“Women Orgasm While Reading…For the Sake of Art, Of Course (NSFW)”

The Huffington Post exposé of this “art” exhibit is all in the title. The installation is called “Hysterical Literature,” by artist Clayton Cubitt who will show this piece next month in Mass MoCA’s “Bibliotecaphilia.” The article features videos of five women who read while, unbeknownst to the audience, being stimulated to orgasm. Interesting results that bring a new meaning to bibliophilia. What more could I add?  See for yourself.


Cloud from Both Sides

The cloud loved me to pieces, wanted to be my high-hung hero, but only rescuing the parts in a singular vision of unilateral need, not all. One-way vision of a cloud is downward. Clouds hover, and this drizzle detective spied the splashy bits of me from afar and decided long before we met, which soft morsels would be engulfed first, probably mamms and glutes, the prominent parts, before soaking the skin to its marrowed bone, for those bits were obtuse objects of ejaculative enjoyment that only a cloud could outwardly conceive.

Credit: http://staciayeapanis.com/artwork/2063260_Making_Love_to_Spike.html

Clouds are opaque, particulate substances of deceptively barely perceptible content, but they are felt and can cause harrowing angst, ultimately fear. Storm clouds, for instance. Cumulonimbus beckons the discontented rain, sky signs of rocky weather while cirrus paints the sky calm for smooth sailing.

We were once warm but then the cooling produced more clouds in the stratosphere. When we first met, cloud on high, mare’s tails and cirrocumulous and cirrostratus of wispy wanton strokes across my face and hands, light touches, silent sighs, slowed my pace, pausing in misted percipience. I was closer to the ground then, inhaling dust of the agitated lowland dirt and needed the precipitation, a washing off of the old ways.


And as you made your way down, altocumulus, heavier on my tail, vaporous droplets down my neck, cloying clutch, more threatening with your sudden struts of blasted fretting and thunderous moaning, your thick strands of desperate tendril attachment, you clung to me like sticky humidity, suffocating flypaper, inescapably omnipresent, both inevitable and ever-forming: cumulus, stratus, cumulonimbus, cumuli stratus, all of you sucking my skin moist ciliating my breath that inhaled you in hopeful oxygenated renewal and expelled you in disappointed delusional destruction, moment by moment–dizzying with your denseness obscuring sight, obtuse prescience, dull ratiocination, and dubious succor, which were just schemes as transparent as you up close, mere apings of the bonehead borrowings from others, banefully boring and clumsy. It took lightning to flash on sight. Then the downpour.

After-burst renewing, insightfully born in a cloudless sky clears the way for time and breath kept close on the wing. Peace brother cloud. The winds blow you across other visages, fare for another day’s delights and despair. Me, I’m walking to the sun. Fire over inundation.


“Mistress America” Coming Soon


Looking forward to doing things that increase my happy this year, one of which is to see more movies–that is, carefully selected films.

I used to pride myself on keeping abreast of the latest in cinema and music, always knowledgeable of the reviews and stars of the new and up and coming movies and albums. My husband and I would often compare our notes for the week’s reviews over dinner, each of us agreeing with or refuting Robert Hillburn’s reviews in the LA Times on music or Siskel & Ebert on the movies. It was the nineties and for us a time of celebrating creativity by taking in art fairs around town, even purchasing pieces, and subscriptions to plays in Los Angeles. We went to concerts of our favorite artists at the time, Sting or the Police before him, enjoyed small jazz clubs in Newport or classical performances at the Hollywood Bowl. Then we had kids.

After children, we barely had time to remember our names let alone keep up on the arts. Something about that lost time always has me remotely anxious about the possibility of alien scientific observational abductions or parallel lives. Where exactly were we and what were we doing all that time that seemed impossibly franticly activity and emergency-laden? And yet I cannot remember more than a blur of movement punctuated by tears of joy, terror and pride

But now that the kids are mostly grown, I have the yearning to re-immerse myself in the creative world, enjoy the spirit of human expression. Toward those efforts, I spent some time last year checking out a few friend-recommended and friend-curated gallery openings around town and in the city, OMC Gallery of Contemporary Art in Old World, Huntington Beach, and Coagula Curatorial in Los Angeles, to name a couple, for discovering up and coming and/or lesser known artists. I also went to the locally notorious Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach for the first time, though I have lived in Southern California for over 35 years, in addition to a few visits to to the biggies of museums like Los Angeles County Museum of Art to see the Stanley Kubrick installation and later the World Cup soccer exhibition, as well as the Huntington Library, the latter for the first time.

These discrete instances have stirred the hunger for more to colorize my thoughts and the sensibilities the way only the arts can. This year will continue the gradual immersion back into the b/c (before children) life with even more live music performances both classical and rock I enjoyed the latter part of last year, more art appreciation opportunities and more movies.

I read this a few weeks ago, but thought a blog post about the Sundance Festival projected favorites of the year would both offer readers who missed it a heads up and manifest my intention to sit in theaters more (so I get to see an entire movie rather than portions that I happen to walk in on when the rest of the family is vegging before the tube). There are several movies on the list I’m excited for, but of course Mistress America attracted my attention by the title alone. Not much has been released about this Noah Baumbach collaboration with Greta Gerwig (Francis Ha), other than the one or two lines of plot–college freshman gets yanked from solitude into wacky escapades by her future relative–and that it is scored by Indie pop duo Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (who I listened to and enjoyed in researching this short review).

Curious title for the plot snippet published, which entices me to watch for enlightenment. In what context is “Mistress” used, as owner, object of desire, or illicit interloper? And is the future step sister the mistress with that title or is America called a mistress, titled by mistress as form of address? I get distracted by this sort of thing. Like everyone else, however, I’ll have to wait and see.

Hope for all those not working (I am, but contentedly so) it is a down day, down on the couch or in the armchair that is, watching movies or football or the garden grow, whatever relaxes. Peace.

Picture Me Picturing You

Man is the only picture-making animal in the world. He alone of all the inhabitants of the earth has the capacity and passion for pictures . . . Poets, prophets, and reformers are all picture-makers, and this ability is the secret of their power and achievementsy: they see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction.
Frederick Douglass

Edward Jean Steichen’s Gloria Swanson

In manipulating the presentation of information in a photographic negative, the Pictorialists injected their own sensibility into our perception of the image—thereby imbuing it with pictorial meaning.

We are all poets for what is a poet but an image maker?
We are all imagists.
We imagine we see in others what is, what will be and what we have always wanted.

The fiance envisions the perfect wife in spikes and aproned pearls,
nymphomaniacal lover and cookie-baking Cleaver mother.
No matter that she is not the one;
he sees those features in her nevertheless, more or less.

She can cook.
She likes children.
She looks great in heels.
He makes her fit the dream of his waking.

Who is a husband but a movie projector to the screen of the chosen one?
He depicts desire–figure framed photo of his ideal in ribbon and steel.
Meanwhile, she is his pocket and his purse, the hand up his sleeve making his jaw move.
Her world spins his above their heads.

What is a lover but someone who ‘shops the photo of her future mate,
rich in charms, clever to the touch,
sexy in her arms, ambitious enough for a sensitive side–
though she has never met him?

What is the unfaithful but a husband who paints his mistress the un-wife?
What is a poet but the mistress of make-me-love, hers for the taking?

Castell Photography on Vincent Serbin

I generally experiment with ways to artistically illustrate human thought. By human thought I mean- to present an image that expresses the way we perceive the world. The way our visual system assimilates information ( i.e. two eyes see two images and those two images are processed by a brain) and creates an interpretation of a moment. So in my work , when I juxtapose two images ,it reflects the way our visual system works but, in a sense I’m eliminating a function of our visual system by presenting two images instead of one. This I believe offers a fascinating way of reinterpreting the world.

Happy Birthday Madame de Pompadour!

One of the more famous mistresses, Louis XV’s, Madame de Pompadour (born December 29, 1721) was an innovator of style, fashion and letters and contributed greatly to French cultural life with the influence she garnered as the king’s long term ‘official’ mistress.

Here she is rendered (not the real one) strangely by pictorialist styled photographer, William Mortensen, who has been overlooked in the annals of photography greats for his unusual grotesque style in a time when Ansel Adams’ realism was more in vogue. Mortensen was influenced by Jung’s archetypes and ideas, which are prevalently worked into his work, giving many pieces a larger than life effect. Some of his art can be viewed, along with Madame, in the Smithsonian magazine article reviewing his work.


Stop and Wonder

Sometimes you wake up and the world seems awry, like the picture on the wall is slightly askew and it has startled you into a momentary disorientation as to whether the world is tilted or the picture. This morning was such a morning. I woke up with the distinct sensation of unease like a throbbing under the seams of everything was palpable.

Then I saw this image, a painting by Francis Bacon, on a friend’s Facebook page:


My first impression was of a human body with a rabbit face, the eye being the first thing that caught my attention. Perhaps it was the closer detail of the eye in comparison to the rest of the impressionistic style of slashes of drab color. The friend who posted it saw an elephant immediately, which makes sense given the grey trunk-like extension in the middle of the image. It also comports with what is on his mind according to many of his posts, which support the eradication of ivory poaching and elephant suffering globally. So why did I see the rabbit face when another side of the optical illusion is the human bent in desolation matching the dread of the colors chosen? The rabbit eye is actually an ear that draws the viewer’s eye to the hidden face obscured by the angle of the painter’s view vis a vis his subject.

Of course the greens and browns that hit me immediately may have associated nature scenes to me, evoked from the colors alone. Maybe that’s why rabbit was conjured up before human. Or maybe I am feeling more like the rabbit these days, skittish and hunted, vulnerable. But the rabbit head atop a human-like body is the original dissonance–a nauseating angst of discord–I experienced in the nano second of mis-recognition, something in accordance with the strangeness of the day, a flash of something barely seen at the periphery of vision that flies past, something threatening and ugly.

That must be why I saw the rabbit atop the man and why my friend saw an elephant. It is what we imposed on the image from each our separate mindsets at the very moment of the eye’s placement on and registering of the image.

We do that to people too, obviously. We see them for the first time or for the four hundredth time and color them with the preoccupation or mood of the moment. We coat them with our predispositions and attribute motivations and traits to them based on the colors of our own palettes instead of seeing who they are in that space of estrangement, like mistakenly seeing a rabbit head atop a human body, which causes the looker to stop, readjust her vision, and focus more closely to actually “see” who stands before her.

I am not Susan Sontag

credit: eventival.eu


The eyes of a writer are dark and driven,
sharp shivers of light penetrating to bone,
the intensity of her luminosity formidable.
In her wake, I am merely a shadow writer.
My dull gleam, the murkiness of my eyes
is rimmed in an orb’s golden girdle of rust.
I have no choice but to flap in fretted strife
as an eaglet’s first flight from an aerie safe
but without promise of heights unimaginable,
a mere tepid air surf on a breezy spring day.
To battle mediocrity is like banging my head
through the whiteness of the plaster walls;
it hurts and damages but doesn’t kill,
the painful truth a worthy ache,
a limitless loss of dreams.
I will never be great.
I have little to say.
It’s all been said.
I’m not brilliant.
But I can write
so I can think.
There is love
for my words,
a mind leakage,
sometimes in rivulets
sometimes in mighty falls.
And I will wrestle with doubt-lies
and count the small triumphs in pride.

When I was young I was her outrage,
a porous proud and sure of art sublime.
It seduced me to the eroticism of death
I found in my coffin of burying books
and songs of elusive presence of love.
Where there was struggle there was life.

The residue of a retiring prize fighter,
bruised invisibly and inevitably, is envy.
I cannot withstand the rigors of the ring
and so stand aside to watch others box.
I am not old yet I am not young enough.
All that is left me is the drift and paddle,
drift and paddle.
Until I die.
And I will die.

Art Material

The artist and I live in a box of pain,
he in his blue house and me in mine.
Sometimes we share the same frame.
Crippled by pennies and oily spills,
we stream our strife in pen and paint.

Reflections of the tethering tightrope walk,
we sweat and steam in the cloth of life.
We press our ears to the rhythm of talk.
Chewing our nails in the toil of change,
we pay our prison down in collectors’ coin.

Hovering about the dollar bills on display,
we are scission of fancy and fistful plight.
A pression of paper, the sack holds sway.
See us shored in the glean of the glass
in art and always out of grasp the prize.image