30 July 2019

art as a liferaft in difficult times

"I read the news today, o boy..."

it's been one of those mornings. the photograph of Stephen Romero celebrating his 6th birthday with a chocolate cupcake totally undid me. after the tears I wrote a poem for him. but then there were more tears.

so much bad news we become numb to it. but we daren't.

often what gets me thru is art. my mood brightend a bit when I learnd of "Teetertotter Wall."  this piece was done thru the border wall that separates a city in New Mexico with one in Old Mexico. to see children on both sides playing together for a moment erases smirks from faces of evil folks in our government.

& to help me thru I tried to switch my energy to creation. I was happy to have written a poem this morning. & I began thinking how rich creation makes my life. & for me it extends beyond my own writing & art pieces. I love collaborating with other artists.

recent work with Emeline Tate fed my soul. & then something I haven't reveald.

Terry Hastings is a photographer whose work I admire. he's doing a major piece calld "The Planets."  it will be unveild in a few months. he askd me to model the role of Saturn. 

he took several dozen remarkable photographs. only one of me will be in the final work. I don't know which one it will be. I askd Terry if he'd allow me to pick one to share here. I'm not saying this is the best or my favorite but I feel it conveys the sense of the piece as I understand it.

& so I won't allow the monster in the White House & the cowards in Congress to daunt me. we all must live with purpose. we must make joy out of chaos. it is our responsibility to live the lives denied to the children who die in his cages or from bullets.

12 July 2019

faces & places

my work is often abt connections & overlapping because that's what so much of my life is.

today has been strangely emotional because currents from my past have swum by me. in the afternoon a Facebook friend who I don't know postd some photos he had taken of Coral Sands in Hollywood. I've written of this place before. it's had a long history & a couple of names but I knew it as a gay play spot. recently a rich person bought the property & closed it. it's been gutted. the photos I saw today were haunting. the walls are there but little else.  altho some deride the motel as simply seedy there is a rich history from Divine living there & holding court to art installations in rooms which even David Hockney visitd.

after thinking abt Coral Sands I decided to check on someone I met there in 2008. his name is Mikel Padilla -- a costume designer for movies & tv.  even tho we aren't in touch I thot I'd notify him of the photos. but when I lookd him up I discoverd he died a couple of months ago.

our time together was brief but I have a vivid memory of him in sleek black underwear. he's simply one of thousands of faces that pass us all by. but his name wd come to me whenever I rememberd Coral Sands.

this evening it's too hot to be out so I sit in my study writing. I'm thinking of Mikel Padilla & the address so many dismiss as a dive on Western Ave. this is what history is. faces & places. & the stories we tell abt them.