Drawn after reading DHL’s poetry
A snake came to my water-trough on a hot, hot day, and I in pajamas for the heat, to drink there. In the deep, strange-scented shade of the great dark carob tree I came down the steps with my pitcher and must wait, must stand and wait, for there he was at the trough before me.
He reached down from a fissure in the earth-wall in the gloom and trailed his yellow-brown slackness soft-bellied down, over the edge of the stone trough and rested his throat upon the stone bottom, and where the water had dripped from the tap, in a small clearness, he sipped with his straight mouth, softly drank through his straight gums, into his slack long body, silently.
Someone was before me at my water-trough, and I, like a second comer, waiting. He lifted his head from his drinking, as cattle do, and looked at me vaguely, as drinking cattle do, and flickered his two-forked tongue from his lips, and mused a moment, and stooped and drank a little more, being earth-brown, earth-golden from the burning bowels of the earth on the day of Sicilian July, with Etna smoking.
The voice of my education said to me he must be killed, for in Sicily the black, black snakes are innocent, the gold are venomous. And voices in me said, if you were a man, you would take a stick and break him now and finish him off.
But must I confess how I liked him, how glad I was he had come like a guest in quiet, to drink at my water-trough and depart peaceful, pacified, and thankless, into the burning bowels of this earth.
Was it cowardice, that I dared not kill him? Was it perversity, that I longed to talk to him? Was it humility, to feel so honored? I felt so honored.
And yet those voices: If you were not afraid, you would kill him! And truly I was afraid, I was most afraid, but even so, honored still more that he should seek my hospitality from out the dark door of the secret earth.
He drank enough and lifted his head, dreamily, as one who has drunken, and flickered his tongue like a forked night on the air, so black, seeming to lick his lips, and looked around like a god, unseeing, into the air, and slowly turned his head, and slowly, very slowly, as if thrice adream, proceeded to draw his slow length curving round and climb again the broken bank of my wall-face.
And as he put his head into that dreadful hole, and as he slowly drew up, snake-easing his shoulders, and entered farther, a sort of horror, a sort of protest against his withdrawing into that horrid black hole, deliberately going into the blackness, and slowly drawing himself after, overcame me now his back was turned.
I looked round, I put down my pitcher, I picked up a clumsy log and threw it at the water-trough with a clatter. I think it did not hit him, but suddenly that part of him that was left behind convulsed in an undignified haste, writhed like lightning, and was gone into the black hole, the earth-lipped fissure in the wall-front, at which, in the intense still noon, I stared with fascination.
And immediately I regretted it. I thought how paltry, how vulgar, what a mean act! I despised myself and the voices of my accursed human education. And I thought of the albatross, and I wished he would come back, my snake. For he seemed to me again like a king, like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld, now due to be crowned again.
And so, I missed my chance with one of the lords of life. And I have something to expiate: A pettiness.
Archival inks print on Canon Matt Photo Paper 8.5″x11″
I feel like “A Running Woman With Her Hair On Fire” And it feels GOOD! Thinking about aging and death inspires me to be creative every day!
8.5″x11 Canson Aquarelle Rag, archival inks
I meditate on my own future, these minutes, hours and hopefully years before death, and I try to see what I might yet create. “The future”, as we have often said in my family, “is open”. Unshaped and as yet, unimagined.
“Birdland – Maynard Ferguson” For the first horn player I ever had a crush on. Those high sweet tones set my 13-year-old heart on fire, and at 72 years of age still does!!!!!
As Peter Gabriel said: “I’m waiting for ignition, I’m looking for a spark
Any chance collision and I light up in the dark.
Besides experiencing the art displayed at an opening, I usually spend most of my time chatting with fellow artists. I move between the emotional visual adventure that the art work takes me on, and the hugely satisfying emotional touch and connection within this tribe of old and new friends.
I just returned from an hour of sitting in the sun at our local lake beach, visiting with neighbors, enjoying the play of oh so many 6 to 10 year olds, and just getting toooooo hot. Came into my wonderfully air conditioned home, got a glass of cold water with ice cubes and started to draw and voila………………………………
I rarely visit at the many Shopping Malls in Northern New Jersey where I live. The enormous density of humans I encounter, and the predictability of what is available for sale does not appeal to me. I do however, as necessary, take advantage of the value of household and kitchen goods sold at the large box store, Costco. This past weekend I visited the largest of these box stores in the region. The drawing here poetically represents hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of humans I encountered. As a Synesthete, my senses are particularly sensitive and exhausted by an afternoon in this environment.
Mon oeil l’écoute
Last Saturday I attended a Tristan Perich concert at “The Kitchen” in NYC. His repetitive synth timbres and rhythmic interruptions informed the image I created after viewing the NYC skyline under a bright moon on the way home to NJ. The skyscrapers were surely vying for the sky space.
If you haven’t heard Linda Everswick’s music, please give a listen. If I must say so myself, her use of my drawing for her cover art has just exactly the right bouncy look for her bouncy aural textures.