Thursday, December 12, 2019

Art - Books

The Reader 
Kathleen Matson Blurock

My book club - you know, the one that meets in the lobby of Livingston, Montana's Murray Hotel, that authentic old western place which Sam Peckinpaw, the famous film director (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Westerner, The Rifleman, Zane Gray, Broken Arrow, Pony Express) lived the last 5 years of his life, right, that one, was reading THERE THERE by Tommy Orange, a modern, real, this-is-how-it-is painting of young Native American life in Oakland, California, where, as Gertrude Stein so famously said - ‘there is no there there,’ and they - the book club members -  kept referring to KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann, which I had never heard of and the more they referred to it the more I got it and said to myself I HAVE to read this book right now. 

My goal is a book a week, because if I don’t have a goal I will binge watch something, and what does that do for one’s life? Well, ok, you can talk to your friends about stories - actually that is the point, isn’t it? Stories, all these stories we have - they - have to tell about life and the world we live in. 

But to get back to KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON…

What intrigue. 
What writing. 
What characters. 

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann. What research he did to tell this story. What ignorance in myself I’ve discovered by not knowing about any of this, and even David Grann states this story of the Osage County Oklahoma Native Americans in the 1920’s - oil rich and prosperous - was never in any textbook he read. 

I could not stop reading about the wealthy rancher and his henchmen, plotting to take people’s inheritance and the murder to get it, the corrupt local sheriff and state officials, so corrupt they had to bring in the Texas Rangers which was the formation of the FBI to solve the puzzle which took years during which the multitude of Native Americans were swindled, murdered, hoodwinked, extorted, terrorized, bombed, and torn apart for what they had - in a word, money. 

After I finished, that very day an article appeared in the local newspaper reporting our federal attorney general has come to address the crisis and mystery of the disappearance and murder of indigenous people. 

Intrigue. Horror. Mystery. Characters. History and coincidentally the next project of filmmaker Martin Scorsese. 

My book club. An education. 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Travel - Montana - And A River Runs Through It...

Bear Country.
Tom Miner Creek Road.
Emigrant, Montana

I'm into black and white these days. Kind of see the world that way.

I'm into driving up the basin and looking at the aspen trees, the tee-pees - (a portable conical tent made of skins, cloth, or canvas on a frame of poles used by  Native Americans ) - the log cabins, the willow meadows, the raw open wide immaculate beauty. 

If you look closely in the last photograph, you will see those teepees. 

But no people. Where else is open with no people? Cities are crawling with people. 

I would like to plant my own original garden.  Of course a garden cannot be planted quickly here. That's a good third act that lasts. After commerce, marriage, divorce, broken limbs, maybe, as Dan Barber, the great American chef says, "the garden is something that will last beyond my generation, and if you aren't thinking beyond yourself you aren't thinking big enough." I like that. It makes sense. Let's plant a garden. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Travel - Clyde Park, Montana

Like driving into a Terrence Malick film. Extraordinary beauty.

Clyde Park, Montana, north on highway 89 with absolutely NO road signage contributes to a dream-like-far-away-non-logical American experience.

The services are off the highway. The drive up Rock Creek toward the Crazies is sublime.

Richard Ford captures the feel of the landscape and the life of Montana in ROCK SPRINGS.
Open. Wild. True. Vast. A crescendo of magical realism.

Downtown Clyde Park with a pizza place, hardware store and Glenn's shopping center. Glenn's is open, organized, with a great meat counter and lots of heads on the wall. Been there since 1948. Sidney Wiley as the third owner is making things happen. Soon a bakery two doors down.

It's Gershwin, Willie Nelson, Louis Armstrong and The Rolling Stones wrapped up in one sensual experience. 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

National Poetry Month - William Carlos Williams

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Saturday, April 6, 2019

National Poetry Month - Kathleen Matson

Writer, photographer, blogger and poet Kathleen Matson Blurock lives in Los Angeles, California, Livingston, Montana and Pittenweem, Scotland.

Lucky to have my poem chosen for the window of SAX & FRYER, oldest store in Livingston, Montana. Opened 1883, one year after the town was founded.

A Place to Hide

That summer I found places to hide 
around the neighborhood.
The metal tubes stacked
on Grimes’ lot behind our house
was one of my favorites. 
I sat in one on rainy days, 
smelled the air, 
and would not be bothered. 

I hid under the stairway 
and read comic books 
in the neighbor’s hall closet.
I sneaked in the back door, 
turned on the light,
and sat under jackets and coats 
in privacy.

From the backseat floor 
of Mom’s ‘41 Chevy, 
I rolled down the window, 
and watched ants crawl 
over the tops of pink and white peonies 
that lined the driveway. 

I found places to hide 
so I could be alone.
I found places to hide 
from my father’s anger.
I found places to hide 
where I listened 
to what the rain had to tell me,
or the ants,  
or the peonies, 

still my favorite flower. 

National Poetry Month - Marc Beaudin

This piece is excerpted from Notes from the Grizfork: A Year of Watching in Montana's Paradise Valley, Poems & Observations 

by Marc Beaudin 

This piece gives you Montana. 
Thank you Marc Beaudin of 
Elk River Books. 

Elk River Books

I wake this morning to another dusting of snow on the high mountains, but down here in the valley, the day grows warm like a Michigan Indian summer – memories of youth sanctified by age. The magpies scatter as I step from my cabin and a red-shafted flicker clings to the uppermost branch of a dying willow. Later in the day, a raven holds the identical spot. So too, red gives way to black in our rivers and blood.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

National Poetry Month - Nikki Giovanni

Nikki Giovanni - Internationally renowned poet and A University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. Along with Virginia Fowler, they have created the Fowler-Giovanni fund: "The Answer is Yes: Fowler-Giovanni English Department Program Endowment." The Answer is Yes to the value of celebrating people from underrepresented groups; Yes to artists and scholars; Yes to students just finding their voices; Yes to the arts and humanities; Yes to people who will use and remember Giovanni's work; Yes to Virginia Tech as a place where the arts and humanities thrive. 

And talk about thriving........I have read this poem ALOUD for many years. 
Thank you Nikki. Thank you Virginia.

Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why) 

by Nikki Giovanni

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built
    the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
    that only glows every one hundred years falls
    into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad
I sat on the throne
    drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
    to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
    the tears from my birth pains
    created the nile
I am a beautiful woman
I gazed on the forest and burned
    out the sahara desert
    with a packet of goat's meat
    and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
    so swift you can't catch me
    For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
    He gave me rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on
My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
    as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
    men intone my loving name
    All praises All praises
I am the one who would save
I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
    the filings from my fingernails are
    semi-precious jewels
    On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
    the earth as I went
    The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
    across three continents
I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended
    except by my permission
I mean . . . I . . . can fly
    like a bird in the sky . . .

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

National Poetry Month - Charles Bukowski

One of 100 greatest poets worldwide.

Born in Germany and raised in Los Angeles, Bukowski is known as the barfly.

Time magazine called him "a laureate of American lowlife."

Funny, true and heartbreaking, Charles Bukowski's work is not to be missed.

The Laughing Heart

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight

in you.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Art - David Hockney at LA Louver

It’s worth it - so worth the drive to Venice to experience 
LA Louver’s exhibition of 

David Hockney 
Something New in Painting
(and Photography) (and even Printing)…

The wondrous colour, the aha - look what he’s done - photographs on photographs, pictures of the paintings - the Paintings - 
so alive as if a ball can fall right off the edge 
crayon on canvas - fun! 

charcoal on canvas - a giggle! Once again, it's about space and time and cut outs of people, digital people within the's as if we can jump right into the picture of the picture. 

the mural

 the actual paintings

 the actual paintings
the space, the colour, the tipping the ball and blue onto yellow, the new blue and the new yellow as Louis Kahn would say.

LA Louver
45 North Vennice Blvd.
Venice, California 90291

the painting of a mirror - where am I? 

It all made me smile and think about my place in space. Thank you David Hockney