring jetting from a heart of stone;
Break the pitcher of soul and body–
Make joyful all lovers of wine.
Ferment a restlessness in the heart
of the one who thinks only of bread–
Bread is a mason of the body’s prison;
Wine, a rain for the garden of the soul.
I’ve tied the ends of the earth together.
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven
Close those eyes that see only faults
Contemplate those that only see the invisible
so no mosques or temples or idols remain
Posted in art, Books, Featured Artists, Poetry, Writing, tagged books, custom made, Design, etsy, fabric, paragraph of book, Poetry, scarf, screenprint, textile art, vintage, word art on September 21, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The Eternal Life of Objects, the Persistence of You
On the membrane of my dreams
We are divided by a thin layer of ice
The surface breaks
And there it is
All of our love
All of my sorrow
Flooding and resurfacing
We spill over fields and rice paddies
-This is how we will come back-
All of our impossible futures,
The ache of forking paths
We will be streams, and rivers
Timeless and steady arteries.
I visit you in images
Stitched together between awakenings.
I take your things, put them away
The inevitability of your arms
As i come to.
You lie just beneath
the gossamer veil of thoughts
- forgive as the sea forgives,
as it heals, as it forgets,
Forgive as children are forgiven-
Their eyes are not windows yet
Calabria, September 2012
Posted in art,poetry,writing, Books, Cures for the Nothing, Music, Poetry, Writing, writing, tagged american book company, bach, bartley, beck, book, edited by stephens, english romantic poets, glenn gould, le ultime lettere di jacopo ortis, lord byron, michael schmidt, Poetry, romantic, snow, stanzas written on the road between florence and pisa, the last letters of jacopo ortis, the lives of the poets, the well-tempered clavier, ugo foscolo, writing on July 2, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The days of our youth are the days of our glory;
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty
Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.
What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?
‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled.
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!
What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?
O Fame!—if I e’er took delight in thy praises,
‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover,
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.
There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;
Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;
When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,
I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.
George Gordon, Lord Byron
Romantics, for more on the lives of the Poets, you might hide here for a few days, and spend the evenings at your local cafe reading poems accompanied by a well-tempered clavier. For my part, I have ordered Ugo Foscolo’s Le Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis)–and look forward to sinking in its lyrical, poignant song that so well describes the passion and contradiction of the Italian spirit (and carries me back to the Halcyon days of Literature and Poetry studies in high school). A presto, more watercolor portraits await…
Posted in Architecture, art, Drawing, Film, Habana Diaries, History of Architecture, Ink, Music, Poetry, Quotes, sketchbook, sketching, Watercolor, Writing, tagged Before Sunrise, cuba, Drawing, Havana, History of Architecture, ink, La Habana, Moorish Architecture, Movie, Mudejar, Neoclassical Architecture, sketchbook, sketching on April 26, 2012 | 2 Comments »
“Music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.”
Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
Posted in art, Film, Habana Diaries, Photography, Poetry, Thought in the Alley, Writing, tagged Habana, Havana, Movie, night, Poetry, rain, Strangers (2007), street on April 25, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
The Arms That Wouldn’t Let Me Go
On this sweet, rainy evening
My thoughts run to you
Like water towards the ocean
In the city’s gutters and roofs
Towards countless drainstorms
Powerless in the face
Of a calculated incline.
It is a sweet rain that is falling tonight
It wears your scent of promises
It is music, it sings of gentle breezes through wooden wind charms,
Of a veranda in the Caribbeans.
A scattering of drops
Like miniscule sand pebbles on my books
As I wait.
O Night, your silence descends upon me like a mantle
It calms me
I could write lines like an ode to your burning eyes
Your long, long lashes that caught my tears
Brushed away listless years
And changed me.
Tonight I don’t see the bus stop in front of me
Or the muted lights of cars
I see you waiting for me on that street
The staircase that separated me from bliss
[I met my two loves on the steps of Italian cathedrals,
they gave me their blessings]
I know you are there
And when you see me, your eyes smile stars,
twinkling benign in the skies between us.
If the world ended in two days,
I would have felt safe
Your broad shoulders would have protected me
From all the walls and crumbling houses of the City.
Sleep, days, a thin membrane
Before and after us
A tender gauze between dusk and your sunset skin.
We stole nights
Like compassionate thieves
Time measured in kisses
A perfect, impossible life
Soft like the sound of a far-away gramophone
Or a clavichord in Vienna
(Will you come with me to cobbled alley-ed Vienna?)
I am home now
The lanes are deserted and streetlights have relinquished
their daytime tyranny
The night is wide with the tabac scent
Of water falling on hot concrete and asphalt
It is a summer night somewhen, somewhere else.
I am home now
The house is still
And bathed in red solitude
I need to stop writing
And conjure up what I’ll be wearing tomorrow
I need to stop thinking
That I could die happy tonight.
San Diego, April 25, 2012
La luna sobre Habana
Tiene una sonrisa
De la Calle San Francisco a Espalda,
En el Vedado.
El Malecon vio’ todo, sus serenadas,
La trova y el son.
Las olas en la noche
Regresan y regresan
amantes para la izquierda
Como tu pensiero
Que no me dejas dormir.
Todo es posible en La Habana
Dijo’ Graham Greene.
En la ciudad de las columnas
Tome’ las espinas ayer
Tomo la Rosa.
Moon Over Cuba
The moon above Habana
Has a smile
From San Francisco Street to Espalda,
In the Vedado.
The Malecon saw everything, his serenades,
The trova and the son.
The waves in the night
Return and return
As your thought
Which keeps me awake
Everything is possible in Habana
said Graham Greene.
In the city of colums
I picked some thorns yesterday
I catch the Rose.
Ya lo se
Que voy a quierer de sentir
El sonido de tu voz
Par la calle la brisa es suave en mi piel
Aqui nunca hace frio
La noche te cubre
Con sus caricias
Su bufanda hecha de estrellas
Todos mis dolores
Las olas se la traigan con ellas
Los muros conservan
Los abrazos de los enamorados
Todo me habla aqui
y tengo que regresarme
Tu me dices
Como escribir en la rena
Y esperar l’agua
Un otro amor.
In the street the breeze is smooth on my skin
Here it’s never cold
The night covers you
With her caresses
Her scarf made of stars
I am forgetting
All my sorrows
The waves carry them away
The walls conserve
The embraces of lovers
Everything speaks to me here
and I need to come back
It’s like writing on the sand
And waiting for the water
Nadie’ en tus arquiadas
En tus piedras llore’
Tus plazas me acogieron
Respire’ en la sombra de tus arboles
Sufrie’ por su cara
–los abrazos olvidados en la rena
estan alla’ hasta otro viento–
En tu son
Comprendi’ tus ojos infinitos
El calor the tus brazos dorados
En la noche el agua va corriendo en las fuentes–
Todavia estare’ alla’,
En los pasajes y las calles,
En las escaleras y las puertas serradas,
y en tu corazon de sal.
La Habana, Cuba, Avril 2012
I swam in your porticoes
On your stones I cried
Your piazzas welcomed me
I breathed in the shade of your trees
I suffered for his face
–the embraces forgotten on the sand
there remain, until another wind.
In your sound
I understood your infinite eyes
The heat of your golden arms
In the night
The water will continue to run in the fountains
I will be there still,
In your passageways and streets,
In your staircases and closed doors,
And in your heart of salt.
Havana, Cuba, April 2012
Earlier this year I acquired two books from my lovely blogsister Ghadah Alkandari at PrettyGreenBullet.
One was to keep…the other to collage.
Here I asked my dear friend Bassemah, of Palestinian origins, to respond to one of Ghadah’s drawings.
She chose this one.
We spent an afternoon doing art in her warm San Diego home, playing Cuban and French music…I would love for you to have been there, Ghadah!
And to listen to the two of you speak Arabic *___*….
To Happiness by Carl Dennis
If you’re not approaching,
I hope at least
You’re off to comfort someone who needs you more,
Not lost wandering aimlessly
Or drawn to the shelter of well-lit rooms
Where people assume you’ve arrived already.
If you’re coming this way, send me the details
—The name of the ship, the port it leaves from—
So I can be down on the dock to help you
Unload your valises, your trunks and boxes
And stow them in the big van I’ll have rented.
I’d like this to be no weekend stay
Where a single change of clothes is sufficient.
Bring clothes for all seasons, enough to fill a closet;
And instead of a single book for the bedside table
Bring boxes of all your favorites.
I’ll be eager to clear half my shelves to make room,
Eager to read any titles you recommend.
If we’ve many in common, feel free to suggest
They prove my disposition isn’t to blame
For your long absence, just some problems of attitude,
A few bad habits you’ll help me set to one side.
We can start at dinner, which you’re welcome
To cook for us while I sweep and straighten
And set the table.
Then light the candles
You’ve brought from afar for the occasion.
Light them and fill the room
I supposed I knew
With a glow that shows me
I was mistaken.
Then help me decide if I’m still the person I was
Or someone else, someone who always believed in you
And imagined no good reasons for your delay.
“To Happiness” by Carl Dennis, from Unknown Friends.
The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory.
That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy.
A writer or any artist has the sometimes joyful duty to transform all that into symbols. These symbols could be colors, forms or sounds. For a poet, the symbols are sounds and also words, fables, stories, poetry.
The work of a poet never ends. It has nothing to do with working hours. Your are continuously receiving things from the external world. These must be transformed, and eventually will be transformed. This revelation can appear anytime. A poet never rests. He’s always working, even when he dreams.
Besides, the life of a writer, is a lonely one. You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you will never get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward.
A Moon Over Berkeley
[We Became Art for a Moment]
There is no need to seek her
For she is the Moon
Her stunning face hangs over me
Never lets a night go without
The ache of her beauty
Do you see the small star by her?
Her shadow is cast over the city
Like Brunelleschi’s cupola over all of Tuscany.
The heaviness of her copper lies
[in my mouth]
She hides under train tracks and asphalt
She peeks from our longtrodden alleys
She’s under and above me.
I have to see about a City
-I said to him-
The way others go see about a Girl.
‘The city is a girl’ he replied.
They wrote about us
We became Art for a moment
Part of the city like streetlamps
A collage of colors
Red for San Francisco cars
Mustard like her scarf
White, my fedora
Red was our debaucherous light
Her crisp apple shirt matched paintings
[gray as planes]
In Buena Vista park we laid on the grass
Fed mosquitoes and waited fairies
I crafted stories on Bechtle’s California suburbs
Stories of quiet misery and afternoon beers, for her…
Blue for too many train tickets
We sat in a room full of patterns
Under brilliant suns we walked
To the edge of Sunset.
Faded too early in the streets of Janis Joplin
Among Tibetan jewelry stores,
Earrings and beads,
We found minstrels and poets.
Lemonade and Mate,
I told her about the weight of flowers
Narrated the geography
Of my broken heart.
It is night again
And I still choose my dandelion poetry
And being on time.
San Diego, March 7, 2011
Posted in Architecture, art, Books, Drawing, Photography, Poetry, San Francisco Diaries, sketchbook, sketching, Traveling, Writing, tagged berkeley sign, Drawing, Photography, san francisco, sketches on February 19, 2012 | 2 Comments »
My world, my California, still needs to be made.
To make a new world you start with an old one, certainly.
To find a world, maybe you have to have lost one.
Maybe you have to be lost.
The dance of renewal, the dance that made the world, was always danced here at the edge of things, on the brink, on the foggy coast.
Ursula K. Le Guin
When the Sun rises…
I will wait for you…
Posted in Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Art Show, Artuesdays, Competitions and Collaborations, Digital Manipulation, Experiments, History of Architecture, Photography, Poetry, Writing, tagged fotografia., Inverno, Photography, Venezia., venice, winter on January 3, 2012 | 3 Comments »
In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theatre. The play is finished, but the echoes remain.
To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.
There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.
It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.
I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.
A train-ride takes you from Milano to Venice..whose real name is Venezia, the Most Serene city and splendid, golden Republic. On the train you think about Byron, his letters written on trains, his Venetian Countess.
Through frozen fields and dormant earth, through fog and long-gone rice paddies , you deboard to the Sublime.
At dusk the lights from bars and cafes shimmer on the dark waters, and you start thinking in cliches, such as temporarily inhabiting an Impressionist painting.
Yet the feeling is fresh and true: each visit to this surrealists’ dream had its poignant moment of suspension of disbelief.
Each time the city grabs you and takes you away with her.
Here’s a taste of today’s acts of flanerie in La Serenissima.
Posted in Architecture, art, Art Gallery, Ink, Jewelry, Pastel, Poetry, Sketchbook Exchange, Spontaneous Constructs, Writing, tagged Architecture, Bramante, city, Drawing, duomo milano, ink drawing, Milano, milano cafe, Milano Diaries, pio albergo trivulzio, santa maria presso san satiro, sketchbook, sketches, urban moments, Urban Sketchers, Watercolor, window on January 1, 2012 | 7 Comments »
Posted in art, Calabria Diaries, Drawing, F R A G M E N T S, Ink, Poetry, Quotes, sketching, Writing, tagged Dali, Drawing, fisherman, fragments, Lao Tzu. Wisdom, pescatore, poem, poems about a cashmere wrap, Quotes, Saul Bellow, visual poetry on December 15, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
The cashmere wrap finally arrived in the mail
so much weighs on this stole
‘opportunity a thief makes’
he said before giving me homework
“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep”
A lot weighs on this stole:
conversation is rippled with diamonds
they tumble , heavy, they are words, quotes
…out of the mundane…
a pearl – grasp it and keep it.
Wisdom is the only jewelry I wear this season
and my greediness awaits
He who grasps more than he can hold, would be better without any.
If a house is crammed with treasures of gold and jade,
it will be impossible to guard them all.
Did you hear the sound of wisdom, Heart?
The message you sought.
My only wealth is my memory.
Like a mendicant I gather precious words,
fragments of light that I bring back,
puzzles I spend days composing.
and look around for the next creature to pursue-
grasp their message
Catch leaves in the wind
Heaven is simple:
Think in images, not sentences anymore
or better, fill yourself with food-sounds
against hollow silences.
Colours are a kind of music
and music pours a red-yellow wine here.
Sit like a cat in the Sun,
this warm December Sun that heals
this warm December Sun that lights
all dusty corners of the soul
My California, My South,
My brilliant blessing, I thank you.
Year, rush to an end.
Is it Spring when the birdlets leave the gilded cage?
Open all doors.
Is it Spring when the starlings return from Southern latitudes?
Then burst open shutters and windows
They never do close here.
In the photograph, the hand is like a wing that shelters
It is always there,
in the heart-home
that has no doors
Posted in Architecture, architecture, Articles & Essays, Collage, Cures for the Nothing, Design, Digital Collage, digital collage, photography, writing, architecture, Experiments, F R A G M E N T S, History of Architecture, Lectures, Photography, photography, Quotes, Reading, Research, San Diego, Spontaneous Constructs, Theory and Criticism, Writing, writing, tagged bridges, collage, context, deconstructivist approach, Deconstructivist architecture, defamiliarization., familiar, mark wigley, photomontage, reading on a bridge on November 26, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
” In recent years , the modern understanding of social responsibility as functional program has been superseded by a concern for context. But contextualism has been used as an excuse for mediocrity, for a dumb servility within the familiar. Since deconstructivist architecture seeks the unfamiliar within the familiar, it displaces the context rather than acquiesce to it. What makes it disturbing is the way deconstructivist architecture finds the unfamiliar already hidden within the familiar context. By its intervention, elements of the context become defamiliarized. In one project, towers are turned over on their sides, while in others, bridges are tilted up to become towers.”
To choose a pair of gloves
Is serious business.
I place your brown leather small
On top of mine
It is as if you are protecting me
A tender shelter for my hands
Made of florentine winters
cobblestones, morning trains, domes.
It runs a bit short
A black cashmere wrap, or
the vulnerable clinging of the young.
The gloves are empty
Your hands are not there
Your gloves are shells
Echoing your touch
Your gloves are naked
They are the skin you use to protect your skin
I carry them now
I carry you
Posted in art, Collage, Design, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, Poetry, Writing, tagged collage, delayed bag, Drawing, essay, madrid, manana llovera, markable folding umbrella, michele foyer, muji, my orange, orange, stolen umbrella, umbrella, Watercolor on November 16, 2011 | 2 Comments »
I was recently reunited with luggage lost 45 days ago.
Three items were missing: a bottle of Cinema Eau De Parfum by Yves Saint Laurent, a beloved collaged orange umbrella bought in Barcelona and a pair of Sketchers shoes. Go figure.
Immediately i set out to substitute my lost umbrella. As said in one Law and Order episode (I paraphrase): “Hardheaded Calabrese: the people there are very stubborn… once something is taken away from them, they don’t rest until …they get it back.”
My mind went back to the orange umbrella I bought for my mom in Milano last Christmas (probably with her money;)), from one of my favorite stores: Muji.
In my quest, I ran into this glorious essay on a particular shade of orange.
I have a box of orange objects in my house that I have been meaning to combine into a series.
Tomorrow seems like a good day for it, and orange thoughts are perfect for winter-short days and too much yin.
Before you read, keep this in mind:
Fire in Arabic is ‘Nar’.
by Michele Foyer
If we lived during the time of the Dutch West Indies Company, I would tell you that the color that so captured me was the child of paprika and chocolate. The world no longer swoons over spice willing to risk a sail beyond the end of the known. And yes, sadly rape and pillage in its desperate greed. I had only to pass the window of the Muji store in Manhattan’s Chelsea to discover this color in an umbrella.
What is it that grabbed me? Is it a vibration for which the color is only a foil? Or is it something about the color itself lodged between memory and desire? This redder orange infused with luxurious chocolate yielded a strangely jazzier yet muter tone than orange. But if we are mapping out its terrain inevitably the orange relation comes up.
My “Muji Orange” is a distant relative of the neon orange of warning, as well as a “tangerine streamlined baby” of sixties psychedelic abandon. Its crazy older paternal cousin might be the Tang of astronauts or maybe the impossible orange of orange Crush soda, or possibly even Blake’s Tyger burning bright, but its doting grandmother, is definitely — yes, most definitely — a bittersweet French marmalade.
There is some mystery to orange. Orange is the only color in the seven-color spectrum besides violet that originates as a noun, naming a particular thing. It refers to the berry fruit of the orange tree, something very concrete and specific and not as abstract as the other colors. Was the experience of the orange fruit so strong that it came to stand for the orange experience?
The Old English Dictionary (OED) states that in Medieval Latin “the forms ‘arangia’, ‘arantia’ (Du Cange) whence ‘aurantia’ have “popular association with ‘aurum’ gold from the colour.” Perhaps, the OED postulates, there is an etymological relationship between the Old French “orenge” for “arauge” after “or” gold. The OED traces the “loss of the initial ‘n‘ in French, English and Italian” as “ascribed to its absorption into the indefinite article” resulting in “narange” absorbing “une” and “narancia” absorbing ”una.”
Also from the OED we understand that the “native country of orange appears to have been the northern frontier of India, where wild oranges are still found and the name may have originated there.” In Late Sankrit the word for orange is “naranga;” in Hindi it is “narangi” (OED, p. 2001)
Is “orange” related to the color of the fruit and/or to gold and the word “ore” (OED, p. 2001)? Are both these not only things, but also perhaps experiences of light? More questions arise as we consider other correspondences that I call “rhymes and ricochets.”
In Persian the world for pomegranate is “nar” (OED, p.2001) which echoes the nar of narange. Is this coincidence or relationship? The OED states it is not certain. Was the “nar” / pomegranate the fateful fruit of the tree in the Garden of Eden myth? It is possible because the pomegranate rather than the apple was the indigenous fruit. If the pomegranate was the tree of knowledge, what was the knowledge that this golden ball embodied? Might it have reflected a relationship of light to dark?
Is there anything other than coincidence to the resonance of the pomegranate which also figures in the myth of Persephone who spends half her days in a descent into Hades when the earth experiences the dark of winter and the other half above ground when the earth experiences the light of spring – alternations or gradients of light and dark?
In one narrative color is dependent upon history and culture. The OED by definition is a history of the English language, tracing the history and values of the western world with its migrations and roots to the East. Today we think oranges are synonymous with the warm climates of Florida and California. We often believe they are indigenous to North America. However, they were planted by conquistador sailors who needed to create supplies of vitamin C to take with them to guard against scurvy on their long sea journeys.
What is orange in cultures outside of the European? In other cultures closed off to our own for so long by the migration and exchange of trade, say the Japanese or Chinese, what is the etymology of the word orange? In Cantonese Chinese (but not in Mandarin), the word for orange is related by sound to the word for gold. At New Year’s the Mandarin orange embodies good wishes for prosperity. Are “gold” and “orange” a conflation of all these color experiences of light?
What about other earlier societies? I wonder whether orange might “rhyme” with “fire.” Fire had the life-giving power that made a large difference to a culture. If gold wasn’t the commodity of value, it might make sense for the word for this experience to be “fire.” Might gold be in part only an imitation of the light of fire?
These richoceting ruminations about gold and fire are vital, because it is precisely the light of gold or fire that starts to go missing in “my” Muji Orange. It is that chocolate brown in addition to the red of the orange that makes the color “step back” toward the shade. Muji Orange recedes from the saturation and almost clear brilliance of an ordinary orange that lags just behind the brilliance of yellow—whether the origin is the light of sun, gold or fire.
Muji is a Japanese company and that perhaps contributes and infuses a measure of its aesthetic into that of the west. The store’s name is related to “mujo” which evokes “transience” in Japanese. I once heard about Japanese “killed colors.” These colors had a little bit of death in them, fading from their original brilliance and glory. I couldn’t find reference to them again but only to the rikuyu colors made from graying. In Muji Orange the quality of orange steps away from the brilliance of the sunny orange into the shade, holding a note of something that is darker. It is not a sinister dark to be avoided but one to be savored like a fine chocolate.
Is my “Muji Orange” so beautiful to me because it captures the life of light and its brilliance — and the life of dark and its recession? To me “Muji Orange” is a kumquat color par excellence. First like the sweet rind of the kumquat there is a “taste” of brilliance and then immediately, almost simultaneously, just as the fruit yields a sour taste, my Muji orange bursts with another very different moody, darker earthy “taste.” Does Muji Orange with its paprika jazzy zest want to dance the tarantula? Is it death or lack of light that gives my Muji color its kick?
I have questioned whether it was the vibration of the color that pulled me into the Chelsea store — the umbrella an extraneous element. But I wonder if the precise color of orange might also be a “rhyme” with the function of “umbrella”? Are the form and the vibration related in the poetry of memory?
Recently I recalled an earlier encounter with umbrellas. When I studied in Madrid in my 20s, I would often take the subway to go downtown to the Turner bookshop. I’d climb the stairs of the appropriately named Sol subway stop that spilled out onto Jose Antonio, emerging more often than not into a scorching sun.
On my way to the bookshop I would pass outside the window of a store that made confectionaries of violets sold in white and purple miniature hatboxes. But my favorite was the neighboring shop entirely devoted to umbrellas with a placard handwritten in a swirly old-fashioned cursive script in the window that read “Manana llovera.” Both its whimsy and its sales-minded craft were not lost in the English translation — “tomorrow it will rain.”
Last December, many years after my sunny Spanish sojourn, when to me it is now irrefutable that night and day, death and life are folded into one another and that Persephone must braid both dark and light — the Muji Orange color caught my eye. Manana llovera. Tomorrow it will rain. Dear Reader, I bought the umbrella.
Bibliographic Note The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, Volume I, AO, (Oxford University Press, United States, 1982).
Copyright Michele Foyer. Web: http://michelefoyer.com/news.html
Hurricane after silence,
The Sun gives liberally –
You cannot trap its warmth:
Love cannot exist in a prison
It is true
But the Sun will always have her one Moon.
Fences in the water are useless
the water will continue to flow-
You can take a horse to it.
You cannot start fires and complain
If you get burned
You cannot sow seeds on puddles, asphalt,
And marvel when a plant doth sprout.
A plane cuts the sky
Writes a requiem
Draws parallel light-hopes.
I live for that tender moment at the end of my days
As the sun is in full crescendo glory,
giving the last, sweet ripeness
Her moon rushes to a corner
Small, full of mischief
and twinkling laughter.
San Francisco, November 2011
Out beyond ideas of rightdoing and wrong doing
There is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about
language, ideas, even the phrase each other
doesn’t make any sense.
Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi
مولانا جلال الدين محمد بلخى
I am sorry
For my jumbled mess of thoughts
my ash offerings
I am sorry
for my sterile hips
for burning like a fallow candle
for not fathoming your fullness
(I salute it now).
Penelope undoes at night
her morning’s narrative.
It changes with each day:
two steps forward and one back
is not a step forward.
In fact, it is very much like
marching in place
while wearing a hair shirt.
I am sorry for my darkness
For wanting to hurt you with dandelions
for standing by a ripped promise
like a stubborn stone.
I write because
I have to.
If necessary, I can beg for a pen and paper
to hold again my favorite barbed wire.
(Sylvia Plath tell me again
how much fun it is
to write a poem).
I move my arms to caress
the petals of a giant sunflower
In my raw silence,
my shard-sharp mind, my heart-awareness
forgetfulness is that one wine
I cannot purchase:
The door was ajar
yet I chose not to enter.
“Forgive my thoughts,
for they bloom at night
banished by light”.
San Diego, November 2011.
Posted in architecture, art,poetry,writing, Cures for the Nothing, Digital Manipulation, Drawing, Ink, Poetry, Quotes, Thinking with my hands, tagged art, bell jar, Drawing, Murmurations, Poetry, Quote, starlings, Sylvia Plath, thinking with one's hands, visual poetry on November 9, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
I have to thank my colleague Alan Rosenblum for sharing the concept of thinking with one’s hands and the visual poetry of The Mystery of a Murmuration. His advice is to watch this in silence.
Posted in Photography, Poetry, tagged Beyond right and wrong, dark night of the soul, Giovanni della Croce, Le Marais, Paris, Photograph, Poetry, Rumi, St.John Of the Cross, Sufi and Christian Mystics on November 8, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!–
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.
In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me–
A place where none appeared.
Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
Upon my flowery breast,
Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.
The breeze blew from the turret
As I parted his locks;
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.
I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.