If I Gave Up Concerns About Permanence (And Ego), Could I Still Make Art? Nicolle Donnelly

[Another smart direction pointing a la Hailey Higdon, the art of Nicole Donnelly. She was pleasant enough to answer a few questions. Some tremendous spatial, textural things going on here. I particularly like the fossil duplicates.]

WOLF: This morning I was out talking a jog in the park and saw a couple of boys dragging around large pine tree branches. Hmm, I thought. Is there a corner of human nature that compels us to rearrange our surroundings? And does this have to do with being an artist?

ND: I do think restructuring our environment is part of human nature -- if only looking at the instinctual impulse to build shelter of some sort. Visual art, of course, bears a resemblance to and is perhaps an extension of this practice, and there are more and less invasive/disruptive/destructive ways of rearranging our surroundings. In my art, my approach can be described as minimalist at times, but I like to think of it as making minimal impact on the environment for a maximum effect. When I am creating an installation or building a sculpture, I try to use only the most essential materials - those which can be found native to the area -- and using as few as possible "man-made" supplies. This stems not only from an environmental concern about conservation, but also comes as a response to the commodification of the art object, ie. selling artwork for money. I asked myself a question a year and a half ago: If I could no longer purchase materials or take anything with me, if I gave up concerns about permanence (and ego), could I still make art? The answer is resoundingly yes.

: Do you experience something like moments of awe while you paint? What are those moments about?

ND: My background as an artist is in making paintings (and I still make paintings despite my recent installations and public sculpture). While in the act of painting, or the act of drawing, I don't know that I would classify what I feel as "moments of awe," per se. At its best, painting and drawing are an active meditation, and I am a conduit filtering the visual information I feel compelled to render. This involves daydreaming or imagination to an extent, but it's also a physical response to the materials I am working with: paints and brushes responding to canvas, or charcoal and pencil responding to paper. It's a physical response to texture, pressure, and the resistence or ease of the materials themselves. Sometimes my mind is transported far away from everything, sometimes I am focused on the physicality of the material, and sometimes I am sifting through memories and trivialities of the everyday. The moments of awe seem to come afterwards, when I stand back and see what I've made with new eyes. The kinds of imagery that spring from me are sometimes strange, sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightening, but I try to welcome all of it.

WOLF: I have always struggled with sleep. Do you sleep well?

ND: I like sleep well enough now, although I struggled with it from an early age (I had to train myself to sleep and learn to calm my brain). But often when I can't sleep or am just dozing, I will see the most beautiful images for a painting or sculpture, and I'll grab a pad and pencil to jot it down - take notes about color or draw out the forms, try to memorize where it is the most tenuous.

The Fly Wanders Along My Hairless Forearm: Luke Bloomfield, Poeter

[A gaggle of poems by Luke Bloomfield, excellent person, co-editor of notnostrums, man of the valley.]


Taking the day off from modeling
my unimpressive body is not a cakewalk.
Geese psych out so easily with a
warm loaf of spelt. I watch the boys
with bandanas tied around their necks
reluctantly explore a canyon and
I wonder what I’m made of.
I haven’t explored caves in years.
Pushing off from the bank in this borrowed canoe
and going eyeballs into the sunset
provides relief for the pain in my blood.


I am sadly content to watch this cactus grow. This cactus, which grows with unrivaled slowness, is content and not at all sad to watch me paint the wing of a fly. The fly, entirely sad and a little content, worries it will never know the meaning of hermeneutics. So sad as to be marginally content, the cactus subsists on barely anything. Sadly overwhelmed by a vast absence of contentment, the fly wanders along my hairless forearm, crushed by the weight of purpose, thinking “I am just a sad fly, lost in the desert. Who will know I roam in darkness for the remainder of this brief life?” After a quarter century the cactus grows a new appendage. My compassion is in the hands of a higher logic, thus I am limitlessly sad and resignedly content to apply this paint to the fly’s wing. This will be a most superb fly.


There is a hole in
a lost cabin in
a hidden bowl I
am eating peanuts
out of and the moon
is crazy today.


My hammock was the victim
of a crime last night.
They took the accessories
of my hammock, too,
my hammock pillow,
two hammock nails,
and my hammock hammer.
I used to eat cheese fries in my hammock.
I used to drink ice tea
in my hammock
and watch the trees sway
in the hot wind.
But they drank all the ice tea.
And the cheese fries
had had a good working over too.
I go to where my hammock
was and gently rock
in the empty hammock space,
letting the iniquities of life
seep into my psyche
while the pigeons peck
breadcrumbs from my afro.


You climbed inside the duffel bag.
I climbed inside after you
and then we were both inside
the duffel bag, which was bigger
than a big bee hive.
We scoped out the duffel bag
from where we were.
That is, we had found it,
and we said this was it, this
duffel bag. We called
it our home and we hung pictures
on the walls. The pictures sagged
for the walls were saggy
and we swam in the pool
in the duffel bag,
which was like a rock
we built our cathedral on
in the duffel bag,
smaller than a copse of trees.
The Saints’ cemetery
had a little plot in the duffel bag
and white peacocks roosted
in the clerestory
and wandered around the
Lady chapel at day.
We fed them ambrosia salad
from our hands.
We kept the duffel bag tidy
and ornate which befit
the duffel bag.
The duffel bag homed orphans
we raised to be millionaires
with miles of boats
and vineyards whose grapes we jogged
amid while our famous bread
baked in the oven.
When the hills caught fire
we reclined in the
duffel bag and drank beers
and enjoyed the fire show,
breathing the thin arctic lightning.
When the tide went out
we collected sand dollars
and sea cucumbers, which
we laid in the mellifluous belly
of the duffel bag.

A Cat Named Monk Who Lives In and Is From Philadelphia, But Pretends to Be British: Stephanie Marum and Her Paintings

[Furthermore, Hailey Higdon suggested we get to know Stephanie Marum. Hailey described Stephanie as, "primarily a set designer, but [she] has been making these strange cat paintings that I love in the secrecy of her house and it'd be nice to get them out and let some other people see them." Stephanie's favorite things are desserts, animal-watching, and daydreaming. Her descriptions of what is going on here follow.]

Paca is the tortoise shell colored one.
She is a woman on a mission that which we
as her caretakers haven't been able to determine.
She's insistently telling us something all the time,
but try as we might we don't understand.

Squirrel is the black cat with the sneaky look.
He is most persuasive, and a wuss.
These paintings hang in our house.
The group portrait is of my family as cats.
It was a Christmas gift for my brother,
the 3rd cat from the left. I'm the white hairless one in
the dress.

Most of my personal artwork
is of animals acting like
people. I've been urged to make
more paintings of my cat family,
which I'm working on.
I'm also working on an idea
for a graphic novel
about a cat named Monk
who lives in and is from Philadelphia,
but pretends to be British.
He paints devotional art of his favorite
soccer player and doesn't mesh
well socially with his contemporaries.

Don’t Torture Her Betts, I Want to Take My Spiritual Poverty into Account Before We Do Anything Unreasonable: Theater from Corina Copp

[First in a handful of carefully selected suggestions from Hailey Higdon, is poet and playwright Corina Copp. Corina is the editor of The Poetry Project Newsletter--the new issue of which features translations of Ilse Aichinger as well as poetry by Nathaniel Otting. More of her recent work is out by Antennae. What follows is an excerpt from her play, DON'T MAKE WAVES.]

A scene from DON’T MAKE WAVES


The three women stand outside of the car. They look down at the life-threatening whirpool. Better holds Ryan by the ear. They hear a noise in the woods off right.


What was that


They know we’re here


Who do you work for


Myself, witch

Parakeet slaps Ryan hard across her cheek.


Date of birth


June 11, 1981




Of course, look at her eyes, they’re different colors


Are you or are you not a journalist?




Masseuse what is that

RYAN (nervous)

There was once a Roman captain who said

with the benefit of the wind

they would come. And I was the wind

and so they did come…

As did bunches, hahahaa, enthusiasm

for the delights of theatrical couture. And it helped me,

y’know to pay my bills, and in her therapeutic

community my mother was proud enough.

She only knew so much, I left late, had to rush off

timeagain. They were calling me, all different names, one had a

poodle and a bicycle act


In Boston?


Sheraton, snowflake sweater

Better lets go of Ryan’s ear.




I’m gonna tip-toe around the whirlpool

and avoid mines.

I think we’re being watched. I want to make sure.

And that hat you’re wearing looks ridiculous on you, I don’t know why you wear it.

I’m sweating. My head is going to explode.

No no it’s ok. I’m just going around

the corner. Don’t torture her Betts, I want to take my spiritual

poverty into account before we do anything

unreasonable plus she reminds me of a bedfellow

named Nancy, who incorporated before us, and had those

principles remember she wanted to start a salvation army and

used to stay up late counting, counting on her fingers and toes

all the beds she had ever slept in, skullduggery, but left

her mother out of it wished she hadn’t had a mother

The only way to be true to your country

To sacrifice your family

She is enraged and up close to Ryan, backing her up to the edge of the whirlpool. Ryan is not wearing a hat.


Be careful

Soldiers with bayonets and gas masks begin to appear in the background.


The Swedish mother puts feelings into everything

The German mother stands determined in

The kitchen door, she knows what clothes

to wear and what clothes for her children. Now

the newspapers think they are our mothers because they

believe completely in our depravation. They say western men are doomed western men

have always been doomed, they don’t let their wives

work naked in the flowerbed they are doomed.

Then pain and joy have no social relevance but these

papers will ascribe bank robberies and kidnappings and wrongdoing

before they know who is rightdoing, right.

What effect do you think that has on a little kid locked into fucking upward

mobility but truly without recourse from his

poor tree in shambles on the sidewalk, that’s where he

will always live. Kid doesn’t know liberty has a pedigree,

a noble

aspect? He’ll still try to get out of his hole and will take

whatever Bip down the road with the same color hair

with him…and they’ll fight in the circus or become painters

fight that way doesn’t matter how’s the little

lady bootstraps etc., they read Dostoevsky

They want to describe the world in hysterical fits

to be in the world

What’s unworthy of literature now?

Nothin it’s for all classes!

No classes!

Newspapers used to co-govern with their obstinance

and tabloidal homeland protection, now newspapers will happily compose an opposition of interests for an intellectual

plane of terrorism

is just a documentary movie, it’s not for reshaping

Or am I, mistaken. Am I…grabbing at loose blissful freedom

and licking its anus instead of caressing its fur

It’s my anus too

These ideas of reckoning that are around…!?

My ideas before I, it’s just that I,

the nature of the opposite sex, and green glass bottles of wine, and tea, and song

and bells, you know, these

are gifts and friendships, they don’t determine

class or ascent. They are steely, recognizable ships.

Given a beautiful day where you’re forgotten they will simply

sail away

to dance and motivate like Rita Hayworth

in front of the king

to get his head they want his head. But what am I,

circumscribed and barely holding on…to what…

these travel restrictions are getting tighter…we want

non-hierarchical, we want to brace up, we want

riveting machines instead of passive machines.

Or what if we want to stop wanting, what if

Fuck it you amorous child you don’t know valedictory

work you know erotic massage fuck you.

Parakeet walks off. They are surrounded but don’t yet realize.

PARAKEET (offstage)



BETTER (to Ryan)

This is mostly 70s drivel,

decline of civilization stuff

moral disorientation. I mean I

believe in it

You are Crunked in a Totally Green Dress, You are Paranormal: Francesca Chabrier, Poet

[A cache of terrific poems by the Francesca Chabrier. Seek her out. And one collaborative spot between Francesca and her friend Christopher Cheney.]


Beautiful Australian girls wearing pinafores under the umbrellas of Business Executives in the rain

Beautiful Antarctic girls riding on the backs of dorados, holding fish heads in their cold, dusty, curving arms

Beautiful Hawaiian girls swimming in circles

Beautiful girls from Shangri-la, all Capricorns, all left-handed, chartering helicopters to the Memphis skyline

Beautiful Taino girls giving birth to babies that sleep in glass cradles

Beautiful Swiss girls climbing Mont Blanc in Phys. Ed.

Beautiful Lithuanian girls with blonde hair and golden thighs pencil diving into the Baltic Sea

Beautiful Irish girls playing house on an island otherwise entirely populated by subversive politicians

Beautiful Antiguan girls playing cricket near Galley Bay

Beautiful Earth girls are easy

Beautiful Irish girl, you are crunked in a totally green dress, you are paranormal, you have a headlamp in the grass, you are digging and can see China

Beautiful Korean girls snapping pictures of the dam

Beautiful fed-up, hard-up, knocked-up, locked-up, stuffed-up, worked-up, beat-up girls

Beautiful girls from Brixton who admire all that is gilded and excessive, with a passion for luxury, and a love of Oriental clothes

Beautiful Fijian girls drinking high-quality, reserved, silver needle tea

Beautiful Italian girls working in a factory near Siena that produces mahogany torture racks with platinum chains

Beautiful girls from Zanzibar walking across raffia beams holding handfuls of counterfeit cash

Natural Disasters and then: dancehalls with natural lighting, where natural beauties with natural haircolor & natural instincts play Russian Roulette

Beautiful Spanish girls of Moorish descent, longing to hear music, active in the pursuit thereof, digging for musettes in arenas

Beautiful Romanian girls stretching before breakfast, mounting a single, chalky beam, dismounting perfectly into their coach’s arms

Beautiful girls on experimental diets flying without cargo on a biplane over the coast of Normandy

Beautiful Arab girls sewing puppets of djinns

Beautiful Argentinean girls with clear skin, glossy hair, sound teeth, bright eyes & experience fornicating in all British overseas territories.

Beautiful American girls, completely unmagnificent, holding themselves together by the ends of their braids


You are getting a root canal
at a dentist’s office in Waco.
You do not live in Waco,
and you are still sleepy
from flying. When the stewardess
asked everyone to turn off
their electronic devices, they did,
but you left your walkman on.
The plane was descending
through the part of the sky
where you are in the clouds completely.
A woman was floating.
She was wearing wings
made out of tin foil.
You tapped on the window and said
are you god and she said yes I am god,
and she turned into a sharp edged silver ball.
The ball dropped down faster than the plane,
you felt so overcome
you ripped out your teeth.
When you arrived in Waco
there was a sign that said
Home of the Largest Tin Foil Ball.
There was a parade, you stayed to watch
your favorite band pass by on a float.
You were in pain, you threw your tooth
at the lead singer, he used it as a pick.


There is a popular tree
that lives year round.
Maybe it will live forever
who knows
there is no one
that can touch it.
People come
from all around
to see the popular tree.
It holds a nest
made out of gloves.
I should say that the tree
is not gigantic. It is
about as big as a man
of average size
without a head
or shoulders.
The tree is
so incredible that
when I walk up to it,
my legs shake.
I want to lick
the leaves of the tree.
I want to watch it
get struck by lightening
and turn to neon.
This is not because
I want to destroy the tree.
It’s because sometimes
it is fun to watch things

By Francesca Chabrier & Christopher Cheney

One night you're on a plane
You board it and it's like
like coming home to an empty house
that you left all the lights and radio on
because you were distracted, not safe
And there are hands and faces
pretty women with hairdos under
marine helmets floating down the aisles

Mistrustful Children of Refulgence Flarf: Two Poems by David Kaufman

[A pair of poetries from David Kaufman. David writes about poetry for Tablet Magazine.]

Money As Scenery

The purpose of the present investigation was to develop
and validate an objective self-report instrument

Lanes courts boulevards I don’t
Care about hills fuck hills
They’re still outside fuck evergreens
I obsess about the deciduous
The undecided uncalled for rampant
Yard refulgence amongst the leaves
Not here amongst the hills
Not here behind the trees
Behind this very hill our
House and home our capital
On a stick bringing forth
Trees from branches leaves odd
Mistrustful children of refulgence flarf
And all your beautiful ways

I Can’t Stand Times Square at New Years

For years I lived as
A German Jew now I’m
A Russian manner
Of exuberance ok
Woodpecker ok snow and
Melting snow ok cormorant
Deity and a winter like this well
Yes there’s a girl named Cole called
Coco and Colette she’s
And Miriam as a Jew I hoped
Lucia would be Lulu call
Her Leah call her Ushy call
Her the ukase of my desires I’m
Going crazy with time.

My Face Stays the Same, Slight Smile, Head Gently Nodding: A Pastoral Verbatim

[For all the talk of poetry unlocking universes, there is often "technical writing" working on the raw, real edges of the human experience. The following is the written verbatim of a rabbinical student's pastoral visit to a resident in a Jewish nursing home. The names of the student and resident have been collapsed.]

Background: I visited resident twice in the beginning of the year and then didn’t visit him until a few weeks ago when his friend was killed in a plane crash. I visited him two days in a row after the crash happened and hadn’t seen him for two weeks until this visit.

Date of Visit: 3/12/09
Length of Visit: 30 minutes
Time of Visit: 10 am
Visit number: 5


[Pause for a moment. I focus on being a calm, still presence.]
[Knock on door]

C1: M., it’s S.
R1: Hi, S.

C2: Can I come in?
R2: Sure.

[I enter the room and sit down in the chair by his bed. I decide not to touch his hand since he looks quite unwell.]

R3: I don’t feel so good today.
C3: You don’t look too good.

R4: I’ve been feeling worse and worse. My body is just deteriorating. I’ve been having problems with the catheter and with pain. I’m giving up.
How are you? What have you been up to?
C4: M, I just want to note that you just said something really powerful, that you’re “giving up.”

R5: You know me, that I try to be hopeful and try to have a positive attitude, but lately I am just loosing steam. When the body is in so much pain, it’s hard to be happy-go-lucky.
C5: Can you give yourself permission to feel the hopelessness that you feel?

R6: It’s just that I don’t want to burden you. You’re so nice and you listen to me.
C6: M., I’m really grateful that you’re able to share your suffering with me.

R7: But you shouldn’t have to walk out of here with it.
C7: I give it to God, and it’s helping me grow.

R8: I just have you and G., who volunteers here, no, I think she works here, in recreation. My doctor isn’t helping me. He won’t even give me pain medication. Do you see this little tab (points to his chest)? There is so little pain medication here that it’s not even worth taking. I’m trying to switch doctors. Do you know Dr. G. and Dr. R.?
C8: I just see them in the hallways.

R9: Which one do you think is nicer?
C9: Oh, I don’t know… You know many people in our tradition have felt deep loneliness. Many of the psalms are about someone who is suffering so much that the only thing they can do is to call out to God. Can I share a psalm with you?

R10: I’d like that.

[Takes Bible from M.’s table. While turning to psalm 116 says the line “From the depths I call to you God” in Hebrew and then English. Reads the psalm slowly in English].

R11: I like that. That’s how I’m feeling. You’ll have to mark it so I can read it again.
I’m just giving up. Well, I admit that lately I’ve been hoping to not wake up in the morning. I just want to die peacefully in my sleep.
[He looks at me as if to see my response. My face stays the same, slight smile, head gently nodding]
Actually I’ve been praying before I go to sleep that I shouldn’t wake up in the morning.
But I always wake up.

C10: How do you feel when that happens?
R12: It’s just me against the world.

C11: Just you against the world. [Pause] That sounds incredibly lonely.
R13: It is. I’m just afraid that there is going to be pain in dying. I don’t want any more pain. I can’t take any more. Sometimes my muscles have spasms that are so awful. I can’t even move my foot any more.

[As he is saying this I imagine what it would be like to not be able to move my body. I feel very calm and empathetic]

C12: There’s a lot of fear that you’re holding.
R14: I can’t hold it anymore.

[At this point I am aware of how much time I have spent with M. and that we need to wrap up our conversation for now. I thought about how D. teaches that you can’t leave a person in the depths, but that you have to bring them back out before leaving a pastoral encounter.]

C13: Can I share a song with you? [I explain the words—God is with me and I shall not fear-- and sing the last two lines of Adon Olam. While I’m singing I am aware that what I can give to M is this moment of shared holding]
R15: That’s such a sad tune.

C14: [Laugh] There are more upbeat ones. Do you want to hear one?
[Sing the traditional Adon Olam melody]
R16: Oh, I know Adon Olam. I recognize that. [I smile widely and stand up]
Thank you, S. I am so sorry I had to be a downer but I always feel better after you come.

C15: M., know that you bless me through our visits. Did you have coffee this morning?
R17: Yes, G. brought it.

C16: Good, she’s so sweet.
R18: She is.

C17: Bye, M., thank you.
R19: Thanks, S. See you soon.

Did I Eat the Delicious Banana? An Excerpt from Steven Zultanski

[Emerging from the deep place, Steven Zultanski. Here's a darkened video of the poet.]


There’s a thousand
There’s only one
of me.

I take this to be

The straight-up banality
of insight throws light onto that which had previously appeared
to be throwing light, but is clearly throwing something merely approximate
to light. Such is a shadow, the direct result
of a plausible future in which I am never new
and the president slips on a banana peel.
Did I eat the delicious banana? Yes,
I hope so, but that doesn’t mean I thought far enough ahead
to drop the peel.
I myself remained
inside the lines, and the lines themselves were long.

Unimpressive as I am as a person, I’m distinct enough
if you think of me as a predicament. Before creation,
there must have been only one age. Now I grow older right away.
But at least it’s always a new kind of old, and each new kind is immediately
overpowered by the different sides of the brain which drive
me out. Home is where what I think of as my heart is.
A cold, fully-automated cafeteria in the basement of a hotel.
The only place I’ve ever felt alone enough to engage in this activity
which we refer to as explicitly sexual is here, and the night when it’s out,
when the stars do slump through it. The force of nature is sexual too, but
when the stars do slump through it.

Finding out that your teenager is pregnant can be stressful.

A Buzzard—Here Comes The Night Over Here: Seth Landman

[That man we all know. That man equally at ease beside the shoreline as in the deepest mountain pass. Seth Landman.]

Here Comes the Night

What you know, how to be
a waste of time,

a spigot, my name
down there, walking around.

It feels like fall in the car,

I felt that movie before

in what’s between over
and over,

where I’m watching
how it goes, really,

where it really is on a map.

I didn’t mean
to love you in a dinghy, on an ice floe,

I didn’t think
it would work out.

What’s in the wild
thing about me?

Save me a place in the wild
thing I’m watching over.

In a sea, it doesn’t matter—

walk home,
and when you build
your house, walk home,

lit by a match, singing,
I knew a new me.

It’s been storming, looking up.

Everyone would love
to draw on the ceiling.

What makes you think
every little thing of you
can be what makes you
everything that lasts forever?

I carved there is little left to say.

Every hour out of space
my body tries a crawl inside.

I haven’t felt this way I feel—

a blue conceived in,
an egg I have
always been
a storm.

All your hopes,
your hair, don’t blame me, wait—

a buzzard—here comes the night over here.

What makes the most sense to me,
given aphasia,

is to look up.

And so I follow my friends on the moon,
and people sailing under that are sinister.

I get charmed, I sail, look up—

I was saying, “Wide eyes, they tell a story.”

We’re both breaking that part, asking,
“That girl was mean, right?”

The door was floorboards
and I was trying hard to go through them.

Alien night with an alien snout—

it’s the same old night.

O whale, under the sky, seal me
in the land,

in colors—

the air gone again,

tuck in lakes
move away eyes
look sad in a dream—

sometimes I know I’m wrong,
but wait, it’s good to talk,
jolting the light, trying to hurry back from far away.

It’s automatic. I could do this
again with different results,
or touch a different choice.

I’m told that makes me water.

Scale makes “by my side” stranger than it was.

There’s steam, I say
nothing by you,
you walk by every night.

You Can’t Arrest Me Here, Why? Three Poems by Jordan Stempleman

[Poems by the Jordan Stempleman, who has done much interesting work, including editorial contribution to the meaningful Continental Review. Video Poetics, which seems inevitable. Jordan was so kind to fill in the following short blanks:

I unscrew my head and...another head pops out.

Poet's midnight snack...another poet or two.]

In This Issue

Why this huge crush on escaping

the cruise liner only to be shot at, then

actually shot, days at sea, Jesus, the spoom,

sand, never forget the rock climbing,

tough go at making a fire,

you can’t arrest me here, why?

because you’re not here, I’m alone.

And then the long ride back in a seaplane

when it should’ve been an ambulance.

Name one place after I mention bloodless,

standing around, standing around as all wildlife

goes tame: Office Depot, no, Office Max,

no, I’m not understanding what you mean.

If there’s a tank filled with just pebbles

and poop and murky water,

I’ve still got to ask, what exactly happened,

not, where’d they all go?


All this talk about how synthesizers

are the no no we always take back

and now, now that we have them

are you really, for me, still crying?

The flowers children paint, in terms

of their tendency, are an example

of the endless delay of their sudden

concern, and how dumb

are my variations, how prone

the cold is.

If every synthesizer kept on playing

throughout the thrum of those blue skies

we must somehow live though, nothing

would ever begin to outlanguage us

during our fairly incredible

good time.

Johnny Rowlands

Yesterday, before reporting live

on channel four about a three car clusterfuck

in the middle of the morning rush, I was in the right mind

to refreshen my helicopter with the pastured scent

of dependability.

Then, as the sun hit the wreck, all the laws

of the dark universe thwacked each other

at once. I hovered. You bet I hovered.

What am I doing here? I can’t hear anything

but the Korean War in this thing.

Every day I radio in these roads.

And I never go home with anyone.

The Betamon Is Extremely Colorful: Three Paintings by Tyler Thomas

[From Richmond, VA, Tyler Thomas, and his Betamon birds.
Click on the images for detailed viewing pleasure.

I've been making these paintings of BETAMON birds
using ink and watercolor and some mixed media including beer mixed with spit.

The Betamon bird is a mythical creature
i have created over the past 4 years...
and it wasn't until early this year that I realized
the real idea of what it actually is that I am creating.

You've seen me draw those bald men with the shirt and tie for a long time...
I evolved those men into an idea of American man--
into man on earth as a whole, into the human race--
the idea of humor (through my drawings) both light and dark humor
seen in the images i create with facial expressions and actions...

the drawings have become more narrative.
And now I've given that idea of mankind a god to worship.
the betamon is extremely colorful
they come in all sorts of different mutations.
because they don't migrate together,
they are solitary creatures
pratically fresh out of the shell,
their mating call is extremely loud.

So loud in fact that it can
destroy the human eardrum
within a distance of 100 yards.
therefore they are never captured
and are very much evaded.

I've only created a few
but I'm making a tribe of men
that hunt and kill the betamon birds
and wear their feathers
as a belief that they own
the great creatures power....
often deaf they develop
a greater connection to the earth.