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Aretha

aretha s

sounds become
music erupting
suddenly
awakening
into everything as fire
blended with pure sky

 

Portrait. Grade: F

I posted this sketch of my cousin and his family a couple of weeks ago.

I started putting color in and doing the faces. It looked so bad that I printed the original photo, cut out the faces, glued them on and proceeded to totally mess it up.

They look like zombies. And they are a very cute family. So I messed up and I graded myself: F.

Sketch

A sketch from a Facebook photo my cousin posted of him and his family.

I intend to paint it in but can’t find my brushes. Things are a bit disorganized here but maybe some progress.

I better not post the photo without my cousin’s permission.

Blood From a Stone

blood from a stone_still my shivering s

My words repeat. Nothing. Your ears are closed like frozen air. You always move away, shrinking me, disappearing me into invisibility.

My words repeat. I am naming flowers. I am calling the names of birds. They remain unretrieved, hesitating on the edges of sound.

My fences are broken. My guard is falling deeper and deeper into the ground. My map shows no return.

Whispering, I stand
trembling with the elements,
my cells unmoored.

The currents swim without me,
expanding the gulf between.

blood from a stone close up

Jilly at dVerse asked for an unconventional haibun this week.  That was easy–all my writing seems somewhat alien to me right now (or maybe my poetry is just always strange and I’m only now noticing it….)

The drawings are from photos of ancient Roman sculptures that have been broken by time. Amazing how much depth and emotion hidden inside the stone was revealed by those artists.

 

Dream Pantoum

jm 5b wht wht flip

Don’t lose the number she said.
Her face contained a message I could not read.
The number blurred and then erased itself in my hand.
Who has stolen the letters of my name?

Her face contained a message I could not read.
The words rearranged themselves into something geometric and alien.
Who has stolen the letters of my name?
She pretended that she had never seen me before.

The words rearranged themselves into something geometric and alien.
Don’t call me that I said.
She pretended that she had never seen me before.
No space would open to hold my configuration.

Don’t call me that I said.
The words stubbornly resisted my efforts to speak over them.
No space would open to hold my configuration.
A stranger took my hand and led me out of control.

The words stubbornly resisted my efforts to speak over them.
I tried to convey the causes of my distress.
A stranger took my hand and led me out of control.
We faded away, farther and longer away.

I tried to convey the causes of my distress.
The number blurred and then erased itself in my hand.
We faded away, farther and longer away.
Don’t lose the number she said.

jm 5b eye s

I love the puzzle of composing a pantoum.  Loosely following the Day 19 NaPoWriMo prompt to compose a poem from a story, I used the dream I had last night just before waking.  I had this stitched magazine face in mind, too, as an accompaniment.  Below is a synopsis of the source for the poem

My Dream

They gave me a name tag and a number. “Don’t lose the number,” they said, but immediately my number blurred and then erased itself.  The name was not my name, but it stubbornly resisted my efforts to mark over it.

I tried to tell the woman who seemed to be in charge that I needed to be called something different, not the letters that formed a sound that belonged to someone else. She pretended not to hear.

Someone took my seat. Someone I was sure I knew acted as if they had never seen me before.

We were supposed to write stories. I could find no notebook, no pencil or pen that belonged to me.

I sat in the back, alone.

A stranger, a tall young man, his face all glasses, took my hand and led me away. I tried to convey my distress; tell him my story.  He smiled and did not answer.

We faded away, farther and longer away.

logo-napowrimo

jm 5b fading

 Also linking to dVerse open link night.

Some weekend painting

This one started off as a landscape. I saw a face in it and took off from there. The result is something weird but I’m posting it anyway.

I also thought it was Draw a Bird Day. Maybe that was yesterday though. Anyway here’s a Mourning Dove, one of the dumber birds to be found in my neighborhood. They make a sound that really does sound mournful. Lots of robins around lately too–a good sign.

Progress 3/7/18

Some progress on the drawing. I almost like it like this but I think I’m going to give the ladies some color on their frocks.

I looked up old phones like the one on the desk. I really don’t think the photo is that early but it’s possible I guess.

It’s a snow day here. I’m pretty happy about that.

Work in Progress

I started this drawing yesterday. It’s the most ambitious thing I’ve attempted in a while. I’m posting the sketch so far; it is far from finished.

It’s from a photograph that has long fascinated me. This is the owner of a silk mill in Paterson flanked by two ladies. The lady on the right is my grandmother Nellie Maisel.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. May paint it in black and white and shades of gray. I hope I can capture the hectic quality of a desk in a silk mill in the 1930’s (just an estimate. The photo isn’t dated.

Close ups.

I address a photo from 1955

2017_1955

You are less
than I remember,
and more than
I forget–
I superimpose myself
like a mask of light.

I’m not really sure this satisfies the dVerse prompt to write a letter, but I immediately thought of the stitching and Photoshop layering I had done using some childhood photos, trying to make a composite of is and was.

 

Sunday Painting

I sat down over the weekend and got some painting done. Yay! I had started this portrait of my mother in black and white and messed with it.

I had the paint really heavy on her face at one point so I pressed a paper towel over it. It came out like a weird ghost.

That reminded me how much fun it really is to paint. I’ve got something else started which I hope to finish today. Here’s a sketch done on the first page of a new watercolor block which happens to be black.

And the same image filled in with some color.

All in all a pretty productive weekend. And still no sign of sun in Northern NJ.