Tuesday, August 24, 2010

postcard festival -- August 2010
Posted by David Sherwin on August 19, 201

Forwarded by Paul Nelson, one of the organizers.
My thoughts this morning : 8/24.

I love the question: What is a satisfactory work of art -- along with considerations on the definition of "satisfactory" and "work of art". The constraint of finding something authentic (hence, worthwhile to ones deepest layer) on the back of a postcard and sending it to a stranger is akin to taking words that have been written in free-style, and trying on different types of jackets of form. How would this idea look in a sonnet? a pantoum?

Indeed, many of the images, words received, prodded my thinking to levels I would not have known existed in the big tent of my mind.

I shared with a friend some of the process -- and how the postcard nutshell often kept my writing honest -- how often that "first fresh" was a lifeline to hold while navigating the "big dig" of the well of the subconscious.

I am grateful for the thoughts and images received, for the connection.

Here are some:
To Jaala: An alabaster perfume vase representing two kingdoms (Cairo Museum, Egypt)
Alabaster Perfume vessel : 18th dynasty: Tutankhamun 1347-1337 BC
(Alabaster – a labaste for Bast, the lioness)
To see through the Smoke : per-fumare
One vase, two lines
one balm, two wings
and a small spider climbing up
wheeling out the story of papyrus,
sliding down the story of lotus
living heat in the offering
still life spinning.

To Deborah Theresa: Postcard of the Erie Canal

“An unimaginative person can be neither reverent nor kind.” – John Ruskin

This is why my ears insist on hearing the mule’s footsteps, the creak of the rope, the idea of goods feeding something instinctively good.

To Andy King: George Eastman House :

Full Capacity Living
as if catastrophe caps a city so filled with people,
that art has fled from smart. Snap!
Wake up! Each of us a finger shaking
in a hand.

To Carol:
On postcard of The Ross Fountains at the Butchart Gardens.
The water jets reach to a height of 80 feet.


The fountain knows
wind sweep, season,
surprise of new direction,
change as cause to be different,
to transform "wanes" to a swan’s gain
fountain to rain, magic rein.


To Yvonne : Postcard of Butchart Gardens
(Retentia “Pray to Retentia”, John Barrett
for each muse aids
in their measure
and the task is to know
the mix of the muses gifts
in their lines…
“Retentia” and he plays his talking tie
scissor, scepter, cutting, prow” – Ed Sanders

Who would have believed a quarry
could turn into a flourishing garden?
Inception, a calm sea,
collage of Matisse dancers,
scissored, sceptered, cutting, prow.

Marty Williams : Brantwood, John Ruskin’s residence from 1872-1900.

“All great and beautiful work has come of first gazing without shrinking into the darkness.”

New cloaks and swords shield our eyes from the steady,
intent, attentive, look –
we are busy spokes of a creaking cart
pretending our words are new.

Let u s low
down and find amazement.

Nancy Wakeman. (I wrote a letter to her after the postcard...)

The Begonia Bower

“It could be illusion but we might as well try.”

 Scarlet Begonias

A lifetime burning in each begonia
each beckoned moment suspected.

Note: Michel B├ęgon, (1667-1747)
French Governor of Haiti for whom this flower named.
Can he see what has happened?
Can we try differently?

Lacey N. Duham: Postcard of NY Farm in Autumn

World as color
pressed into frame,
hills as line
curved into space,
clouds wind-buffed
like bell-wethered sheep
echoes of a whinny,
the horse’s mouth
motoring delight of an apple!
TO: YVONNE: (response to her card and image on my card to her.)

Inside the Church the Old

Breath as need to breathe
curls inside, dies
cleft desiring cleave
light shadows, spies

What curls inside, dies
weft and woof in tight weave
tight shadows, spies
darting, unable to grieve.

(They need white lipstick? something foxy?)

Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan; Hans Holbein

Perhaps today,
sounds light in towards each other
the way an apostrophe shifts
summer corn’s talking
to cornstalking sky,
storm knocking but it is winter
scorn, and she is warm in her velvet wrap
Her shadow slights the wall,
as she wrings something lifeless in her hands.
To Brett: Picture of Vermont covered Bridge.

Inside the covered bridge
what’s socked in darkness
what gapes
waits for someone
squeezes like the iris

focus on what lies on the other-
wised side. Where are the pupils?
Do they spread
between the boards?


To Tanya: postcard by Bellini : Doge Leonardo Lordano
Outside RSS

Sentences from
Several millions of sources

Real sentences avoid I’m
Simple ideas eschew X

Should be

But there’s too much
and not enough space.

re: so much
space for so ...

Postcard to Deborah: She sent me: Dangling Metaphor on a bunch of white words scripted on green background. 3 muses ? graces;
I sent her the family mansion of Dunsmuir Family : Craigdarroch Castle

The word “one” is bound in the middle of lonely. In “all one” alone finds its companion.
3 graces each contemplating an apple have leaped out of a painting to rescue their sisters in marble. Look in the turret on the other side. Can you imagine?
Postcard to Jaala in response to hers.
(Sherman Alexie: “The Elders knew the spiders/carried stories in their stomachs” – from “The Summer of Black Widows”)
MY CARD: sent National Gallery : a woman; Robert Campin 1378

Story for/from the 14th c. woman
Her story is pinned under the folds of her headdress
hides in the cuff of her sleeve
aches in each shy finger
Will she allow a tear to slide a story
out from her glistened eye?
Purse a story in her prayers?
Does she say
a story
the story
my story
our story
Which story does she tell?

To Jody:
Sent Motif #1 : Rockport, MA
stubborn isn’t it, an idea that won’t go away, whatever it is about a red (wheelbarrow) fish shack that pains to preserve, reconstruct, keep alive. So much depends on it.

To Kimberley: Postcard of Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan; by Holbein
In fall, the maple turns red,
the last slight bee’s thrumbing
no longer lighting,
to find wing-strummed work:
of the bell’s wing
Do you see it there, that shadow
behind her right shoulder?

Postcard of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne
and St. John the Baptist: Leonardo da Vinci

Zingiber, zingiber!
A mosaic of jotted Italian, Dutch sea,
sails racing like a pair of angel wings
made of invisible garden gloves finge-
ring feathers to dig

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