Category Archives: poetry

in honor and remembrance

Martin Luther King Jr

being there

Being There

‘Volcadas con Silla’ by Courtney Brown

Courtney Brown performs 'Volcadas con Silla' at provocative.objects

an ant in the office

img_odorous_house_ant

i get a special happy tinge of joy whenever i bump across an insect in the office

we’re such a sophisticated and culturally-advanced species

we’ve designed and developed vast systems of buildings and cities and architectural accommodations for shelter and meeting purposes that keep us safe and antiseptically removed from the potentially harmful elements of the natural world

and yet —despite all of our supposedly superior intellect and our advanced, clever separation from nature — these little pesky living reminders somehow find their way back in and our exclusivity suddenly enjoys unwelcome visitors

a spider in the bedroom at night

a sugar ant in the elevator at work

itty bitty fruit flies in the break room — biting gnats around the office plants

these little intruders bring a smile

i’m momentarily reminded of our rather precarious situation within the fuller world context — our little bubble of humanity resides within the greater realm of nature { of the natural world and universe }

some might decide to step on the ant, to remove this harmless pest from our civilized microcosmic self-designed humanSpace

but i secretly celebrate

i quietly feel like i belong — i am still part of the natural world — i am like the ant, too — i subscribe to the cause, to this hidden reality that really contains us all whether we care to admit it or not

i celebrate with a smile and breathe a little easier for the rest of the afternoon

live long and prosper

Leonard Nimoy

be careful what you ask for

sp_mind

our data

maggots

our data lives like insects inside our machines

you can hear the little scratchy sounds of them skittering about inside when you’re looking for a file or for some new meaning

we collect them — we store them — we trust they’ll serve us in some way

but in the end its all simply meaningless, just an unfortunate silly game

 

my artwork, part i

hand as drapery

forgive me, my friends, if i take a shortish blogPost to talk about the evolution of my artwork as if — in some delusional way — i were some famous, well-known artist

you see, unlike many of the brave folks i happen to know out in the performance art and music circuit in and around Boston, i did not delve into what i consider to be my original, innate passion and expressive gift for art as my core creative activity — and i’m not sure if that’s necessarily a good or bad thing for me in any way — at the tender age of 45 i think i’ve come to realize that there is not just ‘one way’ to pursue expressive, personal, creative work as a means to be ‘an artist,’ but there are potentials to take many, varied paths, and i appreciate now, after occasionally struggling with some internal philosophical and lifestyle-based concepts — or personal hang-ups — around what it might mean ‘to be an artist,‘ i think i’ve finally let go of those heavy sandbag preconceptions pertaining to my own previous beliefs and inner conjecture around what exactly qualifies an individual to official claim he / she actually is an artist

from about the age of 3 or 4 my passion for drawing filtered the way i looked at and learned about the world we live in

the drawing above from 1991 i titled ‘the hand as drapery

i think that — after completely dropping my daily practice or drawing { or almost ‘completely’ dropping it } by about 10th grade, at least as an official class in public high school — along with the physical act of drawing as a performative act, my rather playful nomenclature for the work i started up again through my own more lone, personal pursuit extra-curricular course work and eventually as part of my return to practicing visual art at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, started to exude a less introspective and shy aspect of who i was becoming as both an artist and a young person

my reference to drapery in the title of this hand-drawn study of my own hand surely derived from studying the Pre-Renaissance art of Giotto as his mini-mountainous, diorama-like landscape backdrops for the religious setting of his painted storytelling gave off this wonderful sense of undulating folds of fabric, very similar to what we might see when children sometimes build little tents in the livingroom with blankets, chairs, tv trays and pillows — the reading and research into a more classic style of painting definite influenced and touched me in a manner that i wanted to at least reference back in homage to these greater works through my somewhat encrypted and silly nomenclature

henryMiller

this portrait of Henry Miller — painted in only red, white, black and blue oil paint and medium — was one of my many beginnings for potential serial sequences of work, what i now call streams of subConscia, that evolve or at least sometimes fit a theme

i originally intended to paint many more of these primarily red, white and blue portraits of famous literary and art-related people and call the body of paintings something along the lines of ‘The Great American Portrait Series‘ — hopefully keeping this rather liquid, shadowy, shape-based sense of movement throughout the entire collection { of course, somewhat influenced by Thomas Hart Benton and also highly influenced by a profound affinity with anything and everything visually ( or otherwise ) Surrealiste }

a bit more on the evolution of my personal life with art after these messages …

a rainyday vision from America

rainyDay_street

it was a typical New England crawling rainyday commute this morning

i live up on the North Shore — not on Cape Ann or anything cool like that, but over in Boxford on that side-smirk curl of 95N that bends its sarcastic way up to Newburyport and eventually into New Hampshire — and it almost seems inevitable at this point that my commute, no matter what the weather now, is going to be an hour or more to just get 30 miles south of where i live into Burlington

in the rain though, as anyone living in Massachusetts hates to admit but fully knows, the snail-pace stop-n-go of the aqua-commuter nightmare seems to slow to this echochamber timestillness that can only really be humanly dealt with through pure zen meditation mindtricks among other pleasant distractions

needless to say, i despise being caught in traffic — but — at the tender age of 44 i’m finally learning how to cope

today, for instance, there’s this little area on the commute down where 95 and 128 meet to create this wonderful bottleneck of confusion — this is where the grand slowdown typically starts in a big way and this is where my mind takes me high above the Google Earth view of what i’m actually experiencing as the bug inside my metal trap on the highway

today is a special day, though

its Thursday

i love Thursdays, don’t you?

time seemed rather frozen and so i decided to get out for a while, you know? and stretch my legs a bit and maybe wander around between the cars

the natural coolness of the air and the raindrops on the skin of my head between my thinning hair felt really refreshing and i felt more alive than i normally do and, strangely enough, more free than when i’m traveling at 80 to 90 mph on an open stretch of highway on what feel like better days to drive

i guess embracing my stuckness now made me appreciate the moment in a new way

i could move around in the moment, across the 4 lanes of people all cozily tucked into their cars, and get an entirely different perspective on the wild collective, transpersonal simultaneity of our everyday post-humanic experience as a loosely-connected living organism

i guess that i essentially see people and other animals as no better-differentiated in the grand taxonomy of life and death than the virus

but we’re such an invigorating virus, are we not? we’re just fucking electric

motors humming; radios blasting with morning shows and music and djs talking to callers and little snippets of the news beaming in from gawd knows where; some commuters on their mobile devices, talking with loved ones or checking their work calendar to then text or email in their up-to-the-minute status of potential lateness as if the world wouldn’t move on without their invaluable, important input into the universe; normally i’m in my car sing-screaming with some Tenacious D, partially working out the angry energy of feeling so fucking stuck in my car and utterly helpless and partially anticipating the frustrations of the day to come at Corporation X { you fill in the blank as its a fairly unremarkable and familiar unfortunate universal experience of disempowerment, awkward team fumbling, animal kingdom domination psychopolitics and the like that all boils down to the futility of theatre and bullshit and ennui and trying as hard as you can to keep sane like some sort of Cuckoo’s Nest clown McMurphy trying so hard, oh so hard, to just keep my lip zipped and take my daily dose }

but the sensation and feeling of the rain between the cars and the slowness of the cars around me feels so good, oh so good

my normal frustrations almost feel like they’ve stayed somehow in my car parked on the side of the road with the 4-way flashers blinking like sin and evil and hardship

at this point i realize i’m actually walking through the 4 lanes of creeping traffic in search of something

i’m not exactly sure what it is, but its something like poetry or humanity or the very heartbeat soul of humanity Herself

but its so hard to hear it

that is, if its even here at all anymore

shells-sea

inBetweeneSs and failure

float

i have a lot to say — and yet i know from my own personal experience and active exploration of the mediatypes of blogging and social media that it is unwise to tell the whole truth of the matter, especially when feeling a certain sense of loss, frustration or negativity about a life transition

here she is

floating in the sea

beautiful failure

drenched in an entirely unsubtle misery

injustice is never easy to swallow

especially if you have been left to swim in it, alone and abandoned

i am not speaking with some sort of encrypted metaphoric language to obscure or poeticize the shipwreck

how could we foresee the depths of certain challenges

challenges she couldn’t handle, depths of impatience with no help, no friend or searchPlane to come save her

i know she now needs to swim

but for now, floating feels good — its a fitting end

it feels — it actually feels appropriate, this illusion and this inBetweeneSs

there is no rescue

she needs to do this for herself

she needs to let a bitterness go and simply swim

not to the shore or to land or even to a new seavessel — no, no — its nothing like that at all

now its more about floating and being one with the seawater

there is a certain sense of acceptance now

this fate seems reasonable, its all starting to make sense

it doesn’t feel like failure anymore

or even survival

fathoms of water

or just a little over her head

it doesn’t matter

this is the saltwater

the lifematter

the place we belong now

there is no forgiveness, though — please, don’t be confused

injustice is injustice

and those that assist in these matters of discarding without any sense of humility, empathy or common decency

those that have moved on, completely unaccountable

and only reacting to a vague sense of discomfort, an insecurity that might have felt, perhaps, more like a threat or even an insulting awakening to a different place in reality

a larger reality at that

you will, of course, meet with a karmic and sudden yank to feel the very basic Laws of Newton

the action deserves and begets an eventual reaction

and you will most likely suffer

and feel it most

at Planet Fitness

remember

its not a gym

its Planet Fitness

planet569