Monday, April 30, 2018

Long Winded

I am trying not to drink
It is an unlearning 
a rewound storytelling
Which could take a long while 
as I come from a long line
of longwinded storytellers
music-making creatures
Pick your poison
or concoct a cocktail
Not that the two have to go hand in hand
but a drink in hand 
often means a story is on its way 
And God forbid you are empty handed 
for your stories may be presumed empty
stirring off handed comments
handed to you
by the slurred forked tongues
of two fisted drinkers
served from their personal
in home
basement bar
of self judgement

Spirits are so entrenched
into the social structure of my culture 
that even the sober can become addicted
to the social pressures applied
by the shame of the afflicted
How early must a child drink
to make their parent feel less
Strip away that history
and I have no family
But at least I have no family to shame it on
Strip away peer pressure
and I have no friends
But at least I have no friends to blame it on
Strip away a lover 
and I have no other 
to frame it on
No leaning 
No naming
No projecting
or defending 
Only enduring 
the voice in my head
that is remaining 
My own story
My own complaining
The energy I spend gas-lighting myself
results in my own unfriending
Locomotivation in reverse
Morale draining
Light heart straining
Making my brain filter all the stories I have left
leaving a distillation
a concentration
an intoxicating libation
of the angry and perverse

If this is not the birthplace
then it is the nursery
the playground
the classroom
the pulpit
the university
the stage
the fraternity
the PhD
of passive aggressivity
Sarcastic mystery
Self depreciating wit
dishonest proclivity
and elevated lubricating tendency
Virtues that make up
quite a ruthless personality

But qualities that do tell
one hell of a good story

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


I am a portrait artist
I used to say
I hated painting landscapes
It felt redundant
All that foliage
So much green
It seems like
so many landscapes have already been done
The only place in the scene 
that fascinated me
was the horizon
Maybe because it led me to the sky
Which I would like to think
I could look at for hours
Day or night
Feels like an out of body experience
Like if you look up far enough
you lose the land
and all sense of where you stand
The place you inhabit
The problems that surround you
The tasks at hand
Like if you look up far enough
you can lose yourself
Just fall right up into the open space
So I painted a few skyscapes
Transforming clouds floating
over ombres of hue
They felt like escape

I am still a portrait artist
But I see so much more
than I did before
The planes of a face
look just like a landscape
Rolling hills of cheekbones
Peeks of eyebrow ridges
Everyones eyes are a magnificent skyscape
transforming clouds floating
over ombres of hue
Some irises wake you
with the green of the sun
hitting spring grass in the morning
Some are elusive and patient
like silvery fog that snakes
after the rain
over steely glass water
There is electric midday blue
that shocks you
like lightening in your veins
There is deep midnight black
where you cant find your way in
or back out again
And some escape the day
through soft brown warmth blanketing your tired mind
orange and gold undertones
Burning wisps 
slipping below the horizon line

I am a portrait artist
Who is still learning
Who begins again
For every day we change
Do we ever really know what another looks like
To find a likeness
is to care fully look
is to care for someone
I must learn how to care
It is a practice
I look at the outside
to find my way in
What stories rise to the surface
and hold up our skin
What storms
What carnival rides
What calm
What peace
What vast expanses of indigo
What jostling terrain of vertigo
What restless desire for escape
A portrait is just an internal landscape
An inscape
And inscapes
are anything
but boring