Sunday, December 28, 2008
I have been reading a biography of the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland, by Ragna Stang. The anecdote about he had to boil a book cover for the glue it contained, and how he ate the results, stands out. This is what one calls a starving artist.
Above image by Arnold Bocklin: I first became aware of this great painting when I purchased a reproduction of it on a postcard, bought in New York.
A couple of old ones, prose poems I wrote shortly after (or maybe it was during -- can't recall) a week in Albion, Nebraska, in August 1994, while visiting friends. Ann Erickson of Guerneville, California published them in her now-defunct poetry magazine, tight, in 1997.
by Jonathan Falk
Crazy Horse falls or rolls into the prairie.
Broken angel wings freight cemetery.
Soybeans throttle the soil, coffins underneath the slope loaded with occidental bones of colored glass.
Corn stamens thunder, dipping pollen into the air.
Packed soil where they danced, owl hooking its wings into a pole distant beyond windbreaks, cicadas call in tree domes, pearl streaks thread wind and evening sky.
by Jonathan Falk
Planet beams beyond earth's edge, arisen above plains town.
Windmill blades sigh on distant ridge, wind pouring from flush of receding sun.
Cloud banks, wrinkled and piled, stained with falling glory, looming against the grey zenith.
Birds voice in Victorian trees, pour like motes to nightfall.
Lightning floods clouds far off in the gloam. A penultimate scrap suspended in the drawing blackness. The tables of mortality pepper the ridge.
Posted by Jonathan at 1:54 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Cabin fever, snow like broccoli brains hiding outside the double pane.
Had a UFO dream, in which I saw a vaguely airplane-shaped formation of red lights, maybe forty, fifty miles up, in an inky profound sky, a few cold starlights... Then the lights flew apart and vanished, fading out abruptly.
Posted by Jonathan at 1:07 AM
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Photo I took in Multnomah Cemetery in Portland, of the grave of a Russian (or possibly Ukrainian, or some other nationality) woman... I obscured the name and etched image of her face on the gravestone, but the spectral bow at the lower border of the grave appeared on the developed photo. Product of the developing process, flaw in the photograph, or signal from beyond? The placement of the phenomenon is eerie...
Been reading Sir Thomas More's Utopia -- the early Modern English difficult but worthwhile, more concrete than Plato's Republic.
By Jonathan Falk
Canopus beams through the harbor, pine board scents beneath horns of cumuli; Or saffron shade in Oceanus Procellarum, futhark.
I a boy screamed in the circus – a ventriloquist hypnotist standing in tinsel, camels kneeling, staccato laughter – diagnosis – the 381 inderdiction, a squishing malleus. The dummy’s mouth hinges shiver in junk store. A boy dreaming by the creek, walnut tweezed from his sinus, invisible friend dead in lunar spackle.
Once hearing “paraqueets on Saturn,” big syringe’s wash, these dogs on California Street, spent a lot of time hanging out, as it were, on the poop deck, an earwax pick gleaned in Chinatown sandalwood light, the bums avoid the high places.
Posted by Jonathan at 2:29 AM
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Here is an H.P. Lovecraft parody, another light piece. Lovecraft has inspired a large number of parodies, both written and cinematic. The reason why his work lends itself to humorous imitation is plain: The seriousness and earnestness of much of his work (leaving aside the parodies he wrote himself) inspires such thoughts.
Last week watched Arrabal's The Guernica Tree. He is one twisted individual. The blasphemy in Tree isn't quite as revolting as the bisected bug in Viva la Muerte though. Bloggity blog blog.
A photograph I snapped at Boston Harbor way back in 1986 -- bit of a Magritte feel. The illusion turned out fairly well, a little beyond the usual trick perspective, "I'm holding up the Eiffel Tower" gag shot. I'm not clear if the optical deception would have worked with digital photography.
The Chicken Dance of Cthulhu
By Jonathan Falk
“Mr. Cash to the Blackwood Arena! Mr. Cash!” The call came over my cell phone, and I rushed to the shaded aluminum bleachers in the September heat. A small Mexican man sang Roy Orbison on a stage before a handful of teased white heads and shuffling overalls. The Multatonic Oktoberfest and County Fair was in its first few days, before the ecstasies of the weekend. I passed Pinkle – the Clown, with her surging dwarf car, and someone dressed as a robot in a cowboy hat, working the crowds of children.
When I spotted the troublemaker, a tattooed man with a goatee, shaved head, heckling the cruise ship band, he took off toward the exit gate. “Nice security code, asshole,” was ejected at me as he ran into the infrared surge of the world outside.
Oh well. Only four hours of phantasmagoria to endure, I hummed to myself.
One of the advantages of being an event dick is free admission to anything in the arena. Pig’s tongue in a dream, sow crushing her piglets as she tosses restlessly. The art show had the usual crying harlequins and Southwestern whorls of rock canyons.
I finished my shift a little after five o’clock and headed to the beer tent, the sun cooked into my neck, making my thoughts discontinous and irritable. Optimator might make my sunburn worse, but I was frustrated and depressed with life, not unlike the remarkable Hans Pfaall. One company held my car title and I was on a smiling basis with the lady at the payday advance store. The smell of sheep foreheads, placid Mormons peeling Llama wool in endless fair pavilions, breathed into my nose nostrils. Chickens are dumb clucks, cocks and peacocks squawked from the whitewashed barn. Only rednecks and farm kids could be seen, working the hay-bound aisles.
Or you might call them farmer-necks, as a friend of mine once did.
When I entered the beer tent, a little self conscious of my ears, crisp from Sol, I noted the typical oom-pah band on the stage – with a hand-drawn sign reading Helmut Gregor and his Lithuanian Vandals. I did not like the way the accordion was played, with leering overtones and trills. I felt like Thomas Wolfe writing a transparently fictionalized account of his feeling of drunken unity with the world gained at a Nazi-era Oktoberfest in the 1930s.
I ordered the house draft and drank, the beer filling my head like mercury.
Every single person in the shadowy tent was Caucasian – old men in shorts, women in peasant dresses. They were all old.
As the woodchopper’s polka commenced, I had another beer, then another. Soon I was higher than Abdul Alhazred after his binge at the nameless city.
“What’s… in the beer,” I said, as two Teutonic giants sprayed wood chips hazardously through the air, wielding battle axes, the tent now full of wild music. The fall air had become curiously cold.
When I came to consciousness, feeling as if were my first day on earth, I was dancing wildly on the stage, clad in a stiff pair of lederhosen, my bare legs revealed to the crowd, who were shrieking with laughter. I was leading them in a demonic chicken dance: My hands forming monstrous “beaks,” my “tail” wagging obscenely, then clapping in a lunatic fashion. I heard a monstrous noise from beyond the horizon; Great Cthulhu, rising when the stars were right, paid homage by the sickening rite…
Posted by Jonathan at 1:46 AM