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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Stepping stones...

each stepping stone is complete in itself
it needs no tread for justification.
True, it plays well
with the boys and girls
and close companions
but
it is probably better understood
as a mountain in the stream.






Sometimes, perhaps,
seen as a part of the journey
its inherent qualities can be overlooked
as part of a process
functional
rather than a complete system
like the weather
or stars and stripes
signposted pictures in an exhibition
notes on the staff
or mathematical formulae
serving to move us on
rather than
encouraging stopping
watch and listen
to discover
to realise
(make (things) real)man!)).

the thing is, it’s all in a state of flux - except the static bits...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Nearly there...

Memory reveals what memory remembers through a lifetime of filtering and inter-contextualising, juxtaposing and just supposing, until its ossification leaves sometimes brittle bones of painful memories as hides or skins flayed from life’s experience. Mocking like some Aegean parody the smoke blackened gold of Jason’s fleece caught in the thorn bush of my mind.



Have I journeyed for this?
Is this all there is?
What of taking and bringing back?
How ever will the next journey start?
what omens or signs will point the way?
how will decisions be made?
how is my new life including or excluding possibilities?
when will the time be right?
Will I look to the stars
the clouds?
The weather-woman on the telly?
Or deep into my heart?

What’s in the box?

1. a typewriter ribbon
2. the buddha
3. a book "The Artificial Kingdom"
4 a paintbrush
5. glasses
6. pva glue
7. an emery board
8. a canvas panel
9. an easel
10. my belly
11. a slipper
12. bank paper (500 sheets)
13. a vice
14. brass eyes
15. dust
16. a holey stone
17. a pencil
18. a photograph
19. driftwood
20. a screwdriver.

Funny how some things get an ‘a’ before them like ‘a’ screwdriver and driftwood doesn’t.

I wonder, however, will the final journey start?




Thursday, 12 May 2011

Cian The Celtic Warrior

the thing is

shortly after I met my travelling companion,
I had to buy his services and he came
somewhat grudgingly
from his foster parent charity shop;
(Ubi Caritas et famen deus ibi est)
I met Cian the warrior
cutting and slashing his way through the waterfall
in Derby market place.
His mum, the wisest of women,
stayed not the lad’s hand
nor yet his bold temperament
as he, with soaking jeans
and trainers oozing watery evidence
of engagement with endless
and formidable enemy horde
took arms against
an imagined sea of troubles
his reward
- a gingerbread-man
a true hero’s companion.

Monday, 9 May 2011

and then...

wondering about it all
watching for the signs
they come in many guises
sometimes on the wind
sometimes in the weather
sometimes skin
bone tooth
and claw
a good wine by the waterfall
bread and cheese
good company
and sometimes
the maker of the starry skies
looks at me through the eyes
of all who have ever loved me.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Have you seen the work of...?



finally, does it ever end
finally the penny drops...
this question the bane of every student of art


the thing is
when ‘they’
say HAVE YOU SEEN THE WORK OF…
'they' are being helpful - but don’t say why -
and you say;
what about my work?
or you say;
yes I have seen the work of;
what about my work?

and it seems like 'they' are trying to stick a sock in your baby voice
just as the first words tumble out…
you want to be original but you don’t know what that is
and you don’t know why
or maybe you know for certain
or maybe you have an inkling
whatever
but you know
it’s very important for some reason.

Sadly,
though there are clues
dots if you like
for you to join up,
you may not recognise them.

Here’s the secret;
it’s academic art
that’s it
and academic art can only live within discourse
so you need to know who else write, paints sculpts, installs, performs, dances, dreams, thinks, draws, philosophizes like you,
or you like them to be more accurate
or perhaps not,
then you can explore how they thought, what they did, how they did it, why they did it
what were their concerns and intentions, who were their influences and what was their form
this is so that you can enter into a dialogue with 'them'
and through this dialogue discover
if you like
how your work is the same and how it is different.

It stops your work being cliche
and enables both you and them ’them’ to place you work
have an idea where it sits
develop a shared language
learn how that language works
how words,
slippery worms, of communication,
work in this context
this common ground

it’s a good thing!

BUT beware…

it may be a good thing for ‘them’ more than you.
once placed, it enables ‘them’ to judge your work in relation to it
let me give an example.
Imagine an early student of physics getting in and out of the bath and discovering the displacement of water, who then rushes off to share the discovery with the science teacher.
We’ll say nothing of apples acorns and conkers falling from trees - you get the idea.

The upshot is that the student is told that someone got there before -
So take heart - ‘Have you seen the work of…”
is really shorthand for,

“Your work is really interesting, you have reached deep inside and produced this, and that’s good. I am aware of other budding artists, scientists mud wrestlers who have discovered a similar way to yours. If you look at their work it will enable and empower you to engage in a dialogue which will eventually move you forward, for example have you seen the work of…”

but life is short and ‘they’ have their own agendas, so you just get the end bit.

What interests me is who has looked at how this phenomena works -
How is it that I can produce, without “knowing the work of” work similar “to the work of”?
What's the mechanism - is there one by which two individuals - so called - are gifted with the same breath of life?
I’ll slope off now
reminding you that you signed up for the course
thereby inventing a world in which it can be easy to lose yourself
and your grip on whatever reality is, hopefully,
and asking myself the question,
“Have you seen the work of Alfred Korzybski and time binding?”

Hopefully some passing cyber-surfing-junkie reading this will comment by saying... "Have you seen the work of..."

Thanks Gary and Alfred.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Concerning Method

somewhere - ?
sometime - ?
turn round three times (pause)
cough,
type a list
roll the dice
spin the wheel

(open the first ob-servant envelope);

Ask of the clouds - or similar

(open the second questing envelope);

'What shall we eat today?' - or similar

Deliver a timed -?
rant, raided from the unconscious to my travelling companion.
Type a sonnet
etc.

Participant /observer false dichotomy;
The cow pat has a megaphone and I can speak through it!
Thanks Dave


Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Timber!

12 off 9 x 1.5 x 2.4m
2 off 8 x 4 exterior grade plywood sheets
3 off 3 x 3 2.8m
10 off 2 x 1 x 20'
3 off metaposts
1 off 10m roll HD roofing felt
500g galv felting nails
3 off 2 x 2 x 3m
all wood 'treated'.

£191.92

lost and confused a bit...

the days are being lost now
in a confusion of disability
smack smack
I can never remember being smacked
that’s all I remember
no love
as such
exterior marks of a confused god
interior wounds attendant
some 60 years on
forget it
let go
approach the vastness of the open heart
with the same generosity you would now
if you only knew how.
The human spirit is not rational it is a repository of
feelings and impressions
stirred and evaporated with the intention of
alchemy
open to all and sundry
we are from dust and bear the marks
of kneading fired in the furnace of life
carded wool
spun and woven in some pattern we acquiesce to
partake somehow
in a confused and confusing self indulgenced hymn to wisdom
torn between tent and town
we take our fellow earth and create a city
from its entrails
not counting the cost
save in our insecurity
masking our confusion with golden smile
having all the comfort of a hard shiny surface
I do not know that there is meaning in anything
nor that anything can be learnt
observation
watching waiting for the tiger
gatekeeper of the mirage
come to meet me in the desert
I pray that I will have the resources to
deal with his questions
pass the test
drink the
vintage glass of sand.

I can smell seaweed.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Halfway House

How difficult
to live
in the moment
being present
still
silent
hearing
through the din
the persistent hum of creation.


silence
never quiet
constant whisper, hidden
unearthed by being still in time
pardon?



Stillness
recycled truth
wrapped in blanket
muffled sounds emerge
smothered cries
mu mu ma mu
hiss

void eclipsing silence of…
nothingness
taken for granted
wholly mother of God
mu mu ma mu
hiss

see me
tainted by the hand of God
unable to wrestle free
embraced
mu mu ma mu
hiss


Unable to resolve the situation, our intrepid hero gives in to the temptation to state a position.
Little more than the gurgling of a weaning child in arms, his utterance belies his frailness and yet determination to articulate, as only he can in his position, what only he knows.
inconsolable now as, misunderstood nothing happens as a result - there is no response of any kind and the day goes by and the night draws on and the night draws on.
He makes a battle cry:
By the sweat on my fevered brow
I curse this affliction of language longing for the day!

Take it with a pinch of salt
look to your own belly and its yearnings my friend
lest the loaf-lord make you a wretch like me
forced now to wander and live by my wit as poet and sage.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Best get sorted then...

first stab at training session - decided to walk to mum's this morning and back, she'd gone to Mass so it meant a quick turn around so that's about 4.5 miles this morning and about the same this afternoon with rucksack and picnic and friendly accompaniment.
Did some stretches when I got back have a few more routes planned. I need to build up to 10 miles in the morning and ten miles in the afternoon on two consecutive days.
Will do it tomorrow too so that will be about twenty miles in two days which is a good base to start from.
best extrapolate the above into a chart of sorts.
It's good to have started.
It's become a thing now.
New walking gear works a treat.