Saturday, March 24, 2018

Another Great Artist

Dear Reader,

Talking to yourself is encouraged here- in fact, it's all I do at the Dodo.  Yelling into the darkness of the bitter storm, while very few can hear me, and no one can answer, but I am adamant:  I do care.  There is meaning.  I want to share these important things with you. 

Today a film, about an artist I know.  This is one of those artists, those people, that really makes you want to walk like them, talk like them, etc.  I love the machines Jack Dollhausen builds, and you will too.  They are utterly charming and slightly irascible.  May they and their maker guide your every decision and thought.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

In the Air.

Dear Equinox,

There have been a lot of signs, and I've meant to tell you all about them:  The geese flew North just on Saturday, and the ravens are choosing very carefully sticks for the rebuilding.  The nectarine is going from pink to green, and the very last of the almond blossom petals are dropping to the ground.  There is green too, aplenty, and the daffodils are just running out of buds to open.

There's a kind of rush, too, and so I haven't had the time to describe it all in detail.  There is also this song, for today, that I have been meaning to play for you.

I hope I am ready for the new season! 

To Clarify.


Dear Unsure,

Be thee of good cheer.  You do get it; don't believe for a minute that you don't.  If you still want convincing, though, that art is best when it is unspecified, ambiguous, and open to your own experience, then read this guy:  He's a Guy, a Published Guy, and I hope you will take all the powerful consensus and proof inherent in his Position As Such and believe this Man.  He pretty much explains everything in detail, and leaves no doubt.

I just confirmed these facts myself yesterday with a young woman artist of my acquaintance and I almost kissed her for acknowledging the intuitive, non-linear, and unconscious aspects of her own art-making, or what could be called her 'creative process.'  I am a bit fed up with the term 'creative process,' because it has too much airplay for my tastes, but it serves in a pinch.

You see, we wander around, more or less in the darkened gloom, and once in a rare while, we bump into someone or something who confirms that yes, we are wandering in the dark here, and the contact is a genuine cause for celebration, because isn't it a kind of miracle that people who cannot see where and why they are going should agree on something?  Here's to agreement on un-knowing, then, I hope?


It's nothing against guys, you know, per se, it's just a teensy bit niggling that I am still unable to persuade by methods of brute force and 'gender superiority' alone and if you think I am being a bit too flip, check the most recent stats:

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Maybe he's crying just for me.

Dear All,

Here it is- this is surely the most poignant and pretty song ever- your song for the day on Radio Dodo.  Do you hear that weeping willow?  Play it all night long.  Again & again.

Once more.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Sewer, Tailor, Sewist, Seamtress.

Dear Sewists & Shoppists, and Whathaveyou-ists,

Will you look at these two beautiful people talking about making things and seeing and awareness!  It fills me to the brim with optimism.  Also, with desire, because the fabrics that they carry at Merchant and Mills are absolutely fabulous.  They are exactly what you want.  I have my shopping basket filled and my finger on what my dear friend calls the 'trigger:'  Meaning, the 'buy' button.  Yes, I am a click away from spending, spending, spending, but the film here and the window shopping are free and unfettered by shipping charges, reality, or seams that need to be ripped out.  So here's to potential!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Here's why.

Dear You,

I finally have the answer for you- I missed it before, but it was right in front of my face.  You ask, why roller skate?  And the answer:  Because you might fall.  The thrill is in the possibility of falling.  I offer this glorious snippet of 16 mm film as proof:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Under the Gun.

Dear Beloved,

These are the days of our disintegration.  Everything is broken, gone, or rusted through.  The people who shaped my thoughts, my being, are dying daily.  Who knows, now, what it means to 'hang up the phone.'  What we have now is 'call ended.'  The lack of individual will is well-noted.

The streets are sinking, the dust is piling up.  Little expressions like singing Happy Birthday feel like tiny squawks and puny gesture.  Minute bolsters against decay like invitations to tea and secret societies are too little, too late.  We are all of us living in the shadow of imminent loss- every morning I wake up and turn on the radio: when I hear Bob Dylan being played, I think, "oh hell, he's gone...."

Don't bother to check the news, it's true, because it always has been, we are only still yet dying and not dead, and so we will need to fill the time as usual.  Today I will make drawings and a little noise, wash some clothes, and maybe read again some of Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Part Two?!

Dear H.,

Get a load of this!  El Paso has a part two!  Right here, on Radio Dodo.  It's Faleena's side of the story... who knew?  My DJ just played it for me, and I send it on to you!

In The Library.


Dear Ones,

I have some of my little sculptures, some of my painter's objects, displayed now, temporarily, in a library.  They are there, among the hushed readers and the quiet books, in shadowy display cabinets.  

The objects are very comfortable in the library cases; they are things to look at where readers go- which is great, because I think my ideal looker might be a reader.  They also enjoy the chance to be museum-ized.  Their components (found objects, sticks, journal pages, old felt and casters) might get only a cursory glance in a junk shop, but in the cases they are set apart, made more precious, and the hard edges and glassy reflective surfaces of the vitrines act as a foil to their rough and tumble histories and surfaces.

They'll be there for a few months, and if you stop by to look at them, you can do some reading, too.

Monday, March 5, 2018

There's a dive I know.

Dear Radio Heads,

Isn't this about the greatest thing you've ever heard?  We are mad for these kind of songs at the Dodo- mournful, give up songs of unrequited love and loss, death and dismemberment.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Houseplants: A question of morality.

Dear Dwellers,

The living things that are here around me in pots bring me much happiness, but I worry about them.  They live, and sometimes they even grow, but very few of them go forth, be fruitful, and multiply.  Some of the succulents in pots do go forth, etc., but a lot of my other beloved, leafy companions do not.  They languish, they suffer, they are Camilles, rotting in their boudoirs feigning jollity. 

I loved Camille, absolutely loved Camille.  It's fair to ask why; and I think it had something to do with trying not to inflict suffering, or with the noble idea of self-sacrifice.  Of course, it's all a terrible disaster:  She makes her poor true lover (whose name I cannot even recall, even though it's more his story than hers) suffer endlessly, spurning him on every page.  Breaking his heart over and over, and we let her do this, because, as the reader, we accept her terrible pain, shame, and imminent mortality as a just cause for her treatment of this poor sap.  Yes, I wonder why I loved Camille.  If I had even a shred of curiosity, I'd read it again and look for clues.

On the other hand, it's very comfortable to love a thing based on a time that has gone very far by.  It's also a bit of a lie.  I had this sweater once, I loved it- it was a horrible royal blue with a red intarsia design of an outsized Cadbury chocolate bar- the Wispa, I think.  Which, for those of you who like a bit of detail, was the kind of candy bar that had an aerated texture- it was firm, but not hard, because it was filled with tiny holes.  It was not chewy, sticky, fluffy, or creamy.  The sweater had metallic yarn outlining the bar and its name.  It was, in my mind now, fairly hideous, and I loved it.  I wore it in absolute conviction.  I knew it was terrific and I knew people envied me wearing it.  I don't think I could summon even the courage to wear it to Target today.  But my love for it is still a comfort to me:  I was once a brave person who knew no adversity.

So, now what?  Is each little attempt to regain that joie de vivre a pathetic and meaningless, grasping hobby, or a talisman against ultimate dismissal of relevance?  Wait, don't answer that, because I don't really want to know the answer and you don't either.  We could look for answers another day.  Or, even look on eBay to find that sweater.  A lot of us do that, don't we?  We get the car we had as a teenager because we loved the first times, we loved the learning, the figuring out of that time.  Love is perhaps not even the right word- we felt more perhaps.  Things maybe were more pungent, more engaging, more exciting.

Yes, I think I am going to look for that sweater, but not until I consider my relationship to my poor houseplants.  What is right?  Do I let these ones die their slow, indoor, dusty death?  Do I enjoy them 'while they last?'  Put them out of their misery?  Swear off any further houseplants?  I am a poor steward of houseplants in a world that barely considers plants or sentience.  These little plants have a great deal of life churning in them, and I am aware of my position as caregiver, judge, jury, and executioner.  What mandate could make it all right to enjoy these plants?   What could I tell myself to give me the right?  Perhaps the answer is also available on eBay....  Perhaps my dilemma is that I cannot learn to love loss as an equal partner to possession as the way of the world and the nature of time and the universe.   

I see that now, copies of Camille are also titled parenthetically La Dame aux Camélias, but my copy was from a wonderful, huge, musty, dim old used bookstore, and it was embossed on its blue cover in a silver script with only a single word:  Camille.