The Long And Winding River

August 29, 2009

In the middle ages paintings were created to tell a story. Usually a religious story. The picture was not a snapshot of a moment but a record of a series of events over a period of time. That is what this piece is. A simple story of a river. The same story each of us experiences each day. Its about routine. The same things one passes each day on the way to work, or school. And yet there is a slight difference each time we pass them. Perhaps it is the time of day. Or the weather. Or an event that happens at this place. But we seldom pay attention unless something catastrophic happens. I noticed when I lived in Europe that people who lived in the most beautiful locations in the world were just as bored, just as neutral to their environment as someone living in the most mundane suburb. Still, I’d rather go to work in Florence than in Detroit.

The Long and Winding RiverV1

A. E. Housman. 1859–
To An Athlete Dying Young

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come, 5
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay, 10
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers 15
After earth has stopped the ears:
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man. 20
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head 25
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.


Athletes attain their glory so early in life that it must be something akin to torture when one has to return or step for the first time into the midst of mere mortals. To be retired before the age when many of us have barely begun our career, or life work. When I was a young bachelor, my girlfriend and Wayne’s girlfriend shared a  house together. Our paths never crossed. But if they had, what would we have shared? I was a young 25ish aspiring poet and he was a superstar athlete at 18ish. His life took off like a rocket. Mine sort of mossied off like a bicycle. His girl friend was beautiful. Mime was more interesting. And that’s about all I know on this subject.

The Great Gretsky Portrait of an Aging SuperstarV2

The World of Apostolos

August 26, 2009

There is a sight I have discovered that creates collages that blew me away. Its a Dutch sight. The artist’s name is Apostolos Panagopoulos, a Greek who immigrated to the Netherlands. I haven’t investigated the sight totally but I shall go back. The collages seemed to have been created in layers of plate glass windows. That is the illusion. Its difficult to explain unless you visit it yourself. The World of Apostolos.You will notice that many have ancient references. But they are mixed with a modern context. There are also movies created to go along with the collages. The films are mostly of a surreal nature. Anyway, take some time. Have fun.


The Death of the Moth King

August 25, 2009

For years I had a recurring dream. (I have a lot of recurring dreams. Mostly they are anxiety dreams about responsibility) In this dream I am aboard a slave ship. I am the Moth King. Chief of a tribe that has been thrown in chains. The other people in the tribe turn to me for guidance. I can tell them nothing. Half way across the ocean on a beautiful sunny afternoon the captain decides to throw me overboard. And I am left in the sea, watching the ship shrink into the distance. Everything is so peaceful.

The Death of the Moth KingV3

A Tribute to John Stezaker

August 23, 2009

I have for some time felt a terrific gratitude to John Stezaker for his work. He manages to achieve great success with a minimal amount of pieces in his collages. When they work, they look terrific. My own work is not like his but I created this piece as a tribute to him.

A Tribute to John StezakV1

Mothers participate in something that is a kin to being joined with the rest of the universe. Or at least life. After everything has passed, they still know that they were part of something marvellous. Men are spectators. We are like the moon. Grey, lifeless. Circling the womb.

A tear fell from her fingernail

Its odd as human that once a technology gets old, we become sentimental about it. There was an old factory in Guelph, Ontario from the early 20th century that had been abandoned. Touring the building one was struck by the craftsmanship needed to construct such a place and what a hell-hole it must have been to work there. It is as if Dante’s inferno and paradiso were caught in one image, one experience.

The Ugly Face of the Time MachineCV2

When I was in college at the University of Windsor a friend of mine invited me to a party in Detroit. I declined. I’d had problems crossing the border. They thought I was a slug. My hair was too long. Or I was the wrong sex. He went. There was a bunch of people in the room. Smoking dope. Listening to loud music. Eating blocks of ice cream. One of the guests was Bob Dylan. He sat in the corner. Talking to no one. His head bowed. Lost in some thought. My friend said Dylan was like that all evening. And I couldn’t lose the impression of Dylan in a world by himself. His mind, drifting.

Bob Dylan's Lonesome ThoughtsV2

Men are raised with a perception of women as something mythological. Almost like aliens. Or angels. I remember believing (against all evidence) that a woman could not be an jerk. That characteristic  was restricted to certain men. Nor could I imagine a woman being ridiculous. Or crass. I could not imagine any woman in whose company I would not feel comfortable. Such was the deluded world I lived within. And then one evening, after several beers, I found myself on the arm of a very attractive woman. Who was also drunk. And I started to imagine the evening ahead of us. Carnal thoughts raced through my head. And then she started to cry. Was it something I said? Was there some family tragedy that she had tried to drown in alcohol? It was something much more mundane that ended our evening. She had broken a nail.

spider woman

There is a time in your life, in most everyone’s life where they are handsome. Both men and women. I don’t mean pretty or beautiful. But striking in some way that makes people glance at  you and perhaps stare in the case of people who are strikingly handsome. This is necessary. Or the species would not continue. It does not always last. Hollywood stars must try and maintain this look. Its their livelihood. For most of us it begins to leave us in our mid 20s. This piece is a kind of mythological naval gazing on my part. Its how I saw myself at a certain age. What vanity.

A Glimpse of the Handsome Duke of Botfield

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