Spinning

It is the witching hour
All must go back to the beginning
of time
time when the cogs & wheels,
nuts & bolts, the true & false
of your existence
drips long magenta sludge
to the bottom of the
holy vortex

You stop to cry out
words form, are heard,
then disappear
Quick like a bunny
down through the hole

It is the desperate hour
your nature unravels
flaxen-haired onto
the resting place
of some unknown head

Who is that man?
What do I owe now?
Bring on the enforcers
fear is so subjective

Death creeps near the doorway
unannounced as shrill-voiced women
accuse, try to define things they
do not understand
Here you go boys, here’s a hand
women against women, now that’s
a barb to the side of the altar
mixed messages, socio-economic differences
Rubber burns in the background
fire in their eyes, singed hair,
a flip flop by the road

Will you ask no questions, have no care
for understanding past histories?
You cannot begin to understand
the hunt for present circumstances
without a compass, without a map
Can you not see?
We shirk all internal combustion
to arrive at an answer we do not heed;
to move in a circle we cannot engage
War is made of such things as sirens sing
off color & tone to the deaf of the world
Who can be given a jest such as this
surviving on vagrant morsels
Kolkata whispers in your ear?

You have come to this place
in the middle of bad returns
Heal me, once again, heal me
If there ever was a need so strong
it has come to these shores at this hour
Feel the weight of vaporization
It is heavier than you think
Light fingers spread fairy dust
birthing another portion of yourself
feather-like, filigreed, feminine
spit out the goddess within
undetermined, unpegged, not a
pigeon hole in sight

You were born in a tin pot
on a back burner
So what of it?
Golden dreams dance

Look: Motherism & Gender Assigment

I stopped sitting in front of terminals & laptops as a cost and eye saving device. I also know it can get in the way of my heart work. That does not mean it has lost its worth for me as an important means of communication. Both the Gender Assignment blog & the content posted there us on area of interest among others. I hope it becomes so for you.

Also Lise Haller Baggesen Ross–look her up: https://m.facebook.com/lise.h.ross?pn_ref=story&fref=nf&ref=bookmark
http://genderassignment.tumblr.com/post/106749478255/mothernism-an-interview-with-lise-haller-baggesen

Art from Bosnia

I wanted to share this video from Elgin Smille (Great name, yes?). I enjoy the artwork and the content. I felt refreshed by an art opening that was full of fun and love. This is not something we have in America, especially New York, where this kind of sincerity is often lacking. I wish I spoke the language just to be with these very interesting people. There are English subtitles so don’t forget to make sure captions is on when you view it.

I included the entire YouTube site so you can view his other vids. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy5IfTG9gD4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUf44q_feXMLm9l2NP5LooKQ

Still from Prva izlozba

Still from Prva izlozba


Here is his website:
http://eldinsmilleartpage.wordpress.com/my-films-and-videos

Making, reading, writing

Newly minted clamshell box for first in a series of atlas fold books

Newly minted clamshell box for first in a series of atlas fold books

Brass cast made during lost wax process of alligator toe from Louisiana

Brass cast made during lost wax process of alligator toe from Louisiana


After a week-long box making class with Barbara Mauriello at The Center for Book Arts, two brass casting sessions and a bookbinding class last week I found myself immersed in making things, which uses a different zone in the brain than writing. Reading supplements ideas, thinking expands them and making can become the result.

I am in the middle of researching a new atlas fold book that will be the second in a very long series of artists books that include maps, writing via letterpress, and other forms of bookish expression. When these things are evolving I find it not the time for long narratives on WordPress. Twitter, with its flits and snippets of ideas serves me better.

I did take a jaunt over to the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan on Tuesday to unwind and look at frames. Prints will be the subject of investigation on Sunday when they have a talk on Durer’s Melencolia I: http://bit.ly/1kc0OMQ.

A tiny ivory book from the Met's collection

A tiny ivory book from the Met’s collection

Not Alone

A recent entry into The Price of Freedom book art at Howe Gallery.

A recent entry into The Price of Freedom book art at Howe Gallery.


The responses left in The Price of Freedom book, which encapsulate the body of work as a whole excites and encourages me to continue. This latest entry is especially heartfelt since it reflects the truth about violence against women. You feel completely alone. If my work reaches one person so they know that there are others out there whose life changes immeasurably because of rape or any other abuse, success walks with me.
Write anonymously about rape and sexual assault on http://brokennarratives.tumblr.com/.

Violence Against Women in Art

A blind embossed page from a book on my own rape

A blind embossed page from a book on my own rape

While researching material for my masters thesis, I came across some of the most disturbing images I have ever seen. Oddly enough when I mis-Googled ‘violence against’ instead of VAW, I was connected with images of women across the world who were disfigured in one ghastly way or another. I was particularly struck by women who had their nose and ears cut off by their in-laws of husbands for trying to leave them. While on a particularly hard to digest page of outrageous pain, there was a split second where the look in one of the women’s eyes shook me to the core. I recognized myself in those eyes. The reflection of the brutally raped women that was me in 1996 a few months after I finished a 5-year undergraduate degree in architecture with honors and had one week before received the job of my choice at a large architectural firm in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I left the page quickly to remove this from my mind. A few days later, I decided that this was, after all, the nature of said thesis and I would get point blank real in an at once luxurious but biting way. Creating work of beauty that I am inclined to do but leaving a hard narrative of truths most people want to ignore became the goal. I used these other women’s incidents because I myself got through a violent attack that almost killed me by putting it on a global scale. When the darkness of pain and isolation directed me toward the bad end of the only two roads possible to take after such a crisis held my head down I was able to lift it back up. By knowing there was larger traumas out in the world that women were surviving so could I.

Interior of book art from exhibition

Interior of book art from exhibition

The exhibition was a success, and in one of the books I made, I left blank pages that unfurled so that viewers could write reactions. it was the most encouraging thing I could have done since I found out first hand that many were moved by the various narratives: my own and that of women in the world. Since I am at a library computer I cannot upload more photos than I have with me and for my next post I want to talk about someone who became a focal point for my exhibition: Aesha Mohammadzai.

Rivers of time and making

Detail of Metalsmithing from 2014 Kean University exhibition.

Detail of Metalsmithing from 2014 Kean University exhibition.

I followed a blog concerning the forms, functions and physical properties of paper called The Fiber Wire and don’t you know the writer followed this blog, which I started last summer, dumped and then forgot about. An audience of one is enough to cheer one on to writing for the public again. I stopped in 2009. Sometimes the audience can turn on you and throw a kink in the reserves of good nature about the human race. There were other, more ethical reasons, why I stopped but that is for another time. I’m sitting in a hotel outside of Philadelphia for a night of rest after a recent test of physical endurance. Periodically I put myself through such things especially when on a mission.

The mission, this time, was to learn everything I could about making books in order to apply it to a Studio Arts MA program I was in, from said last summer until my exhibition at Kean University last Sunday. I don’t think I took a night or day off for the last nine months. Besides working in the campus print studio and the metals studio, I went on excursions to the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY and the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan where I now volunteer once a week in return for time at the Vandercooks and much needed classes.

You could say this book art endeavor and that of the rest of my life that has included making things to wear (vestiaria), growing things (agricultura), working as an architect {I did build a wall} (architectura), I have not been in combat but I have hunted (venatoria), who hasn’t traded or commerced? (mercatura), cooking is a specialty (coquinaria), and I am quite handy with metals (mettalaria). These are the seven mechanical arts indicated in the title of this blog. They are those pronounced in medieval times (9c) by Johannes Scotus Eriugena, an Irishman born in 815 and dying 62 years later. He was a philosopher and Greek scholar. For my purpose today, he serves as the instigator and patron saint looking over the things I have done and still do in this life. This life has been a combat of sorts and the weight of that fact is relieved by the Artes Mechanicae. What better time to revive the blog that the day before I go to the University of the Arts through the Philadelphia Center for the Book. They are orchestrating a session of bone tool making with Shanna Leino for people like me who have this need. I’ve been a fan of her work since I learned about her at Jim Croft’s Old Ways two-week workshop in Idaho last summer. The information and photos I dumped were about my time there. You see, all rivers merge, twist and move along kissing against the shores of time and disappearing in cascades of intent. Memory is conjured by doing. Doing is enhanced by remembering. So I begin again and will keep you posted.