Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last minute Halloween costume ideas

By Jack Brummet

Ken Kesey and the bear

Seeing a sign that said, “Beware of the Bear,” Ken Kesey said “it used to mean, ‘be aware of the bear’ and now it means ‘be afraid of the bear.’”

Poem: Stealth

By Jack Brummet

Think one thing,

Say another,

And do a third.


Poem: Bercilak de Hautdesert

By Jack Brummet

Grey light pools
On the floor in the distance.
A green knight walks toward you,

A battle-axe in one hand
And a branch of holly in the other.
Bercilak de Hautdesert asks if you want to play a game.

You take the axe and swing. The helmet flies off
And smashes against a stone wall.
The head tumbles down the hallway.

The Green Knight picks up the head
And tells you to meet him
At the Green Chapel New Year's morning

For his his exchange blow.
The Green Knight's head chuckles
In his arms as he slips away.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Drawing: Faces No. 932

By Jack Brummet

[Pen and India Ink on rough Strathmore watercolor paper, 11 x 16"]

click to enlarge

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Porm: Sparks a/k/a Defensive Daydreaming

By Jack Brummet

Defensive Daydreaming 

Six hours into the surprise visit, he lumbers on.
My brain unsnaps from its moorings
and drifts like a drunken dirigble
into the torrent of everything I've seen,
smelled, eaten, licked, drunk,
smoked, touched, read, watched, and heard.
It's like he's been talking weeks now
and I remember Nikita Kruschev
on the television at the UN, flashing
those bad teeth and that goofy smile,
pounding those oxfords alive.
I try but I can't quite hear him;
I hear my friend narrating himself.
I remember today is Renoir's 164th birthday
and I don't even like his painting,
but, hey, at least he threw in some nudes.
He looking at me! What did I miss?
He looks for a yes and keeps talking.
"Yeah," I say, "right. . .yeah." I think about
Motherwell's Reconciliation Elegy
and how he charged around the studio,
rolling vast turgid highways
of black oil over acres of canvas.
I think about Alice Neel
painting all those people
and what they thought
when they saw the final product
or what people thought when they saw
the first Cubist or Dada paintings.
My friend looks for a show of interest.
Yes! By all means, encourage him.
I cock an eyebrow. He revs back up
and I think about my favorite color,
that mid-palette blue...a blue bisque,
the color of my grandma's cameo brooch...
vibrantly that possible?...
yes, it's the color of Della Robbia's Florentine ceramics.
He goes on about old times, about how it was then,
way way way back when when when
when we were all back where, back when, doing what
with, for, and to whom. My brains coughs up chimes,
resonations, cross-references, cerebral links,
odors, tinkles, cues, and subtle whiffs of distractions.
I hear Charlie Parker play Carvin' the Bird
somewhere in my head and it segues into
Black Throated Wind and lurches into
Foggy Mountain Breakdown. He jumps
from childhood to yesterday, in between, and back.
I think of my gal and my pal Keelin Curran and Jan Newberry.
I think about the family
we built in Brooklyn and Manhattan and how often
every single one of them--Mel, Keelin, Jannah, Nick, Kevin, Jan, Miya,
Colin, Tony, Cheryl, Pinky, Fuzzy, Dot, 'Moto, and all our side friends--
shoot across memory like blazing comets, like right now.
See?  He keeps sensing me drifting and dreaming but
I nod and wink and pick up the reverie, falling, falling
back, back, back to the night my daughter was born.
It was as quiet as a painting in Berkeley,
driving at three a.m. on Telegraph Avenue
toward Oakland, to the delivery room.
I saw a new moon hung on our old sky.
We watched the monitor and waited.
When her robber-stockinged face came down,
one bleat to the rafters started us all breathing again.
He's buzzing in my left ear
and the rhythms say I am safe.
I think about dreams--not drifting
like this, but real R.E.M. dreams:
I don't know which is better,
to dream it or see it,
to see it right now,
or to have seen it.
I don't know which is better,
the memory or the thing itself.
The memory can be repeated forever
but loses fidelity like an old record
and the fictions your mind confects
start filling in the gaps
until the memory becomes a framework
for what we wanted to be, or what should have been.
He nudges me, waiting for a yes, the go-ahead sign.
Yeah baby, take it on home. I think about Casey Stengel.
He suspects I am drifting over the hills and far away.
I nod "um." It is the sun's birthday
and where did the crows go? When he jumps to El Toro,
my mind starts sleepwalking from Boot Camp.
I wonder if I will ever get to Palestine,
or if there will ever be another Palestine,
or if I will get back to Seville or Tetuan,
Chora Sfokion or Brooklyn, Heraklion or Hoboken,
Vinaroz or the Delaware Water Gap, if I will ever see
Leningrad or Katmandu, and I wonder
if I would want to see Calcutta, Johannesburg,
Bhopal, Cleveland, Camden, or Port-au-Prince?
I don't know which is easier:
to listen or pretend to listen?
I think about bottles of beer
chilling in a tub of cracked ice.
Sexy rivulets of water fall down bottles
glistening in the hot sun.
Even my nose is tired.
Should I pee, or hold it?
Should I hold it and focus
on the distraction?
What did Gertrude Stein mean
when she wrote about those
"Pigeons In The Grass, Alas?"
Was it the pigeons or the grass
or the pigeons and the grass aggregated?
I want to bang my head on the wall
to dull the pain between my ears,
and he's warming up for the stretch.
A pipe doesn't slow him down and the wine
just keeps his throat supple, his voice nimble,
and the memories and word torrent flowing.
He talks about the Marines
and six years marching, marching marching
on the parade ground erect and spitshined,
marching, saluting, dreaming, marching, yes-sir-ing.
I remember Nick Gattuccio's name
means Sicilian Dogfish and the time we drained
a demi-john of Chianti in Florence.
He tells me twenty things I don't want to know
and ten I'm indifferent about for every one I do.
He remembers where he left off
and murmurs a bridge to the next installment.
I think about the firefall of light I saw today
Pouring from a rising skyscraper.
The welder is a star thrower,
And constellations of pale yellow sparks
Tumble from a heaven of beams and girders
Strung with wire and pipe.
Those sparks are like
his words,
Falling down iron bars
To disappear like fugitives
In a white lake of sparks.

A river and strange mountain landscape created I created last night in Terragen

Monday, October 27, 2014

Live footage of earth, streaming from the International Space Station

By Jack Brummet, Out There Ed.

A High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the International Space Station was launched on April 30, 2014.  

"The wide-angle lens shows a huge swath of country that stretches from Portland, Oregon (right) to Phoenix, Arizona (left). The largest string of lights is the Ogden-Salt Lake City-Provo area (lower center) in Utah. The Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan regions, and the cities of the central valley of California (Bakersfield to Redding) stretch across the horizon. The green airglow layer always appears in night images."

"This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. Video from these cameras is transmitted back to earth and also streamed live on this channel. While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence though the different cameras. Between camera switches, a gray and then black color slate will briefly appear. Since the ISS is in darkness during part of each orbit, the images will be dark at those times. During periods of loss of signal with the ground or when HDEV is not operating, a gray color slate or previously recorded video may be seen. "

To learn more about the HDEV experiment, visit here.   For a display of the real time ISS location plus the HDEV imagery, visit here.


Found in translation: Chinese signs in English

By Jack Brummet

I loved every English sign I saw in China. What was lost in translation was most often rendered into Surrealist poetry.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The time Gary Cooper gave Pablo Picasso a cowboy hat and a heater

By Jack Brummet, Arts Ed.

In 1959, Gary Cooper gave Pablo Picasso a pistol, a cowboy hat, and marksmanship lessons.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Beatles in costume and disguise

By Jack Brummet, Music Ed.

We do not own the copyrights to the images, which were collected along the internet.  If you own one of these images, please let us know and we will credit you or remove the image.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Drawing: Faces No. 927 (scratchboard and reversed scratchboard)

By Jack Brummet

click to enlarge