Archive for January 2011

You Can Find Them Anywhere (Even in the South of France?)

January 31, 2011

Elephant courtesy of ManicDDaily, iPhone and New York City Subway system;  genius courtesy of Paul Cezanne (on exhibit at the Met).

You Can Find Them Anywhere. (At the Met?)

January 31, 2011

Courbet re-visited.  Or…errr… visited.   (At the Metropolitan Museum in NYC.)

Elephant cow?

Pearl feels out of place.

For  a very little more on Courbet–rather, for a poem of gratitude to Courbet–check out “Going on Somewhere” by Karin Gustafson, Diana Barco, and Jason Martin, on Amazon now!

“Going On Somewhere” For Valentine’s Day

January 30, 2011

"Side" by Diana Barco (From "Going on Somewhere")

This is a flat-out sales plea!  For Valentine’s Day!

Yes, I know that it is two weeks away.  And that it should be about love not buying.

But in our culture, love and holidays, tend to translate into buying.  So!  If you would like to buy something about love for Valentine’s Day (whether to give or keep for yourself), I encourage you to consider the poetry book, Going on Somewhere, written by yours truly, illustrated by Diana Barco, cover by Jason Martin.

While I hesitate to call it a book of love poetry, it does, in fact, have enough love poetry to make certain people who have read parts of it embarrassed to look me in the eye afterwards.

Which has got to mean something good!  (Errr…..right?)

On Amazon now!

Way Too Early On A Saturday Morning Train – A Pattern?

January 30, 2011

Pearl Doesn't Mind Dishevelment (Or You Know What)

Saturday:  I am on an early morning train way too early in the morning to be on a Saturday train.

A woman, clearly an experienced traveler on this train, slips in at the last minute, not breathing heavily.  She takes the seat across the aisle and immediately takes off coat, sweater, stows bags, attaches iPod to her head, and from the top of one of her stowed bags–little totes–retrieves an inner plastic bag with knitting project and needles.  She sets to work over some pieces of paper, shielded in plastic, to which she occasionally refers.

I, in contrast, who made the train with some time to spare, am still rustling around my stuff, the dog jammed beside me (inside her bag and a couple of old parkas, one of which doesn’t quite fit into the bag) an overly-heavy suitcase, my hat, my own parka, tea, purse–

The woman across wears reading glasses as she knits and has, precise, slightly pointed features (lips, chin, nose, eyebrows plucked in vaulted arches).  Despite, or as part of her precision, she seems to love patterns.  Her outer sweater (taken off immediately upon sieeing down) displays a snow scene with fir trees, deer, mountains, all woven into the pattern: her inner sweater (which she does not take off) is grey with pastel stripes in multiple colors; her bags are floral, one a brocaded pattern of (seemingly) rhododendra, the other water lillies in a backdrop busy with current.

She makes notes about her knitting on a piece of graph paper.

My black and grey across the aisle feels more crowded and disheveled than ever.  Does the conductor give me a snide look as he takes my ticket?

Pearl, at least, doesn’t seem to mind.


Pearl Mounts Ice Floe To Raise Awareness For Its Melt

January 28, 2011

Pearl (Sans Elephant) Gets On The Floe

“Pearl!” I called down to the Hudson.   “I know you feel a special sympathy for polar bears–” (I think it’s the white fur/ black nose thing)–”but, seriously, this is going too far.”

“Errruuurrrmmmmmm,” Pearl replied.

Setting Pearl aside for a minute (while she’s still within range), it’s hard for us in the frigid Eastern U.S. to focus on the fact that this has been the second of two freakishly warm winters in the Arctic.   Scientists postulate that this is part of the reason for all the “excess” cold both here and in Europe–the circulation of various Polar jet streams has broken from usual vortexes, allowing arctic air to swoop down in exchange for warmer air swooping up.  Some scientists are concerned that this two-year change may signal long-term damage to a so-called arctic “fence” –see an article about it here.

In the meantime—”Pearrrrrrllll!”

Even in Central Park (You Can Find Them Anywhere)

January 28, 2011

Hudson Lights

January 28, 2011

You Can Find Them Anywhere (Pt. 3) (On Pearl)

January 27, 2011

You can find them anywhere.

This was actually taken in between snow storms yesterday, before the big one last night.

A Gnashing of Teeth (State of the Union)

January 26, 2011

Obama must really frustrate the GOP.   For months, some have painted him as an anti-American (as well as non-American) totalitarian mastermind determined on jamming things down America’s throat in order to bring her to her knees.   (Stephen Colbert had a wonderful rif on this after Obama’s speech in Tucson accusing Obama of causing him to be moved by Hitler.)

Obama’s inherent “otherness” has contributed to this caricature:  his mixed race, his articulate and complex intelligence, his Hawaiian birth, his school experiences overseas, even his bony physique are atypical of U.S. politics (and not exactly “Reaganesque”.)   On top of this, his intense decorum, which sometimes translates into a kind of aloofness, have kept him from directly responding to the kind of crazy character-assassination that has dogged him through the last election cycle.

But he has taken the national stage at some very charged moments recently-from pushing through compromises at the lame duck session, to the Tucson Memorial, to last night’s State of the Union–and unmistakeably (and on television) shown himself to be compassionate in ways that are tied to religious as well as moral precept, and to be open, thoughtful, serious, pro-progress, and notably unvengeful, petty, or throat-jamming.

One imagines a great gnashing of teeth (some of them tea-stained.)

PS – Although, at first, I found it a little disconcerting, I was happy for the absence of endless applause lines in the speech.  Also, I was very glad that O. left out the traditional phrase  = “the state of the union is strong.”  Yes, I want it to be strong, but I’ve always found this phrase to be somehow, well, childish, as if the president were playing doctor.

PPS – don’t forget to check out “Going on Somewhere” by Karin Gustafson, Diana Barco, and Jason Martin on Amazon!   (The state of its poetry is strong!)

Uninvited Guests At State of the Union Address

January 25, 2011

Pearl and Friend Get Front Row Seats