Monday, April 12, 2021

Love this now.

 





Dear Friends,

Love this now, with me, won't you?  Watch it, and then read maybe, or maybe not, my list of reasons to love this.



tenderness

humanity

horn

chair

room

movement

brevity

intention

simplicity

sorrow

joy

dancing

reason

existence

music

echo

love





Thursday, April 8, 2021

Two posters, two questions, no answers.

 




Barbara Kruger, silkscreen, 1989.



Dear To Whom it May Concern,

I am not always sure who you are; I am not even sure who I am, so forgive me for sending you things you don't agree with, or things you don't even know exist.  

I remember, more than ten years ago, explaining why a particular woman (Ms. X) was wearing a close-fitting dress to a woman (Ms. BB) of an older generation.  I said that wearing tight clothes like that, revealing clothes like that, body-conscious clothes like that, was a kind of rebellion, an act of resistance.  This made very little sense to Ms. BB, because Ms. X didn't 'have the body for those clothes.'  Ms. X was supposed to use pleats and tailoring to hide her shape.  Ms. BB was raised on pleats and tailoring, as tools to present her body in the "best" way possible.  Of course, the rebellious act of wearing clothes you are not supposed to is not just about refusing to meet people's expectations; there is an unspoken idea that women with the wrong kind of body are not even sexual beings; they are aberrations on every level.  They cannot 'control' themselves (I know!  Isn't that just great?  Wild, out of control, so best stay out of my way!) and they refuse to be 'good' (again, so delightfully delinquent!).

Well, that is your introduction to the following two articles, which I have been considering carefully, and asking myself two questions:  Do they hate my joy?  Do I want them to touch me?


Article One.

Article Two.




Ellen Hochberg, 2012.







Sunday, April 4, 2021

That's Ms. Mustang, to you.








Dear Sally,

All you want to do is ride around!  Will you put your flat feet on the ground?  I think not, maybe, because they don't own you.  










Tuesday, March 30, 2021

It ain't me, or you, or Cat Power.

 





Dear Radio Dodo Listeners,

My DJ played this song a few weeks ago; and as so often happens, I thought how can I have lived without this version?!  If that ain't you, and you have been happily listening to this song for the last ten years or so, then good on you!





Friday, March 26, 2021

double loop

 




Dear Darling,

We cantaloupe tonight;  Father's got the ladder!  Your songs for today are a beautiful pair of loops!

Loupe one.

Loop two. 

I could listen to these two songs until my cells divided to their rhythm!








Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Flower











Dear One Who Seeks Blossoms,

Here is your song for today, A Flower is Not a Flower, by Ryuichi Sakamoto; whose name, I am told, means 'one who lives at the bottom of the slope.'











Saturday, March 20, 2021

Birds

 








Dear Attentive, Careful, Sympathetic Listener,

Several years ago I heard this wonderful piece of music performed live; it is your song for this first day of Spring!  I have been saving it to give to you, but I was little reluctant to expose my ignorance.  You see, if I am giving you Birds in Warped Time II, shouldn't I also offer you Birds in Warped Time I?  Well, I cannot seem to solve the mystery of where, or even if, it exists.  

One thing I did find is a review of this particular rendering of the music that I totally disagreed with- in fact, I think it was total rubbish, and I won't even validate it by putting it here!  It had some swell music terms in it though:  portamenti, cantilena.

I also found, in looking for the possibly missing birds part one, this awesome radio station internet treat!  NTS Live.





Thursday, March 18, 2021

Plastic fantastic.

 






Dear Ones,

Meet a man who will make you love plastic, and that ain't no small feat!  I hope you are also inspired to make or invent something; I am!  





Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

out of the blue & tumbling from the clouds










Dear Wordy Rappinghood,

I have been dying to give you a little suite of words- phrases, actually.  I tell you, you could build an entire exhibition of large scale paintings around these charming phrases and their poetic connotations.  You could write a symphony on them, or a novel.  One hundred poems.  A pop song, that would begin with the line "A little bit left of you, I walked out into the night, with 200 bucks, waiting for a blow that would tumble from the clouds."   

Thursday, March 11, 2021

More posts about poems and phones.

 







Dear Telephoned,

I have been thinking of you, and station wagons, Mr. Pibb soda, drive through hamburger joints, and the radio.  I wonder what these images and memories mean?  They might mean I am old, and they might mean I am nostalgic.  They might also mean that time telescopes in and out every minute of every day.

Here is a poem:


[Sonnet] You jerk you didn't call me up

You jerk you didn't call me up
I haven't seen you in so long
You probably have a fucking tan
& besides that instead of making love tonight
You're drinking your parents to the airport
I'm through with you bourgeois boys
All you ever do is go back to ancestral comforts
Only money can get—even Catullus was rich but

Nowadays you guys settle for a couch
By a soporific color cable t.v. set
Instead of any arc of love, no wonder
The G.I. Joe team blows it every other time

Wake up! It's the middle of the night
You can either make love or die at the hands of the Cobra Commander


_________________

To make love, turn to page 121.
To die, turn to page 172.

"[Sonnet] You jerk you didn't call me up" by Bernadette Mayer, from A Bernadette Mayer Reader. Copyright © 1968 by Bernadette Mayer. Used by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

And here is a song that goes with it.

And here is another.


That's all!





Monday, March 8, 2021

missed

 




Dear All,

Can you miss what you never even had?  I think you can.  The thing might be that we can only miss what we never had.  Or, maybe we can only miss what we can imagine we never had.  

I just discovered that my piano and French teacher died.  They called her Little Deer; I never met her, because these lessons were only a plan of mine.  A plan to take piano lessons and French lessons.  I have taken some of them, of both of them, before, but I always planned to get back to them; like a book I left a marker in, with a promise to return.  She died.  Several years ago, in fact.  And now I don't know what to do with the little advertisement I had cut out, with her smiling face, from the local magazine.  This seems like nothing, I know; and it isn't much, is it?  Especially, in a year marked by so many losses. The death of a plan, the death of a relationship you imagined, a studying you were going to undertake, it seems like nothing, almost.  

Almost like nothing.







Miss Fisher; Feminist.

 




Dear Gals and Allies,

(Gallies, perhaps?)  Yes, beginning a sentence with parentheses is something you can do here!  Isn't it marvelous?  There is so much we can do, if we go ahead and do it.  You feel, I bet, like there isn't much to do right now, but I saw something the other day that really crystalized this spacious opportunity for me- But, that's not what I wanted to write to you about just yet.

I am writing you today to talk turkey about Miss Fisher and her Murder Mysteries.  You may think that you don't want to watch any more screens, and I hear you, that's valid, that's good.  That's noble and pure and dignified of you, too.  And if you find yourself with some time that you don't want to be noble and pure and dignified, maybe you will remember to check these stories out.  

Miss Fisher is every girl-child feminist's dream of a female character: she has power, money, prestige, and compassion and empathy.  She holds to principles that go beyond the law and religion, and she is sympathetic to everyone's plight.  She also gets to try everything (racing cars! adopting young ladies in need! piloting a plane! joining the circus!) and she garners the esteem of everyone she encounters.  She also maintains enough humility and vulnerability to prevent her from slip sliding into some awful kind of super hero archetype.  She is a flawed character; like you, like me.  

I love her; she is the answer to James Bond, for me, and I hope you will take a look at her and her adventures sometime!

Oh, but wait!  I intended to talk to you about the place we are in, the times we are having; about the opportunities for you to tell us all what you think and what you want and what you believe.  

In the old days, there were things called galleries, I know, they are like covered wagons; no one uses them anymore, so don't worry about what they were; quaint little rooms and buildings where people sold art to pay the rent.  It sounds nice, doesn't it?  To show your artwork in a place that would sell it for you?  Thinking on it now, it sounds absurdly romantic, and totally impossible- like winning the lottery: too good to have actually been true!   Well, now you don't need that gatekeeping system- you can put your work in front of anyone using the internet.  You are saying, "well, sort of..., what about selling things?" To that I say to hell with selling things- nothing good ever came of putting a price on creativity anyway.  "And what about all these viewers?  What about getting my work in front of millions?"  To that I say, don't be greedy- if two people see it, that is plenty!

What I have here is glorious and irrefutable proof of just how broad and big the available exhibition space is on the internet:




Well now!  Is it art?  Is it good?  It surely is spectacle, and I don't think I care much about the other two 
appellations.  I care more about the impulse to decorate, to make, and the invitation to all of us to view it, and to perhaps be impelled to respond in some way.





Thursday, March 4, 2021

cookies

 




Arlos Cookies





Dear Cookie Jar,

I made some for you today, and they are pretty nifty: Neapolitan Sugar Cookies; but, look at this amazingness!  These mushrooms are so delightful!  Check out also the cacti cookies on the Arlos Cookies website.  







Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Irene

 




Dear Irene,

Again, I say, sit down by the fireside bright, and listen to these great versions of a great song:


One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen



Bonus Irene








Sunday, February 28, 2021

one thousand

 




Vintage Skates, from Etsy.



Dear Counting,

Well, here we are, here I am, on the 1000th day of roller skating.  Let's do a little roller dance to celebrate, shall we?

In 12 years and a thousand consecutive days of skating, I have only convinced maybe 15 people to try it, and made converts out of 6 or so.  It's slow work, exhorting y'all to have some fun.  But, I blame myself; if I was more persuasive, if I asked you more often, if I didn't lose confidence in my conviction.

Think about it, and I will ask you again, a hundred days from now.





PS  

Think about this, too:  Maybe you wonder what kind of people would like roller skating?  Here is a short, but by no means complete list!

People who like wheels, people who like shoes, people who like ice skating, people who like excitement, who like yoga, skiing, riding a bike, skateboarding, riding a scooter.  People who like to wear socks, people who like trying new things, people who like trying old things; who like to dance, to jump rope, to unicycle.  People who like stilts!  People who like cats, dogs, horses; people who collect stamps.  People who like to dive, to fly, to walk, and to listen to music will all like roller skating!





Saturday, February 27, 2021

til tuesdays

 




Dear Days,

On Tuesdays, my favorite DJ is on- she plays the dream sets.  Last week she played this, your song of the day!  I had never heard this fabulous version.  I love this anthem!  It's a very fine song for you to sing on the way to your car at the end of your work day!  Don't worry, it's a parking lot- it's fine to sing there!

Have the Steely Dan, too.







Wednesday, February 24, 2021

cats and dogs









Felted cat fur hat, 
by Ryo and Hiromi Yamzaki.




Dear Pets,

Here is a song I have been wanting to play for you for a long time; it's your song of the day on Radio Dodo!  I'm partial to Norma Tanega, and you might find you are, too.  Try Hey Girl, too.









Thursday, February 18, 2021

the long voyage

 





Dear Radio Dodo Heads,

Here is your song for today, going up, up, up, and going down, down, down.







Sunday, February 14, 2021

1-800-ICHEERU

 




Dear Pages,

In my old journals, the ones I tore up to make things out of, there was a plaintive page of words; actually, most of the pages were plaintive, but that's not what matters now; this plaintive page, this plea, was to be the sparkling spirit I always wanted to be- I wanted to make it my daily pursuit, this lightness of being.  That was back in the day, for sure, but, I think I have done alright by this creed.  And no one is more surprised than I to have made some progress!

But, it's the vocation, the Vocation, the Calling, that I want to talk to you about today.  My other Calling is To Make Things, but, it might be that this secondary Calling should be my first.  My secondary Calling is to Be Cheerful.  To spread cheer.  To sow cheer.  To reflect cheer.  

Maybe you have a job right now (I have one), and maybe it isn't in line with your core values (whatever those are!), and maybe it is even in conflict with your core values (Whatever. Those. Are.) and maybe you are supporting great gobs of awfulness indirectly.  I urge you to consider going on the dole.  Because I have been thinking that maybe productivity as defined by workplaces and employers and businesses and corporations is actually working for The Man in its most negative sense.  Because, maybe we are not the world, like the song insists; maybe we are, unwittingly, The Man. 

See, because here is the thing:  They can pay me to believe in The American Way.  That'd be a start, at least.  Anything else is pretty hypocritical on the part of both me and my employer.  Me and The Man.

But, what of the Calling?  Because the Calling is what you do, and it isn't the same as your job, and it isn't necessarily how you get money.  So, my new job, my new primary Calling, is to Be Cheerful.  I plan to have some business cards made, and maybe even get an 800 number; and then, you can call me, anytime you need me, absolutely toll free!







Friday, February 12, 2021

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Dodo: Open 24 hours!

 








Dear Old Friends,

How long is it we have been coming here?  I love this place; the worn vinyl booths, the chipped formica table tops.  I am so happy to have a place I can go at all hours and set and write your a few lines.  It's been 8 years I've been coming here and leaving you messages, and that seems like a nice number to celebrate.  

Remember this first post?  How about a reprise of that day's song?  What else can we do to commemorate the years?  We might crack a few cascarones over each other's heads and open some champagne.  We should also have some party music; how about this?

Until the next post!






Monday, February 8, 2021

An absolute treasure trove!








Dear Art Lovers,

There is an artist (William Kentridge), and he has a place (The Centre for the Less Good Idea*), and his place is filled with interesting projects.  Enter at your own risk, there is much to explore.  Don't open the link if you are in a hurry, at a stoplight, waiting for a subway; you will need more time than that!  If you are waiting for a bus, then try just this one minute of interesting art film.








*  I know; pure frisson!  The name is so wunderbar, so perfect, so just what I want in an arts/idea space.






Thursday, February 4, 2021

photographs

 




Zofia Rydet, 1981.



Dear Shutterbugs,

Here at the Dodo I receive links and fascinating digital tidbits from all over. Today, it's a suite of really inspiring photographs of women on their front stoops taken by photographer Zofia Rydet.  

Enjoy this Photograph, too; it's your song of the day!







Thursday, January 28, 2021

brushed

 




MMXX2020
Edmund de Waal.  Oak panel with liquid kaolin, gold leaf, graphite, compressed charcoal and red oil stick in an open aluminium frame. Gilded on reverse.  25 × 18.5 × 5 cm



Dear Viewers,

Here is a nice film, of an artist using clay in a very painterly way.  The thing, I think, that makes a painting, is not so much the paint, but the brush.  "Painterly" is the word that artists use to indicate the gestural tracks and traces left by soft and wet materials being moved and spread by a brush.  Edmund de Wall is also a very fine writer, and if you haven't already, you should read his beautiful book, The Hare with the Amber Eyes.










Monday, January 25, 2021

The Year of the Smashed Plates

 




Dear Ladies,

Some years ago, a woman I know pointed out that it was the Year of the Paper Bag.  This was in 2018.  And so it was, the Year of the Paper Bag.  The following year, another woman I know noted that 2019 was the Year of the Sudden Surge of Confidence.  Last year, as suggested by staff here at the Dodo, was the Year of the Just Desserts.  

Another woman I know has decreed 2021:  The Year of the Smashed Plates.  

So, now that you know, what will you do?  Smash plates or repair the plates that have been smashed?  

2021 is in need of both actions.





Friday, January 22, 2021

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The green.

 



Dear Phony Food,

Get a load of this!  Display lettuce, being made!







Monday, January 18, 2021

A Radio Dodo favorite.

 





Dear Next Year,

It is November now, and I am sending you this song for today for later, because there isn't any time to play it now.  I have had it ready to play for you for months!







Thursday, January 14, 2021

Fixed-in-time.













Dear Others,

Do you hate it when you don't like a book?  I do.  I feel like I am letting the book down.  I feel like I should learn, or even force myself, to like its characters.  Discipline myself to believe in its world.  

I search out support for my dislike- asking others, hey, listen to this- do you like this sentence?  Do you like this plot?  This idea?  It's about a guy who is imprisoned in a bakery for his war crimes, and he is in love with the commandant, but the commandant is of course not allowed to love men, and so he cuts himself nightly, chipping out pieces of his bicep; The commandant keeps his arms covered at all times, because they are pocked with pothole scars.  He punishes himself so he can get to military police heaven, but, the author has suggested strongly that there is nothing but hell for those who perpetuate violence.  Also, there is a girl;  she is besotted with the baker, because he seems to her to be the giver of life, the bringing of nourishment to her war-torn village.  She thinks he is a demi-god; but of course, the baker knows that he has killed and maimed beyond tallying, and so he secretly dispenses misshapen and poorly risen loaves to this girl, who shares them out daily amid her crumbling, bombed buildings.

Growing desperate for validation, I look up what the internet thinks- does it like this book?  Does it say this book is understood and beloved by decades of intellectuals?  By people with better taste, better knowledge, bigger bank accounts, and better hair cuts than I?  Just who is it who likes this book?

Or maybe I am uncomfortable with this book's hard truths.  Am I desperately seeking validation from others, anyone, even fictional characters?  Do I hate the characters because they remind me of myself?  Is hating a book just more of my tedious self-loathing?  I put myself on the couch; asking myself "why do you hate your Mother?"

Because, a bad book is not just a bad book, is it?  It's a failure on my part to comprehend, I am rejecting the gifts offered by the author.  I imagine these writers, with their pen, pencil, typewriter or computer:  They sit and slave, they erase, they write, they erase, they write, they strike through, they write, they write, they write, on and on, pages, chapters, volumes.  300 pages of words!  And I, miserable reader that I am, cannot find anything useful in all that generosity?  I am heartless, cynical, a jerk.  I should learn to recycle better. I am profligate.  The kind of person you dread coming to your party because they will only talk of over population and pollution, melting ice and rising seas.  And they don't think any good songs have been written since Stairway to Heaven.  

Well, I guess I can live with the lack of popularity, but I always feel like I am missing out-  books come in with 8 pages of glorifying praise, millions of copies are sold (but perhaps not actually read?), prizes and awards are bestowed, they are on long and prestigious lists of 'bestsellers.'  

Oh, and then, there is my lack of confidence.  Maybe I don't hate it, maybe I am just a cranky reader, a doubting Thomas, a negative Nellie.  

Conversely loving a book is so easy; reasons I adore it seem to spring from the air; books I love inspire great gobs of intelligible, imaginative praise: Oh, you will love this book!  It is like a beautiful handsewn crazy quilt, of deep colored velvet, with tiny stitches holding brocade trim to the edges!  And besides which, I never feel like I have to explain, to defend, my love for a book.  Which, I guess, might mean that loving is the easier thing to do.






PS  

I wanted very much to use the word 'bestown' in writing this, but the goldarned internet said I couldn't, and I guess, because I am feeling like a bad girl for not liking a book, I followed the rules instead of having fun.  Now isn't that kind of sad?  I hope you won't respond like that, punishing yourself for not liking a book. 





Monday, January 4, 2021

It's in the oven, right now.

 



Dear All,

Remember that time that Carrie Fisher died, and I wanted us to take to the streets as legions of Princess Leias?  Well, now I want you to bake a pound cake elegy with me.  I want every oven on, in unison; and if tears fall into your batter, it won't be at all like Like Water for Chocolate, where the wedding cake is filled with sorrow that makes everyone ill.  It will be like a sweet and temporal memorial of cake, which we will all eat and share and remember everyone who died of the Corona virus in 2020.


Saturday, January 2, 2021

missing the tranquility of solitude

 





Dear January,

Here is your your song for today.  It's been a favorite here, to play on the porch, and la la la la la.