Category: Art


Empty Frames: [ ]

degenerate art
unsanctioned
unbefitting
destroyed

ashen remnants
invisible work
painted along
history’s corridors

An open letter to the Beats:

to you who are anathematic to propriety
constantly risking absurdity
killing our darlings!!!
ambitiously invoking a new vision
you monsters that dance upon our graves

in pyrotechnic hallucinogenic gyrations
scored by DJs from another galaxy
decked out in divinely comedic glow paints
you who dive bomb our discourses
like fuck is a neologism of your own devising

rattling and tearing down cages of perception
unleashing amphetamine pumped diction
cartwheeling descriptors of obscene nature
you who jump jive a dirty boogie
and get all up in our lexical junk

honestly, we, the venerated few of the dead poets society,
blame you for all this foul-mouthed, Piss Christ postmodernism
for turning poetry into a god forsaken jumble sale
in the name of liberty or revolution or adolescent angst
you killed Kenny and refuse to respect our authority!!!

please consider this your death threat, hate mail,
anthrax-laced, redacted funding letter from the NEA
your kick to the curb or the road or whatever
rock you crawled out from under, stoned,
because we’re not gonna take it anymore!!!

Note: I had a bit of tongue in cheek fun with Gay’s fantastic prompt on the Beat Poets at dVerse.

Daedalus & His Muse

Olivier de Sagazan

Olivier de Sagazan

for David Chamberlain, Jr.
(inspired by his series of
Labyrinth poems)

here in the wilderness
encountering my fierce nature
thoughts lignify into woodcuts
thousands of barren landscapes
inculcating a melancholic picture

odd trees with finger thin branches
veiled in snow, grasping at the sky
painting blue stars in an empty heaven
I mourn what is irretrievably lost
something raw and enigmatic
written in my cathexis of longing

awash in an inaccessibility of meaning
I writhe sideways like an angry cobra
forming chalk outlines of the labyrinth
liquid mind streaming in slumber
an emulsion of ether, untethered

sands around me shift, amnesiac
creating fragments of identity masks
that reveal dreamtime spent in a desert
chasing my Minotaur shadow

there in the darkness I meet a Seer
who prophesizes my true nature
chained, I walk with two spirits
sorrow and pain expressing
nightshades of unborn ruin

I am merely the center-point
King Theseus of this lost tribe
ragged wanderer in exile
painting symbols in blood
a sediment of iconography
upon the walls of history

until Ariadne arrives like a mirage
finds me in the dreamworld maze
haunting the zero hour, engaged
in games of ritualistic sacrifice
and deftly cauterizes my wound

her sacred arts of magic
secure my inerasable love
offering an orgiastic thread,
triune passport to paradise
a string of beautiful words
creating an utterly pure tale
to reconstruct the mythic life
of my glorious and terrible wings

Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

Book with Wings by Anselm Kiefer

‘The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable
in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things
in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible.’*

I exist in the abstract vector (impure) space
between the mortal and the divine
within this night of broken glass
where there are no mutually exclusive states

in a profound paradox encapsulated
by a series of spectral lines
superluminal small heavens (within)
embodying the nature of light

restless remnant of a tattered whole
(oracle) of four dimension spacetime notation
carrying a universal wound of broken stories
in my native tongue, mathematics

imaginary world of leaden transformation
an enchanted map leading me on a path
between genius and madness
antimatter colliding in a book with wings

(space & time)/(momentum & energy)
coexisting potential alchemical matrices
uncertain relations in superposition
oscillating ash of solitude and union

*Paul Dirac

Fortune One

let’s make a corporate baby
white collar sex crime to
become Gods of limited liability,
conceptual artist creators

launch a Kickstarter campaign
to attract early angel investors
book him his own reality show
with a recurring cast of characters

imagine a secret R&D department
Google’s gonna solve death
but who’s covering life
in 24/7 high def wish fulfillment

he’ll command the stage with all
the rights & privileges of a real boy
Enron asks us: ‘Why, asshole?’
to explore what it feels like

(from the inside) to be wealthy,
entitled, and largely immune,
reliving every boy’s wet dream:
to be the King of Versailles

join the nouveau-riche yacht club
arrive in style in a Embraer Phenom 300
he’ll be the top of his Ivy league class in a
burgeoning (oc)cult of accumulation

we’ll reenact hostile takeovers of legend
(exotic dancers will party at the mansion)
he’ll cum on fraud-laden, creative,
quarterly reports until he just can’t do it anymore

sparking corporate espionage in far-away places
off shore accounts to sink a nation
(all in the name of performance art)
super star risk takers of global proportions

Radical Eye

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei

he creates an underground black book
covert artist communication device
white, grey covers with adventurous
distribution (psst- gallery goers)

‘wanna incite the subversion
of state power?’ only eleven years
in prison – hooligan tactics to
counter sanctioned criminal acts

Sichuan earthquake topples tofu construction
in a cover up of her seven happy years
child victims dismembered by indifference
mauled and devalued into a state secret
making mourning subversive

police beat propaganda into the skull
of a poet’s son who turns technology
against them – fuck the motherland
this revolution will be twitterized

in Beijing, Mao Chow the cat opens a door
but never closes it behind him
slinking through a surveillance state
exhibiting an uncooperative attitude

a ghost passes him on the street
whispering the names of children
in an act of remembrance

Transmission Lost

Fallen Angel by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1981

Fallen Angel by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1981

Music by David Chamberlain, Jr., poetry by Anna Chamberlain, and the lyric ‘all we ever wanted to say was chased erased and then blown away’ is from the Janelle Monae song, Many Moons. Hit play above, this is a spoken word piece.

The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The Triumph of Death by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

I speak now to the audience in your head
not the voice that reads this line
(nor the voice that speaks alongside it)
but instead to the part of you
that observes the voice,
(hush now)
watch the unfolding theater:

here is an excursion of the artist into war
from the safety of the mind’s constructs
(you will not have to take a stance)
so you, the observer,
have assurances
double indemnity

Pina choreographs the performers
writhing masterfully among the corpses
wrap flesh around their toes
to raise on point
(incongruous)

upon a beach invaded
by the long dead
(whale song)
marching to the sacred shrine
(come away)
the listening shores rebound

hand-held spotlight illuminates
an iron triangle against the
politics of a graffiti sky
jagged edges slice the dancers
(to operatic pleas)

she stands alone
undulating arms
(come away)
frenetic, kinetic shapes
haunt in liminal space
(collapsing)
consume your ideas,
bury your children

confront the psychology of obstacles
strewn across a room within a world,
a café, a memory, a drama
(inextricable motion)
painting your psyche,
(behind the fourth wall)

bid the virtues,
bid the graces
(come)
daughters of art

cry your overflowing river of dust
a rite of spring granting muddied feet
to reclaim the earth of this stage

incursions into our perspectives
wormholes to exquisite pain
(as I write to you)
of this excursion
of the artist
into war

we close the door (castaways)
seaweed tossed by the storm
mimicking the dance
emotive intensity whirls
in the roar

violent intent permeates Nature,
from whom we learn not
seeing with closed eyes

you hear my voice, your voice,
the observer draws horrific pictures
for your inner sight
you travel, exploring this interior
view of war

at a remove that fans out
like a house of mirrors
dancers mime

(terror)

(exhaustion)

(bloodlust)

death

Pina Bausch

Pina Bausch 1940-2009

Depth of Field

Public domain

Public domain

resurrected starlight invents cinema
erotic imagination projections
on larger than life screens

mimetic art form
redefining life
and its observation

illusion of motion
cut scene magic
within the festival of lights

beacon of ideas
revolutionizing societies
auteurs of phantom rides

ghost images to
ignite ethical compassion
unveil humanity

close up transitions
create natural intimacy
resonate with voyeurs

audience insights blooming
with the actor’s realization
wide eyed neo-language

its adepts infusing images
with eros, editing the story,
expanding the possible

in a radius defined by aperture
limited and standardized by
35 millimeter film gauge

establishing shots for a new history
intercuts surpassing theater
fragmented space of interiority

conceptual leaps create
sublime, psychological enigmas
human counterparts enacting

the lifecycle of stars
nebulas, supernovas, and black holes,
hype, fame and tragedy

grace, luxury, and sexual tension
in rapturous movie palaces
atmospheric colors heightening

glamour birthed by shape-shifting
purveyors of fantasies,
Hollywood lawbreakers

studio sets creating reality
scrubbing the world clean
of the marginalized

contrasted by dissidents slicing
an eye, a suggestive sea urchin
burning in lava flows of psychosis

yet its legacy lies instead
in the fundamentally humanizing
activity of poetic arcs:

in desperation a young girl
ties leaves to branches to save her sister
from a death foretold when they fall

an intruder stumbles upon an
abused wife, humbling the husband
and helps her fractured self become whole

a bereaved mother cannot
bear the sight of a family of mice
killed by the neighbor’s cat

as an orchestra must disband
its cellist becomes an undertaker,
Shinto ritual bearer for the dead

a grieving widower travels across
the world to engage
Butoh and finds peace

angels bear witness to the trials
of the living, recording their lives until one
becomes mortal from an abundance of love

an aging couple visiting their grown children
find them too busy, leaving their wellbeing
in the hands of a widowed daughter-in-law

through the poetry of these films,
drifting pictures, thoughts, and experiences
we arrive at the carnival of arts

light captured to illuminate our inner worlds
showing us how to love, mourn, and grow,
to spin art from the raw materials of our lives

1309063696

Creation

Seraphina (Oil, mixed media 2013)

Seraphina (Oil, mixed media 2013)

within this country of perpetual surprise
she inhabits the seven storied house

atop the mountain she writes our fates
illuminated pages in her golden notebook

stepping from the root of the cosmic tree
guiding souls into the world

she invested painting with the power
to circumscribe my time

a metronome marking the elaborate
science of observation, the creation
of self, phrasing, without pause,

these excruciating and ecstatic moments
in brushstrokes saturated with the
pathos of a portrait in blue

my transgression from tradition
metalanguage of spontaneity,
inspired inscriptions

perhaps the mother of cradles,
beside this lake of milk,
will open the portal of being

breathe life into another
fulfilling my desire to embody

Ajysyt, birth giver,
cup gently your warm hands,
form an offering bowl