Month: May 2020
Caveat: Art #35
I think this was an exercise in my art class at the University of Minnesota from 1988. It’s a little bit Chuck Closean.
Caveat: Poem #1400 “An excursion in the boat”
ㅁ A fleet of otters Took possession of waters Just east of San Juan We saw some whales there In the small cove at Black Beach Diving and spouting An eagle was perched On a stone near an alder Supervising things Oceanic swells Crept up Ursua Channel Tasting all the boats Jellyfish sliced by Reflecting sporadic light Through the greenish murk Some white bellied ducks Swam in lazy formation Amid stray sparkles The surging sea rolled At San Ignacio's south Gnawing fine gray rocks The sun hid itself The clouds made intricate plans To send us their rain Another eagle Floated above the whitecaps Then knelt; caught a fish No fish saw our hooks Instead we dreamed about them The sea sang its depths
– a collection of pseudo-haiku forming stanzas in a longer poem.
Caveat: Tree #514
Caveat: Art #34
This is a giant chair that I saw in a dream in the mid 2010’s. It’s pretty minimalist, but I felt it represented something important at the time.
I’ve been a bit bleaugh, these last few days. I suppose that is evident reading between the lines of this blog thingy.
It’s a feeling of low creativity, and not much inclined to solve problems or progress on any of my projects.
Such as it goes. Arthur stuggles with his computer, daily. I have my own obsessions and struggles with my computer work, but they involve less cussing and yelling and violently slamming the table than he prefers, and more just moodily contemplating my stuckness. I’m a bit stuck with some configuration stuff on my servers. They’re working, but I’m seeing reliability issues I can’t figure out or solve. So I’m just plodding along.
Caveat: Poem #1399 “Snails”
ㅁ Snails have found radish leaves in my garden. They are so happy. Still, the radishes grow. The snails rush from leaf to leaf. The radishes seem unconcerned: new leaves appear daily to feed snails.
Caveat: Tree #513
Caveat: Art #33
This is yet another of that series of obsessions with implausible architecture from the late 1980’s.
Caveat: Poem #1398 “Against poetry”
Caveat: Tree #512
Caveat: Art #32
I think I published this on my blog before. It was from a dream I had, I think around 2011. I can’t find it on the blog. But here it is. A freaky dream.
Caveat: Poem #1397 “Guardian”
ㅁ I was told I was quite eccentric. This was in this dream I was in. My friend Bob was there, talking. He had an unreal farm. There were outbuildings. Within, some boats. A woman. She slept. Safe.
Caveat: Tree #511
Caveat: Art #31
This is something I drew around 1995. I messed around with crayons a lot – because that’s when Jeffrey had a lot of crayons around, and I would join him and Michelle in drawing sessions. This is just random daydreams and objects, but I like the “Mayan television” motif.
Caveat: Poem #1396 “The long view”
ㅁ Yes. It's true - what they say: I am a tree. Let's focus on that. I cling to the damp earth. The skies taunt me day and night. I'll get at them any year now. The days are like seconds spinning by.
Caveat: Tree #510
This is the tree that was in flames last August. I think, now, that it will not survive.
[daily log: walking, 2km; boat-driving, 30nm]
Caveat: Gone fishin’
Art gazes out toward home, because no fish where hungry for hooks today. We got a few ugly red snappers – which is good whitefish but bony. But no halibut nor salmon. In the picture we were at the (not-so-) auspiciously-named Shipwreck Reef.
Earlier we’d been along the east side of San Juan Island and then down around Tranquil Point and Estrella Bay.
The clouds were nice.
Caveat: Art #30
Caveat: Poem #1395 “Scaling back expectations”
ㅁ So I sat to have breakfast, and I thought, "I might have sought to persist... sigh... exist."
Caveat: Tree #509
Caveat: Art #29
I did this ink drawing of the house I grew up in, in Arcata – typically known among family and friends as the “A Street House” – because it’s on A Street. That’s why, when someone asks, “What street did you grow up on?” I can say with a high degree of specificity that I grew up on a street.
The drawing is not from life, but rather from a photograph. Further, it’s a quite old photograph. My recollection is that the photograph was taken in the 1940’s or 1950’s, before my parents bought the house in 1965, and probably before their predecessors bought it too. The house was built in 1909 or 1911 (I can’t remember which) by a man named Cosmo Stiglich, one of the many Croatian-Americans to settle in East Arcata before WW2. My understanding is that the house stayed in the Stiglich family until the 1950’s, when the Hendrickson’s bought it, who later sold it to my parents.
Anyway, I guess that would be one of the Stiglichs’ little Model A Coupe in front of the house.
Caveat: its heart ticks perfectly unfretfully among the trees
Poem with No Children In It Instead, the poem is full of competent trees, sturdy and slow-growing. The trees live on a wide clean lawn full of adults. All night, the adults grow older without somersaulting or spinning. They grow old while thinking about themselves. They sleep well and stay out late, their nerves coiled neatly inside their grown bodies. They don’t think about children because children were never there to begin with. The children were not killed or stolen. This is absence, not loss. There is a world of difference: the distance between habitable worlds. It is the space that is unbearable. The poem is relieved not to have to live in it. Instead, its heart ticks perfectly unfretfully among the trees. The children who are not in the poem do not cast shadows or spells to make themselves appear. When they don’t walk through the poem, time does not bend around them. They are not black holes. There are already so many nots in this poem, it is already so negatively charged. The field around the poem is summoning children and shadows and singularities from a busy land full of breathing and mass. My non- children are pulling children away from their own warm worlds. They will arrive before I can stop them. When matter meets anti-matter, it annihilates into something new. Light. Sound. Waves and waves of something like water. The poem’s arms are so light they are falling upward from the body. Why are you crying? - Claire Wahmanholm (American poet)
This poem was published just yesterday, in the poem-a-day publication I receive via email. It affected me more than most.
The poet says she wrote the poem as a “thought experiment.” She asked, “Could I, just over the course of a poem, inhabit a parallel universe where I never had children?”
So why did this poem affect me? Because it struck me as the inverse of an exercise I’ve engaged in many times: can I inhabit a parallel universe where I did have children? I remember a very, very vivid dream I had, a week or two out of the ICU after my cancer surgery. I wrote about it here. The dream was brief but full of “back story” – within the dream. It was like living an entire, parallel life – a life in which in which I had children. I awoke heartbroken. This poem invoked in me a recollection of that dream and its psychological aftermath. I’d call it one of my “top ten” dreams of my entire life.
Caveat: Poem #1394 “No one is watching”
ㅁ The tree was leaping into the sea. It tangled its branches, flailing. The sea was indifferent. Eagles were witnesses. The tree's roots were caught. Moss rode its flanks. The clouds watched. Birds sang. Jump!