From Motown to Mowtown

photo credit: Digital Third Eye

An obsession with polished aspirational black music finally carried me to Detroit. I had come to rediscover the heartbreak of first love and unearth a few last Okeh "cover ups". Poking my nose against a high window in the MGM Grand Hotel I survey this strung out city constructed on the lands of the People of the Three Fires. Michigan Central looms in front of me, the morose … [Read more...]

Four Poems

Poems by A.K. LaMotte

PULVERIZEDI pulverized your jaw with a knuckle sandwich but you fought back blossoming your hyacinth.Then I shattered a quart of Colt 45 on the ivory lingam of your skull but you exfoliated flecksof lapis lazula therefor I tied off your red ribbon and swung you around my head a plastic garbagebag of last night's pork chop bones then granulated your skeleton … [Read more...]

Collages by Kareem Rizk

Cowboy Kid - Kareem Rizk

Artist's statement A mesh of vintage consumerism, post-war sophistication and mid-century ephemera, Rizk’s work explores nostalgia and surveys the essential and singular visual niche of collage in this age of mash-ups and remixes. By reinterpreting and rearranging visual history with weathered imagery, highly textured surfaces, design-inspired compositions and occasional droll … [Read more...]

En Plein Air: Landscape Painting

Portage Store, Vashon (detail) - Ricker Winsor

Artist's statement: This is a condensed survey of the plein air landscape I have done over many years in locations from Vashon Island, Washington, Vermont, Spain, and Bangladesh.They are oil paintings about 22 x 28 inches more or less. RW … [Read more...]

The Unforgiveable Sin of Joss Whedon

The Unforgiveable Sin of Joss Whedon

Avengers: Age of Ultron is upon us, and that means the odds have gone up considerably of me having to confront The Whedon Problem with my more sophisticated, artsy friends. First you have to understand that my friends and I spend way too much time analyzing the latest “golden age of television” gems—Breaking Bad, The Fall, True Detectives, The Americans. We marvel at how The … [Read more...]

That Deadly Lord Douglas: Oscar Wilde and De Profundis

Oscar Wilde - De Profundis

It is hard to read the letter published as De Profundis, with its account of Wilde’s disastrous life with Lord Alfred ‘Bosie’ Douglas, without laughing.From his cell in Reading Gaol, Wilde recounts the tally of the couple’s lavish, carefree days of freedom. Everything was so expensive: the meals, the gifts, the gambling debts incurred by Bosie and covered by Wilde, (there … [Read more...]

Burning Factories: Art by Sander Steins

Burning Factory 1 - Sander Steins

It was the summer of 1980 when I was seven years old that I sat in the back seat of my father’s blue Opel Kadett coupé and saw the first smoking chimneys of the German Ruhrgebiet. Those were the declining years of one of Europe’s biggest and heaviest industrial areas and I will never forget the impression it left imprinted on my retina. As a child I rebuilt entire cities … [Read more...]

4 Spring Poems

Scudder Pond in Early Spring - Denise Enck

ACHE AWAKENINGIn a moment where the yard explodes in air about infested with sky blue expanse in twigs straining to bud near left over winter mud and cars rip by in dense exhaust ...mirrored exhalation of our chants.April's murder on the way ...there is a cost for such sudden exuberance of days which grow quite warm.I am an elf on this Spring day! I am a … [Read more...]

The Wabi-Sabi Drawing of Ricker Winsor

under the big trees (detail) - Ricker Winsor

Artist's statement: I continue my exploration of the dynamic and expressive qualities of ink. Mark making, pattern making, risk taking are all part of the process. It is very difficult to correct in ink but there are ways of leading the eye. And the mistakes, the awkward places, are valuable in the "wabi way". … [Read more...]

Book Review – The Last First Day: A Novel

The Last First Day: A Novel by Carrie Brown

The Last First Day: A Novel by Carrie Brown / Pantheon / 304 pages / 978-0307908032Carrie Brown’s prose sucks you into a kind of lull. Images of rooms without bodies, twilights in small towns, or people caught in states of pause and repose are palpable in quiet fluidity. You feel transported to a safe place, as though fear has been exiled, excluded, forgotten. The city is … [Read more...]

Four Landscapes (Through a Window) by Magie Dominic

Landscape 1 - Magie Dominic

Artist's statement: These four collages can be viewed separately. They can also be shown as one 4-part piece as seen through a four pane glass window, with the two blue and white pieces on the top - sky; and the two earth color collages below - earth, with a narrow space between each piece, as in a window frame. … [Read more...]

A Moment Just About to Happen: Collages by Lita Kenyon

Ask again when you're alone - Lita Kenyon

Artist's statement: I am drawn to subjects about socially transmitted beliefs, widely repeated cultural themes and mores. My work focuses on the narratives evolving naturally from the subconscious as images unfold; dialogues on events taking place around me or a moment just about to happen. Inspired by pictures from women’s wrestling and commodity culture, and themes of … [Read more...]

Moon Songs: two poems by Matthew Woodman

Zen Moon

Salving the TidewrackHow to carve a driftwood lover: Begin by conjuring contours and proportions.Find a blank that speaks promise and between from among the other tangled flotsam populating the low tide line. Prepare guide points: cheekbones, eyes, nose, mouth, and hairlines.Do not cry yet. Ensure your blade is sharp enough to get to the heart of … [Read more...]

Drawing and Wabi Sabi

Plaza de Santa Anna (detail) - Ricker Winsor

Everyone can draw. It is in the genome. Drawing is one of the earliest things we know about human beings. We admire work they did on cave walls twenty five thousand years ago. Some of it is graceful and refined. Some of it is crude, raw, and expressive. I began drawing at age thirty. Before that, I didn’t think I could draw and I never got the permission or encouragement to … [Read more...]

Void: Photography of Displacement

Bride - Rehan Miskci

Artist's statement: As a member of the Armenian minority in Turkey, the notions of displacement and invisibility become key elements in my work. In my thesis project “Void”, I am exploring my struggle with this issue by visualizing notions of the displacement, the loss of identity and the absence or disappearance of the culture through images that emphasize these notions … [Read more...]

A dozen collages by hiromi suzuki

ailes de la chanson #2 (detail) - hiromi suzuki

Artist's statement: I think the collages are poetry without words.Sometimes I contribute my collages with my poems to poetry magazines, or publish on my site.My collages are made by ephemera, washi, watercolour, charcoal and screenprint on paper.ailes de la chanson #1, ailes de la … [Read more...]

Five poems by Sam Silva

Minimum Pink - Denise Enck

MUSICAL STILL LIFE WITH COMPUTERGuitar serenade ...the plucked harp of my soul lingers as well in the cave I made of my heart with its holeechoing through computer wires with their flickering lights like electric fires.WHAT SAY YOU COUNTRY BOY?Bland things now! Bland and dull and easy! The painless ardor of a mind entombed by cigarettes and old … [Read more...]

Attempt to Hear All the Voices: On the Nature of Essay

journal

An essay is an entity in itself that moves, explores, sometimes discovers and enlightens, explains, clarifies, and attempts to relate in some way to the world outside of it. An essay moves on its own and is sometimes moving its readers to do the same, or at least to think about its movement in a critical way. In her essay “Montaigne,” Virginia Woolf writes, “Movement and change … [Read more...]

New Art by Carlyle Baker

atmosphere 01 (detail) - Carlyle Baker

Artist's statment: these are most innocent perceptions, returned from another location of space/time, somewhere lost in recognition of way-out dreaming, a close examination of one day and the next, the accident of theoretical research, where language whispers in colour. … [Read more...]

Where The Hell is Shafi Hadi?*

jazz sax

(*Saxophone player Shafi Hadi, born Curtis Porter, is best-known for his association with jazz legend Charles Mingus, and played on the seminal recording Mingus Ah Um, from 1959. He dropped out of the scene in the early ‘60s and the reasons why, and his current whereabouts, are unknown.)i.Those sounds, not falling on enough ears Then. Inaccessible, unknown, … [Read more...]

A Gallery of Collages by Nicholas Lockyer

deathpunch - Nicholas Lockyer

Artist's statement:Visual artist Nicholas Lockyer’s collage work explores the relationship between the saturation point of digitalization in today’s society, Trash Cinema and lowbrow ephemera culture that exists outside the digital world and the themes of primitivism, ritualism, mutation and attitudes towards death.As undefined forms become cut up, glued and juxtaposed new … [Read more...]

Poems by Doc Burkard

streetview

Out in Stoughton,a few ghosts illuminated by chorus of flickering jack-o-lanterns that edge the windows. I'm on stage, trying to move my fingers over the strings just a little longer. Fighting the pain in a hilltop bar, where our ancestors speak by the bend of the trees or the fumes blown from Toyotas idling in the gravel park. Wood floor covered by pull … [Read more...]

Eight paintings by Tom Melsen

Self Portrait )detail) - Tom Melsen

Artist's statement: What is important to me, is what I like to call "the art of destroying." I destroy a lot of my works. Most paintings I make feel like crap to me and only a few of the many paintings I make survive. I have no specific way of working; when a painting works out it's basically a lot of luck." … [Read more...]

A Consideration of Borges’ Poetics

Jorge Luis Borges - This Craft of Verse

I read Jorge Luis Borges' This Craft of Verse in one sitting. It is a collection of six essays originally given as lectures at Harvard University in 1967-1968. The tone is easy and conversational. Borges speaks about the reader's interaction with a poem, metaphor, the epic, translation and translatability, the relation between language and thought, and his own “poetic creed” as … [Read more...]