About Me

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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. The "xothique" portion of the web address is a nod to Clark Ashton Smith's fictional continent of Zothique.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Aquarian Visions: Algernon Blackwood's The Promise of Air

A letter attached to my copy of The Promise of Air. 

Some time not long past, I found a copy of Algernon Blackwood's novel, The Promise of Air; which I recently read. 
The book has moments of resonant poetry and originality. At times, the tone is breezy and light, perhaps to an excess. The darker currents threading through some of Blackwood's strongest works (such as his short story The Wendigo, or his memoir Episodes Before 30), are mostly absent from The Promise of Air. With its Aquarian Society, and proclamations that all are one, the book anticipated some trends that appeared much later -- in the 1960s, for example. "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius," indeed. References to birds, as symbols of liberation and transcendence, pepper the novel. The chief character, Joseph Wimble, and his ethereal daughter, Joan, gravitate toward a life of spontaneity and freedom (while his son and wife are, at least on the surface, more earthbound and conventional). One compelling scene revolved around a family night at the movies, in their days of silent glory and novelty: "The cinema frees and extends the consciousness, restores the past, and sets distance close beneath the eyes. Only the watching self remains -- pregnant symbol! -- in the darkness." (p. 168). Despite the novel's flaws, its themes are timeless and significant.

-- JF, 2020


Sunday, September 13, 2020

2016 Trip Journal

In September 2016, I took a car trip through parts of Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, and Montana. I followed this excursion with time spent in Washington, D.C., and Providence, Rhode Island. I took the journey in part to mark the 30th anniversary of a cross-US railway voyage I made (Todd Mecklem published the resulting journal in 1990, through his imprint, Terata Publications). Following are the published version of the trip journal cover, by Roman Scott, a variant, unpublished cover he drew; and a lightly edited transcript of the 2016 notes. 

Original cover, by Roman Scott

Variant cover, by Roman Scott

A Trip Journal: 2016
by Jonathan Falk

September 11, 2016, Sunday
This day I drove out to Dry Lakes State Park, Washington State. The Missoula Floods have enthralled me for some time. The wind shrieked constantly in my ears as I hiked around Umatilla Rock -- like a paranoia-critical monument rising from talus. The ghost of J. Harlan Bretz played antique tunes. Soft reeds. Lonely hawks sailed in the draft. Austere -- bleak -- forbidding bluffs, the beds of the former ice age falls. 
From now & then, Trump-Pence signs rise on the sagebrush range. 
I am in Ephrata, WA for two nights, one day.
Long drive here. Stopped briefly in Toppenish, WA, which my mother visited as a child. Drove by an otherworldly viewpoint, faerie lava peaks and a paleaogean valley. 
15 September 2016. 
Dream last night in Hamilton, Montana, of a man/subway/interdimensional penny farthing. 
I am in Coeur d'Alene now. 
Today in Wallace, Idaho, gunning down mountain slopes at 80 MPH. Apparently I was there as a child.
Mining museum, scale models of mining shafts, mine bicycles, mine wars, the big burn of 1910.
Other part of my dream: A pit bull locked jaws on my throat.
I visited my aunt & uncle in MT. We went to the Daly Mansion, game room glittering glass eyes of gazelles and black bears, yellow screeching wallpaper & the bed where Mrs. Daly breathed her last
And Fort Missoula yesterday vegetable cellar cool as a ship burial. Hello at a chapel like the nave at a stave church. Ripple marks of glacial Lake Missoula a celestial shore seen from an observatory tower, over high grounds
18 September 2016 in Washington DC for the first time today. Humid air and crickets and birds shrill over Andrew Jackson in horse stride. Panhandlers near the White House. Sniper atop the Corinthian-columned facade. And a henna-bearded guy holding an Arabic scroll and calling prayers. Bomb scare, bulky secret service agent yelling whose camera bag is it. (Someone caused alarm, by abandoning a camera bag.) We were ordered to the other side of the street. The agent found the bag was empty. Shone his flashlight through it. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Truman, a bucket of warm spit, marchers from 1960s stride by.
Last day driving home in Gorge, Biggs Junction, Brother Speed bikers ahead of me. Shot through a red light. Yakama nation license plates handed food to homeless man. Feathery plangent sunset. 
At rest area, crickets voices swelled, twilight wind filled shore branches, navigation lights rang green and blue. 
Way behind on journal. This is written September 22, 2016, Thursday evening. 
In Warwick, Rhode Island. First time back in R.I. since August 1986, with dad. Previous three and a half days I was in Washington DC, first time. Steam drumming against vents -- walk by business women & men -- Peruvian chicken devoured in moist shape. Studded with mosquito bites on my arm,  bunks to coed hostel like Dana or Whitejacket, Hostel Manager asked me how I liked DC, MLK statue at golden sunset hour ferrous with night, excited cicadas in unseen blends.
The Washington Pillar rakes the music of the spheres, symphonic gloaming bars of the reflecting pool in the tragic rumples of the Gettysburg address writer's jacket, crepuscular mirrors of Vietnam Vets slabs, Jefferson Memorial an island of sagacity -- A kid screamed: "There's TJ." FDR Memorial, a maze supernal at night. 
24 September 2016 Derangement of the Senses -- Providence RI  This trip is almost over, as all trips shall be -- 
I found this is more about understanding my 1986 self & honoring & bidding farewell to those who are lost -- Today (or rather the 23rd) was a comedy in part of misadventures. Two bus drivers yelled at me -- one for putting a day ticket (in the slot he pointed at) in the wrong place. The other looked like Joe Piscopo, and screamed when I boarded -- the back door was broken, and I was supposed to know this.
I visited Lovecraft's grave, arriving by bus, then trudging through the hot sun rays. A pond nests in the cemetery, shaded and gardened. A security guard drove up to me and asked me what I was doing. He directed me to the grave and hung around, telling me no photos.. Where are you from? Oregon. "That's way out there." and he informed me of HPL cons, and "an HPL website."  The slab is angular midst Whipple, Robie, Susan and Winfield, trampled grass, bare ground. I paid honor to the ones and to the author of the Shadow out of Time, and left. 
And I walked to 65 Prospect Place, formerly 66 College -- Faint light within, Fanlight crowning, ghostly crickets mourning the breezes -- lunch at a bad sushi place -- 
White house, break dancers folding shoulder blades -- lights, inside -- Dreams of relatives faces alternating, Fake beards, woods 
10-17-16 Home, arboreal lava, dead rice

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Seeking the Gravesite of Stanley Fafara

 On June 27th, 2020, I set out to locate the grave of former child actor Stanley Fafara (1949-2003). It marked the first time I had trod the grasses and lanes of Redland Pioneer Cemetery, in a rustic area of Oregon City, Oregon. Driving on rural roads, I stopped, at first believing the gate was locked. I entered the grounds, and quickly homed in on Stanley Fafara's grave marker; only placed in 2016. This was a grave that was easy to sight; unlike, say, the false starts, the disorientation, that might occur, looking for the dead in a large place like Pere Lachaise.  A fence, hedges, and a nursery, with the softened outlines of hills about, border Stanley Fafara's plot; the marker included his birth and death dates (which differ from the dates given in online sources), a cross (a Benedictine cross, according to the "2016" link), and the poignant nickname "Whitey." A mixture of overcast, wind, and occasional bursts of sunlight, defined the day.  

I never viewed Leave it to Beaver, in which Stanley Fafara -- playing the role of Hubert "Whitey" Whitney (a cheerful character, slightly less mischievous than some of The Beaver's other friends); in the seminal mid-century modern, nuclear family show, until a few years back. (The series had some intriguing undercurrents; such as when Ward Cleaver, played by Hugh Beaumont, mentioned that he subscribed to Weird Tales in youth.) Local TV did not broadcast the reruns, during my own youth. Popular TV culture was part of the gestalt in those years; whether absorbing the jarring images, in Green Acres of the ascent to make phone calls on a telephone pole; or seeing the Gomer Pyle show, followed by the unexpected death of Frank Sutton, who portrayed Sergeant Vince Carter. Family lore had it that he "gave himself a heart attack with his crazy screaming." The sergeant himself stated, with eerie premonition, in one episode, we've all gotta go sometime. The Vietnam War, at its height during the show's run, was absent (other than maybe by one or two remote allusions, to jungle warfare and the like), from a program which, paradoxically, revolved around the U.S. Marine Corps.  Frank Sutton's sudden passage was one of the ways in which I learned of the omnipresent essence of death.
Character actor Richard Deacon will forever signal the end of Green Acres, in an inchoate attempt to propel the show in a different direction. Leave it to Beaver will always capture some aspects of a time, from the late 50s to the period right before the assassination of John F. Kennedy; the scrapbook locked in amber. And the revelation of Stanley Fafara's grave, brought to awareness unrealized potentia, redemption, in this rural setting; nestled in leagues of farm and forest.

Monday, July 27, 2020

12 Years of Adalbert

Today marks 12 years since my first entry of this blog. 

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Hieroglyphics, by Arthur Machen

In 1987, in Eugene, Oregon, I once met an individual, a poet, through friends in common. He mentioned Arthur Machen's Hieroglyphics as one of his prime sources of inspiration. I had read a fair number of Machen's stories by then (and later read his visionary novel, The Hill of Dreams), but Hieroglyphics remained unavailable.  (No doubt if I'd made the effort, I could have checked out a copy, courtesy of interlibrary loan, or found a way to order the book; even in that time when the early incarnation of the World Wide Web was limited to a few military and university channels.) I ultimately procured a copy in recent times, & soaked up the words.  In Hieroglyphics, Machen referenced a range of works, including Dickens' The Pickwick Papers, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (and figures such as William Wordsworth, Bach, Jane Austen, Poe and others also appear); "... should Mr. Pickwick's overdose of milk-punch prove, ultimately, a clue to the labyrinth of mystic theology." (Hieroglyphics, p. 119) George Eliot, William Thackeray and others, appear unfavorably as examples of didactic or conventional literature. "...I may say at once that to the literalist, the rationalist, the materialist critic, the problem is quite insoluble."  (p. 115) In a period after photographers such as Vivian Maier and Garry Winogrand, Machen's thoughts on cameras and film (incorporated into some literary points), are at times questionable (yet nuanced): he states, for example: "... the end (of photography) is to portray the surface of life, to make a picture of the outside of things." (p. 73)

 Present, sometimes in subtle form, was a sort of mysticism I expected from The Hill of Dreams, in which Lucian Taylor enters a enraptured state, by merely reading single lines or phrases of Coleridge's or Poe's poetry. A singular, discursive work, Machen threaded an effective case for an ecstatic literature, throughout Hieroglyphics. -- JF

Source for quotes: Hieroglyphics: A Note Upon Ecstasy in Literature, by Arthur Machen. London: Martin Secker, 1912.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Thing Who Goes There

Cover art by Hannes Bok; edition from Shasta Publishers, 1948.

Digital Collage by JF 

 I recently perused John W. Campbell's 1938 novella Who Goes There?, which has germinated three films to date (all of which I also watched/ rewatched lately). Campbell wrote the tale not long before the start of WWII in Europe; but the writing feels fresh as the thing in the ice itself (an earlier version, Frozen Hell, predated Who Goes There?). It has a few parallels to Lovecraft's short novel At the Mountains of Madness. These include the location in the Antarctic, and the uncovering of prehistoric and alien discoveries in the polar wastes (at the same time, there are great differences in development and atmosphere). 

Who Goes There? has a surgically minimal, yet poetic style. Campbell's characters frequently have outsized qualities. "Moving from the smoke-blued background, McReady was a figure from some forgotten myth, a looming, bronze statue that held life, and walked." In contrast with the careful assemblage of background and details in At the Mountains of Madness, the following line almost symbolized Campbell's approach: "There is no need for details."  The novel also has vague echos of the Antarctic destination in  Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym; and its portentous albatross, feels like a harbinger out of Coleridge. Campbell's terse novella, with its replicated physical forms, and terrifying transformations, is a powerful read. (And the other stories in the collection are also superb.)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Plague Stew

Lately I've made a stew for these days, which I never formulate precisely the same way, each time I cook it. The emphasis is on nutrient density; the ingredients might include beef liver (or substitute a vegan course, such as seitan), beets, potatoes, turmeric root, Brussels sprouts, beech mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, water and broth; or replace with edible ingredients, based on your own decisionsInfuse with, say, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, salsa. Bringing to a slight boil (or to a temperature hot enough for food preparation standards), then simmering for an hour or so, refrigerating, and repeating the next day, subdues and melds the strong flavors, in a sort of alchemical process. "Wouldn't help, wouldn't hoit." 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Chthonic Survivals: Donald Wandrei's The Web of Easter Island

Cover art by Audrey Johnson

Donald Wandrei's The Web of Easter Island was a curious novel, with a story of cosmic terror and revelatory dread. The book was uneven. At times, moments of wondrous poetry and weirdness appeared:
"A fiery sun was setting in a coppery sky. The roofs of buildings and the tops of trees glowed with a dull flame." The passages which involved Easter Island, and "Carter E. Graham, curator of the Ludbury Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology" were initially promising.  Other parts contained awkward phrasing, and the work spun into episodes that unraveled, under the weight of overreach. The writing had a few more overtly racy passages than appear, for instance, in much of the writing of Wandrei's associate, and correspondent, H.P. Lovecraft: "The narrow areola around each nipple clung like the budding heart of a blood rose aganst the tan of her skin." (P. 55, TWEI). (Although one can counter that with this selection from a letter from H.P. Lovecraft to the singular poet and writer, Clark Ashton Smith: "I need not say how enormously grateful & delighted I am at receiving the MS. of 'Solution.' It is a haunting, fascinating thing, which makes the reader involuntarily look over his shoulder as if fearful of beholding long lethal visions of primordial ooze peopled with gnarled, sentient, & cyclopean trees that watch perpetually & wave black slimy branches in unholy orgasms." (From Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, ed. by David E. Schulz and S.T. Joshi; Hippocampus Press, 2017).  (In 2011, Centipede Press issued an edition containing an earlier draft of the book, Dead Titans Waken!.) (Bobby Derie has written extensively on erotic elements in Lovecraft, and many other authors.)

Ultimately, The Web of Easter Island does not "correlate its contents" and conclude in a satisfactory way, in contrast with, for example, H.P. Lovecraft's masterful short story, The Call of Cthulhu (1926).

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Lovecraft at Last: The Master of Horror in his own Words

Lately I finally absorbed Lovecraft at Last (Cooper Square Press: 2002), by Willis Conover, decades after reading the other two Lovecraft-related books, also released in 1975 (Lovecraft: A Biography, by L. Sprague De Camp, and Howard Phillips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside, by Frank Belknap Long; as mentioned by S.T. Joshi, in his introduction). Conover's work, which he constructed brilliantly with letter excerpts, photos, and other visual material, and his own reflections, is a touching account of his friendship-from-afar, with H.P. Lovecraft.  Conover conveyed the tragic nature of the closing of their fleeting correspondence, in admirably understated ways, mostly letting the letters provide their own testimony. The book is a stellar achievement.
H.P. Lovecraft's friend and correspondent, Robert H. Barlow, famously had a link, as his teacher at Mexico City College, to novelist William S. BurroughsWillis Conover's life -- he became a prominent broadcaster, for the Voice of America, also had some unexpected outcomes.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Autumnal Empires (Super 8 Film)

Autumnal Empires is a film (made from combining two originally-untitled film reels), which had languished unviewed for decades. I only lately arranged for a digital conversion; having previously only seen it once or twice, via a movie projector; and experienced a curious sensation, of the resurrection of times past. The cut-up of bursts of television imagery, created a mini-story all its own. Atmospheric glimpses of a mostly long-vanished industrial past in northwest Portland, Oregon, charged past; along with juxtaposed objects and scenes partly inspired by surrealist and Dadaist films (I might have seen a handful of such by then, such as those made by Hans Richter, Maya Deren, and others). I filmed part of the first section at Crown Point, and on a snowy day at Oneonta Gorge

Below are some stills, which give a different perspective on the movie. Depicted, starting from the top down: Roman Scott, me, NW Portland (as visualized by Ted Serios), Todd Mecklem, NW Portland, eye. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

The Twilight of the Narrators

The Twilight of the Narrators

The willows wailed in the box office. The revenant hovered hierophant beak telepath since the facts precluded an aardvark sliver metamorphosis of Gautama Buddha; 

cremains lotus mandala homunculus satori stupa resplendent in the cedar light of shrunken shrines, lotus petroglyph sunset notes. 

by Jonathan Falk

A detail, from Der Alte; painting in progress

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Trances of Twilight, & The Howler

Two stills from The Howler (with Roman Scott, wearing the beret, and me, below, encountering a wall); a Super 8 movie we made in 1987. The film originated with an H.P. Lovecraft poem, from his Fungi from Yuggoth sonnet cycle.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Enter the Neo-20s

Happy New Year, and return of the 20s!

An instant I caught, from a Chinese New Year lion dance, Portland, Oregon, 1993. Note the sign for the defunct strip club, Magic A Go-Go, near the center of the photo.  (As to when the 20s, or any decade, century, or millennium, start, that is open to differing views, as with the big odometer roll-over in 2000. At least 2020 starts a nominal decade, which has some psychic reality.)

Saturday, December 14, 2019

The Chancellor's Disunity: Jonathan Steinberg's Bismarck: A Life

A photo I gathered, at nightfall, at the Bismarck Memorial, Berlin, April, 2015. I strolled about the monument, while visiting the nearby Siegessäule (which I first became aware of through its appearance in Wim Wenders' film, Wings of Desire). 

Jonathan Steinberg's Bismarck: A Life (2011), which I read not long ago, has for its cover a photo of the chancellor, with his severe mien; and a blurb from Henry Kissinger. I am not clear that a recommendation from a chief planner behind Nixon's Cambodia and Vietnam strategy, is a good thing. Nonetheless, the meaty biography successfully evoked the life and spirit of Bismarck, the chief figure behind the unification of the German states, in 1871; drawing on the statesman's own writings, and the impressions of many of his contemporaries. A few sentences could have done with some tighter editing.  Here is an example: "Vain, irresponsible, a stock exchange speculator, Arnim certainly was, but Bismarck used the courts to accuse him of treason, drove him out of the country, and to an early death." (pp- 342-43) I remember advice from my 18th Century Literature professor, who once said, just write short, shitty little sentences if you have to.

 I was nonplussed at the absence, from the index, of Adalbert Falk. Despite this odd omission, he does appear, in the text, on page 321 (and elsewhere). "The pious, very Christian von Muhler was replaced with a formidable liberal lawyer, Adalbert Falk, whose name came to symbolize the Kulturkampf. Falk came from a Protestant pastor's family in Silesia. A child prodigy, he entered Breslau University at 16 to become a lawyer..." 

 Bismarck materialized in the book as a conflicted, neurotic, and brilliant individual, with a situational disregard for most other people. Steinberg barely alluded to Bismarck's late, landmark creation of social support systems (which came about incidentally, to take away momentum from more radical programs). Nevertheless, the book is an excellent, enlightening read. It provided a vivid, full portraiture of the Iron Chancellor. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Vintage Reveries, Porterville, California

Real photo postcard, Porterville, California. One can see the driver's hand, but where's the face?

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Dual Weird/Horror HPL Events

Director Richard Stanley (with Brian Callahan), Q and A, after a showing of Color out of Space, closing night, H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival, 2019. The movie presented a contemporary take on HPL's masterpiece; remaining mostly faithful to the bleak cosmicism of the original (with pathos, and a bit of humor, and scenery-chewing, from Nicholas Cage).   During the question session afterward, I offered a question about the appearance, in the film, of a copy of Algernon Blackwood's The Willows. 

Robert Corman and Victoria Price, talking about Vincent Price, filmmaking, and other matters, after a showing of The Haunted Palace, at the 2019 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. I also saw Robert Corman (with Andrew Migliore) in a discussion after a showing of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (the first time I'd seen the film; he revealed, among other things, that Don Rickles was nervous at first, since it was his first movie).

I also took in Shorts Blocks 1 & 3, & the audience-involved Dark Adventure Radio Theatre production of HPL's The Lurking Fear, among other events.

Cody Goodfellow, reading at the Lovecraft at the Lovecraft (Bar) event, 10-19-19 (he appeared, along with a number of other performers, writers, and poets). Also pictured: John Shirley (who fronted the Screaming Geezers, appearing as a sort of punk preacher of chaos, and Adam Bolivar, who put on a grimly compelling marionette show).

John Shirley and the Screaming Geezers

Sarah Walker reading at the Lovecraft Bar (with John Shirley, and Wendy Wagner watching on the right). Jason V. Brock, and Nathan Carson, also read.

A trip I recently took, to Colorado, Nebraska, and New York City (and running into some traces of past voyages/stays in those places), had for bookends these two H.P. Lovecraft-inspired festivals/events. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Nicholas Roerich Museum

Today I spent a couple hours meditating over the paintings, objects, and art in the Nicholas Roerich Museum, in New York City; I had wanted to visit the place a long while. I first was alerted to his timeless, numinous artwork, through a reference in a letter I read by H.P. Lovecraft, to James F. Morton (one of the last letters he wrote; he mentioned the artist other times as well).

Wednesday, October 9, 2019


I am revisiting Colorado; after a long interval.

Friday, September 20, 2019

In the Hall of the Flatirons: Letter from Boulder, Colorado, October 22-23, 1984

Here follows the (lightly edited) text of a letter I wrote, in October 1985, to family members; during my stay in Colorado, through parts of 1984 and 1985.

I've tried to call about 6 times or more the past 3 days, but with no luck. I realised then that you are probably in California. Otherwise, I would've written sooner.
(Switching to ink -- that ball-point is hard on my hand.)

I went to Roman's last week-end and stayed for 4 days. The 1st day he served me frog legs, seaweed and noodles, a most exotic dish. His apartment is nice, tho' the furniture is rather broken down, and he has no bed (we slept on mats on the floor).

The first night we viewed a great film directed by Luis Bunuel, Viridiana. We spent a lot of time painting and wandering about in Denver.
On the 3rd day it snowed 2 feet; we went to downtown Denver, as he had no classes, and ate at a Russian cafe; on the way back a car smacked into the side of our bus, and the bus drove over the sidewalk & smashed into a 'phone (sic-- with power lines) pole, which broke off and slammed on the roof with tremendous noise, causing people to scream; everyone thought he was done for. Several wires lay across the roof of the bus, so everyone on board (about 20) had to wait for quite a while whilst police, fire trucks, power officials and so on showed up. Finally, the power was shut off, and we could leave; the incident was on the news a couple hours later.

Oct. 23
As soon as the bus had come to a stop the driver screamed "Don't anybody move! Don't anybody touch anything!"
I got back here alright, as most of the streets were clear, tho' they were like rivers from the melting snow. It seems to snow more in Denver than here for some reason; only about 1 foot of snow fell here.

I feed the 3 horses 2 bales of hay every day, and break the ice off the tanks. The temperature has been in the 20s and 30s, which is unusually cold for this time of year.

There was an earthquake about a week ago, centered near Casper, Wyoming, which rattled Colorado, Nebraska, and a couple other states, registering 5.5 on the Richter Scale. I was sitting on the couch, and felt it shake, but I thought it was the cat playing until I heard later about the 'quake.

Thanks exceedingly for the birthday presents; I did not expect them. I'm wearing the long-sleeved shirt right now. 

-- Would you send me, please, the address of the U of O School of Musick?

Clark Dissmeyer and Marc Myers called a few weeks ago, comprising the first time I've talked to Clark, tho' we didn't get much said, it being difficult to talk to two people at once.
    As always, your oblig'd and obt. servant,


A sample from the letter, and one from the envelope: and a photo of me, Boulder, 1985.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

"I am considering moving Into one of those lofts around Union Station:" Letter from Roman Scott, 1988

The following is a letter to me, from Roman Scott, detailing a period in his life when he moved from Sandy, Oregon, to Portland (as things transpired, he initially dwelled in an atmospheric apartment building, with shared bathrooms, in the Lair Hill district, instead of the "lofts near Union Station"). After about a year (also including a stint living in the attic of the Pythian Building) in Portland, he headed to New York City, where he spent the next 12 or so years; as artist, student, and teacher.


 9.7.88, Sandy


Dreamt of an impossible large old factory building, so huge it would dwarf the largest of the pyramids. Inside it was built an entire old city, known for ages, with odd & forgotten streets build on many levels.


My mom came into my room, & I realized with horror that her face was that of an old Indian.

Lately I’ve been getting my airbrushes back in working condition as I have an illustration job which requires the technique. I’ve taken to a British canned airbrush propellant called friskair; the stuff is 8.00 a bottle, but it lasts a good while, & is infinitely more enjoyable than that damned compressor hammering away. It took two days to repair the more expensive brush, the company of which, incidentally, has gone out of business, taken over by a New Zealand firm. I bought it for $60; now it would cost $200.

Sent some Hollandse Zigarren to the Meck for his birthday.


I am considering moving into one of those lofts around Union Station; actually, they are not in Union Station, but on Everett & 6th, closer in. & they will be quite fancy (Casablanca fans, high ceiling, a living loft above, & a kitchen/bathroom space below. Even with the subsidy I wonder whether I could afford it. Yet it would be in the best location. I would call it “Gallery Roman” perhaps. I have till Nov. to decide. 


Today commenced “Sandy Mt. Days.” I am doubtful that I have the strength to confront it again.


Instead I’ve been lounging around making cassette tapes. Last night I finally made a recorder take two different inputs, recording internally. This tape, the final product, I will call Het Ij.

Recorded a good, though expurgated Burroughs reading on Kaboo (KBOO).

The stamp & envelope of this letter are compliments of Anne Hughes’ coffee room, which sent it to me so that I would feel inclined to buy a spendy 10.00 ticket for one of their performances.



St. Pangrass

Friday, August 2, 2019

Evocation of Algernon Blackwood

A painting I completed of late; Episodes Before 82: Algernon Blackwood.  (And July 27th marked the 11th year since I started this web log.)

Saturday, July 20, 2019


A postcard, and photo (I have posted the portrait before), from Liège, Belgium. I bought the card in Amsterdam.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Angelo Muscat Film Festival

Digital collage by JF

A poem I wrote around 1978-80, tangentially about actor Angelo Muscat:

Angelo Muscat Film Festival

The man-hero poured the drink directly into his brain.

I said that's what you are deeply thinking. Puce scapegoat grace, a walnut reminiscence of timeless misouts. Reference 1: I refer you to my Uncle Charlie, who last knew his source 15 years ago, smothered in that cake of which he sowed nothing.
a poisonous dripping Grim Reaper taking us all to task, hovering over the soap mix bowl.  

--- JF

Saturday, June 15, 2019


My earliest calculator; mid 1970s.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Sketch of Boulder Book Store, April 1985

Here's a study I did; based on my recollection of a photograph (or based on an amalgam of several photos) captured of Allen Ginsberg, by Roman Scott, April, 1985; at the Boulder Book Store, Colorado. We spent twenty or thirty minutes conversing with the poet... The series of photographs vanished, alas, as I have mentioned elsewhere. Ginsberg also snapped a couple pictures of me, Roman, and others who were there. I have examined the images from that period in the Allen Ginsberg collection, in the Stanford University Library digital archives  -- but if the photos survived that he took at the signing, I was not able to locate them (there are a couple sheets of Ginsberg photos from April 12th and 13th, 1985, in Boulder -- the same visit).