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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Season's Greetings



A pop-up Christmas card, which a former Japanese correspondent sent me years back. Note the Shinkansen traveling before Mount Fuji on the card's front. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

William S. Burroughs Courses in Creative Reading






 This web page drew my notice to these outstanding lectures, from 1979, at the Naropa Institute. "Time is everything" -- one hears the writer asking the students if they've seen Apocalypse Now yet, just then a fresh unknown quantity. Roll eyes -- "What do you mean by rotten ectoplasm?" A participant asked Burroughs. Organic material.. I can't hear you, what did you say.  Hassan i Sabbah's reach extended all the way to Paris...   Korzybski, Jane, and Paul Bowles; Crowley, Conrad, Julian Jaynes... The question is far too general.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Scandal: Essays in Islamic Heresy


I read Scandal: Essays in Islamic Heresy (1988), by Peter Lamborn Wilson, when the work was crisp off the shelf, around 1989. I unearthed my copy recently. A blurb on the back from William S. Burroughs reads: "Fascinating material on the Ismaili sect and on Hassan i Sabbah... the only spiritual leader who has anything significant to say in the Space Age." The work covered, among various topics, Sufism, mystical aspects of select Arabic and Persian poetry (i.e. "Eros and Style in The Interpreter of Desires,") and Javanese shadow puppetry. Wilson included some material about his journeys to such places as Afghanistan (when it was possible to travel there in relative safety), in the chapter titled "A Note on the Use of Wine, Hemp & Opium."
  
 The volume also referenced the Yazidi sect. Such matters have a different resonance now than they did in 1989 or 1990 (although the 1970s and 80s had a number of bombings, hijackings, hostage-takings, indicating the tenor of events that followed).  The period when I read the book was around the time of a brief and evocative truce of the world, when the Cold War ebbed, before the Persian Gulf War began.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Enigma Cipher Machine

I witnessed this Enigma Cipher Machine at the Oregon Historical Society Museum yesterday. In line before me to get in was a man, appearing to be in his 90s, who identified himself as a British WWII vet. Outside later on the street I glimpsed NBA player Kobe Bryant on a bus with his teammates.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cosmic Art Nouveau


 Roman Scott collage/ airbrush/ink art. The back cover of the third issue of Poultry (1983).  

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Poultry (zine)



The cover and two interior pages, with a couple poems from me and a tiny Roman Scott painting snippet, from Poultry Number Three, 1983, published by Alan Larsen, of Sherwood, Oregon. The maker issued a modest print run, I imagine. The 1980s were years fertile for zines and small publishers.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"400 People and 400,000 Trout" : Doc: Then And Now with a Montana Physician


The description of a book as "high-spirited" is typically a good reason for me to read something else. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly unsettled after reading a few pages of Dr. R.E. Losee's Doc: Then and Now with a Montana Physician (1994). I am still reading the book now, after having first learned of it many years ago. Rather than some heartwarming chicken soup for the soul, the doctor delivered hardboiled, dry, earthy, unflinching prose, such as:
  
My first ambulance case was that of a man who committed suicide in his garage. The man had killed himself by directing the muzzle of a twelve-gauge shotgun against his umbilicus and then pulling the trigger. The crumpled, warm corpse lay supine, with escaping intestinal gas forming bubbles of blood and stool that exuded from his blown-apart shirt front.

And besides that, the doctor set his memoir in Ennis, Montana, a place with many links to my maternal ancestral line. Dr. Losee depicted several of my relatives, including my great-uncle Oscar Clark. He referenced Oscar's saloon, as well.  The book is an excellent read.

Now ol' Doc Losee could smell death... Quien es?





 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon, 20th Anniversary

Hollywood Theatre, Portland, Oregon
Scott Nicolay
Richard A. Lupoff
"Sexuality and Lovecraft" panel
Photos by JF

On 3 and 4 October, 2015, I haunted the 20th anniversary of the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon, in Portland, Oregon. The first time I attended the festival, then at the 5th Avenue Cinema in Portland, was for its second annual run (at that time I was sure it would never last more than a few years). I have attended many of the festivals since.

During the weekend of the event, I wished that I had the ability to exist in separate locales. What I took myself to see was remarkable, though. I caught, among others, Scott Nicolay, Richard A. Lupoff (reading in his courtly manner a melancholy time-shifting story), David Barker, Adam Bolivar (wearing a vintage suit and hat), reading fiction and poetry in the small classroom in the Esoteric Order of Dagon hall (otherwise known as the Hollywood Senior Center). The compact space had the aura of a living room.

 On Sunday, I witnessed a panel with S.T Joshi, Scott Connors, and Richard A. Lupoff, on "H.P. Lovecraft's editors," a sturdy crash course in the author's relations with editors. Scott Connors also spoke earlier on Clark Ashton Smith's artwork. At the "Sexuality in Lovecraft" panel, I mentioned the Lovecraft revision work (with C.M. Eddy) The Loved Dead. S.T. Joshi responded with something about the story still being disturbing today, and:  It was banned in my home state of Indiana.

I marveled at Jeffrey Combs giving a dramatic reading of The Doom That Came to Sarnath. He also held forth on the making of, and impact of, Re-Animator, following a showing of the film. I also saw Cool Air, from 1999, followed by a Q&A from director Bryan Moore, and many other films and panel discussions.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Ice City of the Gorgon



Ice City of the Gorgon, by Richard S. Shaver and Chester S. Geier, in Amazing, June 1948. Cover painting by Robert Gibson Jones. I read the story a couple weeks ago; it was a tolerable sci-fi adventure, which drew on Greek mythology. The piece held the subtlest echoes of both the Shaver Mystery and At the Mountains of Madness.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Weirdo Magazine


 Weirdo 1, spring 1981, Weirdo 6, summer 1982 (during the time of R. Crumb's editorship). Last Gasp, or "Last Gasp Eco-Funnies," published the magazine.




From the Nu:Wave in Comix: Mini-Comix article, Weirdo 6. Clark Dissmeyer: "He's got lots more!" On Oddities: "Psychotic little zine published by Roman Scott..."  Through this venue and certain other publications we encountered some kindred minds.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Algernon Blackwood letter, Nov 13/27



A letter from supernatural writer Algernon Blackwood, to an unknown recipient, on Savile Club stationery. The author mentioned his non-affiliation with the London Mercury. The reference to the individual soliciting a drawing from Blackwood is intriguing.  From my collection (gift of a friend).

Text: 

Dear Sir,

       I am in difficulty about finding time for the drawing you kindly suggest, as I'm getting ready to go abroad, but I have otherwise no (?) of any kind if you think it of any interest in my art. I have, however, no dealings with the "London Mercury" you mention (if I read you correctly) and I gather they have not commissioned the drawing have they?

      Perhaps you would kindly tell me how to reach Farnborough Rd -- from Marble Arch, say?  

                                                      Yours truly

                                                       Algernon Blackwood


"After leaving Vienna, and long before you come to Budapest, the Danube enters a region of singular loneliness and desolation, where its waters spread away on all sides regardless of a main channel, and the country becomes a swamp for miles upon miles, covered by a vast sea of low willow-bushes. On the big maps this deserted area is painted in a fluffy blue, growing fainter in color as it leaves the banks, and across it may be seen in large straggling letters the word Sümpfe, meaning marshes." Algernon Blackwood, "The Willows"


Monday, August 24, 2015

Rambling about the Columbia River Gorge




Photos by JF

 On 22 August 2015 I hiked on the trail leading from Multnomah Falls, Oregon, up Larch Mountain. I started out, unintentionally due to parking issues, at nearby Wahkeena Falls. I climbed up to these falls, then eventually walked the trail connecting over to Multnomah Falls. Thrice, years ago I climbed all the way to Sherrard Point. I fell a little short this time.

Smoke from forest fires remote yellowed the forested sky.  The supreme quiet of old-growth forests -- something out of an Algernon Blackwood story -- ancient markers of volcanic activity, water rippling down rock channels, moss-carpeted immensities. I encountered two hikers with a dog, and saw them again, ascending as I descended. I completed the last bit by flashlight. Finally I accepted a ride back to Wahkeena Falls from someone getting off work, the first time I've "hitchhiked," again unplanned, in decades. 



Saturday, August 15, 2015

My Father's Time at Reed College, and Other Fragments

My father, International House, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, August 1986. Photo by JF.

 Daddy Domino, by Mildred Plew Merryman, illustrations by Janet Laura Scott. Published by the Buzza Company in 1929, the year the stock market crash triggered the Great Depression. The book was a Christmas gift to my father in 1934, according to an inscription inside. The book filled me with awe and unplaceable dread as a child, with its silhouette artwork and hypnagogic, late Art Nouveau feel, something from a time loop in either the film or book of The Shining.

My father sometimes obliquely referred to his session studying at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon. I was unclear exactly how long he attended Reed, or when he went there. The time he spent as a student at the college comprised one of the many fragments of his enigmatic existence. He conjured up an atmosphere including bohemian students and uncomfortably robust instruction.

It was only much later that I contacted Reed, and discovered that he failed to finish even the one semester he was at the college, in 1949. He potentially missed the drunken boat on this one, for this was the period of the Reed College Beats.


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Escher Apparition


Photo by JF
2004

Monday, August 3, 2015

Latourell/Newport



Photos by JF: Columbia River Gorge, Catacombs of Paris, both 2015



Latourell/ Newport

“Who is the thread who walks beside you?”
Raccoon purls, femur boots like snakeskin. The sea makes one voice, waterfall another.
Slop of cutbank nose flute, shell green, “your eyes know where to go.”
Licorice fern, “call me fishmeal.” Of three, one remained,
“Turtle with snake head,” “That’s human hair,” afterlife beading like warm rain,
The sea makes one voice, waterfall another.

By JF 3 August 2015


Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Newport, Oregon


"Though we know her a lifetime, she must always hold an alien air, as if something too vast to have shape were lurking in the universe to which she is a door." -- from The Night Ocean, R.H. Barlow  & H.P. Lovecraft. The prose poem took place by a different ocean, but the same principle applies.

The revered Mo's Restaurant, in Newport. I entered their establishment today, for the first time in a long spell. No more photo of Robert F. Kennedy's visit on the wall.

Outside a bar

 Looks as if "Pops" Flea Market has lost some of its luster. Two raccoons, awake in the daytime on the side of the place, glared at me. I tried to get a photo, but they tore off into a trench by the building, then stopped, still standing as if they might charge me.


Photos by JF, 19 July, 2015.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Collage, 1977-79


A collaborative collage, known as The Giant Collage, created by me and Roman Scott, 1977-79. I posted about this work previously.


The same work, filtered through Dream deeply. As some others have indicated, the program generates a lot of dogs. This is, however, still an engrossing interpretation of the fractal original.

 
  And one more Dream deeply rendering -- of Marc Myers, Clark Dissmeyer, and me, Nebraska, 8 March 2015. We look like psychonauts in a Stanislaw Lem novel, or figures in a Francis Bacon painting, or both.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Grandfather and Great-Uncle


My grandfather Fred Clark, homesteader and rancher. Possibly Missouri, ca. 1905. 


My great-uncle Bruce with his pet bear. Montana, 1930s? 




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Indian House: Conflagration Totem

  

 The totem pole-like chimney rises from the remains of this abandoned house, in the Columbia River Gorge, on the Oregon side, which I have photographed now and again the past few years. Decades ago, I knew the dwellers within, as previously described. Sadly, inadvertently or otherwise, someone set fire to the house sometime in the last year, leaving only scorched walls and a foundation shell, and exploded reminders of a past life.


  

The interior of the Indian House, post-fire

June 2015
I have previously posted decades-spanning images of this house.

Photos by JF, 30 June 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

3 by Flannery O'Connor


Around this season I consumed the above volume by

Flannery O'Connor

 This was a first for me -- the first time I'd rolled through anything by O'Connor. I previously possessed a misty impression of her as a Southern Gothic writer, with comic or grotesque aspects -- not someone who sounded initially of interest to me. After soaking up Wise Blood, and the short story collection A Good Man is Hard to Find, and The Violent Bear it Away, I realized that here was an enormously thoughtful and precise artist, a huge talent. A large portion of individual sentences in this omnibus held up by themselves, endlessly rich and quotable: Take "A dark yellow sun was beginning to rise in a sky that was the same slick dark gray as the highway," from "The Displaced Person." Someone I know characterized O'Connor's style as "clairvoyant;" there is a sense for me, as with the above quotation, of Cézanne's or Van Gogh's landscapes, filtered through Conrad's prose.

O'Connor adumbrated her own premature demise, at the age of 39, with her death-saturated writing, brimming with coffins, corpses, murder. Her celebrated religiousness was ambiguous, never oppressive or dogmatic. Her work is grounded in the south, but resonated with universal appeal. The white elephant in her realm, at least in some of the works in 3 by Flannery O'Connor, was racism. The narrator behind her fiction employed racist terms and racist portrayals overly much in places. However, the white characters are often obtuse, rigid and flawed, themselves.

Flanner O'Connor is an author I will visit again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Roman Scott Painting and Sound




A recent video that I made. The photo used (shot by my father) depicts Roman Scott painting in Brooklyn, ca. 1991. The soundtrack is a form of musique concrète. Roman and I created many hours of such distorted and looped sounds in the 1970s and 80s, using recordings of our own voices, ad hoc sound effects, and samples of TV shows, radio broadcasts, and recorded music, among other sources. The first part included someone reading a Dadaist poem, from a public TV documentary on the history of the surrealist movement. Later, Roman read his poem The India Rubber Heads, backed by what sounded like eerie carnival music. Next: a snippet from a Buñuel film.The section toward the end was a selection from Les Chants de Maldoror, by Lautréamont, from the same documentary. Thanks to Marc Myers for converting some of the surviving cassette tapes to digital format.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

In Memoriam Roman Scott,1965-2015

 
I just learned that my friend, the artist Roman Scott, passed away at the age of 50, after a long illness (and he had the grace to leave along with Christopher Lee!). I met him in September 1976 when we were in the sixth grade, and have been in continuous contact since, as he moved first to a different school district, then later in life to Colorado, New York City, and Norway. I'm happy to write I was able to visit him a number of times, in all three of these places -- we joked about him moving ever eastward. Thank you for nearly 39 years of friendship. 

He is survived by his wife, Heidi, his brother, Dave, his father, Walt, and many other grieving relatives and friends. Above is a photo I took of Roman in Kragerø, Norway (a haunt of Edvard Munch, the Norwegian titan of art), on a trip in June 2009.

"But O the heavy change now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves,
With wilde thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes mourn."

Milton, "Lycidas" 




Sunday, June 7, 2015

St. Elizabeth's, Wrocław, Poland


I missed this church on my first visit to Wrocław in 2009, so I made it a priority on my second stay. I climbed the lung-taxing tower, and surveyed the view from on high, in April 2015. Consider that your złotys to get in admit you to a tight spiral of hundreds of small stairs, with no real landings. So if you have any physical condition precluding exertion, avoid this activity.

 I surveyed the view from above for some time, looking down to the city where some of my ancestors resided, noting the shores of the Odra and the scallops of the town square.  A woman wrote her name on the sheet metal protecting the tower's top. I heard some German spoken.

A view from the tower

 On the street in Wrocław
Photos by JF, April, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Houellebecq's Non-Cosmic Lovecraft

College Hill, Providence, Rhode Island

 
Photos by JF, 1986

A couple days ago I read, in translation, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, by Michel Houllebecq. A friend lent the book to me. Among the most insightful works of literary criticism I have absorbed on the Providence visionary, with its view of Lovecraft's fiction as an assault, as uniquely non-compromising, non-literature, as architectural, as channeled by its indifference to realism, to sex and money, the essay also possessed weak points. Some of the quotations were garbled or apocryphal, and the author incorrectly attributed a view of the cosmos as evil to Lovecraft. Houellebecq referenced Lovecraft's cosmicism only indirectly, a curious oversight. But in general, the book was an enthralling read and study. 

Stephen King's Introduction was serviceable, although it contained at least one or two errors. He cited William Hope Hodgson as someone who was influenced by Lovecraft. The timeline does not support this notion.



Saturday, May 23, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend


Korean War Memorial, Willamette National Cemetery, Portland, Oregon, 1999

Hoyt Arboretum, 2000

Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, 2000