In the open air

Monterey Bay Aquarium. Eco-tourism. Plein air painting. Consumption. Reading Stephanie Rutherford’s “Governing the Wild: Ecotours of Power,” among other things.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking “I really hate  en plein air painting” (and I seem to live in the plein air capital of the U.S.). Seems silly or mean to think negatively about something so pretty & pleasing to the eye, so innocent. I feel like it had something to say in 1850. But now it just seems irrelevant, and yet Monterey art galleries keep plugging it, and plugging it for the eco-tourists. It’s redundant, like a plague word. One can go on and on about the beauties of nature, and completely miss the destructive forces pulling the rug (grass?) out from under you. Really, Monterey: is that all you’ve got?

 

I’m back…

OK, I’m back. Nothing like a change in your job situation to get you going in a new direction. So I spruced up this space a little, and will now use it mostly to keep me in line on my writing & art projects.

I’m still painting, still writing poems. But because writing online has prevented me from sending my work to some journals and publishers, most of my poetry writing will now be done offline. I’m working on a documentary poetry manuscript at the moment — and a couple other things.

Last time I wrote, I was living w/my partner in an apartment. Since then we have moved to downtown, “Old Town” — a much nicer area close to restaurants, the farmers’ market, stores. Good area for walking.

I recently learned that the property we’re living in was once occupied by an rather unconventional activist/poet priest; his mother lived in our cottage, and the priest lived in the larger house next door. No wonder there’s an iron cross on top of the wooden fence dividing the two properties. There are also beautiful roses and other flowers planted all around the cottage. I shot this eerie photograph of the cross in moonlight a few weeks ago:

IMG_0218 - Copy

 

Ello Hello

I’m often on Ello these days; my favorite form of adlesss social networking.

You can find me at: https://ello.co/okir2k

If you want an invite, you know where to find me. Recently I found a couple of people from my old blogging days on Ello: Jordan Davis and Lanny Quarles…

And there’s a slowly growing poetry community…

“Nature”

One of the things that modern society has damaged has been thinking. Unfortunately, one of the damaged ideas is that of Nature itself. How do we transition from seeing what we call “Nature” as an object “over there”? And how do we avoid “new and improved” versions that end up doing much the same thing (embeddedness, flow and so on), just in a “cooler,” more sophisticated way?

When you realize that everything is interconnected, you can’t hold on to a concept of a single, solid, present-at-hand thing “over there” called Nature.

— Timothy Morton, Ecology Without Nature

Making Handmade Books

A few days ago, I bought an oversized book titled Making Handmade Books: 110+Bindings, Structures & Forms, by Alisa Golden. I’ve never taken a bookmaking course, so, aside from a couple handmade books I made — one in high school, and one in college — this is my first real introduction to the art. The book making ideas in this volume look like origami patterns, and there’s a lot of them. Some are folded simply, some are sewn, some bound with tape, leather, or wood. I’m thinking it would be fun to make a bunch of one-off tiny chapbooks and distribute them or sell them for a small amount whenever I do a reading.