Keep Your Mind Open and a Firm Hold on Realty. (We are in for a bumpy ride)

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All we got to say on this proposition is this: first, you and me is as good as anybody else, and maybe a damn sight better; second, nobody ain’t got no right to take away none of our rights; third, every man has a right to live, to come and go as he pleases, and to have a good time however he likes, so long as he don’t interfere with nobody else’ (!!)

H. L. Mencken





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Mike Schneider: In the Post-Truth World

 We all have our inner toddler fascist rodent living in our skin, but if we feed him/her with poetry and love s/he will grow bored and calm the ceaseless rage of neediness. We need to make connections internally to understand the mayhem inherent in our enemies’ soul. We need to understand the extent of the utter eclipse of empathy by fear and the black hole of need that will suck the life of our existence.

Vox Populi

the game of truth or consequences
has no consequence. What does it matter
if insurance agents quote Thoreau? The mass of men
still lead lives of quiet desperation. Guns
are not on sale at the mall. My best friend still
has pancreatic cancer. My other best friend smokes
a stinky cigar he’d like to poke into the president’s
face. Meet the world’s 20 insurance billionaires
is something no one wants to do. Only I am
a narcissist in the post-truth world. Only I understand
tyrants as a kind of fruit that grows on trees, many
of them planted by intelligence. There is no intelligence
in the post-truth world. A small tyrant lives inside
me. I feed him poetry. In the post-truth world, no one
has been shot dead at the movies. Dimpled small white
spheroids do not soar over meadows toward holes marked
by flagpoles. His throat shredded by carcinoma…

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Video: Adrienne Rich reads “What Kind of Times Are These?”


One of my favorite people.

Vox Populi


Adrienne Rich reads her poem “What Kind of Times Are These.” Filmed at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

Adrienne Cecile Rich (1929 – 2012) was an American poet and essayist who was an important leader in the anti-war, civil rights, feminist, and gender identity movements. Her poetry was recognized early in her career when A Change of World was selected by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award and published when she was only twenty one years old.  Many other collections of poetry followed, including two of her most famous: Diving into the Wreck and The Dream of a Common Language. She won many important prizes such as the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (1986) and a MacArthur Fellowship (1994). Rich continues to be one of the most widely read and influential poets of our time and is credited with bringing the oppression of women and lesbians…

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3 Versions of 1 Drawing

Originally colored pencil on 100 lb paper: 2 photos and a grey scale scan.

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Women Will Always Be Rising: A Force Like the Sun, Unstoppable.


Sofonisba Anguissola (1535-1625) was a fortunate young Italian woman in that her enlightened father endeavored to educate all seven children – including the girls – in the best humanistic tradition. Although several of her sisters also painted, it quickly became clear that Sofonisba was a prodigy. She trained with the eminent masters Bernardino Campi and Bernadino Gatti, and – quite unusual for a woman – gained an international reputation. “The Chess Game” is probably her most famous painting and signals a departure in portraiture. She dispenses with stiff formal poses and instead depicts three of her sisters – Lucia left, Europa middle, and Minerva on the right with someone generally considered to be a servant – in a relaxed, informal game of chess. The servant might appear as a chaperone to suggest the virtue of the girls, however, she also presents a contrast in both class and age to the three girls of noble birth. Chess was considered a masculine game requiring logic and strategic skills, rarely the attributes ascribed to females. In spite of the good humour of the painting, it is clear from Europa’s impish delight in Lucia’s imminent victory that she took the game seriously. Access to nude models was denied to woman artists at the time, so this restricted the available subject matter. Anguissola focused on bringing life to the genre of portraiture. Her achivement was recognized by Giorgio Vasari who rated her above other female artists, writing that:

Anguissola has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavors at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, coloring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings.”

Source: Stephen Farthing
Virginia Woolf did not allow a patriarchal society or mental illness to stop her from creating some of the most beautifully crafted pieces of English literature. She posited that all an intelligent woman needs to create works equal to or superior to men’s creative works is a space to work freely and the freedom to do so. And given so many good examples, some women are capable of doing so without even these.
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The Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. Although famous for her colorful self-portraits and associations with celebrities Diego Rivera and Leon Trotsky, less known is the fact that she had lifelong chronic pain. Frida Kahlo developed poliomyelitis at age 6 years, was in a horrific trolley car accident in her teens, and would eventually endure numerous failed spinal surgeries and, ultimately, limb amputation. She endured several physical, emotional, and psychological traumas in her lifetime, yet through her art, she was able to transcend a life of pain and disability. Of her work, her self-portraits are conspicuous in their capacity to convey her life experience, much of which was imbued with chronic pain.
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You Reading This, Be Ready

Paper Pencil Life


A poem I’ve been reading on repeat. A poem I will be referring back to. (thank you, Kim Cody for sending it to me)

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Education Does not Prepare You for Life: Life is Your Education.

There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag — and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty — and vice-versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.

Doris Lessing, 1971 introduction to The Golden Notebook   From Austin Kleon

fidelity sfidelity sfidelity sfidelity s

Cf. Jack Gibbs’s rant to his erstwhile young students, early in William Gaddis’s 1975 novel of capitalism, J R:

Before we go any further here, has it ever occurred to any of you that all this is simply one grand misunderstanding? Since you’re not here to learn anything, but to be taught so you can pass these tests, knowledge has to be organized so it can be taught, and it has to be reduced to information so it can be organized do you follow that? In other words this leads you to assume that organization is an inherent property of the knowledge itself, and that disorder and chaos are simply irrelevant forces that threaten it from the outside. In fact it’s the opposite. Order is simply a thin, perilous condition we try to impose on the basic reality of chaos . . .


… I don’t write out of what I know; I write out of what I wonder. I think most artists create art in order to explore, not to give the answers. Poetry and art are not about answers to me; they are about questions.

– Lucille Clifton

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