From the Pacific Northwest – Part LIV

Musings in December: Andrea Portes

“But somewhere in America, between the freeways and the Food-4-Less, between the filling stations and the 5-o-‘clock news, behind the blue blinking light coming off the TV, there is a space, an empty space, between us, around us, inside us, that inevitable, desperate, begs to be filled up. And nothing, not shame, not God, not a new microwave, not a wide-screen TV or that new diet with grapefruits, can ever, ever fill it.
Underneath all that white noise there’s a lack.”


Art for December – Part I of IV: Tiffany Miller

Below – “The Passage”


A Poem for Today

“Air Empathy”
By Jeffrey McDaniel

On the red-eye from Seattle, a two-year-old
in the seat behind me screeches
his miniature guts out. Instead of dreaming
of stuffing a wad of duct tape into his mouth,
I envy him, how he lets his pain spurt
into the open. I wish I could drill
a pipeline into the fields of ache, tap
a howl. How long would I need to sob
before the lady beside me dropped
her fashion rag, dipped a palm
into the puddle of me? How many
whimpers before another passenger
joined in? Soon the stewardess
hunched over the drink cart, the pilot
gushing into the controls, the entire plane:
an arrow of grief quivering through the sky.


Art for December – Part II of IV: Marcelo

Below – “Arbol”


Musings in December: Hunter S. Thompson

“I am a child of the American Century, and I feel a genetic commitment to understanding why it happened, and why I take it so personally.”


Russian Art – Igor Panov

Igor Panov (born 1969) is a graduate of the I. E. Repin Institute in Saint Petersburg and a member of the Union of Artists of Russia.







Musings in December: James Curio

“Anyone who is truly crazy, in my book, wouldn’t be able to understand the dialectic of crazy and not-crazy. Listen, I’ve worked for the pharmaceutical companies, they have a vested belief in making you believe that if you have a chemical imbalance you need them to be ‘cured’ of your current issues and personality. Indefinitely. Imagine diagnosing personality only in terms of its negative aspects. Does this strike you as a strategy designed for health? The only way to deal with a problem is to fucking deal with it. Get inside what positive motivation, what intention, makes you behave in the way you are… and how you could maybe satisfy that need in a healthier or at least more agreeable manner. America wants quick, easy and painless; being a real person is slow, difficult and very messy.”


Art for December – Part III of IV: Julie Hawkins

Below – “Bittersweet”


A Second Poem for Today

“What the Last Evening Will Be Like”
By Edward Hirsch

You’re sitting at a small bay window
in an empty café by the sea.
It’s nightfall, and the owner is locking up,
though you’re still hunched over the radiator,
which is slowly losing warmth.

Now you’re walking down to the shore
to watch the last blues fading on the waves.
You’ve lived in small houses, tight spaces—
the walls around you kept closing in—
but the sea and the sky were also yours.

No one else is around to drink with you
from the watery fog, shadowy depths.
You’re alone with the whirling cosmos.
Goodbye, love, far away, in a warm place.
Night is endless here, silence infinite.


Art for December – Part IV of IV: Alex Hernandez Duenas

Below – “Confort Pattern”


Musings in December:Joseph Heller

“Depreciating motels, junked automobiles, and quick-food joints grow like amber waves of grain.”


Spanish Art – Lladro

In the words of one writer, “Lladró was born in the mid-1950s as a small family workshop in Almácera, a tiny farming community near the city of Valencia, on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast. Born into a humble farming family, the brothers Juan, José and Vicente decided to dedicate their free time to making ceramics as a means of improving their prospects for the future. They enrolled in the Valencia School of Arts and Crafts, where Juan and José studied drawing and painting, while the youngest brother, Vicente, took up sculpture.
In order to put their new knowledge into practice, they built a Moorish-style kiln in the patio of their parents’ home. As their experiments became increasingly successful, they began manufacturing and selling their first ceramic flowers on the local market. Meanwhile, they had started to design and produce their own figurines in porcelain.
In 1958 they moved from their small workshop in the family home in Almácera to a factory located in the nearby town of Tavernes Blanques. The 1960s were years of strong growth and development. In fact, the studios in Tavernes were enlarged seven times until in 1969 the foundations were laid for what was to become Porcelain City, the home of Lladró porcelain art today. For over two decades since that time, Lladró has continued to spread throughout the world, fueling growth back home in tiny Tavernes. Today, with a headcount of two thousand people, Lladró markets its creations in over one hundred countries around the world.”







A Third Poem for Today

By Adam Zagajewski

I watched the arctic landscape from above
and thought of nothing, lovely nothing.
I observed white canopies of clouds, vast
expanses where no wolf tracks could be found.

I thought about you and about the emptiness
that can promise one thing only: plenitude—
and that a certain sort of snowy wasteland
bursts from a surfeit of happiness.

As we drew closer to our landing,
the vulnerable earth emerged among the clouds,
comic gardens forgotten by their owners,
pale grass plagued by winter and the wind.

I put my book down and for an instant felt
a perfect balance between waking and dreams.
But when the plane touched concrete, then
assiduously circled the airport’s labyrinth,

I once again knew nothing. The darkness
of daily wanderings resumed, the day’s sweet darkness,
the darkness of the voice that counts and measures,
remembers and forgets.


Musings in December: Boyd Norton

“There is language going on out there- the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps all have meaning derived over eons of expression… We have yet to become fluent in the language -and music- of the wild.”


A Fourth Poem for Today

“Location LA”
By Martha Ronk

Never arriving in a city missing in locational drift
plates shifting under building facades and whipped décor,
seas rising and falling at the edge of amusements
and surf. The migrations migrating elsewhere,
monarchs lost on their way south, children coming north
in droves on their way to anywhere else.
The city of lost souls blowing in the Santa Ana winds
and people who are not us no matter who we are.
Where is she now, he asks, what ever happened to the girl
named for a saint, the one with the ankle tattoo
the one who dropped out, lost out, & only just arrived.


Musings in December: James Michael Rice

“It must be one of life’s little jokes… how we take everything, even life itself, for granted. We waste our childhoods wishing for what we don’t have, longing for the future, dreaming of ways to speed the time so we can hurry up and see the world. And in our later years, we’d give anything just to slow things down and go back to what we once had.”


Canadian Art – Min Ma

In the words of one writer, “Min Ma, an artist originally from China, now resides in B.C. where he often paints natural landscapes in a vivid and clear tone and colour that add depth to his vision.”

Below – “Long Shadows”; “Spring Glacier”; Grand Valley”; “Water Lilies”; “Flatland”; “Prairie Winter.”







Musings in December: Jeannette Walls

“Horses were never wrong. They always did what they did for a reason, and it was up to you to figure it out.”


American Art – Olesya Ianovitch

In the words of one writer, “Olesya was born in Russia and after a successful career in Art Direction and Graphic Design for HBO, Hearst, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Under Armour, she followed her dream of becoming an independent artist and now resides in New Orleans, LA. She travels the world and tells stories of colorful inspiration and experiences through her paintings. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums world wide, including France, UK, Russia, and the US.”

Below – “Yoshikori Sakai”; “Summer Fog II”; “Flower Crown Portrait”; “Graffite Kiss”; “Gaudi Kiss Barcelona”; “Dreamy Blue Eyes.”







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