Wednesday, April 16, 2014





How to Say NO

This, from the excellent blog, Slow Muse:
When artist Robert Knafo wrote to request a studio interview with Robert Morris, this was the response he received back:
I do not want to travel to distant places to give talks about art I made half a century ago. Minimalism does not need to hear from me. I do not want to travel to distant places to give talks about art I made yesterday. Contemporary art is making enough noise without me. I do not want to be filmed in my studio pretending to be working. I do not want to participate in staged conversations about art...which are labored and disguised performances. I do not want to be interviewed by curators, critics, art directors, theorists, aestheticians, professors, collectors, gallerists, culture mavens, journalists or art historians about my influences, favorite artists, despised artists, past artists, current artists, future artists. .. I do not want to be asked my reasons for not having worked in just one style...about why I used plywood, felt, steam, dirt, grease, lead, wax, money, trees, photographs, electroencephalograms, hot and cold, lawyers, explosions, nudity, sound, language, or drew with my eyes closed.... I refuse to speak of my dead.... I do not want to document my turning points, high points, low points, good points, bad points, lucky breaks, bad breaks, breaking points, dead ends, breakthroughs or breakdowns. I do not want to talk about my methods, processes, near misses, flukes, mistakes, disappointments, setbacks, disasters, obsessions, lucky accidents, unlucky accidents, scars, insecurities, disabilities, phobias, fixations... I do not want my portrait taken... I am happy to be just material for somebody else so long as I can exercise my right to remain silent, immobile, possibly armed, and at a distance of several miles.

Monday, April 07, 2014

from Warped Passage

L'Heure Bleue

There’s no climbing out
of blue this deep. I run my palms
along edges of the headboard
as if a boundary can prove the past
is not present here.

Across the hall, a light switches on
in my mother’s bedroom. Notes
from her radio collide with lyrics
that travel much more slowly now.

The words insist we are fine
as we are but when the voice breaks off
between spikes of static, it reaches
toward me, sticky as fingers.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Everything Must Change

Lemon Pickle

A month after
his fingers blistered
salting the lemons,

skin stained red

with crushed chili
and roasted methi seeds,

the tears he blamed on smoking oil

and not a divided heart

had long since dried,
and he opened the jar

Nimmakaya Pachadi
to lift a sour slice. This is
what patience teaches, he said.
That which survives must change.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Sister Series


A neighbor wrings his hands over wrecked carpets,
a shame of ruin on the plowed driveway. Up and down
the block, pinhole leaks gather momentum
like some underground conspiracy.

We ignore the warnings, water the lawn, do the dull
washing up. Then our pipes burst. Mud spreads
in the water like a rumor. Gargoyle workmen
jack-hammer wounds into our basement, and the man
from public works scans the scene with cover- up eyes.

He stands where a sinkhole will someday swallow
the intersection, erasing memories of wet wool
and solder- stung air in favor of new worst cases, 
where a future plumbed with copper only guarantees
the startle of night-time clang.

The Persistence of Holes

After a winter so severe it turned
his hair white, he investigates termites
that have swallowed the porch.
The yard is mined with hornets’ nests,
the pipes with pinhole leaks.

To start somewhere, he hoses down
his SUV, water pulsing through rubber
while the sun stretches his shadow
into a colossus striding the horizon
separating earth from sky.

You always want to be elsewhere.
Across a wound, edges meet like old lovers.
Boundaries blur, filling with the element
that once contained them. Come here,
she might have said. Hold me.