Archive for April, 2013
Wow, my friend Maili wrote about my journey on her blog, The Maili Files. She is a wonderful chef, a dedicated mom and a gifted writer.
As I read what she wrote about me, I could feel my heart increasing in size, like the Grinch when he hears the Whos in Whoville sing their song even after he stole all of their Christmas presents.
Well, I didn’t get my presents stolen but I have been, as she wrote, putting one foot in front of the other on this wonderful journey that I embarked upon when I bought a farmhouse, sight unseen, straight from a post on Facebook.
This is just a brief note of gratitude to Maili for following my journey and cheerleading me every step of the way.
I will, of course, return the favor and write about her journey (we are all on a journey) but it may take a bit, she is such a delicious morsel of a human that I want to get it just right.
She admits that she attempted to write about me for a few months and spent the whole day sequestered (in her pjs…shhhhhh) to get it just right. And she did. She got it just right.
So that sound you hear? Its the birds signing in the trees and baby green leaves unfurling and my heart growing three sizes on this gorgeous spring day.
Thank you Cherry Branch Gallery and Kristen Henderson for your amazing support and a deep bow of gratitude to my collectors-
Anne Carli, Leslie Berliant, Cheryl Isager Rosen, Mitch and Catherine Owens, Pamela Noonan, Susan Bruss, Wayne and Amy Cannon, Rose Marie Trapani, Michael Dailey, Janet Garber Erway, Richard Pfau, Kathy Minnig, William Schaefer, James Scott Geras, Sandy Kraus Smith, Kristin Suys, Shelly Stevens, Jill Pearson, Caron Perkal, Colleen Zimmerman Williams, Kim Clayton Lance, Ariana Trinneer and Tina Falcone Macaluso.
Join us on May 2, 2-7pm for our closing reception.
This time the exhibit will be in Sharon Springs, NY and will coincide with the Sharon Springs Garden Party.
There is a new gallery in town, more details to follow!
4.20.13, portrait of a poet.
September 2005. Early. Sunday.
I am in a town car with a sharp dressed driver on my way to LAX to catch a flight to JFK…first trip with the new job. Funds are low but I have enough to get me to NY and back. For sure. Just to be sure I call B of A to get my balance.
I have that number memorized. When you live on fumes, this is what you do. You check your balance.
Instead of hearing what I want to hear, the robotic voice of the B of A lady informs me that I am in the negative by several hundred dollars.
In the back seat of the black car gliding through the green lights of an early morning Venice on the way to the airport, I can’t breathe. My fingers tremble as I dial B of A again, once connected I push random numbers until I get a human on the line.
The coffee shops and video stores and liquor stores are a blur as the B of A human informs me that my last check hasn’t cleared and won’t clear for days.
The driver has his eyes on me in the rearview mirror. He looks like Bill Cosby, a bit thicker, but about the same age and height, he looks like what I imagine Bill Cosby to look like. Where has Bill Cosby gone? I hang up the phone.
“Miss? I couldn’t help but hear…are you having money issues?”
How could I have stepped into this hired car this morning without any money? I thought I was finally caught up. After years of being underemployed I’d knuckled under and gone back to the corporate job with the big paycheck…this is my first trip to the big deal sales conference in NY. How can I be such a fuck up?
“Miss, how much do you need? I have $500 in cash, do you need more? I can get more.”
We are in Culver City now, the road goes from 2 lanes to 4, the airport is just ahead.
I look into his eyes, the review mirror is just big enough for his kind eyes. I want to wail. What do I need? I need so much. So very much. My mother just died of a horrible, unfair disease called ALS, right before that my love and I split after 4 years, my teenage son is spiraling out of control, not to mention all of my bills are past due and I’m on my way to NY to spend time with people who resent my new position in this voraciously stupid company that I just signed on to AND I have no goddam cash to get me there!
“Sir, $500 is more than enough.”
At LAX, he hands me $500 along with two business cards, one for the limo service and one that states in black and white that he is a minister in Watts.
I thank him from the bottom of my weepy heart. He waves goodbye and leaves in that shiny black town car.
I will never forget him, my angel in a sharp suit.
Benefit to reading in Cherry Valley? You just might have Charles Plymell drop in for a listen and he just might ask you to his home for tea afterwords and you just might go and hear story after incredible story that makes your realize you have done nothing, absolutely nothing with your amazing life. And you won’t care. Because Charles did and still is.
In London by Charles Plymell
In London in a very neat
and sensible flat,
lives the one true genius
of contemporary American prose.
More like a poet
he veers and speaks both
naturally and subliminally,
Or more like a medium
he chats pleasantly
from a space apart,
or from a chamber
of spirits disguised
in a everyday world.
A tall man, slightly stooped
from the weight of all
the combinations and formulas
of all possible plots,
Mr. Burroughs rises
and leans against the window ledge
…could have been a St. Louis
merchant or farmer
about to speculate on the weather.
“Those birds,” he says, gesturing out
the window to a flock that caught his fancy,
“in mornings they fly one way
and in the evenings they
fly back the other way.”
And with that he reached for his hat
and we went to the local pub for brandy.
(from Neon Poems, 1970)
“Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private. ”
20 liner poets Chris Shearer, Leslie Berliant and yours truly are reading tonight at the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley, NY…home to Ginsberg et al.
“Cherry Valley has a long history as an artist and writer’s community. Willa Cather left New York City for the isolated village in 1911, writing O Pioneers! while there. Poet Allen Ginsberg bought a farm there in the 1960s, and the town became a haven and destination point for many of the major personalities of the Beat scene:
William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Herbert Huncke, Ray Bremser, Anne Waldman, Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Harry Smith, Mary Beach, Claude Pelieu and many others all spent time either living or visiting there.
Poet Charles Plymell still lives in Cherry Valley (and I heard he gave a nod of approval to my iPhoneography show)—he and his wife Pam ran Cherry Valley Editions from their home, publishing small editions of major writers. Jazz pianist Paul Bley and Jeff Palmer are residents of the small town, as is artist/writer Jack Walls, artists Richard Saba and Mark Mastroianni, film maker James Rasin, and National Book Award nominated novelist Dana Spiotta.
The transgender pioneer, actress and Andy Warhol Superstar Candy Darling is buried in the historic Cherry Valley Cemetery. A significant portion of the award winning feature length documentary film about her life, Beautiful Darling (2010), was shot in Cherry Valley. The photographer Ryan McGinley has staged several photo shoots in and around the village, and the artist Dash Snow shot one of his last 8mm pieces, “Sisyphus, Sissy Fuss, Silly Puss”, there in late May 2009.”
Photo of Ginsberg’s farm…taken last summer.
“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.”
A few thoughts from Brent of Beekman 1802. Happy Birthday, Brent!
“It seems like virtually every employee that finds their way to Beekman 1802 has creative streak that cannot be suppressed. Even the long days and hard work at a fast-growing company cannot deter.
At Beekman 1802, we love to see artists and artisans that interpret the traditional in a modern way.
Vicki Whicker’s work demonstrates that all of us have a profound tool for creating art literally in the palm of our hand.”
~Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell