Sentient in San Francisco – 16 November 2019

Contemporary Russian Art – Alexander Ilichev: Part I of II.

Below – “Ancient Motive”; “City Girl”; “Half of the Face”; “Face”; “Portrait”; “Portrait.”


This Date in Literary History: Born16 November 1954 – Andrea Barrett, an American novelist, short story writer, author of “Ship Fever,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Andrea Barrett

“I’m not adopted. But that longing and that sense of absence … are perhaps other ways of expressing the actualities of my family. Different facts, same emotions.”
“The life she’d led, each of the places she’d called home sending unexpected shoots toward the next, had made her open to almost anything.”
“Slowly, I began to relearn something I’d once grasped but had lost sight of: that emotion—that central element of fiction—derives not from information or from explanation, nor from a logical arrangement of the facts, but specifically from powerful images and from the qualities of language: diction, rhythm, form, structure, association, metaphor. And sometimes I also had glimmers of another thing I’d once known: how effectively information can be used to wall off emotion.”
“It was through Peter that she first understood that the world existed before her, without her. For a few days she could not forgive him for this.”
“Not long after he and Margaret were married, he’d complimented her on a pot of yellow blossoms near the front door. She’d laughed, and blushed, and then confessed that weeks earlier, watching him walk around the vegetable garden, she’d slipped out, dug up a brick-sized clump of earth which held the clear impression of his right foot, and tucked it into the flower pot. In that earth she’d planted a chrysanthemum, hoping that as it bloomed year after year so would his love for her. How should he marry again, after that?”
“In that light, across the field, is all I will never have. Next to me is all I will.”


Contemporary Russian Art – Alexander Ilichev: Part II of II.

Below – “Portrait”; “Plant”; “Draggle-Tail”; “Nymph”; “Landscpe”; “Redhead.”


A Poem for Today

“Common Janthina”
by Tatiana Ziglar

My shell said she likes the king and queen
of the Poetry Palace because they listen to her.
She tells them all the secrets of the ocean.

Note: Tatiana Ziglar wrote this poem when she was an elementary school student in response to the assignment of what seashells might say if they could speak to us.

Below – A Janthina shell.

Contemporary British Art – Simon Hopkinson: Part I of II.

Below – “The Decayed Horizon”; “Alone With Phone two”; “One For Sorrow”; “Doll three”; “Subway eleven”; “St. George Crow.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 16 November 1967 – Craig Arnold, an award-winning American poet.

“The Invisible Birds of Central America”
by Craig Arnold

For Alicia

The bird who creaks like a rusty playground swing
the bird who sharpens the knife the bird who blows
on the mouths of milk bottles the bird who bawls like a cat
like a cartoon baby the bird who rubs the wineglass
the bird who curlicues the bird who quacks like a duck
but is not a duck the bird who pinks on a jeweller’s hammer
They hide behind the sunlight scattered throughout the canopy
At the thud of your feet they fall thoughtful and quiet
coming to life again only when you have passed
Perhaps they are not multiple but one
a many-mooded trickster whose voice is rich
and infinitely various whose feathers
liquify the rainbow rippling scarlet
emerald indigo whose streaming tail
is rare as a comet’s a single glimpse of which
is all that you could wish for the one thing
missing to make your eyes at last feel full
to meet this wild need of yours for wonder

Contemporary British Art – Simon Hopkinson: Part II of II.

Below – “Disused Depot six”; “Pound Stretcher”; “Camera”; “Toxic Menu”; “Hot Exhaust Climate”; “Strongman Conditions.”

A Poem for Today

“Home Fire”
by Linda Parsons Marion

Whether on the boulevard or gravel backroad,
I do not easily raise my hand to those who toss
up theirs in anonymous hello, merely to say
“I’m passing this way.” Once out of shyness, now
reluctance to tip my hand, I admire the shrubbery
instead. I’ve learned where the lines are drawn
and keep the privet well trimmed. I left one house
with toys on the floor for another with quiet rugs
and a bed where the moon comes in. I’ve thrown
myself at men in black turtlenecks only to find
that home is best after all. Home where I sit
in the glider, knowing it needs oil, like my own
rusty joints. Where I coax blackberry to dogwood
and winter to harvest, where my table is clothed
in light. Home where I walk out on the thin page
of night, without waving or giving myself away,
and return with my words burning like fire in the grate.

Below – George Albert Thompson: “Woman Looking out a Window”

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