Sunday, December 28, 2008

The White Knights

bitter fruit burnt my tongue
untasted by the meek
scorned by the strong
somewhere in the middle
spitting out the taste of
I wish
I hadn't bitten

5 Oranges for Frank O'Hara

I have brought you
green flowers
Orange seeds fall on your face
like hopeful tears

4 Oranges for Frank O'Hara

held to
the light
turns my world

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who is Frank O'Hara?

Frank O’Hara was an influential New York city poet and curator at the Museum of Modern Art, who collaborated with many artists in his lifetime including Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers and Franz Kline. My series, 12 Oranges for Frank O'Hara are also an homage to those literary-visual collaborations. Several of them are on this blog.

You can see the rest of the series here but I haven't converted them all yet to something that would work as a t-shirt or product design.

One of my favorite O'Hara poems.

Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days

More about Frank O'Hara here.

City Poet, by Brad Gooch, is a really entertaining book about the life of Frank O'Hara. And by that, I mean the boy really dishes. City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Change Is Good

This piece was an entry for Embracing Our Differences, an outdoor art exhibition here in Sarasota, Florida. As part of the event artists were asked to spend two Saturdays at the park answering questions about their work. A surprising number of people believe that the theory of evolution is a challenge to Christianity. Luckily I had just read I Am Charlotte Simmons: A Noveland I was able to comment on the difference between the origins of life and the origins of species through natural selection. Not the same thing at all.

[Liked I Am Charlotte Simmons but think that The Bonfire of the Vanities: A Novel is still my favorite but A Man in Full is a close second.]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Doll's House

for desire
the most difficult
of the endless

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sleep paints you

like a child of atlantis
I watch you dream

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If you speak again
blood will run out of my eyes
ruining your notes

there were a lot of meetings at [insert corporate name here].
and srsly, notes? why, did anything ever get done?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preludes & Nocturnes

Some of the pieces from The Dream Suite directly reference characters and stories from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series--Desire, Dream, Despair and lesser characters like Lady Bast, Emperor Norton and Fiddler's Green. Others, like this one, riff off the title Preludes & Nocturnes, number one of the collections.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sweet Ice

essence mixed with ice
could be granitas
could be city suit in snow

Bitter Employee Haiku Caveat

Bitter Employee Haiku # 72

that vodka bottle
really shouldn't be doing
your talking for you

aka danger at xmas parties

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

not really about hinduism

the streets are full
of sacred cattle

I've lived in two places--Key West and San Francisco--where there are lots of street people. It always made me think of how our culture can chew people up and spit them out. As well as the idea that perhaps the mad are closer to god.

Monday, May 26, 2008

3 Oranges for Frank O'Hara

ah, life...

Among other things sometimes more boxes just means more decisions...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bitter Employee Haiku # 128

it's monday meeting
here cometh the time vampire
move quick, stake her heart

do you get the idea i really, really resent meeting and people who speak at them?

Monday, May 19, 2008


For Destruction, brave enough to change

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


You can only leave so much behind.
Change is good, but not always so easy...

Bitter Employee Haiku # 177

it's an interview
i wait for the dumb question
where I blow all chances

oh dear. so many times this has happened. when the clueless HR person asks you "what gets you up in the morning?" don't answer "uh, coffee?" if you want a job. If the VP of some now-defunct division of an almost-defunct company who's current revenues were at about $4 million says "My boss gave me a rev figure of $40 million for next year. What would you do first?" don't answer "I'd go back and tell him he needed to pick a new figure" if you want a job.

It's perhaps better I didn't get any of these jobs :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scintillant Orange

Inspired in part by Rainbow Stories
by William Vollmann

[Also by the many indignities that can be inflicted upon artists]

2 Oranges for Frank O'Hara

1 Orange for Frank O'Hara

While 12 Oranges For Frank O’Hara was inspired by the O’Hara poem "Why I am not a Painter," each painting itself references one of the poems from O’Hara’s "Oranges: 12 Pastoral"

O’Hara, an influential New York city poet and curator at the Museum of Modern Art, collaborated with many artists in his lifetime including Grace Hartigan, Larry Rivers and Franz Kline. These pieces are also an homage to those literary-visual collaborations.

The Poem:

Why I am not a Painter
by Frank O’Hara

I AM not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

For instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink’
he says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters. “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems. I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mikes’ painting, called SARDINES.

The Poems:

Oranges: 12 Pastorals by Frank O'Hara

More about Frank O'Hara

Modern American Poetry

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


those who ignore history
doomed to repeat it

which is probably why
all empires come to an end

bearing towards oblivion

Another little ode to Desire
[Why forks? Aren't we a culture of consumption?]

lots of useful skills here...


marketing weasels
drink their martinis
and practice lying

oh c'mon, it's just a haiku.
besides, i'm one of the brethren ;)

wasted trees

I file blank reports
no one notices business
proceeds as always

actually, I filed the same report month after month.

my interview lunch...

included a long, long, discussion on lipstick.

I left Key West for San Francisco

and an artist became an executive for

There is no way to keep your feet on both shores.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

cultures of consumption...

i actually did this piece before that nut-job was let loose in the white house. i've been thinking about cultures of consumption for a long time.

and now for something completely different...

'nuff said.

Calling Mary Kay

it's always bothered me how many women's magazines and women's product companies are owned by men. not that i don't wear make up, or recognize the pressure to conform to 'normal.'

Saturday, April 12, 2008

nobody got hurt

[it's an org chart, get it?]

I left Key West for San Francisco

and an artist became an executive for a

There is no way to keep your feet on both shores.

sum of her parts

she liked to pretend sometimes
she was more
than the sum of her parts

equal interest in people and medical dictionaries can keep me occupied for a long, long time.

inspired by prodigal summer

I am learning the language of seeds

the thinnest edge

all the troubled children
gather near the water

war is so damn hard on humans. even the ones who make it back.
and what an irony that the instrument that launches the sword is the pen upon the page

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dream of Anna

Love curls around my heart
like a snake
on a warm rock
in autumn

There were a few piece that made it into this series--The Dream Suite--that were influenced by other things I was reading at the time. This piece was influenced by Russian Poet Anna Akhmatova's [The Complete Poems of Anna Akhmatova] poem


Now, like a little snake, it curls into a ball,
Bewitching your heart,
Then for days it will coo like a dove
On the little white windowsill

Or it will flash as bright frost,
Drowse like a gillyflower...
But surely and stealthily it will lead you away
From joy and from tranquility.

It knows how to sob so sweetly
In the prayer of a yearning violin,
And how fearful to divine it
In a still unfamiliar smile.

I loved the imagery of the first stanza. So sweet. Then the descent into the tortured Russian soul :) . Two great reads on the evolution of the Russian characters. The Moon Goddess and the Son by Donald Kingsbury is a Neal Stephenson-type novel. Big mix of characters and ideas but one of the constant threads is the cold war and a section of the book in a really entertaining way covers the Russian character.

I pretty much only like my history told through fictional narrative, but hey, it works. Russka: The Novel of Russia was excellent, in that regard.

I could go on and on