Saturday, December 20, 2008
I'm staring down at my paintings and
letting them haunt me with the need
I wonder how long I can
self-obsess and claim humility at once
how long I can
fuck strangers and still stick a flag in 'naive'
I won't have an answer that's found
anywhere outside the canvas,
and that's what's keeping me away.
it's what's keeping me trading
1/3 sized replicas of moments
when i knew myself,
in the form of a sterile canvas
and a dirty art.
dropping down the drop cloth is the only way.
putting away the old, and walking up to
my first really blank canvas
(whatever that means);
letting the sight and sound
make itself known, and letting the conduit
be the only continuity.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
We are meeting for breakfast.
We are passive-agressiving at each other.
You: "It's great that you are still treating art
as a full time job, even after all these years."
you are my mother and this is the thirty-seventh time you've said that.
Me: "it keeps me busy, way busy. I just thank god
that I decided against having kids."
we let our forks make that squeaking sound on the plate... I know you hate it, and you know that I inherited that trait from you. We have our own mutually assured destruction that goes quite nicely with our own cold war.
You: "I talked to Jenny, that girl you used to date the other day.
Her fiancé's a doctor, you know. I told her you said hi."
Defcon one. There's only so much a man can take.
Me: "I made your mimosa with cheap champagne."
You grab the knife, but only to cut your omelet. For a moment, I saw some white knuckles. That means I win.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I found this strange card on the ground outside of my apartment. I had my digi with me, so here it is...
I opened it up and it had some text inside. Looked like someone went through the trouble of typing a thank you message out inside.
Here's a wider shot, the thing was getting pretty wet... since it's snowy and such up here in Utica (welcome to the six month winter).
Kinda weird. Not the first time I've found litter, but this is pretty up there in the 'wtf' sense.
Monday, November 17, 2008
There was oil in the water,
we were on a little beach.
Not the kind of beach that faces the sea,
but the kind against a murky lake...
all mud and tree trunks and alive.
The wet sand is showing rainbows.
I'm reminded of a grocery store parking lot,
the smell just begging for rain.
We are making sandcastles,
laughing and choking about who-knows-what-anymore,
speaking our own words together.
My hands are putting mud on you,
making little towers on your shoulder blade in dribble
and wiping them away.
We jump into the brown water,
and we are both too squeamish to go out far.
We both try to open our eyes underwater, only to see brown.
Pushing, pulling, daring, tangling for the first time.
Later I will blame it on the fumes,
but for a while I don't even know what I'm doing.
On a hike, you are sitting calmly
on a rock, with deerflies all around.
I'm swiping at them frantically, like king friggin kong out here.
"Just be still, and they'll leave you alone." Like fuck that'll work.
I've always been excitable,
and you've always wished people thought you calm.
We worked in the restaurant downstairs that night,
and each got a T-bone steak to eat.
upstairs in the bedroom,
after we finally stopped talking in the dark,
I heard your breath heavy and your blanket moving,
but now that the fumes have worn off,
I'm going to pretend that I don't hear.
In the morning, we'll sit on the front porch while
the old people come to the restaurant,
and your mother works the bar.
In the fall, we'll sit side-by-side on the bus.
The beach and the oil and the deerflies
will be very far away.
and so will we be very far away.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I posted some sketches up here on google photos. Handy little place to keep lots of pictures for the world to enjoy. I hope you get a chance to take a look and enjoy them.
Also, here's a short poem, also for your enjoyment.
It happens when I'm driving
sometimes, I can feel everything at once.
the seat under me, the slick wheel
all cheap rubber. the belt on my collar bone
the dead air and pin pricks on my face.
and then I realize I'm still driving,
and jerk back into place.
often it gets me angry, to be unsafe
but every time it happens
part of me wants it to never stop,
because my greatest fear is that
it will never happen again.
Friday, November 7, 2008
I went to my local pissing spot for a... well... a piss. After my second drink I headed downstairs to make room. Here's what I saw on the stall.
What the hell is that? I'm all for graffiti... it's the reason I carry my point-and-shoot. But this is something else. Here's a closer shot.
Thoughts? Nobody else at the bar knew what was up... but then again, they weren't exactly in an art mood.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We have 'good'. There are a lot of 'good' things in the world, cheaper cars, better toasters, smarter phones, bigger airplanes, etc. These 'good' things come from technology. Engineers tinkering away and getting paid the big bucks to come up with more 'good'. We have that, and we have a process to get more. However, I believe that the process to get more 'good' is reaching a critical problem. Really a couple of problems. First, there is no ending condition for 'good'. 'Good' can always be 'better'. There is always just one more thing to do, one more attribute to increase, one more factor to optomize. This is because the world is messy and imperfect and kind of crazy, but the engineers and business-folks who want 'good' will never admit it. The second problem is that 'good' also includes 'good' cost. In other words, the cost of designing, producing, shipping, and consuming 'good' things is dropping. In fact, cheaper is part of being 'good'. So these two problems get us one thing: never ending increases in quality combined with never ending drops in cost. And then the world gets its say, and kind of ruins it... or at least tarnishes.
So, we have a lot of 'good'. But do we have enough 'human'? To me, the human-ness of something admits the messy nature of the world. The uncertain nature of our reality. The conflicting nature of our decisions. The ordinary, everyday, profound ambivilence that consumes us all. On one hand, it's disabling because there is never any certainty. On the other, it's great because it means we can always act right from the here and now. Humans are finite. There is an upper bound. Despite the messy, uncertain world, people make decisions all the time. We go on regardless. And I'm talking something that '80% is good enough' kind of reasoning can capture. I'm talking about the world that blows a probability space away. Poeple act right from the seat of their pants, right from here and now, and don't even realize the power that's there or what kind of odds it overcomes. And yet here we are, and yet here we are.
What kind of technology is 'human'? And where can we get more?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
War is making the sound
that a car accident makes.
the kind of sound that
you feel in your hands,
and it’s nothing like the movies.
This kind of sound is a sham,
because they never show us
the real version on the screen.
I’d be ready if they did.
No, I’m a liar.
If they did that, I would
walk out… which is
something I cannot do right now.
But I have to… I am walking out,
getting out, going down the hall
to the other movie that’s playing
for the same eight dollars
I’m sitting down,
and I’m watching this film.
I’m keeping my eyes
steady while the world shakes.
I am watching the war we aren’t fighting.
the war over being able to
buy a person in Haiti for fifty dollars.
fifty dollars, U.S.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Just finished my first comic book. So far, the pages are up on my google pics account as images. Each page is one image, so you can flip through the album like a book. here's the link to the album.
As I find a way to make a little flipbook for you to enjoy, I will put it up here for your enjoyment. In the meantime, enjoy reading the comic in 'raw' form. More to come!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Above from Seattle, WA. Sometimes I feel like I could walk by such a snippet anywhere, though. Part of me wants to. The side of a brick building, delapidated fencing, small moments of graffiti both obvious and inert. There's something about the illusion we have when we are walking down the street. The version of the world in our head and the version right in front of us. There's something to the level of importance we give to one or the other; how we pick and choose what to accent and what to ignore.
Sometimes my friends and I say that America is a third world country. We have a lot of stuff, a lot of money, and a lot of self-esteem. Really, though, what we have is the version in our head. The version that delicately leaves out the ones left behind. The buildings falling apart. The little corners of not-so-clean. We talk a big game, but there are still so many just not cared for, or cared about.
It's so easy to walk down the street and never let these things come into your head. It's also just as easy to focus only on them and get lost in the self-pity and dispair. What's hard is the balance between, where you know how to look for what should be there, and also see the little moments of graffiti. Look at the little dents in the perfection, that show us there's still a need for hope.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
The other day I saw a woman
walking down the street in one-inch heels
meandering into the road
like it wasn't anywhere special
like there was no word 'road'
and it wasn't a place of its own
I was angry at the time,
she was in a place that the car I was in
belonged to. I was in a car that I
Now I wonder if she's one person
pulled away just enough
to lope over the asphalt yard
and not even think
about the car she belongs to.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
you show your face to me like a wine label
and i'm trying to figure our what part of france you are from
somewhere warm where the wine is crisp,
or somewhere else and all dried up?
did you notice that i don't know a thing about wine,
besides that it is grapey?
and it involves something called a bouquet
(but not the kind you give someone)
And so I keep you on top of the refrigerator
or in the downstairs cupboard
and you'll stay there
because I never know how long you should keep
or if this birthday, or anniversary, or graduation,
or thursday, or boat christening, or memorial day
is toast-worthy enough to spoil you for a moment
and a whiff of your bouquet.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
make yourself exactly half a pot of coffee.
i leave things around accidentally
like tissues with my blood on it,
a cat scratch or dry day for my nose
i forget that there's things here that aren't from the inside of me.
does it bother you to know that i can be so forgetful
of the kind of hygiene that keeps everyone separate
and not part of each other?
I eat strawberries with the coffee and I'm trying to remember
not to make that sucking sound
when I bite them off the green part on top.
It's quiet at this part of the afternoon.
There's light in the window and I can see the dust floating in it
it is floating up and down like it's getting heavy and it's
getting light all at once only to stay in place all told.
Let me make you some coffee
and you can hold this bag while I tidy up this mess.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Looks like I'm starting back into this thing again. I've just gotten done with a huge event, presenting a conference paper. This is crazy stuff, this Giving Talks, this Having Work. Being someone who actually asks questions like "What do you consider to be knowledge?"
Here's a link to the paper, that you can read:
Now that the presentation is behind me, I'm feeling a bit better... Like it's time to stop being in Crisis Mode, that the hurdle is past. That it's a whole story I can tell myself now. That it's OK now to come up for air.
Life has been happening so much over the past few months, and I've been neglecting these artifacts I can leave behind. In the wake, in the moment. So I'm wiping the dust off.
So Larson Broome is back, and we are still asking who he is. In Second Life, Larson Broome has a redisigned art gallery / AI lab that you should visit. In First Life, Larson Broome is still awash in his own concept. Still a blur we aren't pinning down yet. Situated, embodied, and nowhere. So stay tuned, there is more to ask of Larson Broome; more explaining himself that needs to be done.
In the mean time, I have several new poems that I've written in the months since we left off. I'll be sharing those and writing some more. So, Rock On.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I got a new morning pages notebook. It has heavier paper, so that I can use a felt-tipped pen without it bleeding through. Intead, it bleeds out, just about a half a milimeter in every direction. I imagine it makes a hissing sound as it falls outward, like it would ina movie. Anyway, it's those little things that keep me comming back to the page. I'm just a simple creature after all.
In other news, I am working on an art gallery / AI lab in Second Life also called 'Who is Larson Broome?' I will let you know when it gets rolling... there are only two photos up on the wall right now. I'm in the Excellens region... if you are a Second Lifer, come find me.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Things are looking up. I wrote my morning pages (that's three pages of freehand writing) for the first time in a long while. I mostly went on about how guilty I should feel for meing away from the page for so long. But I realized that is just ego. Julia Cameron talks about "the wall" as a block we put up for ourselves about 2/3 of the way through a project. The part where we are crippled because we start caring about the product rather than the process. I think much of my artistic endeavors have hit their own "walls". This doesn't mean I have to backtrack to a more artisitic, idealised past. Rather, I have to check myself, my perfectionism, and my ego and get back into the thick of things.
If you are looking for inspiration, sometimes the best thing to do is stop worrying about it. Just get out there, put yourself on the line, and something will come to you. Get into survival mode.
I can't promise that I will become magically more artistic, or even that I can keep doing morning pages everyday, but I will be putting myself out on the line for it. Accepting that I've fallen off of it, and get back on. When you fall off the horse, you have to get back on. Or more pointedly, when you fall off the horse, you have to admit you are on the ground, dust yourself off, and then get back on the horse.
Here's to looking up from the ground.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
He had a funny, sideways smile,
maybe it was that he had nothing to say,
it's not like I had been around the block or anything,
sometimes from almost a whole foot off.
and maybe, just maybe, he could smell that i could smell.
that's why he was a little lighter.
that's why every sentence was weaseled:
"Some people say..."
"I heard somewhere..."
"A lot of people think..."
Maybe it's those little nose hairs that
or maybe it's those little ear hairs that
and how ridiculous it is to never actually say anything,
so much talking.
so much talking.
so much jerking off, going on and on about ourselves.
it's your little smile that gives you all that power.
some people believe in shit like that,
they'd have to call theirs.
it's an uneasy truce; it's a delicate circle-jerk.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Me, I realize that I am a good man and deserve a good stack.
for too long the idea was a light through a wet tree...
the branches are a fun way to grow; just know where your roots
are and you should be in a basic beat.
He's a military dork like me. he had a great time just
running errands, those late night runs.
And then I got used to being elbow deep
into the nearest wall putting our mouths
so close, so close, so stumbling in the dark.
He leaves me now in the bright field, basking in the sun.
Friday, February 8, 2008
They talk of the music we'd make strangely this day.
Dream all day that I have read to them in a big corner mirror,
and I wondered why they were me.
I realize that I am, after a good sentence. Oh I know now life.
I am the party that occurs each weekend because
of the photos of my grandfather. He was in the service.
He had nothing to say, at least not in this post, to sound off
on what they don't seem to escape this moment, those right-proper peeping toms.
Friday, January 25, 2008
That's my cat Ralph. Just giving the model credit.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what happens when you put '-er' at the end of a verb and call yourself that. What does calling myself 'writer' or 'photographer' or 'drummer' mean? What does it do to my expectations about the work. Gaping Void, in its ongoing 'How to Be Creative' series, talks about what happens to your work when you 'make it'. I'm talking about the step before that.
What happens to your work when it becomes 'you work' and not just something fun you do. Something that takes up your time. What's the difference between you owning your art and your art owning you back? I feel the expectations rise every time I get really into something and start calling myself a 'something-er'. I'm going to actively avoid that kind of language for a while. Let myself be a 'scientist and artist' and letting anything in between those poles come my way.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Someone about to take a photo has to answer a fundamental question: is this the moment I want to capture? Because really, even in the age of digital photography and very large memory cards, you only get one chance. Even if it comes out blurry, that was the moment. That's what you got of it, and it is never coming back again. It's a big part of taking the best snapshot, or effectively using the time of a photoshoot. Both are just instants, and even though in some cases you can try again, it's not really the same anymore. I don't need to convince you of this.
It takes judgment. Knowing when to hit that button and commit to something. Maybe not the best photo in the world, but something. I'm learning more and more in music that technique in and to itself is not enough. You can have the best technique in the world, but without the judgement to put it to good use, you are just showing off. You have to trust yourself. Maybe the best photo, or the best drum piece, is kind of handjammed and simple. Minimal and kind of blurry. A little off focus, but really what you needed all along.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
There's all sorts of stuff shooting around on these wires these days. I'm just an old fogie for even bringing it up. It's moot. It's last year's news. It's law, like gravity. It's over, old Joe, turn in your badge and gun and go home. But it just keeps nagging me. Not that I think we are getting too advanced. Just that we aren't advanced enough. Is there such a thing as a consistent identity on the wire? Not just an IP address, but something human. Something consistent. We see more and more expression everyday. More than anyone has ever been able to before. Sometimes I just don't want to talk about it anymore. Sometimes I'd rather just totally integrate. Make the wire something not so other. Is it that distance that still lets us keep our human egos? Is the lack of human identity, or its redefinition, the thing that keeps corn fed boys at bay? One thing is for certain, we as humans have an unprecedented opportunity to express ourselves. So much so that it's becoming impossible to be heard. But then again maybe it always was. The wire becomes the world.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Sometimes the prospect of faith can be daunting. I know that's a really abstract statement, but what can I say besides that's just the rub of it. We are trying to tackle some idea or conception of something we've never seen. Maybe we don't want to see it anyway, worrying about the disappointment our perceptions would be to some notion of Platonic ideal. Ruining what we represent as an object of faith with a mundane reality. Yet people still flock to buildings like the one pictured here. Maybe it's not as abstract as I first thought. Maybe people are afraid of not seeing, not having this concrete noun to pin as the center of faith. I'm not sure either way, I guess it depends on the individual. The real or the ideal. The building or the sky behind it.