Monday, May 28, 2012

Poetry - Charles Bukowski - a man of beauty

By now you must have figured out I love Bukowski. That's right. You heard me. I love Charles Bukowski. But you post all this stuff that's beautiful. You go to gardens and art galleries and films searching for beauty. Right. I'm always searching. Beauty is what drives my life, but if you read closely you'll find the beautiful in this man's poetry. It's raw. It's real. It cuts through all the malarky of what's going on and gets down to truth. I'm trying to write. YOU never write me back, and you know I need distraction, but it doesn't matter. I get to the next line and the next, and in the meantime I go to gardens and art galleries and films and look at things that are beautiful. The same way Buk went to the track. He had to go out, so he could come back. Here's another one of his that is so true.

drawing courtesy of The Huntington Library

"so you want to be a writer?"
                          by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in

there is no other way.

and there never was.

The Huntington Gardens - The Huntington Art Gallery

Don't forget, the gardens surround the villa, and oh what a villa.

Henry E. Huntington build what is now called The Huntington Art Gallery in 1911.

Such a wonderful place to go to relax, and so diverse. It you don't want the Beaux-Arts house, you can get a completely different vibe at the new Japanese Pavilion.
 But do stay a while, enjoy this library, the British Art as well as the French, the early miniatures, silver medals, 18th century snuffboxes, the loggia, Renaissance paintings and furniture, Wedgwood vases, Morris & Co. stained glass window, ceramics, paintings, more paintings.

We are so lucky to have The Huntington preserved for us all.




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Poetry - Carrie White - BLACK AND WHITE MOVIES

Reading fellow writer Carrie White's recent memoir UPPER CUT,
Highlights of My Hollywood Life was like riding in one of those tour buses through town, like a time machine through Hollywood in the 60's, 70's and 80's, like a madcap whirlwind of a "party time," glamour, palm trees, swimming pools and sun, with Robert Evans, Sue Mengers, Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty come to life. I marvel at the parallel in our lives, the places we probably passed right by each other and how Hollywood in the 70's affected my own decision to leave Ohio and travel west.

The ride through those decades and her honesty in telling her story is something to behold. Read it. And if you are lucky, Carrie will have one of her early poetry chapbooks for you to read too.
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Here is a poem from BLACK AND WHITE MOVIES, a prayer to tweet, share, like, pin, photograph, blog, instant message and hey, even use the phone to call me up and talk about.

People, Places and Prayer
by Carrie White

Dear Heavenly Father
I thank you for your heavenliness
all the wisdom of the universe
the bodies of life and their infinite intricacy
a sun and moon and ocean of consistency
a heart that beats beyond control
the intangible place for love
the expandable space of soul
the workings of mind and memory
the coincidence and connections of affinity
the ability to grow
the desire to know
the unfolding of a flower
how sometimes fast and sometimes slow
that time is the same in any hour
how teaching is a learning game
how the reverse can be the same
which brings me to my question
about existence or purpose on this plain
is it for the lessons or awareness
of the garden
I know only by service we gain
yet why some lives so joyful
while others filled with pain?
I do my best
I guess
I choose with what I'm wired
and no matter how good at the job of this life
at the end we all are fired
I make requests
not that often
my relationships with you is enough
the details vary
it's still just stuff
my wholeself feels I love you
I believe in all my world
I am extremely blessed
I am a lucky girl
My children are the greatest gifts
My family are my friends
I understand and stand in my way
and once more I must say
Heavenly Father
I am grateful
for each moment of every day. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Los Angeles - Will Rogers State Historic Park

 Take a picnic on a Sunday and drive the winding road of Sunset Blvd. to Will Rogers Historic State Park in Pacific Palisades.

There you can spread out a blanket and watch Polo games right in front of you while your children run as fast as they can in the grass.

Take a tour through Will's recently refurbished home and marvel at the spirit of relaxation in this fine place Will Rogers lived in with his family from 1928 - 1935. In 1944 it was deeded to the State of California and now everyone benefits. Climb the trails to Inspiration Point, visit the stables, fly a few frisbees. Go on. Enjoy it. My favorite house in Los Angeles.

 These Instagram photos make it look instantly vintage.

The outdoor fireplace between the dining room and the music room are a wonderful way to entertain. Canvas awnings draw over the space during sunny days to protect you while you are relaxing.

Cool & breezy, just like Will who said things were going backward; the politicians are funny, the comedians are serious.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My Pasadena - Restored Japanese Gardens at Huntington

OK, I know you have to drive to get there, but it is so worth it. Go on the weekend when there isn't as much traffic and go early before the crowds. You will find yourself walking through the rose gardens, down the steps and drawn up into the meditation garden, past the lovely house with it's shoji screens and tatami mats and tokonomas.

Here you can sit and observe the trees against the low wall, the carved rocks, the swish and caress of the breeze coming from the ginkgo trees in back of you.
I'm looking forward to watching them turn from green to gold over the next few months.

This garden will take away some daily stress, make you remember a place inside yourself, apart from the screen, apart from the media.

Of course I took the pictures on Instagram, and that is definitely part of the media, but look at them, and try them for yourself, see how easy it is to post to FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
Walk further into the new bonsai garden, a smashing sensitivity to nature, remarkable and invigorating.

Experience The Huntington.

You can follow them on Twitter

They even tweeted me a thank you for posting on twitter.

The drive back to Los Angeles will simply melt away.