Posted tagged ‘iPad art’

Little Elephants/Last Days

August 23, 2021

I was going to write today about some of the benefits of using an iPad Pro for drawing illustrations.  I even dreamed of this topic (or at least thought about it muzzily as I lay in bed.)   I was going to write about how drawing on paper is so much more fluid and original; how when I can get the courage up to add color (inks or soft pastel or some kind of paint), those paper pieces can be so much more rich and complex, but how I still often end up using the iPad Pro for illustrations, because the iPad, unlike inks, soft pastels, paint, can be readily used in a bed. (You may be sensing a pattern here.)  Perhaps, more importantly, the  iPad does a lot to mitigate the need for both courage and patience.  

An example of how the iPad can help to make an illustration can be found in the the little elephants above (completed on the iPad), and the unfinished paper sketch of the same little elephants below. (This was the basis for the iPad drawing.) 

But in the middle of thinking about these elephant drawings, I remembered that today was the beginning of the week of my mother’s death, which essentially lasted this whole week, some years ago. (My mother, at the end of her life, by the way, loved the iPad Pro; mainly for youtube algorhythms. I could type in a piece of music I thought she’d like and youtube would take her to another and another. It felt like magic to her, or, perhaps, a really good TV channel.)  

Though  when I think of my mother’s death week, I don’t think of the iPad. Rather I think of how she and I, and the rest of us too, rose to our best selves,  of how death can sometimes do that.  (I think of the way people speak so eloquently at funerals. How they often seem to transcend some inhibition, some self-consciousness, that dogs their normal speech.)

In my mother’s case, the nearness of death brought out a great generosity.  Yes, pain medication may have assisted, but a true shine was also there, as she made sure to thank everyone who came her way; to express deep gratitude, and in the case of each family member, a profound and specific love. 

In my case, the nearness of her death (temporarily) undid my will to avoid the moment, that endless bargaining with time. This morning, remembering it, I congratulated myself for calling up various family members from a hot Florida sidewalk as I took a break from the freezing hospital–to let them know that if they wanted to see my mother, that is, talk to her, they needed to come now.  When the option of much more convenient weekend flights came up–me, who typically tries to make things work for others as they would have them work, simply said that they should do what they could, shouldn’t feel like they had to come, but that if they wanted to see her, that is, talk to her, they had to come now.

And they did come. I don’t know how they managed it, but they too seized the moment.  And they did get to talk with her, and they would not have been able to wait. 

I feel so sorry, as I re-read this, to think of all those whose family members died of Covid, who did not have the togetherness of last days. 

It is raining steadily here. Through the upper part of the window, it looks beautiful, soft grays and greens, and the sounds of the rain, very gentle now, feel merciful.  Through the lower part of the window, though, are channels of brown water that have taken over the driveway and, most likely, the roads.  

Good Morning!

August 15, 2017


ASKetch app, 2017, all rights reserved. 

who’s who?

August 2, 2017

2017, digital drawing, all rights reserved.  

Me as Sisyphus

July 18, 2017

Me as Sisyphus–not very good at pushing rocks.  
Digital sketch, 2017.

Giving It A Rest

May 4, 2016


 Thanks as always for your support.

Midtown Midsummer (Morning)

July 22, 2015


This picture is not a true depiction of Central Park in the morning.  The pic was actually taken in the afternoon.

Midtown Midsummer

Morning park feels like yesterday’s
shirt, worn, but rested right now
from a night on the bedroom floor
slumped just below
the blow of your best fan.

(The wood of that imagined floor
has been sanded, by bare soles, soft;
its varnish long
walked away, leaving a cool in its planks
that the weave of the shirt would now seem
to carry,  if, that is, air were linen,
and linen, aged oak.)

And you are conscious,
walking through this day that does not yet
to your body but still supports itself
a breath or so away,
of things you really mean to do sometime,
other days you want to live–like that bright one slightly buzzing
with bug and sun, in which,
beneath a great straw hat,
you will paint landscapes from life
leaning over watercolors
before a spread
of cattails,
and a few in Lake Como, which you know nothing at all about
but whose name connotes blue
misted by wine; and a couple starting with oatmeal
on the Isle of Skye–you add those in just
for the sound–
but mainly days, many days,
before your own wooden table
and your own unwooden
computer, in the company of words that hold hands
to catch a story as if it jumped
from a burning building and those hands supported
a strong round net–

and before you know it,
you’re at 59th Street, a/k/a Central Park South, and tourists,
whose shorts are the color
of street maps, fold over one or the other,
and the curb is cross-hatched
by stain and plastic,
and the light on everything
from buckle to windshield, coffee cart to
door-manned lid, glares
rather than shines,
and you understand
crossing Fifth Avenue at 57th Street,
(just to the front of Tiffany’s where, this early
in the morning, the windows show only
small backdrops of dusky harbors)
that your time must be plotted, alloted–
allocated (which since it has four syllables
must surely be the best term for
this job) if you wish to get
anything done at all–

and you notice, traversing the grid,
how the crosswalks fade in the center
of the tar, and how the words holding the net
for your stories seem to veer slowly,
h’s tripped by d’s, m’s crowding–

Impatient, you dart across the lowering
side streets–
54th now, maybe even 53rd,
even before the light changes,
even when a truck is coming,
in some pretense of saving time, counting
that you can make it.

Another draft poem, or maybe little story.  I wasn’t going to  link this up with anything as it is so long, but will try Real Toads open platform very belatedly.   Thanks much for reading!

I am posting with it an old picture of Central Park, actually from a very hot afternoon rather than early morning.


March 30, 2014



You bought some doughnuts; it was so fun
when you called me your honey bun,
then took me in your sharp-finned car
the night dark blue, the stars near far.
The seats were cold and rough to touch–
the car smelled like you smoked too much–
but you wrapped me round with one taut arm
that felt so lithe and live and warm
that soon the clammy stink of ash
flew from the window like the trash
you tossed out your side–crumpled sack
tattooed with doughnuts’ greasy track,
then lifting your arm’s weight a bit
dug out a bottle, took a sip.

Your breath like fire, wrongness too–
it somehow wired me to you.
You leaned, you kissed, you made me feel
a heat that steered me like a wheel.
You didn’t care what people thought–
oh, I wanted what you’d got.

And then, still driving, came a thump,
it was like the car had hit a bump,
only not, just not, it was not like that,
blackness squirreled inside my lap.
‘Oh shit,’ you said, your head turned back,
‘Goddammit all,’ not turning back.

Mad, you drove with both hands on
except for swipes of light-trapped palm
that wiped your face, the hair that tossed,
your forehead fisted, double-crossed
as any two-lined two-laned road–
all that hot now grown so old.

In light beam’s mutter, light beam’s glare
in the flashing stutter of my stare,
I caught remembrance, glittered blip–
bristled sugar at your lip–
but the only rounds in this holed world,
were tires that whirled and whirled and whirled
and a mind that skittered, tried to care
but only could come up with scared–
no honey bun, no glaze of laughter,
just things that we kept secret after.

Here’s very much of a draft poem (also a bit crazy) for Kerry O’Connor’s prompt on With Real Toads ( to write a poem using the line “there were things that we kept secret after.”

I am sorry that the drawing is a little recycled. I am hoping to do a poem a day in April and will, I’m afraid, likely have to use recycled visuals to keep up. (Hence, my excuse for starting now!)

Insomnia- – Friday Flash 55

December 13, 2013



I remember
nights slept–
I mean, I don’t
remember them,
memory rolled shut
like the lid to a
business, closed-
for-the-day, the only trade
on its corrugated gray waves
that neon graffiti
tagged REM.

Oh, for those hours that abandoned me
in their not-wake,
oh for that now not-here,
oh, for that dark night’s alley.


Here are 55 insomnia-honed words for the G-Man Mr. Knowitall. Ugh. (That’s to myself only, not the wonderful G-Man.) I have cheated a bit through the hyphenations. (For those 55 sticklers who do not believe in hyphenated words being a single word, cut out the last line!)


October 27, 2013



When young, they were fitted for the mask,
an age when every question asked
could be answered with because
Pretty is as pretty does,
for children will take on a task

adults won’t swallow without a flask
full of flow as hot as ash
and guaranteed to grant a buzz
of when young.

But though they aged, the mask stuck fast;
it trapped their warmth just like the cask
they tapped now, sipped and sometimes guz-
zled, to scrape off “is,” grate down to “was,”
bare what they’d been by file or rasp
when young.


Still playing with Rondeaus — not very well–here’s a draftish one for Grapeling’s prompt on With Real Toads to write a poem about a mask. 

This is also a signing-off for me for now, maybe.  I am trying very hard to get myself to go on an extended blog break, at least for the month of November.  As some readers know, this has been a super busy work period for me.  Blogging poetry and being part of the online poetry community has been a wonderful way to get out of my workaday mode–but it also keeps me from getting to certain larger fiction projects that I’ve put on hold practically forever (and keep talking of going back to.)  I really do want to make one more effort, and November, national noveling month, seems a good time to try.

That said, do check in from time to time, as I am likely to (i) break my resolution, (ii) post pictures; and (iii) miss you terribly!   

Take care, k.  

New Yorkers at The Velvet Garter, Somewhere West

October 19, 2013


New Yorkers at The Velvet Garter, Somewhere, West

I wanted you to love me on that trip
and felt you pretty much did
after that hour against the tiled
shower, when I was, for at least a while,
as important as your art, something that you might
mount upon a wall, and breathing glee together, we got back
in the car and drove, not at that moment consciously
further West, but to find some twilit entwine
of neon and of dance, even asking
the toll booth operator because no one else
seemed able to tell us–  Where’s the action?
she repeated, dazed bangs sounding out
conundrum, and we said, you know,
and after staring at the strip
of toll roof in case some early stars might just poke through
to point the way, some folks like
the Velvet Carter–
at least that’s what we thought
she said, naming an exit.

You yahooed, speeding off–so moist still with
each other, the windows gusting
rusting cobalt–and I wondered if we could keep this close
in the City with its whipped grey grids
that blocked you into your work, and me, sort of,
into mine,
then found a white-bulbed sign edged red, and everything
just shrunk.

Sure, the sky we parked beneath
was big, and yes, I felt your warmth
at my bare arms, but it was hard
to keep that smirking togetherness as the
hostess led us in, earnest lipstick tucking cherry
between puffed cheeks, and gloom
pressed down,  at least on me, with
the off-slant of the tablecloths, shabbiness
of stale smelled steak, the sateen reds making me almost

Only two other customers, a guy at the next table draped
over a couple
of chairs, skinny legs, boots, splayed, ruffled velveteen bands bunching
the joints of his jeans and sleeves–
a woman squeezed beside him, cleavage even
at the elbows, several bowled goblets encrusted
with gobbed salt and a few more velvet
bands made us realize as we looked down
at the plastiscene menu that what ringed his limbs were garters from
drinks drunk,
and that the name of the place had nothing at all to do
with wagons–

Loneliness fell like night–
hugely; the stub of cigarette
abandoning the guy’s bleared smile showed teeth
stranded at each side, his girl’s hair flat and split
as a bleached beach
under darkening tides, her eyes like the eyes of a collie sad
to be left outside, a collie with one eye black, one blue, though
hers were both just blue, blackened only
by mascara.

This is where people out here
have fun
? you whispered
shaking your head,
but I couldn’t laugh, and as we waded back through velveteen to
blacktop and looked again at the quavering sign, we noticed how
the grin of the G had blown dark (why it looked
a C)–and could not even hold hands.

We were still travelers together,
but any connection of flesh, man-
woman, felt like a worn-out game,
exuberance toothless, our wandering selves slick leeches
sprawling the parched–and I wished guiltily
to be back between my City’s lit grey walls, walls that
held throngs of people and paintings and shelves of words
writ whole, though I knew that was
unfair–the town poor and this bit
of the West beautiful, truly,
if the eye would only
stretch out over its vastness and the City
could be plenty lonely too
just like anyplace where there are couples.


This is very very much a draft poem, and very belated also, intended to somehow be “beat” for the prompt by Gay Reiser Cannon on dVerse Poets Pub —  It is much too long, and prosaic, and hard to follow., but I’m posting it because I’m not sure how else to re-write just now.   I am also posting for With Real Toads Open Link Night. 

PS – the red and white thing in the drawing is supposed to be a velvet garter, not a santa cap. 

Also – the poem is not autobiographical!  I was trying for the Jack Kerouackian.  

Finally– this has been edited since first posting, changing the last word from “people” to “couples.”