Wednesday, November 29, 2006

River of Light

From high in the corporate tower, in the dim distance, in the atmosphere of drifting fog, the curving highway, everybody driving home, a flowing river of light.

White blood stream of the city.

Fog Lights

Through the fog, forms. Other buildings, sky. It could be the corneas of my eyes.

The corona of the sun is hidden.

There are no sun spots today; no solar flares, no solar storms.

The world is quiet. Lying under a blanket of mist. The wind is absent. If the birds fly, they fly blindly.

Do you have your fog lights on as you make your way along the snaking highways? Somebody stops or swerves in the flow of cars and there is a pile-up. Buckled metal and torn and broken lives, but not yours. You are caught in the stopped and slowed traffic and are late.

Not to meet me, but the others.

I am behind the fog.

Am I seeing anything other than dim forms and whiteness?

Lies

Again, it happened. Out of nowhere, envy, its clout. Why is it that you often don’t know who is competing against you? Lies, demeaning. Set up for an ignominious fall. Only what is sought, those daggers of hidden stealth, is of no interest. Uncompetitive. I am filling the place of, not seeking to fill.

Today envy wore black hair and a black blazer with a red chiffon blouse and a smiling demeanour in the office tower that could be anywhere in the world.

Disguise

Sometimes one has to pretend to be who one is to be who one is.

If I disguise you in metaphors, it is only to reveal you. Or myself. Or the interconnections that interweave us.

November 28, 2006

On the afternoon of that day I.

The time went by too quickly.

When I saw the date, I knew.

It was very strange, this feeling.

I could not know what it was all about.

But I knew the day was significant.

It had arrived; such long waiting, and now it was here.

What did it mean?

Tide-Line

They disappear. They always return. The men who love me. It is too early to say if it is a pattern.

Sometimes I feel like the woman in the sea-cottage who holds the tide-line tight in her hands. Then I don't drift in and out like the moon-pulled sea; then I remain, present.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mist

Dense fog today. The world is impenetrable. Nothing but the whiteness of cloud. Breathe the cool moisture; walk blindly forward. The ground remains; the route is the same. Follow your feet, knowing the way. If, according to the Hopi, there are two kinds of time, what is unmanifest and what is manifest, then we are inbetween. The world that is coming to be in its ecstasy is not yet born. The fog carries us through. Float on the breath of the mist.

Wild Man

Monsieur, you are staid, professional, solid enough; quiet, muted.

Yet you are a wild man.

When you strip your clothes, the frenzy begins. How can such passion hide under a veneer smooth as the pin stripes in a suit?

I remember, and am awakening. Erotic energy rises like smoldering bush fire. In your absence.

For you are not here, only there.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Constructions

A new character has appeared, to whom the narrator is speaking. Without a name, or identification. Will he or she reveal themselves further? Or only remain in an antagonist position just out of view...

Do I hallucinate you? Who are you?

My hallucination of nature doesn't agree with your hallucination, that's all. Or to you it's not a hallucination, but reality, and you strengthen your position with references to nature writers and by being in a group who believe similarly.

Except it isn't. Reality, I mean. You're taking a position on reality, writing your own essay of it, complete with a thesis statement. Only it's all your thoughts on it, a master narrative, if you will, that continually runs through your mind shaping what you see according to the story you carry.

Which is fine, is good. We'd go mad without our stories. They cohere us, put us in social and historical context; they organize reality for us.

Reality probably needs organizing! For all I know about it.

Everything we can say about Nature, the original substratum, the wilderness is constructed.

Sure, bring the sun in. We don't know what 'sun' is anyway. It's just a word!

Whatever that is in what we call sky is not sun, light, right, might, sol invictus, or illumina...

___________________

Culture creates the overlay.

The overlay enables us to all live together, but it isn't true.

___________________

Can I burn under the artificial sun
in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Museum in London?
Will the fog
of the weather project
hide me?

light glancing

The waves of the ocean that I watch from the window move like imagination across the dreamscape.

Close your eyes, dream the world.

"...That summer all the world
was soul and water, light glancing off peaks."
Michael Sims

Friday, November 24, 2006

Wilderness

"I don't find anything out there. I find my own relation to the spaces. We see nature with our cultivated eyes. Again, there is no true nature, there is only your and my construct."
Olufur Eliason

You say the wilderness you walk in every day exists.

But you have named every tree, shrub, bird, insect. You move through a wilderness of labels, of theories of ecosystems, of words and images that describe it. You cohere this experience of wilderness; without you, it wouldn't exist.

How can we see but through our own perceptions? A trained and honed perceptual apparatus with its own caring, ethic and aesthetic.

Could we stumble blindly through the bush --- what would we see?

What of the feral child's experience of the wilderness --- raised by wolves, who move by scent and on all fours, who tear at the beating body of fur and blood with bared teeth?

There is only the subjective, the relational. How can there be an objective universe?

We create the world we live in.

It's emptiness.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hallucination

Mediating the world, ourselves. How can intentions expressed as words, as images, create the reality we are living?

Within the film of my life I create the story I am living.

That story also shapes outer events. The world coheres to my version of it.

Do you understand that
the world

is a mass hallucination?

That we have agreed
to hallucinate it this way
and we teach our children.

Weight

Weight of words, Monsieur.

Referring to what is just out of reach. Emotion, idea, situation, description, always approximating, never fully expressing what they create and shape. We are not feral. Culture moves through us, syncopates its rhythms in us, punctuates us.
veils of words and images drifting over the world

Fever

Was it that she'd always had a raging fever?

Does rage have a temperature, and had it now peaked, and was broken?

Tempest

She crawled along the key and decided not to give in.

When the winds subsided they stabilized her with intravenous fluids, medication. They checked her blood, ran a CAT scan, an MRI. In her stupour, she relented.

I could feel the tension of resistance dissipate and she became like a boxing glove gone limp. The stuffing disappeared. She could no longer hit; the psychic force of her anger gone.

Her black dress lay on the floor, salty and ragged. She looked strangely newborn in her hospital green gown. Unlike herself.

Only her fingernails were glaring red.

Would it build again, the tempest?

Perhaps.

Perhaps not.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Capture

I am most comfortable if you are lovingly diffident, sweet but often absent; yet I desperately need your ardour.

If you discard me, or appear to, for you never actually do, I am comfortable; if you don't, I panic, sending dozens of invisible arrows to scare you off, so you will shy away. My mixed messages, subliminal. No, I do not always do this knowingly. I'd like to stop, if only I knew how.

For me to be still, and not flee in every other thought, and be your woman is most difficult, even if I am perhaps your woman.

Capture terrifes me.

Like conventional relationships.

Love that is richly fantasized, and remains. Approaching but never arriving. Hidden in each other's lives. Intimacy, this dance of closeness. Which can't settle.
Can we roam through each other's hearts
like oceanic tides?

Fear

Monsieur, my fears?

It is the ancient fear of entrapment.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sea-Break

The sea wall, broached. The heaving ocean swells over it. Water flying in howling wind collapses the brick and mortar and concrete stays like pins. There is no barrior.

What is to keep her from sweeping out to sea, her black dress like a murder of crows flying about her?

Her eyes are lit with terror as the water rises, foaming.

She shrieks at the turbulent sky; her voice joins the screaming winds.

She is thin and flaps like a scarecrow.

She stands on an outcrop. The water swirls around her feet, but doesn’t wash her away. The rock holds her safe.

Her face a venom of fury
when she sees me.

What is it she desires?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Molten

The sky is molten, mon amour. A broil of clouds in my heart. How long can I wait?

In this silence in which I wait.

You cannot know, mon homme chéri.

For I do not wish to burden you.

A relational line, a trajectory, a specific set of connections, patterns, motions into. Fire of desire. The threads extinguish themselves in the smoldering flame. What is moving towards erases itself as it burns, charred, blown away in the wind.

Will you catch me?

Or will you let me pass by?

Money

If language mediates between the world and our visceral bodily sensations, is a discourse teaching us how to organize ourselves collectively, cohere us socially, shapes how we think and feel in our approach to reality, then money mediates similarly.

Money is the mediating transmission of the world we have created for our inhabitation.

Money flows as invisibly as language through the atmosphere, roaming the globe, making our world, enabling us to live, eat, work, support ourselves, our families, each other.

Money transferred to luxury cushions us against the harsh elements.

Money is our mediatrix.

The earth turns on its axis but the world turns on money, capital that sloshes through the global markets with the force of the daily oceanic tides.

Core

At the core, in the stock market, picking who you will support is as risky as any artistic venture, any poem-on-the-edge. Decide on what you will support – research, intuit, trust, leap. How is the support of each other’s business’s through purchase of stocks any different to the galleries that sell our work? Aren’t traders traders?

Investment is risky; art is risky. Of course there is the rote way, the safe way through the tried and true, but that’s not where the excitement is, nor the gains. Do we invest in our talent?

Intimacy

The weave of words that flows over the world: in the absence of the objects to which they refer; in the absence of the author who set them in their sequences on their journeys.

Phrases, sentences, paragraphs, flowing, flowing, on and on. Picked up and read, retained momentarily. Onward, joining, dispersing, shoals of words, tides of words, flowing through our consciousnesses, into our ears, our eyes, and out of our lips, from our fingertips.

The weave of words that weaves our world, shaping it into familiar patterns, without which it would all fall apart and yet which like a membrane separates us from reality. Mimicry. Artistry. Telling us how to see, how to be. The language that shapes us, shaping. Weave of words sculpting.

Is inseparable from time which structures us, organizes us into communal cohesion.

Who cares if we are carriers of the word, transmitters of culture?

The intimacy of love sighing, your lips
kissing you, I
melt in your mouth

Esoteric

the inner meaning of us, our relation,
cannot be grasped or apprehended in this language
or any other language
even the language of the heart

even as it structures our desire

Absence

Monsieur, you exist in your absence.
Not only that,
but you exist in my absence.

The nexus of you
renders love possible.

Which carries on without either of us.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Waves of Words

Words float under my rib cage, cascade over my heart, and waterfall down my body. It was invisible, but you knew. I could see you reading me.

Like a streak of fish, a discourse of signifiers referring to each other, signifiers whose identities are only their relations to other signifiers, an entire system mediating reality.

The colour; the ocean.

Floating like thought.

But, then.

The discourse into which we are born is a discourse of love, at the depths. Never mind the story.

Love creates itself.

What else do we need?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coiled

In the vision behind my vision I see a helmet of hair of tightly coiled serpents. They are alive but they are the colour of alabaster. Why are they tightly coiled around her statuesque head? Do they grow from her scalp or do they merely cling to her head? What do they eat? Realism is not the point of myth, I remind myself.

As I move somnolently through the world of banking and investment, I hear hissing. It is like my muse is calling. In this number-drenched world of income, or how we survive communally.

Do an aesthetic of art and an aesthetic of finance arise from the same roots?

What does the Gorgon want? Why is she imaging here?

Writhing, coiling in these numbered halls
papered with endless account statements...

All-Seeing

When he stood, in the peace of post-coital stillness, and said, 'I want to destroy you,' she waged a battle for her life for the next 15 years.

No-one emerged unscathed.

She rose, a soot-blackened woman, from the fine layers of silted taupe ashes, with scorched feet, able to see in all directions.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Desire

Monsieur, who am I in your desire? I laugh, no, you don't have to answer. Who you are in my desire is perhaps what I should consider. Yet don't we imagine ourselves through our fantasy of what the other sees in us?

Can I see myself as you would see me?

The gaze is whose gaze? And what is desire, Monsieur?

Desire is more than a fantasy; it is a will towards, a propulsion. Desire materializes us.

Eros is flowing differently now, the topography's changed, or the flow of the meridians is irrigating me differently.

Desire materializes us only to
dematerialize us.
It's a paradox, mon amor.

I incarnate deeply into my errogenous body
as I disperse under your touch, turn molten.
Until we are nothing
but pulsing
filaments
lit by each other's passion.

But I imagine this, Monsieur. In the space of desire where my fantasies enact.

Envy

What is the face that envy wears? When we compare ourselves to others do we feel our lack - is that what it is? How does the desire to undo, shred, tear, dislocate, decimate the other not out of retribution for anything they have done to you, but because they are more successful than you in whatever ways you care about. Perhaps they hold the affection or the honour you wish for; perhaps they are wealthy when you are not; perhaps they command the attention you can't.

What is the face envy wears and how do we see its dark motive? Why is it a hidden face that we don't recognize until we find ourselves crying amid the ruin of our lives?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Plumbing Story

Today was an inadvertent plumbing day... I butter-knifed out a huge amount of 'park mud' from my 'dog walking boots' right into the bathroom sink that is our kitchen sink.. little worms of solid black mud from the treads... tons of mulched muddy stuff, squashed leaves... yeah, it eventually plugged... oh, sigh... being a woman, ya know, I got the toilet plunger... the one that's like an accordion and squished... it usually does the job... but the sink started projectile vomiting... out the little drain hole near the top... it was really gross.

Black swamp-reeking mud on the wall, all over everything... bleuchheckt... but I plunged away.

Bein' a woman, ya know.

Stubborn one, though. Would not call a man for help, nor let the landlord know.

It was good and plugged. I used a cup to empty the sink of brown water. Maybe I swore a bit too. Probably, especially 'cause my hair wasn't tied back and tended to cover my whole head so I couldn't see and who'd want to touch it with the gucky rubber gloves? Blehuchettt....

Eventually I went to look for the landlord's wrench and it was missing! Maybe the sweet carpenter who took 3 days to put in a door to our apartment took it? Or maybe the landlord has it hidden somewhere upstairs.

Damn. I'd have to ask for help. BUT... remember what my sculptor friend who is a renovator said... the steps... put a bucket underneath... turn off the taps... done... then unscrew... they undid rather too well... and the pipes vomited black mud all over the floor, well not too badly... then I found it... a solid snake of vegetable bits, hair, gawd-knows-what-else and a FORK, a FORK!... how'd the damn thing drained so well before the mud-cleaning boots exercise I have no idea...

Cleaned it all out, scrubbed the wall with ajax, the counter, the sink, the bath (where I'd been throwing everything), threw stuff in the washing machine, etc... but the pipe leaks! A little. Bucket for now. There's a plumber's store nearby, ah ha... and I plan a foray into it to ask for plumber's goo, some kind of thick greasy stuff I have in my imagination that you put where the pipes screw together that will seal them... and plan to do this while avoiding the inevitable 'Would you like a plumber? This guy's not working right now and he can help you....'

And being the independent woman that I am, intend to finish this job myself. Without calling any male friends, "Boo hoo... my drain was plugged but I'm proud to say I cleared it... but the elbow pipe-thingy leaks... help!"

Sigh.

The water is running fine. Jest fine.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Gaze

Yesterday,
the bus stop,
all the people's heads
turned, watching.

Gaze of anxiety.

The blind woman tapping
her way forward.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Clarity

Loud rapping at the top of the small escalator, on the old, mottled stone floor. Transit riders, hearing the commotion, turn to another series of stairs. It is dark up there. I am tired, climb up.

She is at the top, agitated.

Black wool coat, skin pale as glazed porcelain, hair so black light disappears into it, mid-length, curly. Eyes half-closed, a bluish light. She smacks the white-tipped cane hard, like a weapon, this baton-feeler of the terrain of the ground of the subway tunnels. "Where's the exit? Why won't anyone help me? Where's the ticket-taker?" She is hitting the cane perilously close to the top of the escalator when I guide her away.

"What are you looking for? A train?"

"No! I want to get out of here! Why won't anyone help me?!"

She is on the wrong floor. She becomes more flustered when she discovers she was given wrong directions. I guide her to the elevator, press the button. When the door opens I guide her in, press the button for the upper floor. All the while I tell her what we are doing. I ask no questions of her. After we ascend and the doors open, I take her to the exit, and, holding her shoulders, point her to the way out. I worry about her vulnerability, and wish I had time to ensure she gets wherever it is she is going.

My bus arrives 5 or 10 minutes later and as we pull out of the station I see her, having only gone perhaps 500 yards on the sidewalk, hair flying wildly with her flapping coat in the high wind, tapping the sidewalk with staccato jabs, finding her way despite.

That she cannot see
is clear.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Amour Doux

My consciousness is dissembling, Monsieur. Where I lay flew apart while composing itself.

Like an overflowing equilibrium; please forgive me for saying this abstractly when I know you prefer poetry. But it was the way words carved the experience, even as they shifted it from sensation to representation. What can embody the wetness or the absolute dryness? How can the world of forms be so liquid?

Monsieur! I would never speak in riddles to you. Stop laughing. Why do you call me delightfully irreverent? How do you know Socrates wouldn't enjoy such puns? Besides, I don't mean in any absolute or invisible ways; nor as semiotic symbol. The 'noumenon of the phenonemon'? Sort of, yes... even if you're silly! As long as they're both the same, that is.

The forms of the world are like a waterfall that constantly changes yet maintains its pattern. Does that help?

You're making me laugh, mon amor. What do you mean, Niagara Falls is eroding itself into disappearance? Sweet love, perhaps that's it.

Afterall, I was floating stably, feeling the tenuousness of the deeper permanence of existence, an existence that will ultimately fragment and float away.

Changes are rising through the layers of my life. No, Monsieur, oh vous charmez, but I was not referring to layers of sheets. I slept and woke into another perception of reality. It was as if the continents of my life were floating. It was as if they were floating lotuses. Without knowing, or attitudes, or opinions, or any way to comprehend the flux. Where was the ground?

Flux? Oh, you make me giggle, Heraclitean, sure. Or Relativistic time and space that is itself fluxes of events that unfold, close, open, shift, metamorphose, glide, disperse, flow and hold still.

Energy is the ecstasy of form. Do you not agree?

Yes, amour doux, I do remember those enfolded nights of ecstasies.

Yes, I was alone, as always. Why do you, who are so far away, care? I woke into heat with the goldenness of the sun all around, only it was night, the softness of vellum cotton sheets . I always think of you! Why do you ask? In the world that is a series of intersecting, coalescing systems, nothing can be gained or lost. No, not like the stock market; Monsieur, you are silly tonight!

It's the momentum of things, forever oscillating.

The Ground of Being, mon amor, is no ground at all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Landscape Figure

BrendaClewsLandscapeFigureBlog

The drawing was one of the first and done quickly, a 'throw-away,' but some acrylic matte medium (Ester's tip, thanks!), and then oil paint, and she's become a landscape figure, or, bear with me, with hints of bones and layers of sediment, a geology of paint. The model in the lifedrawing class last week was a beautiful woman, a dancer, but sitting naked before a room of artists, sometimes she wanted to cover herself... I like the modesty here, it makes the figure in her nakedness through whom the landscape of paint moves more vulnerable.

(click for larger image)

Landscape Figure, 2006, india ink, acrylic matte medium, oil paint on archival paper, 13.5"x9".

Monday, November 06, 2006

Strengthen

Strengthen

Ways to defend oneself, ideas, beliefs, essence without over-riding the accuser. Instead of fleeing into fissures, withdrawing into a shell, masking with silence, remaining while rushing away, the wave rose, high, surging in sunlight, milky green underside, proud, and defended.

Sighting

Those on the beach throwing rocks and sharp shell bits and driftwood at the strange fish flopping out of the water, stopping, acknowledging, backing off.

Untouched, not harmed.

Having met, and met the fear of difference, like two obverse cultures reckoning with each other. One half-submerged, gasping water and air, the other, only air-sucking.

On the shore, where they met. Waves tore the air.

No-one was hurt; the shouting group withdrew from the edge.

The flopping into the coiling wave as it drew back.

A miracle; they called it a miracle sighting,
that day.

Stare

Eyes that stare. Impassive, in the rocking cars of the underground subways, brown or blue, tiny, beady, at young women. Seated, watching. Unwavering, bleak.

Her glistening, manicured curls, gym-toned lithe body, tight jeans or skirts, tiny butt-geared jackets, dusted with golden glow.

Energetic, ambitious, sweet. Cadences of voices on phones when the cars break out of the earth and glide on metal tracks under the vast sky.

Old, heavy, arthritic, hair like grey wire. If one could suck beauty in through such fixed, harsh eyes. Beauty would be siphoned out of that diaphanous thing sitting so lightly on the seat, oblivious. But events will mark her too, face of powdered crevices, make-up collecting in the networks of wrinkles, the soft sagging skin. Time, the last revenge.

I want to place mirrors before those who stare. I think it is the dreadful reality of those who are no longer. I try to understand why the generations do this to each other. Cold, impassive, unsmiling stare.

Jealousy.

Bitterness, it’s terrible face.

Undo it! Take off the masque! Dear Mother! I beseech!

Chains

I don’t know why she stalks the seawall, stopping, staring at the unmoving horizon. Perhaps she is waiting, remembering. Her furious, angry eyes, forlorn. Was her heart broken, and then re-broken before it mended?

Her arms of black lace, her black brocade skirt, she dresses as if from another century, the red silk scarf at her neck like a flag of conquest, of the surrendered, broken heart.

She paces; she stops.

Sometimes she screeches. Gulls land on her shoulders. Sand flies in her black, wind-streamed hair. Earrings the colour of ripe cherries dangle from her earlobes. Spray wets her tear-swollen face.

If you talk to her, she will stare blankly, or scream at you.

Attack, belittle, accuse.

It is best to let her pace. The white cuffs of waves chain enough.

Unpossessed

I have no reason not to believe you, Monsieur. You, who are cosmopolitan, a superb lover.

Fresh oranges in the Agean Sea;
Hot Springs in Banff; or Ikaria, Greece;
Paris for art, or New York,
and women.

Monsieur, we could explore the erotique, except you are not here. Words dance in the air. Across the space of tables, phones, pages or screens. The ceaseless flow of loving language caressing, licking me with tongues of fire, yet without touching. Sometimes I understand you prefer the intimacy of distance.

You are far away, listening.

Nobody can have me; I cannot have anybody. It is a reality, mon amor.

Eclipse

Dance of the fragmented body. Dance intimately with the soles of your feet, or your ankles, or the ripped cartilage of your knees. Follow your elbows around the room, these points of bone strongest. Dance with the hormones of your endocrine system, the muscles of your gluteus maximus, or your biceps, or your inner ear. Heal your sexuality while you gyrate your hips. Dance your smile, or the nails on your fingers and toes. Writhe around your belly button. Or face the music and dance as if your body is on fire and you are disappearing into spirit. Dance like the Gods are watching you; or they are inside dissembling you. Dance an orgasm full and deep. Eclipse into yourself, rhythm of wholeness for a fragmentary moment.

Then breathe in twelve perfect breaths: circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, urinary. Twelve systems of the body, like the twelve hours in the days that follow nights that rhythm your circadian, or the twelve months that form one year of living.

Then lie down.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Braille

Braille

A pose from a lifedrawing session, and I added one of the early "Monsieur" pieces...

(click for larger size)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Two Women Who Are the Same

Two Women Who Are the Same

Lifedrawing class last night. Not too far from here. A group who have become friends, so a nice feeling of camaraderie. Anyway, the drawing that I coloured late into the night didn't turn out too well. But in the morning there is Photoshop! I played, drank coffee, ate breakfast, played. My daughterly critic rushing off to school didn't think the digital version tooo bad, so here it is. Perhaps I'll see if the drawing can emulate the digital version tonight - if it works, I'll post it. Promise.