Patience

Morning weather foreshadows fall

Bessie the longhair black yowls at the door

She eats more than usual these days despite her age

Twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two? Somewhere in there

She is putting on her winter fur and wants me to know

Wants her breakfast, chop chop!

And I oblige and look at the big stack of wood across the yard

Having spent hours arranging, juniper and pinon

And anticipate the first fire of the year, incense mixing with the

Aromatic wood, Scotch on ice cooling my burning tongue

Candle light and crackling wood dry with hardened sap

That wise-men may have carried once bursting into flares

Singing in funny high pitched voices fading to sputtering silence

But it is too early, too warm yet

Patience!

So I pet Bessie as she eats though she ignores me

And come back into my studio to work

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A thought during morning Zazen

A man walks out of the heat and into a bar

Orders a wedge of cheese and a beer

The bar man serves him a sliced tomato and

Two pieces of bread

He drinks the wine and transforms into a woman

With fanfare and surprise

She finishes the meal, pays and mounts a motorcycle

Gunning its engine into the snow

Eager to explore her new body

6×6’s

 

“I have painted these canvases as monks of former times illuminated their missals; they don’t owe anything to anything else than the collaboration of loneliness and silence, to a fervent, exclusive attention that borders on hypnosis.”


Claude Monet

 

They are like eyes these six by sixes

Like witnesses and drills

Going to the heart

They lack about-ness

Alluding to illusion in any case

They are gunshots and when fired well

Are true, when not, just misfires

Nothing more

They are love and caresses

Whispers to slow down on a frantic day

Shouts when sleepwalking

They are exclamation points

They are periods, but also

Commas and semicolons

They are prayers and slanders

And decorations

Winter walk

Ice needles the face dumb spreading a deep rose tattoo

I breath into my turtleneck Jughead style and

Walk the grim grimy avenue from midtown south, Village bound

Everything is frozen and it’s too cold for more snow

I stamp away the slicing wind

The light is diffuse and multicolored neon

Folding into a pastel infused gray smoke

Alive with storefront come-ons

Sounds, some muffled cozy lovers, felt and woolen fuzzies of comfort

Some clanking metallic beating my head bluntly

The ears and guts, but lacking clear origin

Coming from everywhere at once

Loneliness as cold as the cold walks with me

Keeps apace without effort

While under the layers of layers covering my unseen core

I am overheating like a star till at last I reach home

Once inside my face cracks its mask

Vibrating with the sweet transition of ice to water

Tingling itself warm and once again flexible

I love this feeling I think and smile

Or grimace, whatever the case may be

Painting

 

Such a fine-looking arc of just so many degrees

From origin to destination on the xy

So brief a comet and clean like a pistol shot

So clever in its articulation, so hot pink

“Good” I think at the day’s work and place a red orange

To quarrel with the heat

And then a pale iridescent blue to mediate this contrived fight

With silvery authority and a sheriff’s star

A wet blanket to keep it all under control

As if that was even possible

Glass

One senses the glass more than anything else

Smooth and hard where phantoms cavort and crash

Fusing the bouncing light into images that exist only in the eye

In the brain

The camera sees it though makes no sense of it

I see it of course and tweak it

Pinching the soft skin of fantasy into this or that

Embellish the lie with just a bit more

Or less here and there

Inside my mind’s eye the devils say look at that!

And I do and I photograph it and

Do hoodoo and voodoo to it

So I can tell you look at that!

And pretend all the while

It was my grand idea rather than my devil’s

I love the glass where it all comes together

Crescendos of light and color

Of moving things and still all reduced to the elements

Maintaining the illusion

That if you think about it a little

Reveals the only truth

Rosie

Rosie died recently. I went to New York City to see the Dekooning Retrospective and got a tearful call that she was gone. In the morning she ran around the house like the sprite she was, lay down on the couch for a snooze and poof. She wasn’t ill, just old though you’d never know it. She was the queen cat even though she was the smallest of the insiders, those cats, four now three, that stay in the house unless they manage to escape for a few hours. She was also the only she inside.

Rosie was a noisy cat, or rather a talkative one. She wasn’t content staying in the background if anyone was in the room. She wanted you to know her opinions whether you understood them or not. When it was time for me to watch the news or a movie on TV she took up her spot on my lap as if I was the custom made chair we’d ordered just for her.

She liked to stare into the fireplace when we had a fire going. Tonight it is cold enough to light a fire, the first this year and I think I will; I’ll have a glass of wine and say a silent and real goodbye.

I buried her when I got home, dug a hole and placed her stiff calico body into it. Now I have to get a tree as is my custom. Tomorrow seems like a good day to do that. I miss her presence, her noise, her sitting on me. I miss her annoying two cents.