Wandering in Woodacre – 17 September 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 17 September 1925 – Carl Eytel, a German-American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Desert near Palm Springs”; “A Rio Grande pueblo”; “California landscape”; “Desert landscape”; “Cliffs at Sunset.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 September 1883 – William Carlos Williams, an American poet, short story writer, essayist, and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

“This is Just to Say”
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Below – Robert Hunt: “Plums”


Contemporary Canadian Art – Lis Ng

Below – “Peacock Descending A Staircase”; “Housing Gradient”; “Floral Print Gecko”; “Family Portrait”; “Tiger Empress (Tiger Mom In Her Throne).”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 September 1935 – Ken Kesey, an American novelist, essayist, poet, and author of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Some quotes from the work of Ken Kesey:

“High high in the hills , high in a pine tree bed.
She’s tracing the wind with that old hand, counting the clouds with that old chant,
Three geese in a flock
one flew east
one flew west
one flew over the cuckoo’s nest”
“It isn’t by getting out of the world that we become enlightened, but by getting into the world…by getting so tuned in that we can ride the waves of our existence and never get tossed because we become the waves.”
“You can’t really be strong until you can see a funny side to things.”
“I lay in bed the night before the fishing trip and thought it over, about my being deaf, about the years of not letting on I heard what was said, and I wonder if I can ever act any other way again. But I remembered one thing: it wasn’t me that started acting deaf; it was people that first started acting like I was too dumb to hear or see or say anything at all.”
“But it’s the truth even if it didn’t happen.”
“The answer is never the answer. What’s really interesting is the mystery. If you seek the mystery instead of the answer, you’ll always be seeking. I’ve never seen anybody really find the answer. They think they have, so they stop thinking. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom. The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer.”
“To hell with facts! We need stories!”


Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Anastasia Grace

Below – “Wish you were here”; “Flower Dreams”; “Yes, I am French”; “Waiting for a perfect man”; “They call me the Wild Rose”; “Red hat on vacation.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 17 September 1939 – Carl Dennis, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Progressive Health”
by Carl Dennis

We here at Progressive Health would like to thank you
For being one of the generous few who’ve promised
To bequeath your vital organs to whoever needs them.

Now we’d like to give you the opportunity
To step out far in front of the other donors
By acting a little sooner than you expected,

Tomorrow, to be precise, the day you’re scheduled
To come in for your yearly physical. Six patients
Are waiting this very minute in intensive care

Who will likely die before another liver
And spleen and pairs of lungs and kidneys
Match theirs as closely as yours do. Twenty years,

Maybe more, are left you, granted, but the gain
Of these patients might total more than a century.
To you, of course, one year of your life means more

Than six of theirs, but to no one else,
No one as concerned with the general welfare
As you’ve claimed to be. As for your poems—

The few you may have it in you to finish—
Even if we don’t judge them by those you’ve written,
Even if we assume you finally stage a breakthrough,

It’s doubtful they’ll raise one Lazarus from a grave
Metaphoric or literal. But your body is guaranteed
To work six wonders. As for the gaps you’ll leave

As an aging bachelor in the life of friends,
They’ll close far sooner than the open wounds
Soon to be left in the hearts of husbands and wives,

Parents and children, by the death of the six
Who now are failing. Just imagine how grateful
They’ll all be when they hear of your grand gesture.

Summer and winter they’ll visit your grave, in shifts,
For as long as they live, and stoop to tend it,
And leave it adorned with flowers or holly wreaths,

While your friends, who are just as forgetful
As you are, just as liable to be distracted,
Will do no more than a makeshift job of upkeep.

If the people you’ll see tomorrow pacing the halls
Of our crowded facility don’t move you enough,
They’ll make you at least uneasy. No happy future

Is likely in store for a man like you whose conscience
Will ask him to certify every hour from now on
Six times as full as it was before, your work

Six times as strenuous, your walks in the woods
Six times as restorative as anyone else’s.
Why be a drudge, staggering to the end of your life

Under this crushing burden when, with a single word,
You could be a god, one of the few gods
Who, when called on, really listens?

Below – Trisha Rhomberg: “Organ Donor”

Contemporary British Art – Johnny Popkess

Below – “Artist’s Block”; “Distant shores”; “First Day of Summer”; “Hardships of Modern Travel”; “Drip Drying”; “Mid-Afternoon Stroll.”


A Poem for Today

“Spring Reign”
by Dean Young

Thank you whoever tuned the radio
to rain, thank you who spilled
the strong-willed wine for not
being me so I’m not to blame. I’m glad

I’m not that broken tree although
it looks sublime. And glad I’m not
taking a test and running out of time.
What’s a tetrahedron anyway? What’s

the sublime, 3,483 divided by 9,
the tenth amendment, the ferryman’s name
on the River Styx? We’re all missing
more and more tricks, losing our grips,

guilty of crimes we didn’t commit.
The horse rears and races then moves no more,
the sports coupe grinds to a stop, beginning
a new life as rot, beaten to shit, Whitman

grass stain, consciousness swamp gas,
the bones and brain, protoplasm and liver,
ground down like stones in a river. Or does
the heart’s cinder wash up as delta froth

out of which hops frog spawn, dog song,
the next rhyming grind, next kid literati?
Maybe the world’s just a bubble, all
philosophy ants in a muddle,

an engine inside an elk’s skull on a pole.
Maybe an angel’s long overdue and we’re
all in trouble. Meanwhile thanks whoever
for the dial turned to green downpour, thanks

for feathery conniptions at the seashore
and moth-minded, match-flash breath.
Thank you for whatever’s left.

Below – Vince Carl: “Display of Gratitude”

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