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Alessio and the Zinnias

January 29th, 2018

I’m currently working on a piece titled Zinnia, and as I do I return to James Merrill’s Alessio and the Zinnias. It’s a piece I refer to often and can never recall a single line from outside the ending where he writes, “never wear orange or pink.”—advice I’d rather ignore, an omen (I’d say good) as the astros head into the World Series. But I love the poem and went so far to reference it in one of my own works. I was in my twenties when that poem was published. I forgive that terrible decade.

Beauty of the Husband

October 21st, 2017

Beauty of the Husband

I’m reading Endurance, and I keep returning to the passage with this quote:

“The rapidity with which one can completely...accommodate [themselves] to a state of barbarism is wonderful.”

It’s not far off. Carson deals with infidelity, which isn’t a topic that terribly interests me, however beauty/truth (as Keats correlated the two) is a terribly good reference to explore the complexities of marriage and monogamy. I cannot claim to do her justice by stealing the title, but I want to join the conversation.

In the Victorian era, lovers used flowers to communicate secret messages. Each flower had, attached to it, some hidden meaning. Here are a few to start:

CARNATION: Pink–I Will Never Forget You; Red–My Heart Breaks; White–Sweet and Lovely; Yellow–Disdain; Striped–I Cannot Be with you

CAMELLIA: My Destiny Is in Your Hands

HYACINTH: Blue–Constancy; Purple–Please Forgive Me; White–Beauty

GERANIUM: Oak-leaf–True Friendship; Pencil-leaf–Ingenuity; Wild–Steadfast Piety; Scarlet–Stupidity

DAHLIA: Dignity

I’ve begun a few drawings. I wanted a very different look for this collection—no cropping, no heavy lines; I wanted stark, naked and exposed. And I’m not finished with my blue series yet, so keep looking for additions to both in the coming weeks.

The Blue Look

October 16th, 2017

from A Story of Blue

“We know through hearsay that love exists.

Seated on a rock or under a red parasol, lying in the field buzzing with insects, our hands clasped behind our necks, kneeling in the cool darkness of a church, or settled on a straw chair within the four walls of the bedroom, head lowered, eyes fixed on a rectangle of white paper, we dream of estuaries, tumultuous surf, clearing weather and tides...”

I won’t give away the entire poem, but I will say Jean-Michel Maulpoix doesnt use the word blue outside of the title (The Blue Look). It is a felt blue.

Color is an interesting problem. Its a phenomenon. One can only perceive it. This makes me think of Rusty Morrison’s poem where she sticks her hand in a hole inside a tree, feels something gross and remarks, “I have not had the same hand since.”

Etre fleur bleue

October 11th, 2017

Etre fleur bleue

etre fleur bleue

To be soppy. To be sentimental, be romantic—

I recently started Bluets, by Maggie Nelson. She begins her book by writing:

"Suppose I were to begin by saying that I had fallen in love with a color. Suppose I were to speak this as though it were a confession; suppose I shredded my napkin as we spoke. It began slowly. An appreciation, an affinity. Then one day, it became more became somehow personal."

I read about fifteen pages aloud before my husband stopped me and asked, why do you like sad things? The answer isn't profound. I just don't find sad things so sad. Such as snail tears (photo taken from Color, Victoria Finley)

Better to be moved.

Perhaps this is sentimental. So I am dedicating my next group of drawings (which can be found under the galleries tab) to my sister, who requested blue.