Tuesday, April 30, 2024

a million


Untitled (Tools), Jim Dine, lithograph, 2008.

Dear Opposable Thumbs,

There is a large stack of books where I work; it's all detritus, really, and it doesn't belong to anyone, so even the spines don't get a glance.  The world would be a better place if some of them were never looked at, but a few of them could be useful to raise up a too low television set, or to chock up a short leg on a table.  Thinking larger now, perhaps combined into a solid stack of 'how to' art books, maybe painted, in say palest pink?  Illustrated on the outside with delicate red handwriting and gentle blossoms?  

Well, you know when someone says to me, "good idea," I always respond "I have a million of them!"  And you do too, which puts me in mind of a little spontaneous poem a fellow* sent me in an email.  You know how messages and letters can generate these kinds of things- a person says this, another replies that, all that thoughtful responding suddenly leaps, jumps beyond quotidian communication and becomes a gleaming poem:

Tools for the soul, or is it, a soul full of tools?
Always measuring, always fixing.  

*Thank you, D. Prochaska, for the poem!

Friday, April 19, 2024



Michelle, Henry Taylor, 2023.

Dear Y'all,

It was time, for a song for today, which was his song, by Hill, Lauryn; and well, you also want his other song, by Flack, Roberta; and you know, if you don't know Lauryn Hill, have this, and this.  It's getting to be a dance party, so let's have this song, too!  And, yes, Love, Monie, too, I think.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

obstimism & optinacy



Dear Peer(age),

Well, what do you think?  I think we aren't going to get our turn, and I am both things at once: mad and slightly heartened.  I am not so sure that we can sabotage from the inside, anyway.

Yes, mad that they never retired- okay, they retired at 80, leaving me at 50 plus, so, so what?  I am going to scramble to make a 'career' from age 50 to 80?  Or even 40 to 70?  Nope.  It just don't add up.  I am more mad that they never let any new ideas in than that they actually overstayed their welcome by 20 to 30 years.  I am mad that few of us will get a public voice, or any outloud voice at all.  I am mad that I labored under the training of canons that were never anything but interior decoration for the wealthy.  I am mad that all my friends have moved away because they had to have their minimansion in pleasant climes and their cheap cheese from Costco, too.  I am mad about that, and lots of other petits d├ętails, but I am also slightly heartened, because, our dear Older Elders, seem a bit resentful about the widening world, the great inky spill of dis-obedience that keeps on seeping.  Nothing could please me more than to do nothing, to loaf, on their dime.  And I will be passing that along, to anyone who will listen: do nothing you do not like, do nothing that you think you 'should' and maybe, just maybe we can break the massive yoke of habit and conditioning that we have built so tirelessly.

Ah, but I am forgetting our motto: obstinacy & optimism.  This became our motto because there wasn't much else left, and the directive was to be seen and not heard; but, I think we can use it anyway.  I put a lot of trust in repair, in rebuilding.  I say we switch the first few letters, so it is properly muddled up, and then set about doing what we can.  It might mean only a very small change in your daily habits, and it might mean no change at all.  Either way, I am glad to have you with me in the fight.  Onward, in optinacy & obstimism!

Monday, April 15, 2024

urgent, exclamation mark


Dear Radio-Dodo Heads,

Ooh, this is so good!  My dj just played it for me, and you must have it right now; urgently!  There is no time to dress it up and present it to you, because that would only delay the loveliness!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

they are playing our song


Dear Malaise & Ennui,

Hey, hey;  It's bleak, and it's gray, it's low, but hey, they are playing our song, and they are playing it the best, and it is our song of the day.