Saturday, December 31, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016

Give me stone, give me mortar,
give me a burger with onions
and cheese, give me good weather,
give me a large dark coffee with cream,
give me muscles and give me water,
give me a rather docile brain, give me
claritas, give me good dumb,
give me mountain clouds and bears,
bears in the clouds, mountains in the bears,
give me a level, give me two levels,
give me the wanton grace to stare
ordinarily dumb, shriven with dumb,
give me to know that I do not know,
give me onion rings and a beer,
give me a trap and a rat in the trap
dead as a doornail, dead as a rat,
give me fingertips sore and give me sore feet,
give me a new fresh day like the air,
give me a bed, give me a roof, give me dry
away from the wet, give me sufficient
vitamin D, give me wells of deep sleep,
give me to always healthily piss
without passing stones, or any trinkets,
give me to never finish a book
by Dickens or Austen or Tolstoy or Twain,
give me a trump card, give me twenty,
to buy some caviar and huck it away,
give me detachment from money,
give me freedom from poison rigidity,
from hardness towards God
by liturgical law,
and from softness towards money
by a needing maw,
give me healthy hatred of money, give me spite
for the spirit of money, dung of the devil,
crud of the world, give me freedom
from hateful money, from silver and gold, bitcoin too,
from credit and debit, from mortgage and debt,
monopoly and risk, the game of life,
all this moronic and endless bullshit,
give me to never be a master of truth,
never let me deal in absolutes,
give me to always submit to truth,
give me to always submit to absolutes,
give me to know that I am a sheep
in need of a shepherd, give me to never
be a master of truth, or absolutes,
to hide from myself, to hide myself
in the framed mirror, give me to never
be sophomoric and rigid, ever,
give me thought for what no one thinks for,
give me care for what everyone drives over,
give me the grace to annoy the herd,
give me stone, give me mortar.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Icon/Image/Painting: St. Charbel Makhlouf

Title: St. Charbel Makhlouf

Size: 14 in x 18 in

Medium: Oil on wood panel

Friday, October 7, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Send many apples, as a battalion
sliding down hills to war: patinas of rose
and silver green, thumping through the must,
tumbling out of cloud and filling wood bins.

Sunset daub and the heart of swell are lent
the cultivar valleys, but quiet as mist
in the owl fields, on forgotten stems
ungainly, abstruse, and with nimbuses,

where trunks lay from rocking chair roots
their finished girths nadir-down to rest
and still put out apples through retirement,
while others as old, at the ground's soft latching

have no heart wood, but a basal portal
wheezed into earth: these also send out apples.
Into a last-minute, outland sweetness
the proleptical puckering is honed.

A windfall theft in the Osoyoos rows,
but the forgotten are free, are free and unknown,
woven with fog bands when the dripping time homes.
One bite and gates of the salivary glands

know they're best of them all out of hand,
and that a crime of sadness, when life to corpse,
not all are plucked and branch stragglers rot;
breasted, dappled apples abound, and we,

unlearned in being inundated with apples;
yet pregnant cheek is burnished and wick's
detachment easy, available balm;
a singular pluck and the round in the palm.

Glass and Suso

Friday, September 30, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Title: I thirst

Medium: Oil on canvas paper

Size: 12 in x 16 in

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The end is everything. That is why the mean is so important. The end is everything because it is not at all the end. The world wants us to believe that the end is merely the end, that it is nothing - or nothingness. So the mean - this life - also becomes meaningless.

One can see this world belief in the notion that the meaning of art is to be found in the search or the journey; that it is all about the journey. While I accept this view (after all, you actually have to take the journey, and it won't be started on if you're a plaster saint, or a corpse with rigor mortis), I accept it with more to it. Not only does "it's all about the journey" alone make for bad art; it makes for bad living, eventually. And the world is inundated with prodigious, masterful, brilliant art that is bad. You thought I was talking about clumsily made paintings? Ha!

The best thing that the pagans could do was to have the heroic downfall - the heroic virtues going out in flames as it were; only with Christianity does the miraculous completion inform the beginning of good acts; and fulfillment even in this vale of tears appear: not a going out in flames, but the long lingering fragrance and blossoming after death, such that the saints become even impatient for death, which yet waters their long-suffering in the present. In my end is my beginning.

Only with Christianity does death no longer cast a shadow over the meaning and purpose of this life. The completion of the end informs the beginning so much that saints spring out of sinners. The first fruits tell us this: what is good in the convert/baptized is not to point backward to when he was far worse and say, "I was way worse then; see, though I'm bad, I would be far worse right now were it not for being Christian". For what is good in the convert/baptized only has its merit insofar as that good is going to be made complete. This means a constant infiltration of the good renewed in our present state.

I am friends with an artist who is now in her 80s. Her name is well known in a large local sense. She has been painting for around 40 years - it being her sole source of income (now in addition to retirement), beginning around the time of the death of her daughter. She started "late" as they say, but that had no bearing on either her start or development.

She knew famine in her childhood; she knew the camps for German children in Nazi Germany. There are things she tells you; and there are things she does not tell you.

One of the things she told me that figures key into her art is her German formation/background. To paraphrase and sum her somewhat: you do what you say you are going to do (whether you say it aloud or not), and you bring it to completion. Bringing it to completion is not work; it is not merely a task of completing what was started. It is the point and the inspiration; it is everything. And when you speak of the painting after it's done, never speak of it as though it was you who did it.

This sort of thing is music to my ears. The completion she speaks of is not merely in a technical sense of "finish"; it's about wholeness being brought to bear upon the viewer, and the painter is the first viewer. At the end of the painting is its beginning. One cannot get away from the fact that one is painting pigment on a flat, two-dimensional surface, which means you are intrinsically making an "abstraction". One is revealing with each successive layer - revealing more deeply the underlying conception. A painting is thought into being more than it is painted into being. The completion is birth, not death. Birth, even when the outcome is not everything that one envisioned (which is always). A painting is an analogue of the new creation that is the redemption and sanctification of a soul. Completion is everything. In my end is my beginning. Completion is not "finish". It is transfiguration.

You know how people like to joke about how they think Jesus was Italian because...or they think Jesus was Irish because...? Well, I think Jesus was German because...

He refuses to let us be in a state of "incompletion" - or to put it another way, to remain in the same state. He refuses to let us be a sketch - or to be sketchy.

In Jesus's time His disciples seemed to seek a salvation-activation button as much as people today. Christ amputates this straight away with the unpredicated verb "strive". Strive to enter through the narrow gate. We don't just dine with Jesus. Jesus is the door through which we must pass. There is no turning back from that.

We must strive to bring our end into the present, in all circumstances - especially the ordinary and everyday. I think there is a rampant disease among Christians that prevents this bringing of our end into our present, and the problem may sound paradoxical. It's the disease of spiritualizing everything.

To spiritualize everything is to put out a whole lot of branch and leaf, but bear no fruit. In the very instance that one wants to think that Jesus is making the kingdom of heaven impossible to attain - or worse, only for the elect - you realize something. What's hard for us to grasp is that the kingdom is there for the taking. It is up for grabs. It is so nearby, so within you, that you miss it. But in taking it, you cannot take yourself. Salvation is so ready at hand it's astonishing, but you must take it; you must take it "by force".

The husband and wife must consummate their marriage. The husband must engage in the marital act with his wife, or else he does not "know her", and likewise, she her husband. And thus a family cannot be started, be begun, be begotten. In my end is my beginning.

The people who say to Jesus, "But we dined with you..." to which He responds, "I do not know you" - I can't help thinking of how we spiritualize everything, instead of simply believing, and believing simply, and entering by the narrow way and taking the kingdom that is up for grabs, right here in the world; letting Jesus be present in our ordinary tasks, taking upon ourselves His yoke - He who took upon himself the yoke of the cross.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Eve of the Assumption


August has the augmenting of figs
and enriching of the spectrum
with the sun's lowered slant, a summer height
that softens, to bevel softer yet
with dewier mornings and dewier nights;
a wealth of glow and past the boughs yellow
on groves and swimming pools, on brassy cows
in their wading acres, mown or feral
with wind-mingled seed - and crink-necked lower
pregnant figs, by the same light that brings
the far-off cusp of the first unclasping
leaves: for here, in dumbfound August,
that distant undoing is also close,
yoked light, in presence of the ripening,
so hale in mercy, in seasonal ease.


September waits behind a wilting door
wind turns aside like a dead oyster shell
radiating gofun: redolent sunflowers
pewed on the threshold, hold post-bloom
their planetoid stares, adorned with birds,
to face ground webs, over all the hollows.

Ajar is the door at the end of August,
giving to the lightest touch
objectless wonder over sight; fresh bed
reprieved at the breathing window tastes it,
beds paradisial old, broached with spiders
and seeds: undreamed, unlooked for, honed store.

Mercy's maturity. The summer grows
slack and broken, like sets of swings
near a disused tennis court - with memory, empty,
letting the wind through, whistled over
the railroad's skinned-shin metal, like birds
that tousle death-tops of the rail-side tansy.

Water voices rake the air,
better far than any fountain;
in wind the dilatory poplars
are gravid with youth and wisdom.
Sun sings on their leaves' pale undersides
its shorter, lower, shortening lease.

With lessening things, more embraces
a staying in the land that breaks it, as
the river's reduction holds the heron;
as bushels of wind past any recall,
are sweet with cut hay heat, the cattle's
russet broadsides and blunt-nosed lowing.

Mercy alike, grows not old,
but grows on the old like veining
huckleberry through the stump of sponge
that lets its flutings be bared, its barkless lungs
breathe hummus-faced and root-haired. Mercy is
newer than dew, across dead grass

father's heat-burnish in blinding range;
in cottonwoods that laugh in waves
though laden with dust. Mercy is
the mountain's quiet messages
sent along the asphalt like wind-sped detritus.

A world-bordering of pearl peak
luminescent in the pressing east;
an outpushing slant that runs the sward
to a snowy light in the impatient evening;
the house of land is like a bounding hare.

A foundation in the fully expended,
to every nowhere no way; mercy is rain and plough,
giant's hand on the raw shoulder,
on the bread of land a sleep-eyed kindle. Mercy is
close as the full apples on the head-knock bough.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

This cracked me up when I heard it

"Everyone is singing the praises of technology - 'oh, if we could only use it properly'. It's pure hubris as far as I'm concerned. We are not in charge. We're like the people in the airplanes strapped in the seat. The machine is flying us, not us. We don't fly. We get strapped into machines that fly." --Godfrey Reggio

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Title: Bose Hill Dusk #4

Medium: oil on canvas

Size: 11 in x 14 in

Had posted this painting earlier. Wasn't where it was supposed to be.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sunday, July 17, 2016

We on our own cannot handle it

Good video from Bishop Barron on the strangeness of the cross.

Making Christianity respectable is not a prerogative, nor a commission.

Always remember that the authorities arrested him, but not before falling on their faces before him. He became sin for us; there was nothing in his countenance that we should regard him. Yet he was completely in charge, the one who went before and led the way.

Aside: I tend to align with the tradition that says that Mother Mary used her veil to protect the modesty of her son after he was stripped. Could be historically otherwise of course.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Why didn't Britain vote to declare independence from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, before voting to declare independence from the EU?

Then they could fly St. George's Cross from parliament instead of the imperialistic Union Jack.

Then they would have independence.

Then they would be known as England.

Then they would begin again to be Merrie.

You would think "independence" would refer to a country, and not a union of countries, three of which are not sovereign, being bound to Britain (London).

The "U.K." voted for sovereignty when it has three countries within itself that are not sovereign, but are part of Britain, and those countries had different vote results from Britain. So a victory against the European Union, and tough shit to the countries bound by Union to Britain who voted otherwise.

So maybe Britain should vote to declare independence from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Then you wouldn't have the situation in which conservatives say "tough shit" to those countries called Ireland, Scotland, and Wales who have no sovereignty because they are part of the union known as the United Kingdom (Union Jack) and who voted against leaving the EU.

"Exactly, Mr. Stilwell, exactly."

Friday, July 8, 2016