I think its illegal.

November 18, 2013

a girl's collage twoThis is one of those collages in which I don’t have a clue. Maybe I was drunk when I created it. Although I don’t drink when I create. I think its illegal. Its’ called ‘a girl’s collage’. Maybe that’s a typo.

An exact copy

October 21, 2013

Mike Duffy's Pillow TalkPhotography is only about 150 years old. But for the masses, it has only been relevant for the last 100. Painting though older has always been for a small minority of rich folks. In a thousand years or perhaps less we will have galleries of photos and will see for the first time if the human face (your face) keeps repeating itself. Someone 5 generations from now may find out that you are an exact copy.

I wondered if I should make a list of all the women I have fallen in love with. Not conquests. I wondered if I should stop at women.


I’ve always had an uncomfortable relationship with business. Not small businesses but banks, accounting firms, churches, media outlets. They never forget that money is the bottom line. Everything else is window dressing. Its not that I think the small businessman doesn’t have the same modus operanti. But he has less clout. He can’t hurt you.

the banker



Mr. Edwards stepped, one, two, three, and then a slide. A fox trot. His flashy brown slickers smoothly moving across the hand woven tapestry. How happy were his shoes. If they’d been Oxfords, they would have received awards.

Mr. Newton did not seem to notice Mr. Edwards entrance. At least not his dance. A slight glance upwards. The two men filled up the room with hand shakes and good will. Oh but how dark it was at the corners of the room. As if they never met, but disappeared into some endless well, running parallel, forever, never touching. Leaving a gap in between, that was equal to the least known irrational number. Except there’s always an except from one corner where the back lighting had the effect of highlighting the banker, Mr. Newton’s profile, making him look, sinister, cruel. Tempting lips, Mr. Edwards imagined, involuntarily, marauding across the thighs of Mrs. Newton. Where the pink reigned down like juice from a sluice of watermelon.

Mr. Edwards smiled.

Mr. Newton stood up and motioned to the chair in front of his desk. The chair wiggled a little. Looking forward to a fanny’s delight. The chair opened her legs. Mr. Edwards surveyed the room to make sure that there wasn’t someone buried in the shadows. Mr. Edwards slid into the arms of the chair.

“I’m glad we finally have met.” Mr. Newton blinked, a strobe light in the middle of a dance floor. A dark voice was crowded in his mouth and wanted out.

Mr. Edwards wondered if Mr. Newton hadn’t been born early in the morning on the dangerous shores of the darkened room. Mr. Edwards noticed that the banker seemed to be talking with his mouth full. Like a shark. Too many teeth in his words. Too pearly white. He reminded Mr. Edwards of Marlon Brando in the Godfather offering his condolences to those about to be deceased.

“I apologize for the darkness of the room,” Mr. Newton said. “I’ve just been to the eye doctor for a new set of glasses. Eyesight isn’t what it once was. All that fine print. Drops in my eyes. Makes them sensitive to light. Not that I’m aware that light has feelings.”

A joke. Who would have thought it. Mr. Edwards smiled. Being polite. Aware that there might be a clown around the corner with a hammer.

“And while I was there,” Mr. Newton continued, “I went to my dentist for a cleaning. He is next door. And what does he do, but pull out a tooth. To add to his pearly necklace. Or maybe he needs to do some work on his cottage. Or pay off a loan shark. So there I was. Drops in my eyes. Cotton baton in my mouth. Doing my imitation of the Godfather. I made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. Which explains why my words seem muffled. But I can assure you, Mr. Edwards, that there will be no words hidden in that muffle. No small print. No secret code. I’m sure you understand. We both have wives who… how can I put it… have a taste for the better life.”

Mr. Edwards nodded. “Yes, our wives. I have always found it a wise policy not to enter into any discussions regarding my wife. But on that other matter, I too am glad that we finally meet, Mr. Newton. Perhaps we should have met earlier. Business being what it is, we both have been very busy.”

Mr. Newton grunted. What amounted to a fart inside of a smile.

“I sent you a preview of my plans,” Mr. Edwards added. “I hope you’ve had time to look them over.”

Mr. Newton’s face shriveled. Like a vampire giving the finger to a glass of orange juice.

What was that? Mr. Edwards thought. Is his body having uncontrollable reactions to my presence? Perhaps we should not be partners.

“Yes, Mr. Edwards,” Mr. Newton continued, “I had an opportunity to glance through them. I had one of my staff check out the figures you sent us. A trustworthy fellow. The details of the report will not go beyond the three of us. Does that suit you?”

Mr. Edwards nodded.

The two men were silent before Mr. Edwards added. “Of course, Mr. Newton, I cannot stress how important it is to keep this information confidential.”

“Of course, Mr. Edwards. My assistant is aware of your need for privacy. These are delicate matters.”

Mr. Newton opened a box of cigars and offered one to Mr. Edwards.

“No, thank you.”

Mr. Newton took one out, ran it under his nose before lighting it up. “I suppose I shouldn’t either, Mr. Edwards. But I have a weakness for Cubans. Even after I have had dental work done.” Smoke sifted out of Mr. Newton’s smile. “My, what a wonderful gift tobacco has been.”

“Yes,” Mr. Edwards responded. “Unfortunately we can no longer sell them in pharmacies.”

Mr. Newton leaned forward. What is he talking about? Tobacco in a drug store? He took the cigar out of his mouth and placed it in an ashtray. He licked his lips.

“If I could, Mr. Edwards, let me précis your request. You want a loan so that you may renovate the furniture store that you believe will presently become vacant. Apparently Mr. Singh’s arrangement with Mr. G. is coming up for reappraisal. And you need money to make sure that that arrangement is ended. And then you will become the new tenant. Is that the gist of if, Mr. Edwards?”

Mr. Edwards smiled. The man is confident.

“Yes. Mr. Singh has made a valiant effort to make a goal of it in the plaza. But I believe that effort has not been rewarded. Perhaps that is Mr. Singh’s fault. Perhaps it is just bad luck. I believe that a furniture store is not a good fit in the Six Points Plaza, that Mr. Singh would be more successful if he relocated in one of the malls.”

Mr. Newton leaned back in his chair, retrieving his cigar, and taking a puff. He chuckled.

“You would make a formidable enemy, Mr. Edwards. I’m grateful that are ambitions coincide. How did Mr. G. react to your proposal?”

“I did not put my ideas to Mr. G. in the form of a proposal. It was more a loose fitting conversation. And he seemed receptive. Mr. G. is a practical creature. And when I pointed out that the practical served his interests as well as my own, he was eager to listen.”

Mr. Newton stood up and stuck out his hand.

“Well, Mr. Edwards, I guess we’re in business.”

Mr. Edwards shook the banker’s hand as he was led to the door.

“I’ll get my assistant to work out the details.”

“That’s fine, Mr. Newton.”

The banker stopped before they reached the door.

“Can I speak to you on a personal matter, Mr. Edwards?”

“Certainly, Mr. Newton.”

“My wife, a dear woman, has had some health problems of late. She is overwrought. The doctor has warned me that we have to keep an eye on her. Now, she may come to you with a story about her medication. Losing them. Something of that sort. Do not believe her, doctor. My wife can be very persuasive. But on no account, give into her. I am terrified of going home one day and finding a corpse in the house. She has had her stomach pumped twice already.”

Mr. Edwards nodded.

“And of course,” the banker added, “I can expect your secrecy on this matter.”

“Of course, Mr. Newton.”

Mr. Newton reached for the door and opened it. He padded Mr. Edwards on the shoulder.

“I think we are going to get along famously, Mr. Edwards.”

The darkness poured over the two newly engaged partners. And stuck to them like pitch waiting for a torch.

Red heads

September 14, 2013

red head on the beach v3 red head on the beach red head on the beachv2Russians were called Russians because a lot of them were redheads. The Irish were known as redheads. But they are a disappearing minority. I am a red head. Turned white. My sister was a red head, still is but with the help of chemicals. Neither of my parents were red heads. It is as if red heads were born from the mixture of homosapiens and some alien race. Like Jesus. He is a red head in many paintings. I don’t think he was a red head but he should have been. Redheads, we are ‘of the gods’.

Mary Alice

September 13, 2013

Mary Alice DA girl who lived up the street from me. One day she ran up to me and said, ‘don’t forget me’. I never saw her again. But I never forgot.

George Bernard Shaw

August 17, 2013




Mrs. Murphy, often called the Widow, propped up in her walker. Her arms like wires. Leaned against the counter in the cosmetic section of the drug store looking into the mirror that was looking back. She played with her hair. Remembering those cool April evenings, when in front of her vanity she drew a brush through her thick long brown hair. And the mice scurried across the floor. And looked up her night dress.

Without turning her head away, she spoke. Like she was Alanis Morissette.

“I used to be a great beauty.”

Deborah Hall, the cosmetician stood on the other side of the counter. Like a secretary waiting on the corner. For her boss, a married man, to pick her up. Cleaning the glass counter top with a dry cloth and no sense of humor.

Deborah hadn’t heard Mrs. Murphy. She’d been thinking of last weekend. It was already Tuesday and she was still thinking about Frank. About how funny he’d reacted when she told him that he should make use of a good deodorant. Right after his eyes had rolled up in his head beads of sweat rolling down his forehead onto Deborah’s chest and that terrible lonely sigh slipping out of his lungs when he had reached his orgasm. Or what passed. He hadn’t phoned back. And it was Tuesday.

Deborah Hall looked at the Widow. Patiently. She’d heard the old lady’s story so many times. It was tiresome. How all the young men of her village had fought each other for the privilege of her… company. How she had met them in the parlor. Did anyone have a parlor anymore? She met them with the doors open. So that her mother could hear everything happening. As if anything happened. How the last one standing had proposed to her. Not standing. But kneeling. A sentimental cliché. But still romantic. And tragic in a kind of pathetic way.

Mrs. Murphy had fallen for someone else. Was that possible? A fellow she’d met while she’d been with Harry looking for his new car. Did she actually fall? Harry was another suitor. More interested in big automobiles. He never called them cars. Mrs. Murphy’s mother did not approve of Harry. He had grease under his fingernails. Why wouldn’t he? He was a mechanic. Owned his own service station. Wore his uniform as proudly as any sailor. Maybe her mother was right. He smoked. Held his cigarette in his teeth. Too tight. Like the Germans. There was a bad lot in the big city. Where temptation lay in small hotel rooms with the windows open on hot sticky August evenings. Mrs. Murphy told Deborah how someone across the way had watched them making love. Her and Harry. From another building. Where they made fans. On his lunch break. And Harry wasn’t the one she’d fallen for. That was Earl. He was an accountant. In his father’s business. And the fellow was standing in the window boldly holding his male thing in his hand while Harry did what he was proud of. And Earl was bound to inherit the business. And a comfortable living. And with the right woman, an ambitious woman, maybe expand into real estate. Mrs. Murphy believed in property. It’s the only thing that they’re not making any more of. Unless we travel the stars. And then all bets were off. And Mrs. Murphy stopped. To take a breath.

For a brief moment Deborah considered confiding in Mrs. Murphy. Should she phone Frank back? Or just chalk it up as one more guy? Who couldn’t appreciate a good thing. But then dismissed the idea. Talking to Mrs. Murphy. How could you trust anyone who had so much stuff dangling from her? And we’re not talking about jewelry. From the chin, the neck, under the arms. And we don’t want to imagine anything else. Being old is so hideous.

“Dear,” the Widow said. Attempting to get Deborah’s attention. From her own selfish thoughts. Maybe laying with her lover. Under a tree. Where’s it’s shady. Deborah smiled. Mrs. Murphy had succeeded.

Then all the young men were gone. Mrs. Murphy continued. This time as she had on previous occasions. Gone. Young men sucked up in the war. Lost in foreign mud. With her image in their hearts. Like a thorn in our Saviors flesh.

That’s what it is. She’s Pathetic. Deborah believed when she stood in her smart little outfit in the drugstore. But in those moments late in the evening when Deborah was alone. She wondered. As she cleansed her face with care. Whether she would feel that way when she was Mrs. Murphy’s age. And how fast that time might come. And would she have any memories of her own. To soothe a lonely soul.

Mrs. Murphy leaned over the counter and whispered to the cosmetician.

“There are only two things that smell like fish,” she said. “And one of them is fish.”

“Mrs. Murphy!” Deborah cried and stepped away. The widow often talked like this in Deborah’s ear. When there was no one about. If only the old lady would speak loud enough for others to hear, she would have a witness. And proof enough to have her removed from the store.

Deborah turned on the old woman and spoke lowly as if in confidence.

“How can you talk to me like this? Such intimacies should not be shared amongst strangers. And we are certainly not friends.”

The old woman giggled and returned to her previous conversation.

“Oh, yes,” the Widow said standing more erect to get a look at her bosom in the mirror. “I had all the young men eating out of my…” She smiled at Deborah and added. “Lap.”

“Mrs. Murphy, you mustn’t…”

The widow stepped back over to the counter and took Deborah’s hands in hers. Took them swiftly. Like a thief. Ready to run off.

“All my life I’ve been holding back but not now. It’s so liberating being my age. You can say anything and be forgiven.”

“But I…”

“Don’t you have gentlemen friends,” the widow asked, “who, in the heights of passion, whisper lovely obscenities in your ear?”

At that moment a mouse ran down the middle of the aisle. Deborah Hall unable to scream, pointed at the small furry animal. Mrs. Murphy turned and seeing the animal, brought her foot down heavily on the floor. The tiny creature disappeared under the Widow’s shoe. A moment later a pool of blood crawled out. Deborah Hall, about to scream, fainted instead.


NataAll images are distortions. The images that we consider normal are the ones that biologically and socially we  have come to accept.

Baring their teeth

June 2, 2013

I had a thought. Not a very important one. But still… Most visual art is voyeuristic. If not sexual in interest it is at least snooping. There are times when the subjects of the art are looking at the artist. Looking into the camera. But more often the artist is trying to catch people in some act that reveals. Reveals something about human nature, relationships.

A lot of pornography is based on this same voyeurism. But if you have looked around you also see the subjects of porn almost assaulting the viewer. It is aggressive. Baring their teeth.

She might have loved... someone else


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