Wandering in Woodacre – 22 October 2020

Contemporary South Korean Art – Zinna Yoo

Below – “Beyond”; “Stay”; “Starlit”; “Querencia”; “Beyond”; “Thinking person.”


A Poem for Today

“Snapshot”
by Linda Parsons Marion

My mother sends the baby pictures she promised—
egg hunting in Shelby Park, wooden blocks
and Thumbelina tossed on the rug, knotty pine
walls in a house lost to memory. I separate out
the early ones, studying my navel or crumbs
on the tray, taken before my awareness
of Sylvania Superflash. Here I am sitting
on the dinette table, the near birthday cake
striking me dumb. Two places of wedding china,
two glasses of milk, posed for the marvelous
moment: the child squishes the fluted rosettes,
mother claps her hands, father snaps the picture
in the face of time. When the sticky sweet
is washed off the page, we are pasted in an album
of blessed amnesia. The father leaves the pine house
and sees the child on weekends, the mother
stores the china on the top shelf until it’s dull and crazed,
the saucer-eyed girl grips her curved spoon
like there’s no tomorrow.

Below – Elekes Reka: “Birthday”


Contemporary American Art – Anna Hammer

Below – “Meet Me Underneath The Moonlight”; “Bad Blood”; “Scream No Evil”; “Technicolor”; “Latte”; “Greetings From Paris.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 22 October 1919 – Doris Lessing, a British novelist, poet, playwright, author of “The Golden Notebook,” and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Doris Lessing:

“What a luxury a cat is, the moments of shocking and startling pleasure in a day, the feel of the beast, the soft sleekness under your palm, the warmth when you wake on a cold night, the grace and charm even in a quite ordinary workaday puss. Cat walks across your room, and in that lonely stalk you see leopard or even panther, or it turns its head to acknowledge you and the yellow blaze of those eyes tells you what an exotic visitor you have here, in this household friend, the cat who purrs as you stroke, or rub his chin, or scratch his head.”
“Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born.”
“Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so.”
“A public library is the most democratic thing in the world. What can be found there has undone dictators and tyrants.”
“I’m always astounded at the way we automatically look at what divides and separates us. We never look at what people have in common.”
“People who love literature have at least part of their minds immune from indoctrination. If you read, you can learn to think for yourself.
“Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line.” What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. It is a heritage of communism, but they don’t seem to see this.”
“This is a time when it is frightening to be alive, when it is hard to think of human beings as rational creatures. Everywhere we look we see brutality, stupidity, until it seems that there is nothing else to be seen but that–a descent into barbarism, everywhere, which we are unable to check. But I think that while it is true there is a general worsening, it is precisely because things are so frightening we become hypnotized, and do not notice–or if we notice, belittle–equally strong forces on the other side, the forces, in short, of reason, sanity and civilization.”

Contemporary American Art – Mary Chamberlain

Below- “Yellow House”; “Garden Shed”; “Suburban House”; “White Barn with Bicycle”; “Two Red Chairs”; “Blue Awnings”; “White Barn.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 22 October1982 – Richard Hugo, an American poet.

“Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg”
by Richard Hugo

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn’t last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.

The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can’t wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs—
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won’t fall finally down.

Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?

Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I’ll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You’re talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it’s mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.

Below – Susana Sancho Beltran: “Beer 1”

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