Tweetzilla: The Evil Blue Raptor

Innocent in direction
I was simply walking and conversing with a dear friend
we were discussing Existentialism
peppering our profound dialogue with
philosophical musings on Impressionism
we fancied ourselves brutally brilliant
beneath the miles of cadence, I was vastly superior
my dear friend had labeled, Albert Pinkham Ryder an Impressionist
calling out, Moonlight Marine, 1870
I was courteous, as always, letting it pass that the reclusive artist, Ryder
was a student of Expressionism
and that’s when the sky darkened
a horrid thing circling above
monstrously proportioned and diabolically blue with a ‘mawful’ of rotting flesh
its breath alone could expunge lower Manhattan
this consuming creature, was screeching numbers in succession
I spied symbols seared into its flesh, several feet above its talons
– the width of sewer pipes
the markings appeared to be random hashtags and a number
# # # 140
I quickly deduced it was counting my words
but it wasn’t just counting my words
the bastard beast
was counting each letter I spoke
what cruel thing was upon me
this damnable blue bird
if I uttered more characters than the tolerated amount
it would surely kill me
140, 140, 140…
tweetzillaBluebell, as I affectionately call this fellow was created a few years ago. I recently ‘tweeted’ for the  first time. I was a tad ‘stupified’ by Twitter’s character counter, as I attempted to be succinct. Adding insult to injury – Twitter told me I had to be more clever – too many characters… and I thought, aha, there’s fun to be had here. You know, it’s quite difficult writing something meaningful when it comes from a place of less character…140, 140, 140… 😉


communal totem

There is an eternal savoring that goes unspoken
its pulse runs deep
beneath streets
under beds
below huts
stuck on the soles of naked feet
jammed into chests
tucked in fat wallets
thrown in abandoned shopping carts
weaved into baskets
planted in soil

across earth and ocean
the sensation of completeness
is a communal totem
whose likeness is known to all
but whose mysteries will forever remain
absent in every heart
patterna square college project I created long ago, made round for this post

Thoughts of hope go out to Nepal this night

cliff driving

breaking inside
so this is what it feels like
not so bad
I can ride this out
my Harley is jacked
chiseled with painted flames
and gassed up
plan on doing the 218
you know, the black zigzag along the Hudson
when me and the Harley squeeze
the sharpest cliffs and steepest drop
I’m gonna leap off the saddle
and let that tricked-out bike fly solo
there goes my pain
crashing with mortal heat
into the frigid river

bike babea bicycle she rides, but we can pretend it’s a big, awesome Harley

Thoughts to Nepal – may the death toll stop rising and the injured get the help they need

rivers of white

I don’t sleep the way I used to, in quiet spells of dreams and cool twists
I can’t possibly go up those tall stairs to my bedroom
without releasing the weight of my fingers into another space
my hands will push letters and rivers of white will burst outside of my head
I will say things I would not do
I will do things I would never say
caught in between, like a sturgeon and the silt
words as floppy as fishes
will swim upstream to spawn
if not completely undone by the journey
will develop into erstwhile muses, and swim back in the other direction
sturgeonsturgeon created with marker and a touch of white acrylic a few weeks ago
•sturgeons are in trouble, over the years their numbers have significantly dropped
•the term “rivers of white” is a traditional typesetter’s term for irregular word spacing, when attempting to justify copy (justify = both left and right margins are flush)

Almost Infectious

sown young with grains of optimism
a throng of high-pitched voices giggle
their vocal cords will change
sequestered in my studio
their party is in the other room
separated by more than a door
as these teens will be one day
the hands stroking the keys have seen hard time
the eyes, have witnessed much
how can they have so much to laugh about
when they see each other almost every day
I hear the brightness of their skin
I taste the scent of possibility
almost infectious
ah, the teen years
for a moment, I’d kill to return
until I remember
I did a lot of dying back then
I’m glad for the door
Frank Sinatra and I can get cozy
I’ll continue writing with the hands and eyes that have been so good to me
all these years…

Caroline Hands Crossed

Caroline Hands Crossed

my lovely, delicate daughter, Caroline


Burning to Paint

A dear blog friend of mine, Deb over at C-Dog reminded me about this post. I published it awhile ago. I’m putting it forth again (with a few tweaks). It explains how I came to not simply enjoy art, but to understand the soul of it.

Jess’s Story

I think we can all remember the epiphany or spark that ignited each of our unique creative journeys.

For me it was a newspaper article. I think the year was 1977. There was a photo of a little girl’s face – beautiful and horrifying at the same time. She’d been caught in a fire and sustained third degree burns over most of her body. At the time of the article, I was fourteen. Jess was much younger.

The newspaper article’s primary focus was on the miracle of modern medicine and a magical procedure to ‘regrow’ damaged skin tissue. After my parents finished with the paper, I asked if I could keep the article. I stowed it in my top desk drawer. That night, as I tried falling asleep, Jess’s face filled my dreams. The next day and the day after that Jess’s skin covered mine. Her sorrowful eyes peered into my head and rested themselves in my dreams.

By the fourth sleepless night, I knew what I had to do.

Ever since I was little, I’ve created art and kept diaries. Like many little girls, I drew horses. I eventually moved onto other subject matter and took up painting. I knew I enjoyed art, same as I enjoyed eating a good cookie or playing sports. But, something inside me changed after reading Jess’s story. I had to paint. It wasn’t a choice. Painting her little, damaged face was the only way I could give her the respect and hope she deserved. It was the only chance I had to remove her burning image from my mind and place it elsewhere. Not to be forgotten, but to be remembered…
JessOnce I painted Jess, my nightmares stopped.
And my creative journey began…

reconciling living and after-living

the corners of his mouth are whispering hymnals
he carried her body beyond its limits
heaved her form, not more than the weight of pencils
with such delicate care, as one might if shaping glass swans by focused flame
he’s imagining living alone in the home they nurtured like a precious child

just out of reach, a white sandal with silver clasps waits under the bed
he’ll grab a hanger from the empty side of the closet
to hook the lanky strap

worn but spotless, the sandal dangles from his shaking fingers
salt and sea blow so hard that his tears cascade into foaming waves
the sandal drops to the floor, he is wrecked
the strap has curved almost perfectly
he smiles at this, then draws in deep
the lemon and mint scent of her breath
almond-shaped fingernails round his shoulder
she wipes his tears
where the ocean curves like the strap of a sandal and water runs like the trickle of tears
she will be waiting
to lift him when he can no longer walk
pear fingersdrawing done to show one of my art student’s how fun fruit can be, summer 2013

Happy B’earthday

squeezed to point of pain
between plates of hard glass
body facing east
breast facing west
lying on cold, aqua-blue vinyl
covered with white tissue wrap
lower extremes spread
invasive metal instruments
sitting in bare, beige room
upper arm cuffed and pumped
tongue extended
ears plundered
I do this for you
I wouldn’t do this for me
if there are soft infants
in your bright future
in healthy arms
I’d love to embrace them

Caroline baby/oil

Caroline baby/oil

Caroline in oil, painted 16 years ago.
My delicate daughter turns 17 on Earth Day
Happy B’earthday, Caroline
Happy Earth Day, too 🙂

cloud dancing

april 21
three am
her spirit smashes the institutional window
the glass doesn’t shatter
what is left behind
the peace in knowing
her suffering is the only thing that has died
let it stay dead
on she goes
dancing with her petite feet
pain no more
glenn miller is in the mood
upper teeth biting her lower lip as she spins
she’ll use those teeth when she laughs
she laughs backwards, sucking in lots of air
the clouds are sailing across the sky today
nina must be on a roll



Keep those clouds moving, beautiful nina…xoxo

nina2012 (left to right) big son, aunt dee, giant husband, aunt nina, uncle bucky, sis dolores, delicate daughter


life is a line

we sometimes spend our lives concerned over –
being first on line
choosing the right path
towing the line
being offline
being online
going down the wrong road
border lines
crossing the line
traffic lines
tree lines
the waterline
the shoreline
tan lines
following dotted lines
our waistlines
defense lines
taking the shortest line
getting wires crossed or knotted up
sniffing lines
hem lines
panty lines
firing lines
signing on the line
communication lines
wrinkle lines
writing lines
lines of demarcation
fault lines
waiting in line
making headlines, avoiding them
picket lines
yellow lines
assembly lines
coloring in the lines
cutting on the lines
perfect lines
making beelines
memorizing lines
first lines
last lines
stepping out of line
lining up
drawing lines in the sand
pickup lines
party lines
lines of crap
a line of bullshit
the only line missing
is the only line that matters
it is the line cut into our flesh upon conception
the thin, supple line that separates our life from our death

there is a line.
walk it well
cycleLife Cycle, acrylic on paper painted thirty years prior