Sentient in San Francisco – 17 November 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 17 November 1921 – Albert Bertelsen, a Danish painter and illustrator.

Below – “Woman with Cat”; “Fjordlys Norge”; “Unknown”; “Faergen”; “De granne tage.”

Musings in Autumn: O. Henry

“East is East, and West is San Francisco.”

This Date in Art History: Born 17 November 1951 – Jack Vettriano, a Scottish painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Singing Butler:’After the Thrill Has Gone”; “ Altar of Memory”; “Models in the Studio II”; “Cocktails and Broken Hearts”; “Lounge Lizards II.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 17. November 1939 – Auberon Waugh, an English journalist and author.

Some quotes from the work of Auberon Waugh:

“Politicians can forgive almost anything in the way of abuse; they can forgive subversion, revolution, being contradicted, exposed as liars, even ridiculed, but they can never forgive being ignored.”
“It is my settled opinion, after some years as a political correspondent, that no one is attracted to a political career in the first place unless he is socially or emotionally crippled.”
“There are many Welsh who are taciturn, truthful, well formed, open minded, handsome and peaceful, even if no particular individual immediately springs to mind.”
“Anyone wishing to communicate with Americans should do so by e-mail, which has been specially invented for the purpose, involving neither physical proximity nor speech.”
“The main objection to killing people as a punishment…is that killing people is wrong.”
“There is an old story about the boy at Eton who committed suicide. The other boys in his house were gathered together and asked if any of them could suggest a reason for the tragedy. After a long silence a small boy in the front put up his hand: ‘Could it have been the food, sir?’”
“History, having destroyed the religion as the opium of the people, now requires that they be given a taste of the real stuff.”
“Looking back at all the people I have insulted, I am mildly surprised that I am still allowed to exist.”


This Date in Art History: Born 17 November 1951 – Jack Vettriano, a Scottish painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Future World”; “The Twilight Zone”; “Heaven on Earth”; “Valentine Rose”; “Just Another Day”; “The Bedroom.”

A Poem for Today

“Driving Through”
by Mark Vinz

This could be the town you’re from,
marked only by what it’s near.
The gas station man speaks of weather
and the high school football team
just as you knew he would—
kind to strangers, happy to live here.

Tell yourself it doesn’t matter now,
you’re only driving through.
Past the sagging, empty porches
locked up tight to travelers’ stares,
toward the great dark of the fields,
your headlights startle a flock of
old love letters—still undelivered,
enroute for years.

Below – Rob Evans: “Two Maples”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Ingeborg Herckenrath

Below – “Looking Back”; “Simple Joy”; “Intensely”; “Circle of happiness”; “Mixed Thought”; “Summer Feelings.”

A Poem for Today

“No Children, No Pets”
by Sue Ellen Thompson

I bring the cat’s body home from the vet’s
in a running-shoe box held shut
with elastic bands. Then I clean
the corners where she has eaten and
slept, scrubbing the hard bits of food
from the baseboard, dumping the litter
and blasting the pan with a hose. The plastic
dishes I hide in the basement, the pee-
soaked towel I put in the trash. I put
the catnip mouse in the box and I put
the box away, too, in a deep
dirt drawer in the earth.

When the death-energy leaves me,
I go to the room where my daughter slept
in nursery school, grammar school, high school,
I lie on her milky bedspread and think
of the day I left her at college, how nothing
could keep me from gouging the melted candle-wax
out from between her floorboards,
or taking a razor blade to the decal
that said to the firemen, “Break
this window first.” I close my eyes now
and enter a place that’s clearly
expecting me, swaddled in loss
and then losing that, too, as I move
from room to bone-white room
in the house of the rest of my life.

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