Archive by Author | memadtwo

The Fate of Fools (Thursday Doors)

shadows imitate
doors, dazzle you inside dreams,
whispering questions

shadows imitate
the complex language of choice–
abandoned, you jump

doors dazzle inside dreams,
appear as if sailed, transported
by complete darkness

whispering questions,
thresholds cast riddles—as if
life, opening, free

I wanted to construct a house as a sort of book, so I took a cardboard box and collaged this interior. It’s similar to many houses I visit in my dreams. It did not really work for my book idea (the exterior is also still a work in progress), but it fit well with the last Kick-About prompt. As Phil pointed out to me, it resembles a stage set.

I also have a liking for windows and shadows.

The poem is a troiku, written for the W3 prompt, in response to Steven S Wallace’s poem “In Praise of What is Private”, and his prompt poem, Emily Dickinson’s “Superiority of Fate”. I’ve also used some of Jane’s Oracle 2 words for the week–I realize I never finished what I started with last week’s words, but perhaps it will show up somewhere down the line.

You can find more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

Week’s Work 10/02/2022

I’ve been on a painting jag lately. This top painting is on the handmade paper from Kerfe which warps every time you paint on it. You have to reset the paper and press it under rocks (luckily I still have some good ones). It dries, you paint some more and press it again. So these can take a while but I like ‘em.

Another one. This has a lot of layers of paint on it.

I gave myself a break and messed around with some neutral paper and colors. I call this one “Palmer Method”. Anyone remember that class?

October 2022

like a sudden flash,
green turns into fire that falls–
autumn paths open

like a sudden flash–
unexpected, unmasking
the retreating past

green turns into fire that falls,
exposing the skeletons
underneath the veil

autumn paths open–
the earth folds into itself–
dusk-faded, shadowed

Lisa, at Tao Talk, reminded me of the troiku form, which I’ve borrowed from her to use also for Colleen’s #TankaTuesday prompt, where the theme is lightning, suggested by Sangeetha.

It does finally feel like autumn here. Not much color yet, but it’s coming. We’ve had a wet day with the remnants of Hurricane Ian, and the building turned on the heat for the first time this morning.

Happy October!

gifts

My message today from the Oracle….

K.

Nina, my old friend of 40+ years, and blogmate from methodtwomadness, came into the city with her husband yesterday for a visit and lunch. It’s only the second time we’ve seen each other since the beginning of Covid.

She brought me one of her beautiful paintings. The Oracle knows how much this lifted my spirits. Thanks Nina

time

is what we can always give–
listening with the language
of the heart

happy to be

remembering all the rivers
of song shared
in the between

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Lunch with Kerfe

My husband and went into NYC to see Kerfe. It’s been a long time. We met at her place and had lunch at Sarabeth’s.

As our readers know, Kerfe and I have been friends for many years. Getting together today it was as if no time had passed. I can talk to Kerfe about anything, although I couldn’t complain about my husband today (only for a minute when he used the rest room).

I asked her if I could post the cards she’s sent me over the last years and she agreed (surprisingly because she is very modest). Aren’t they good? They all have poems on the reverse side.

Kerfe suggested starting this blog in 2014 as a way of seeing each other’s art and encouraging same. Kerfe took to blogging and to my mind is a superstar on here. It has allowed us to look back at what we’ve done and keep doing it!

Stay safe, all, and have a good weekend. Nina

Devil Guardians (Thursday Doors)

Trickery, these choices
between opposing forces–
one equal to the other
at their meeting place.

Is there ever a way
to pry them apart?–
it seems impossible
to distinguish any difference.

sometimes up can change
completely, depending on
who or where you are.

And sometimes down is
really up in disguise, waiting
to surprise you.

I have many random photos I’ve taken of doors with no idea where they were taken and no context to show the entire building or the buildings around them.. These doors with devil guardians are part of that group.

Devils seem a peculiar guardian for a door. But perhaps the devil you know provides a shield against all the ones you haven’t yet met.

I love the arched windows on these brownstones too.

Punam at dVerse asked us to consider good and evil as a subject for our poems. I think there is a thin line, often even an overlap, between the actions of gods and demons. The promised safety of obedience to a God or a risky uncertain bargain with the Devil? One website I visited said that, in folklore, the Devil is often interchangeable with the Fool. The Fool contains all possibilities, both good and bad. It’s not always easy to distinguish between truth and lies, illusion and fact. Would we choose to eat the apple? Paradise or Knowledge? Each one of us will answer in their own way.

And as always look for more doors and share your own here at Thursday Doors, hosted by Dan Antion.

The Kick-About #63 ‘Vilhelm Hammershøi’

Some explorations of light and space.

Red's Kingdom


Our last Kick-About together was inspired by continual movement and the accompanying changes of scale and perspective. This week’s showcase of new works made in a short time is, by contrast, a mediation on silence and stillness, as we explore together the hushed, pensive environs that feature in the paintings of Vilhelm Hammershøi.


Graeme Daly

“Hammershøi’s paintings feel so breathy and poetic, like you are peeking into the lives of the mysterious figures. I can’t help but think of a Victorian doll house with all its little furniture placed exactly as the collector envisions. I was initially inspired by the gorgeous light throughout Hammershøi’s paintings and awoke at the crack of dawn to capture the sun as it pooled in through the shutters and windows where the light licked the walls, doors and wooden furniture. I decided at the last minute to perch myself in areas that could resemble the…

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Rosh Hoshana/weekend work

Today is Rosh Hoshana, the Jewish New Year and beginning of the High Holy Days. We will spend the day quietly; it is a beautiful day and my husband and I will take a walk soon. I am fervently hoping for peace in our troubled nation and in the world.

I’ve been working on canvas board lately, using elements cut out of other (failed) paintings and creating collages. The boards take glue well and also gouache and acrylic paint. I showed the top one to a neighbor and she thought it looked like Alaska, so I gave it that title.

I hope everyone has a good week. Nina

Shorts for the Weekend — Red Phoenix, featuring Kerfe

Teagan has made a story out of Six Happiness–enjoy!

Teagan's Books

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Altered Pixabay imageWelcome to my sanctuary.  You’re in a safe place.  When I started this series of short stories, I had asked readers to send images I would use to spontaneously inspire the tales. Of course, I got off track, when inspiration flew under my nose.  I read Kerfe‘s beautiful poem and asked her if I could use it, along with a couple of her photos from that same post.  I loved her poem because the symbol of the phoenix has always resonated with me.

Note:  This story is my own fiction. It is not meant to be a statement of any of Kerfe’s personal beliefs.  When I asked her permission to use the poem, I had no idea what the story would become.

PixabayPixabay

Actually, this odd tale has been clawing to get out for weeks.  However, 99.9% of my stories have happy endings —…

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Six Happiness (Thursday Doors)

Her life was overflowing red,
painting absence into corners.
How much joy can one hold? she said–
it’s crossed over every border.
I can taste the good luck, the wealth–
like chili peppers—hot, untamed.
Mix it with longevity, health–

the Phoenix rises scarlet, flamed.

I’ve always been intrigued by this Six Happiness door, which belongs to an Asian Fusion restaurant, although I think the door is older than this iteration of Chinese Food. They have a pleasant outdoor dining space too.

It was only when doing research for this post that I discovered this is the back side of The Endicott, a co-op apartment building that was formerly a hotel. It takes up the entire block between 81st and 82nd street on Columbus Avenue.

The actual apartment entrance, on 81st Street, is imposing, but not as memorable as Six Happiness. Storefronts along Columbus Avenue include a Starbucks, a branch of the Strand Bookstore, a restaurant, and several clothing stores.

The Endicott Hotel was built in 1890. The architect was Edward L Angell, who designed the brownstones in my Juliet Balcony post. In the early 1900s, it served as a meeting place for “society” and the city’s Republican Party. Plagued by disasters, scandals, and money problems, it became a center for organized crime in the 1930s. The 60s and 70s saw its deterioration, along with much of the neighborhood, into a welfare hotel that was the scene of many violent crimes.

One positive note: it was also the site of the NY Dolls’ first public performance.

In the 1980s, again like many of the buildings on the Upper West Side, The Endicott was renovated and converted into luxury co-op apartments, as part of the re-gentrification of New York. It has since been landmarked, so the ornamentation and window guardians will be preserved.

The Endicott Hotel has its own Wikipedia page, if you want a more detailed history.

The poem is a Dizain for Muri’s W3 prompt, which asks us to write from the perspective of someone with synethesia.

I learn new things with every one of these posts. In Chinese culture, there are Five Happinesses–variously called, in the course of my research, good luck, joy, happiness, prosperity, wealth, harmony, longevity, good life, blessings, fertility, virtue, health, and peaceful death. And all things related to joy and happiness are associated with the color red, the most auspicious of Chinese colors. And also the color of the auspicious Phoenix and its fire.

The Sixth Happiness? –evidently, that’s the one you discover within yourself.

Visit Dan Antion, the host of Thursday Doors, here, to see more doors and add some of your own.