Archive for the ‘Lines’ Category

The Clipboard (for Bill Graham, at the Trips Festival)

The Astronaut plugs his cord
into the huge speaker console.
The striped-clad dandy
turns the switch to on.
That was when gravity got turned off.

Amidst the feedback
and strobed landing lights,
feeling light-weight,
I decided to be The Clipboard.

It anchors me
as the scene floats away.

The Clipboard says “This needs doing,”
even though fixing a broken guitar
has no bullet point.

“Protect the doors!”
The Clipboard yells.

The Astronaut has another idea,
and leaves the doors wide open.

The Clipboard pushes back
in order to feel the ground,
while ravers bounce and glow
like waves of light piercing space’s darkness.

Just outside the Hall
The Clipboard has no sway
and the Astronaut is oblivious

As a seagull dozes on a pier,
lulled by a fog horn out in the Bay.

Back inside the Hall
as madness rules this crazy scene,
The Clipboard declares
“This wildness can be controlled
(and still be fun).”

A King Who Waits

Author: Russell

With a crown above my head,

full of millions of sparkling stars,

I am a king who waits.

 

Sitting on a throne

in a brightly lit room –

Contemplating loses,

Counting laurels –

I am a king who waits.

 

My kingdom resides

where birds fly, bears hunt,

and galaxies spin.

All for me another

I

and a king who waits

7-3-2014

Hands in mud

Author: Russell

I feel the realness of an earth unfolding

Steam rises into bright white sky

And sweat beads and drips down my back –

off my nose.

The hands stuck, sinking

Getting closer to the moist dust of the universe

The muck of the mess we’ve left behind.

But, with eyes closed,

I can only see your caring face.

Shin deep you pull me up

and out of soggy life’s bottom

Hands freed, I hold you

touching neck and waist

beads of steam reflect off your wild hair

wind blows away and away and away

And together with wishes

Hoping for an end of the epoch of mud

the clouds float over uncaring.

There may be rain at some point,

smiling. stained. breathing.

And wondered where the rats,

the ones with antenna in their ears,

I wondered where the rats were.

Then walk on down to Pepe’s Opera,

mesmerized by the burning idols,

and I jumped through the fire –

Jumped through the wall of fire.

And then stood on the counter

staring at the orphaned mountain,

burning light night sky,

flames dancing through trees.

Motions past and touches present

Hand firmly on your hip

feeling the dreams

of gas cans and siphon hoses.

Tasting bitterness and heat,

remembering your hair,

touching my cheek,

and I touched your hair.

Thinking again of slices

shifting in where rats take calls

and only finding rattled bones

once overgrown by kudzu.

A Mermaid Visits

Author: Russell

i had a dream this morning

a mermaid swam to me out of sunrise colors

and caressed my body

she kissed my lips

delicate like a light sea breeze

a string of blue clouds fell across my eyes

and the mermaid swam away

only to come back

more embraces and more kisses

her hands pressed and squeezed

her nose smelled

remembering my scent

the curves of my body

i rolled over into floating white sheeted pools

and like the sunrise colors

the wavy haired vision

disappeared in the waking morning

Infinite City…

Author: Russell

…wandering paths

over concrete, past wood

crossing asphalt

marked with paint, foot prints, spit, and history

faded and worn

renewed and re-crossed

steps where love was found

ran into

lost and sworn away from

ghosts pass by

voices for an infinite layer

upon layer

where tongues touched

eyes met

hands squeezed

buses hum

cars shush

and yells vibrate across the wires

of this city

forever moving forward

getting torn up

rebuilt

pushed out

and hung to dry…..

lights twinkle

as sleep overcomes the majority

and the football game is fading

into fog

of last season

the sidewalks tell stories –

it is written for the ages!

This is the text of a speech I gave for the SFSU Paralegal Program Certificate Graduation on June 15, 2012. I was one of the two student speakers for the night and I received “Highest Honors” for my GPA level. Only one person out of about 150 knew who Hall McAllister was. One of the teachers had seen the statue. Now they all know who McAllister is!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pat Medina, her staff, all the instructors, and guest lecturers for all their hard work with the Paralegal Program. Thank you for asking me to speak today as well. It is an honor to stand before you all, especially my co-graduates, and share a few words. I would especially like to thank my family, who came all the way from South Carolina to hear my speech, for all their patience, love, and support. And I would like to give a special mention to Hall McAllister, California’s first federal judge and a well-respected lawyer.

A year and a half ago, amid struggles as a starving artist, I felt a strong urge to make a change. I woke up early one morning while on a theatrical tour in Los Angeles and registered for my first two paralegal classes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a paralegal, but I had thought about it for a few years prior to signing up. I had looked into the profession, doing my due diligence, and found several keywords about the job that stuck in my mind. One was “research”. Another was “writing”. And a third was “organized”. (more…)

Last year, Sean Leow took my Street Art tour of San Francisco’s Mission District. He knew a good bit about art in the streets and eventually asked me “do you know about any stencils and graffiti in China?” My answer was no. I believed that it existed and was not that well known due to language barriers (as well as accessing evidence of a sometimes illegal art inside a tightly-controlled country like China). Leow not only knew about street art and graffiti from that part of the planet, he also was part of a group of people who were creating content for the site Neocha Edge, based in Shanghai. He gave me links and jpgs of art from China, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia. I eventually posted them up in the Asia Archive, and was happy to have two artists, Brother and ROBBBB, get their own artist archives.

Since then, ROBBBB has gotten in touch to say hello from Beijing, pass his personal link along, and give me some more jpgs to post into his archive.

I am happy to know that there are stencil artists getting up in China. When I wrote “Stencil Nation,” I attempted to include parts of Asia in the content. I was fortunate enough to find a few photographers via Flickr who had traveled to Taiwan and Japan and snapped up some stencil photos. Back in 2008, Asia seemed to be a blank spot in the Stencil Archive geography. There were no books, and artists like Logan Hicks were just starting to travel there with stencil art. I knew it had to be there, and, like the rest of the world, street art and graffiti has blossomed in all cracks and corners of the globe. Including Taibei and Beijing.

(Stencil by ROBBBB, Beijing)

During our most recent email exchange, ROBBBB wished that the English-speaking world could find out more about stencils in China. So I asked him some questions and he was glad to answer them. I have cleaned up the grammar of ROBBBB’s answers, but have tried to keep the spirit and intent of his answers intact. I look forward to seeing more mu-ban art and graffiti from China. Keep an eye out for new works by ROBBBB, along with other folks who cut the negative space.

……………………………

Stencil Archive: How do you say “stencil” in your dialect?

ROBBBB: We call stencils “模板”. To pronounce it, it is spelled “mu-ban”.

Stencil Archive: My research shows that cut out art originated in China. Do you have any historical details about cut out art?

ROBBBB: Do you know the “paper-cut for window decoration”?

Stencil Archive: No.

ROBBBB: “On the joyous New Year’s Day, a lot of people in this area stick various kinds of paper-cut – paper-cut for window decoration – in windows so that they can enjoy it. The paper-cut for window decoration not only sets off the joyous festive air; it also brings beautiful enjoyment to people by incorporating decorating, appreciation, and an ease-of-use into an organic whole. The paper-cut is a kind of well popularized folk art, well received by people through the ages. Because it is mostly stuck on the window, people generally call it “the paper-cut for window decoration”. (more…)

Alas… To Blog

Author: Russell

As Easter Sunday winds down, I find myself browsing other sites in order to figure out what to do for today’s entry. I briefly contemplated throwing a photo up on here and calling it a day. Yet, alas, nothing is sticking at the top of my internal feed enough to go “yes, that’s what I’ll put on today’s blog. I really don’t want to talk about politics. I don’t even want to strain my brain enough to write a journalistic type of entry. Yesterday’s entry was fun as I recounted the day’s activities. Kind of like a real old fashioned journal entry.

Easter Sunday: Went to 4B and met ED and his parents. They had 7 more people for the tour. We had a great time on the walk and ended short at 22nd St. Slice of pie at Escape from NY and off to CELL to meet S and help him get spraying on his mural. AG and B were at CELL and we met up at Dolores to be on the fringe and end of Hunky Jesus. Ran into C and MC and some guys from the Southeastern USA I know. Met up with I and we walked to Mission Bowling Works to have a drink. Overpriced food but nice Andrew Scholtz painting at the end of the lanes. No desire to bowl and feel hip retro. Up to Divis and ate Thai. Ran into M from MG and surprised to see him back in SF. Walked to gas station and had a fresh Krispie Kreme. Then home to more Hunger Games and chill after two days of lots of walking.

Yeah…. I like the journal entries. Maybe I’ll feel more wordy soon. For now…. eat chocolate for good times…. (more…)

Rainy Day Empty F Train

Author: Russell

rainy-morning-f-train

Streets flooded
Raining sideways
Saturday morning emptiness

Hop on the F Train at 17th

an open space to dry off in

and empty like the sidewalks and soaked streets.

Walk around and contemplate the chill,

imagining the strangers sitting next to me

packed in down at the Piers.

It is just me and the driver

and open window at the back

letting rain drip in

down the hill in minutes.

Too early

so I head to Trieste for decaf

slip and fall on the sidewalk

and end up OK, just a bit wetter.

At the cafe, watching other trains pass

not empty like my special ride.

Dawn

Author: Russell

Eyes open, body moving

But not all awake
Adjusting to the brightness and colors of the universe,
The touch of the cold air, and the sounds of morning stillness
I pause and watch the white sky reflect hidden sun.
That moment happens,
like a crescendo of notes,
when all colors are vivid with light.
My eyes and the sun have played a magical dance
and held hands to dance that quick sliver of time –
when dawn turns to day
and I fully wake to my breath.
I make a mug of mint tea.

Back From Work

Author: Russell

Green trees hover over white sky.

Songbird sings me into my home.

Restive kitty meows her way out!