Monday, February 6, 2012

Pauses and interludes.


Interludes of winter.

Yesterday, Sunday February 5th, it occurred to me that i'm an artist. It wasn't a pretentious thought but a reclaiming. Like an unclouding of memory, a recognition. I could have easily thought My knee hurts or A coffee would be good or I need a jacket. You get it. . .

When i was young there was wonderment, drawing, writing, music. . . these things meant everything. I knew I wanted to create. I knew I wanted to paint and draw, explore bodies, figures, to use words, expel & reuse things, burn ideas into colour, excorcise, rework materials, refine a tangle of lines. Deconstruct or focus a myth. I wanted to falsify and clarify and deny. Whatever. I wanted to work and distill.

To kink a moment into something new. Alchemy of poverty. Alchemy of being a bit fucked up. The craving for new, invigoration, a mindmosh, break up the clusterfuck of modern consumerism and the mindbend of namebrand identity.  a freeing of the temporary towards something more human and ephemeral.

i am writing now because i do not want to write.  i am running tomorrow morning because i do not want to run.  but to engage the process is to initiate a momentum.

i.

Weymouth woods left an impression. Definitely. Left me with swollen maps of a bloodied hawaii across the arches of my feet, a bruise dark as a tattoo across the top of my right foot. Left me with a voracious appetite. Left me with a dose of runner's knee. It also left a burning desire to commit myself to another long race. Well, maybe more a run than a race, which brings us to semantics time.

Racing blurs too darkly the experience. Brings libido & ego into the mix. Racing implies the outside world and my relationship to it, when, especially in running, i'm just trying to beat the shit out of my own guts, my own legs, my own earth. I race from an emotional point that finds a powerful expression in the physical. Running is a private rage, a push towards something fresh. exhaustion, delirium, inspiration, endorphines. . . . running involves gratitude and transformation.

Transcendence, runner's high, fitness, the lie of endurance, these little mantra-myths pull a false lure when, ultimately, it's just the tenacity of the churn of legs that pushes through mileage and struggle and doubt. It is the same as not drinking, the same as not screwing a random, the same as not painting bad work. The choice to not pollute, to attempt to improve on the existing process, to layer nuance towards art.

A 100k trail race is a postmodern essai that requires no ink, no audience, no documentation.  my ego wants a public acknowledgment of the happening, but the run is completed, the journey ended. from there it just sentiment and nostalgia. Which this is. A confession, a recant, a howl.
chris burden would shit himself.

ii.

Winter brown leaf canoes across a redclay puddle.

3.5 miles of fair (meaning, comfortable) running. Top of right foot remains bruised. Much improvement in left knee. right hip is not cramping or caving. Calves are loose and feet are strong. Abdomen burns, bends too soon. When posture goes, the body follows. Lungs are tight and revolting. the dread of a run after a few days, hits first my respiratory system.
form serves simultaneously as the metaphor and the structure, the meaning and the armature.  mobic twists.  

a dog pounces a ghost in someone's backyard. Winter muffles haydn to a charcoal's drag across cotton duck. Schnittke and rothko is more the order of the day. Patches of melody and clangor. who was that composer i was thinking of earlier?  starts with a b. . . oriental composition. . . . shit. bar. . . bartok. 

iii.

Chorus of a thousand birds. February, groundhog day. A four mile jaunt across the neighborhood.

iv.

Sometimes: stop. Breathe. Feel Soul stir around bones. Air across legs, sun, bird song breaking through anxiety, fragments of memory, reggae beats.  pulse.

v.

language stumped. Syllables, broke In. puddled words. Puddles of stagnant mind.

artifacts of existence, tatters, shreds. . . false sail for a false boat-- a theater-set Life. . . patchwork of dreams and self-imaginings and failed paintings and failed selves and new legs and haunted mountainsides where melancholia settles like some distant mist that drapes spring buds to silent drowsiness.

So for now, i'm just gonna read coogan's history of the ira, google some work by mike kelley.   smear some conte across a toothed page. engage in instinct.  Unapologetic and still.


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Mike Kelley died last week. He was someone who taught a generation to move freely within their gifts, even if they exist outside of the societal norms. He beat music to a pulp, laughing and mad and brilliant, and then beat paint and mediums to a new form. And he did so without fail. He defined new american aesthetics. He built something from his emptiness. a genuine punk, a man in full. Rest in Peace Mr. Kelley. 
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