Archive for February, 2013


full moon 018

Sharpening the pencil

Here are some shots of a pencil drawing I did long ago as a practice piece for a class taught by Barbara Rabig. It is as good a freehand copy as I could render of a photograph taken by Jill Uris and published in a book by she and husband Leon entitled “Ireland:  A Terrible Beauty”. Inside the mat is about 10″x 17″, the figure about 4″ tall. Click images for a closer look.

uris copy 001     uris copy 002uris copy 003

uris copy 005  uris copy 006uris copy 011






















<—this one is about actual size

Town Road

what can I say?….the man runs unopposed ..

You know what you’re doing Bob
sending a twenty ton plow
up and down our tired road
at any hour
sparks and banging on the dark dry pavement
in what mustn’t be anticipation
but a strategy devised
using arthritis as a forecast tool

So as I retreat from this
heart-stopping try for home
creeping on ice to your hoarded mountain
for my couple pails of sand
I pass your house
noticing your official truck
and guess  you’re sleeping
through the afternoon
dreaming diesel
salt and summers
with a childhood friend

open captions

I spent a little time over the weekend adding captions to a video of a performance by my niece Lauren. Fairly painstaking work to get a satisfactory job, mostly because my editing program clock counts seconds but not minutes, while the video clock reads minutes and seconds. I’m not good at calculating things like 263 sec. = 4min.23 sec. in order to get a caption start or duration time, which is required about 100 times in a video like this,  and really, one needs to deal in tenths of seconds to get the best effect. In the end, I found that a little trial and error work was faster than doing the math. Or figuring out how to change one of the clocks. Or searching for different editing software. The captions are considered open, or more particularly “burned in” or “hard coded”  because the viewer can’t close them. I’ve retained the spelling of  “sew” per the artist’s instructions. Check it out:

Lauren Mettler…”On My Knees”

Ain’t That America (my annual superbowl rant)

..I’m confused.  My favorite magazine, The New Yorker, just published a short piece complaining that CBS was not alarmist or paranoid enough in dealing with the short power outage that occurred during SuperBowl XLVII.  This gloriously liberal and literate rag would sneer at any dramatic posturing by the money-makers at FoxNews or even CNN, but now scolds the old boy network for not drumming up more shivers over a tripped circuit breaker. But I forgive you, The New Yorker. You are in New York, after all, and an occasional spasm when the lights go out is understandable– a symptom of your PTSD.

..But I’m further confused. Was that The Star Spangled Banner that Alicia Keyes sang before the SuperBowl game?  The lyrics sounded almost the same…. “the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air”, and the stadium screen nods to our  men and women fighting for peace ALL OVER the globe seemed typical and appropriate for a recitation of our national anthem. But Alicia’s song seemed very slow, oddly off pitch, and whatever she added after  “…the land of the free and the home of the brave…”  was mostly indecipherable. Of course, the national anthem is fine at any time and at any venue, from Woodstock to New Orleans, from a peace and love music festival to the annual premier event of a sport where the players are paid bonuses for inflicting incapacitating injuries on their opponents. Whitney sang it her way and Jimi played it his way, and if that was what you sang,  Alicia, thanks for getting it done— we needed to get through the violence and noise part so Beyonce could deliver the sex and noise at halftime.  Great tech display, great retro performance….I’m thinking it was in honor of Michael Jackson, but sorry,  no one can do this stuff as well as MJ was doing it, what, 25 years ago?  Oh….and the Newtown Kids. Why were twenty already shellshocked little kids out there? To sing “America the Beautiful”? At the center of the cauldron of violence and excess? Slightly to the side of the mega pyrotechnic pandemonium and the crotch grabbing dance routines? To hammer home our President’s point that  “Surely we can do better” for our children?  Thanks kids. You were sweet and innocent, and I’ll bet not a single one of you sang that first verse worse than Jennifer Hudson did when she joined you and repeated it. I rather wish she’d sung the second verse, its genocidal allusions notwithstanding:

O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern impassion’d stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!