Sentient in San Francisco – 17 February 2019

Contemporary German Art: Brigette Yoshiko Pruchnow: Part I of II.

Below – “Surrender”; “Going up”; “Female Swimmer No. 5”; “Coffee and Bread”; “Rain No. 4”; “Floating No. 2.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 17 February 1918 – William Bronk, an American poet and recipient of the National Book Award.

“What We Are”
by William Bronk

What we are? We say we want to become
what we are or what we have an intent to be.
We read the possibilities, or try.
We get to some. We think we know how to read.
We recognize a word, here and there,
a syllable: male, it says perhaps,
or female, talent – look what you could do –
or love, it says, love is what we mean.
Being at any cost: in the end, the cost
is terrible but so is the lure to us.
We see it move and shine and swallow it.
We say we are and this is what we are
as to say we should be and this is what to be
and this is how. But, oh, it isn’t so.

Below – Rezan Ozger: “Confused”

Contemporary German Art: Brigette Yoshiko Pruchnow: Part II of II.

Below – “Rain No. 3”; “Light Drops”; “Moon Ski”; “Dream”; “Rain No. 06”; “Rainbow Skin No. 02.”

Remembering an Important Tribal Leader on the Date of His Death: Died 17 February 1909 – Geronimo, a leader and medicine man from the Bedonkohe band of the Apache tribe.

Some quotes from the work of Geronimo:

“It is my land, my home, my father’s land, to which I now ask to be allowed to return. I want to spend my last days there, and be buried among those mountains. If this could be I might die in peace, feeling that my people, placed in their native homes, would increase in numbers, rather than diminish as at present, and that our name would not become extinct.”
“I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.”
“The song that I will sing is an old song, so old that none knows who made it. It has been handed down through generations and was taught to me when I was but a little lad. It is now my own song. It belongs to me. This is a holy song (medicine-song), and great is its power. The song tells how, as I sing, I go through the air to a holy place where Yusun (The Supreme Being) will give me power to do wonderful things. I am surrounded by little clouds, and as I go through the air I change, becoming spirit only.”
“We had no churches, no religious organizations, no sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we worshiped. Sometimes the whole tribe would assemble to sing and pray; sometimes a smaller number, perhaps only two or three. The songs had a few words, but were not formal. The singer would occasionally put in such words as he wished instead of the usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each one prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. At other times one would rise and speak to us of our duties to each other and to Yusun (The Supreme Being). Our services were short.”
“I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive.”

Contemporary Hungarian Art – Flora Borsi: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “Swan”; “Kitty”; “Ugly Duck”; “Sadness”; “Fisheye”; “Balance.”

Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of His Birth: Born 17 February 1955 – Mo Yan, a Chinese novelist, short story writer, and recipient of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Mo Yan:

“I am also well aware that literature only has a minimal influence on political disputes or economic crises in the world, but its significance to human beings is ancient.”
“Possibly because I’ve lived so much of my life in difficult circumstances, I think I have a more profound understanding of life.”
“The sun, a red wheel, was sinking slowly in the west. Besides being spectacularly beautiful, the early-summer sunset was exceedingly soft and gentle: black mulberry leaves turned as red as roses; pristine white acacia petals shed an enshrouding pale-green aura. Mild evening breezes made both the mulberry leaves and the acacia petals dance and whirl, filling the woods with a soft rustle.”
“People who are strangers to liquor are incapable of talking about literature.”
“All kinds of mysterious phenomena exist in this world, but answers to most of them have come with advances in scientific knowledge.” “Love is the sole holdout-nothing can explain it. A Chinese writer by the name of Ah Cheng wrote that love is just a chemical reaction, an unconventional point of view that seemed quite fresh at the time. But if love can be controlled and initiated by means of chemistry, then novelists would be out of a job. So while he may have had his finger on the truth, I’ll remain a member of the loyal opposition.”
“I’ll continue on the path I’ve been taking, feet on the ground,” describing people’s lives, describing people’s emotions, writing from the standpoint of the ordinary people.”
“When literature exists, perhaps we do not notice how important it is, but when it does not exist, our lives become coarsened and brutal. For this reason, I am proud of my profession, but also aware of its importance.”

Contemporary Hungarian Art – Flora Borsi: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “Gnossienne no. V”; “Final Cut”; “Distractions”; “Blind Faith”; “Odessa”; “Flamingo.”

A Poem for Today

by David Livewell

Retired from other trades, they wore
Work clothes again to mop the johns
And feed the furnace loads of coal.
Their roughened faces matched the bronze

Of the school bell the nun would swing
To start the day. They limped but smiled,
Explored the secret, oldest nooks:
The steeple’s clock, dark attics piled

With inkwell desks, the caves beneath
The stage on Bingo night. The pastor
Bowed to the powers in their hands:
Fuses and fire alarms, the plaster

Smoothing a flaking wall, the keys
To countless locks. They fixed the lights
In the crawl space above the nave
And tolled the bells for funeral rites.

‘Maintain what dead men made.’ Time blurs
Their scripted names and well-waxed floors,
Those keepers winking through the years
And whistling down the corridors.

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