I started to write poetry by highlighting certain words and/ phrases from Cry, the beloved country. This is a new exercise.
That is my own
From my body
Loved by my heart
Can you not have a grateful mother?
But does it matter
These sounds of an alien land?
I am afraid, she burns my hand like fire
We do not need help, any more
Was pleasure to hold hands
It was pleasure to feel the clutching of fingers
It was the nature of woman
Such is the lot of women
The photographs of us
They are so many
What will the poor do
This time is anger, not pity
Some rooms are already taken
I am this work
This work is my hope
And we know
Hope will not give up a good man
Come, let us walk
You are old and have learnt something
You are forgiven
I think I am not fit
It is no matter
You are weak and selfish but
God, you comfort me
I have you
Thinking and reading
This is what I have been
The last page, the last words
Do not go away so quickly
I must speak to you
It is only words
Do not pray for yourself
Do not pray for life
For life is a secret
And compassion is a secret
And why you die, that is a secret
Do not think about these things now,
There will be other times
Pray for those who try
To rebuild in a place of destruction
Pray for those who
Would do justice if they were not afraid
Do not give thanks
Leave this to me
We do what is
That is also a secret
That men may be forgiven, even
When he is forsaken, old and parted
From night and day
Been sick the last few days but tonight I’m feeling much better. Got good hopes that I’ll wake tomorrow and be in good shape. Tomorrows, always tomorrows, a little brighter, a little more hope. Been mostly a waste of a week, a broken tired body but I went to the studio and did a little work and tomorrow will be good and I’ll just start from there.
Came across the word simulacrum yesterday. Been thinking all day about making a commitment to embracing reality, embracing beauty, holding tight to the experience. right now Jodeco is howling, howling loud at something outside. He too has made a commitment to embracing his inner dog, howl away dear Joad, howl away.
You can navigate a road without seeing it, you can go through the day without questions. Your body can ache from the inside, and you might feel your skin weigh you down. This is nothing that the morning can’t save, can’t alter. This is nothing, really at all but a wasted day. The body will heal and the road will wait to be discovered again.
I considered a phrase the other day, “you can not have what you can not lose.” The inseparable qualities are sewn into the work I am doing. Losing is intricately connected to having which gives it at last a redeemable quality.
Was asked to write a description of one piece we have made in an ekphrasis way.. Is that redundant? Anyway the third paragraph on were boring so here is the first two.
There’s a line in The Grapes of Wrath where a man is looking at an abandoned house but there is something wrong, something askew. He finally figures that what’s wrong is that the windows are still intact; in any old house left empty for a day or two, children will be drawn to it like one thing unowned is passed along to mankind, a deed with all children’s name written out in longhand, in cursive, with middle names even. There is something about the first semblance of disorder that allows a child to find peace. A rock on the ground. A window in a wall. A rock through a window and the sound and the breaking and the empty spot where once there was an obstacle.. to air and bugs and the rock and the child. In The Grapes of Wrath the windows are abandoned but intact, speaking to the absence of children and the natural order. The natural order is intact with the sculptural work North Mulberry, a work by Anthony Faris depicting a broken window with frame, with wall, with neglect and disorder.
If you were Agee or anyone with a heart you would consider this progress or part of a story. The action has taken place, the windows are broken, the glass is shattered in the way that speaks to angles and momentum and science and fun. If it was children who broke this window you would forgive them for they know nothing of cost and effort, they know nothing of age and how this action, this destruction is an analogy not for how others will treat our bodies as we age but how our bodies will betray us because in a way, we are those children, we are the window, hell, we are the rock, we are most things and most things speak of us. How else would the physical world exist if not for us?
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Tell me how
It feels to be dead
For 20 years now
So far apart?
I have told every memory
I have of you and now they are only words
Is there nothing left?
Why are only somber thoughts here with me tonight
That I am not out, that I am not among the living
That I might stare into the wall and not see it.
Why is there so little to say
Is it that easy to forget and let darkness be darkness and silence be silence?
Why is this so uninteresting to me
That I might make a life like yours into a poem and not even make it good?
I don’t think there is any grace
There is no miracle in the sand between your toes
Maybe there is nothing sadder than the tone of my voice
Because it is so unlike yours
You would have been calm and gentle and comforting
And made even death seem like the back porch
And that is the grace that is not in the goodbye
And that is why you knew you were dying
And still didn’t say goodbye
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Started on a new piece today which I am very excited about. Got Jeff, our new professor to stand beside this almost finished piece I was working on this past week. It needs to be installed in a public space and needs to have the empty spaces filled with an ephemeral material but I am excited about the prospects for this new exploration.
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