Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Gifts

…from my freehand drawing students.

image

image

image

image


Soneto XVII

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan eñ fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

Sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


Pablo Neruda


I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
I love you so because I know no other way

than this: where I do not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep
.

Pa’delante!

image

image

image

The landscape is already disappearing

Into a rainy day.

image

image

Graham Downes, my larger-than-life friend, architect and urban designer extraordinaire, rugby champion, pilot, lover of life, beauty, and friendship, was taken suddenly from us 12 days ago.
San Diego is still reeling.

This is a sketch work of art he made for me last summer, when I ran into him at Bassam Cafe’. Graham saw me painting and I invited him to try out my new watercolor pen and other tools. Less than five seconds, and I witnessed a building parti take form. What a treat to see genius at work. He immediately declared he wanted us to plan Sunday sketch dates (and later informed me that, following our chance encounter, he visited the art store and went a little crazy there).

That was my friend G, enthusiastic, full of life and passion and always wanting to do everything, his schedule and reality notwithstanding.

Here is a beautiful piece of writing he sent me. I love it because it shows a contemplative side that not a lot of people got to see, and yet was always there behind the infectious energy, the million-watt smile, the glint in those blue, blue eyes.

‘… Just flew back from Bako a couple of hours ago – so meditative and surreal cruising over LA at 9k feet – pitch-black sky and all those lights representing so much life and goings-on below…puts everything in perspective every time – and i do that trip every week- mostly not at night.

Tonight we had 14 ghost-busters come over to the hotel with all their fancy machines to record/bust the reported ghosts there! Weird.

From years of studying the physical structure of things, the built environment, I am now also preoccupied by behavior of people, their aspirations, real intent, how they think, etc. This is an excellent avenue to initiate a better approach to design of structures and spaces as a leap back into new projects…especially commercially-driven ones.

Have a great time in my very fave city!
Ciao,
GD ‘

But… I would be remiss if I didn’t also share a more typical Graham message:

’10 IS A PERFECT TIME TO START A DANCE PARTY 🙂 !’

Ciao G.!!!!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

IMAG1835-1

IMAG1799

IMAG1813

IMAG1819

IMAG1825

IMAG1804

IMAG1795

IMAG1831

IMAG18371

IMAG18371_3

IMAG1837-2

IMAG1789

003medl

Collage, Buffalo, NY. April 2013.

004md

Collage, Buffalo, NY. April 2013.

image

sanfrancisco_vignette_wb

 
Acrylic and Pastel. 5'X2', March 2013.

Acrylic and Pastel. 60″X28″, March 2013.

Beautiful Ruins

image

image

San Diego – Horton Plaza.
{everything passes}

P1090079

See(k) Love

image

…in every street corner.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

You have to keep breaking your heart
until it opens.
Rumi

Without the use of a camera Portland-based artist Jim Kazanjian sifts through a library of some 25,000 images from which he carefully selects the perfect elements to digitally assemble mysterious buildings born from the mind of an architect gone mad. While the architectural and organic pieces seem wildly random and out of place, Kazanjian brings just enough cohesion to each structure to suggest a fictional purpose or story that begs to be told.
Reblogged from here.

Living Poetry

image


Let yourself become
living poetry.

Rumi

Rain

image

Stillness

Jason De Caires Taylor. Underwater sculpture.
Reblogged from Cosmic Machine. Click to view more.


Staccato II

 

‘We should be so anchored in that stillness of the ocean,

so much so that waves do not bother us.’

 

‘Avoid the bridge, he says.

We need all the poets.’

One last brilliant morning, and watch,

I become seagull.

 

Has poetry ever brought back a lover

except in dreams

Has it ever changed one heart

Have words ever mended

That is a job for Time.

 

My poems are songs for no-one, you see.

I sing them on a street corner

For the wind, for the rare passerby

There is no hat on the pavement,

You can keep your change.

 

Respectability will not keep you warm at night.

All these books, my house is made of them,

their wondrous stories

they are but paper and weight in the dark.

 

The sun kisses me and I fall asleep

in a room bathed in golden light

the sunsets are getting longer these days

– look at this cloudless sky, the heat of summer in January,

how can one not be happy?

That is not what I came for.

 

There are constellations on my skin

You will never see

Here is Ursa Major,

Orion’s belt.

 

Yours was the final, absolute silence

Of deep space –

I was tethered

 

Night stars are beautiful to look at

But, oh, they cannot warm you

Diamonds are heartless

and perfect.

 

In the dark,

He speaks  a tongue I do not understand.

During the day he absolves me.

He says

When Life gives, take.

She is a miserly landlady, sometimes

And this is not a kind Winter.

 

When the thick walls of the city are besieged,

they absorb the injury of cannons,

fiery arrows, climbing soldiers.

To a point.

A fortress, like a ship, like a dam,

is still made by human hands.

Lo, the smallest breach and the tiniest rivulet

Bring down civilizations.

 

 

San Diego, January 2013

 

 

The Hummingbird

image



since feeling is first
by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers.  Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis





Calm, Like a Sunday Evening

Sweet, quiet night
of canyons and faraway lights,
of car wakes-
the coldness of stars
(clarity and cruelty sound the same)
– their radio frequencies.

It is a night for waiting.
Dilated hours: what use is there for a will or resistance?
Float, there’s no rudder.

We do not have love,
or lips on our lips
the tension of
muscles and will..
the tenderness of skin

We sleep in lonely beds.

But, O, we have poetry
and waterlogged pages,
we dance on the tip
of fountain pens.
We skate on paired ink.

San Diego, January 2013

Architectural Gestures

image

‘Spend time sketching everyday. The outcome is not important. The time you spend sketching is time you spend solving yourself.’

Poetry After the Fact

This is something that has been marinating for weeks in my mind.

Poetry and art exorcise life’s sorrows…they bring closure when/where there is none to be had.
Surrender is accepting that you will not know all the answers…it is making peace with not understanding- something that is incredibly arduous for someone who seeks clarity and communication in all things.

And yet, words deliver, they free and heal us. For poets, a sealed, completed poem makes sense of the arcane.
Poetry allows us to move unencumbered by the baggage of emotions (as these are now, at the same time, crystallized and released) , unrequited feelings, unanswered pleas.
Poetry is the answer, it is the peace we seek. The poet finds words, and like breadcrumbs, they guide through the forest. Poems are maps through the dark regions of the heart.




Poetry Came Instead
{Closures}

Tonight the sky is cold and clear
– trace filigree of stars.
The moon,  mother-of-pearl,
the constellations are aligned.
It is a night for leavening.

I was precipitating towards him
I could not resist him,
more than one resists gravity
(he had me at ‘epitome of inevitability’).

We first made love
on sheets of paper
I wrapped myself in his words

I sent him distress calls –
we were two ships in the night.
He told me I didn’t have to
explain myself when I unraveled,
he quoted my poems
-the only one who ever
kissed the tips of my fingers,
or my forehead every time i saw him.
How does one forget ?
A gaze that caresses,
the perfect first kiss.
How does one erase?
The only cure for love is more love.

I told him better later than never
he said never late
is better.
I called for him so many nights –
the days of forgetting were so long.
When I am upset I wash walls.

I said
we’ve been dancing around the fire for so long
he answered
it’s time to get burnt.
I was ready to,
Poetry came instead.

Nothing extinguishes the flame
of fickle lovers
as a yes.

My heart bled wasted ink,
a dumb moth continuosly scarred.
I will never know the hieroglyphs of his skin, or the sound of his singing-
the light of his eyes was not for me.
A beautiful vessel,
the essence deserted him
and eluded me.

As for the girl,
pepper and spice,
I can finally look back at her eyes
-those wells, the light that pulls everything towards her as an
undeniable whirlpool-and not sink.
The angles of her face
don’t bruise any more .
There is just love.
The careful letting go
of a butterfly.
Maybe next time, Luna
.

These days,
I am surrounded by Beauty.
The spring i pursued
was but a mirage,
my thirst was quenched
by the sweetest sand.

There is drought,
but I am hearing thunder
a strong, kind rumble that displaces air–
has the rainy season finally come
or is it another summer shower?

He kissed me a suspended, light kiss
held my face
like one holds a vase
i was not sure if he was drawing me closer, or letting me go.

You were not a dream,
you were more like
a moment of clarity after
months of drowsiness
.

I know precariousness
And things that don’t last.
I sleep with pen and books.
Do you know what it means to
spend the night writing?

Everything you do
can be a prayer.

I was lying next to you
like a big yes.
Unrealized dreams
are the only ones that last
forever.

Staccato | Fragments

image

1.Time and Vessels:

“She had a way of moving that moved him as much as music, which was what moved him most of all.
Surely the spirit animating that peerless body must be unusual too?
Why would nature make a vessel like that, if not to contain something still more valuable?” ― J.K. Rowling

Love is always the same
-it is only the vessel that changes-
that’s what the poet meant,
it took me a year to understand.
Love moves from one heart to another, selfsame.
You can never lose Love.

2. Skins:

Listen to songs from around the beautiful Earth.
Angel, you can always find the seven notes therein, sleeping.
The same Love is asleep in the Other.
Until it is awake.
You can find the same warmth on skins
milk to dark chocolate,
sand dunes to ashes.
The same kind fire lights all eyes.
The same Sun and Moon no matter
where we are…or how far we are from each other.
All is Good.

3. Love:

I am full of Love for you.
The flower can’t keep from opening.
God is the Love in the lover.
The lotus-heart is hidden beneath layers.

4. Fire:

a. The main function of fires is to warm,
not to burn. My heart is singed, but tempered.
b. The unattended fire dies.

5. Words:

Your words kept me warm
on the long walk home.
Thoughts you had for me,
caresses on a winter day.
Now, try to imagine
a flooding river
forced through
an eyedropper.

6. Let Go:

There is nothing to go back to
there are no mistakes
nothing to miss, fix
or understand.
There is only driving.
I leave my cities of salt behind,
the Nothing,
I see the lonely Friday afternoons,
the hardest,
on the rearview mirror.

Live as though
you are soon moving to a new city.

7. The coldness of stars:

“But who could bear to know which stars were already dead, she thought, blinking up at the night sky; could anybody stand to know that they all were?” ― J.K. Rowling.

The further you look in space,
the further you look in the past.

8. Constellations

The sun is a benign star
made of fire
It burns as I burned for you
It is a star that colors my skin
– my body responds to it the way it responds to the moon.

Gypsy: You are both stars, don’t forget. And the stars exploded billions of years ago, to form everything that is this world. Everything we know, is stardust. So don’t forget, you are stardust.

A handful of stars in your hand.
A candle is meant to become just flame.
Do not render a perfect heart when you go.

9. Silence:

The silence of the Sphinx
protects me-
Ice in my veins, it slayed me.
He taught me
one does not learn
by speaking
and to do so only if what i had to say
was more beautiful than silence.

10. Poetry and Poets

Empty this bucket heart,
My poems are puzzle pieces
put together in the heart of the night.
Milk the night ravings – distill them as grapes with wine.
Stolen words feed our ravenous souls.

11. Life:

There are problems that can’t be solved
they can only be lived
-some say there are no problems.
Do not chain eagles or falcons.
If you don’ t believe in God
believe in Love, or another.
Peace is a religion, too.

image

‘You can never really tell what’s good until later anyway, until you look back and think about things and they have time to grow in your mind. But sometimes you make a choice, and in that moment you know in your heart it’s going to change everything.

People will tell you nothing matters, the whole world will end soon anyway, but those people look at life in the wrong way.
I mean, things don’t need to last forever to be perfect.’

 

          (The Magic of Belle Isle)

 

Narciso, parole di burro
Si sciolgono sotto l’alito della passione
Narciso trasparenza e mistero
Cospargimi di olio alle mandorle e vanità
Modellami…
Raccontami le storie che ami inventare
Spaventami
Raccontami le nuove esaltanti vittorie
Conquistami,inventami, dammi un’altra identità
Stordiscimi,disarmami e infine colpisci
Abbracciami ed ubriacami di ironia e sensualità
Narciso, parole di burro
Nascondono proverbiale egoismo nelle intenzioni
Narciso, sublime apparenza
Ricoprimi di eleganti premure e sontuosità
Ispirami
Raccontami le storie che ami inventare
Spaventami
Raccontami le nuove esaltanti vittorie
Conquistami inventami, dammi un’altra identità
Stordiscimi, disarmami e infine colpisci
Abbracciami ed ubriacami di ironia e sensualità
Abbracciami ed ubriacami di ironia e sensualità
Conquistami
Conquistami
Conquistami


Narcissus, buttered words
Melt under the breath of passion
Narcissus, transparency and mystery
Cover me with almond oil and vanity
Mold me
Tell me the stories you love to make up
Scare me
Tell me about your new exciting victories
Conquer me, invent me, give me another identity
Numb me, disarm me, and finally hit
Embrace me and intoxicate me with irony and sensuality

Narcissus, buttered words
Hide the proverbial egoism in your intentions
Narcissus, sublime pretense
Cover me with elegant cares and sumptuousness
Inspire me
Tell me the stories you love to make up
Scare me
Tell me about your new exciting victories
Conquer me, invent me, give me another identity
Numb me, disarm me, and finally, hit
Embrace me and intoxicate me with irony and sensuality
Conquer me
Conquer me
Conquer me



Between Two Waters

This song is a whole lifetime,
and this is how I want to live.

Splendid Solstice

image

Islamic Muqarna.



I commit to share words and actions of Love on December 20, 21 and 22 .

Check out the 3 Days of Love Pledge:
threedaysoflove.com

And here is a meditation for the heart for the next two days ❤

How to pin a heart to a sleeve. Ink on Paper. 2002

How to pin a heart to a sleeve. Ink on Paper. 2002

Reblogged from : The Subject Tonight is Love.

image

Sketch for armband tattoo. December 2012.

tattooweb

Pattern for armband tattoo. December 2012

Channeling Amy

image

image

image

image

Anywhere

image

Experiments with digital India ink/ Constellations. November 2012



Songs of Redemption


“I don’t want forever. I want now, now and now.”
From ‘Aimee and Jaguar’


Father forgive me
for I have
sinned.

He sang to me
– the thought of him,
chorus to my days
as a coffee shop poet.

How much water can a hand hold?
Words fill my eyes,
yet do not find him.

My eyes look for his eyes.

I write his name on disparate surfaces.

The prelude of a shadow across my frosted window…
these are my ravings.

The india ink valleys of his shoulders,
the untenable rolling hills of his back –
the ache of swimming in that night sea.

Dream,  where do you come from?
Youth,  mortal god of Beauty,
we are snatching strands of happiness
we are grasping at icicles.

In a parallel universe
we are together
-craft parallel poems to impossible loves-
In a next life,
perhaps,
he says.

Take it lightly, he says
‘Take it in.’ when he holds me,
expanded heart,
but my shoulders have carried
the weight of the world.

We are separated by a layer of ice,
it melts when you look at me.

Dark, glacial waters lurk underneath
where your arms couldn’t keep me warm,
or reach me,
a shipwreck on the Artic.

That night I dreamt of kind, dirty angels
of kissing you, and I just kissed you.

It is bitter poison
to separate
Soul
from
Soul.

You told me about moon and tides,
our gravitational pull.
I cannot escape the moon or the sea:
they find each other.

Water bearer, I dip my toe in the warm water.
Engage or not engage,
it all plays out with the inevitability
of a slow-motion accident.

Lightbearer, I take this December Sun
as I take you in.

Summer will come,
the contingency of
your scent of roasted coffee beans
– you taste like clouds.

I am not sleeping tonight-
Honey, I slept for five years-
there are verses on this bedroom walls I must write down,
your forbidden cities


These are no walls, baby,
But canvases
.

The job of bomb defusers
Is not an easy one.
I am a terrible accountant-
All I want is your eyes.

When the inner house is in order
There is nothing that can’t be accomplished.
Yet I am empty as the house is
after the guests have left:
this, you must know, is the condition of woman.

You said all that I dreamed of
will happen,
the beauty of rugged, imperfect things
the definition of uncertainty.
We are exercises in waiting

Meanwhile, I open doors I can neither enter
nor close.

Stalemate:
If we are
why do I not see you,
will the forgetting fog
swallow you too?

Dance inside of me-
If words are all we have
let us use them.



San Diego, December 2012





image


The Bird

By Al-Nashashibi



I have a house,  I have a tree where a bird every
morning comes to say hello.

Every morning I enjoy his singing and I think…
is it by accident that this bird pays me a visit everyday?

One morning behold
the bird landed on the tree, looked into my eyes
and talked.

“There are no accidents; there is a reason for everything
that happens… I came to enrich your life threefold. ”

“Who sent you?” I asked.

“Your needs,” he replied.




On Burning Patience

image

Enhanced still from 'Albert Nobbs'.



And, in the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid cities.

Arthur Rimbaud



Only burning patience will allow us to conquer a splendid happiness.

Martha Medeiros



image

Ink and lipgloss on hand. book paper. November 2012.

There is a Room

image

Photo from lifeinitaly.com –
The Lovely Italian Doors and their Designs

 





There Is a Room in My Heart
{or  Housecleaning}


Hubris:

I am not
like other girls
walking in malls
wearing mirrors out ,
newscaster hair
brought to you by the color pink.

I am comfortable in grayscale layers,
scarlet inside.
My mind is an unfinished cathedral
made of wire
difficult to climb and tame,
crystal heart
vast, fragile and peopled.

There is a room in it
with your name.
There is a door.
There are no jails
made for our guilty eyes.
The Bull is the Goddess’ constant companion.
There is no airtight chamber
for feelings.

In our time
Planes crossed the skies
white threads crocheting
our narrative,  thin like icy air.

Woven strands of vapor and steam
our strength
blown, blown by northern winds.

Namaste,
All that is best and highest in me greets and salutes all that is best and highest in you.

I remain, ever, your trusted friend.

Forgive these broken letters.
Time is the measure of poetry.
I can only speak to you in allegories
for my mouth and hands
are bound.
This is my answer.
Shoot the artists and poets
for they play with fire.
Hide their dangerous words.

I am imperfect
I still leave
lipstick stains on pillowcases
-the eyes of a fawn in the forest-
I set my house in order
as one reorganizes
thoughts and feelings,
heart and mind.

Patience.
The fields need to be readied
before the seeds can be sown.

The names of the rooms are continuously changing,
the landscape threatening to
shatter into a million tiny pieces.
A myriad teacandles on the Ganges at Diwali-
Walls dissolving into pearls
falling in unison.

Our house was built on quicksand
thick with secrets.
I clean the city
off the window blinds.



San Diego, November 2012

Gratitude

image

image

image




Today i am thankful for hands.
All photos by Ray Massey

image

The composition was irresistible.
I had to steal a photo…it was not easy.
The two twins, one seated, one perched on the armchair, reminded me of prettygreenbullet’s girls. It is her sense of aloof aesthetics that I recognized.

im7age

image

image

New drawings and experiments on a November night.

I received my green card today : on it my likeness and the words ‘permanent resident’..still it does not seem real.
A small piece of plastic that changes my life forever.
The price: a human heart.

Quiet celebrations (for now), a new muse, and new ways to do art, to keep showing up to the work, the words…to do it all or just one layer…but to keep trying again tomorrow.

Recommended reading:

Downcast Eyes: The Denigration of Vision in Twentieth Century French Thought by Martin Jay

The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses by Juhani Pallasmaa

image

image

Diwali, Divali, Dewali, Deepavali (Buddhism, Hindu, India)

Diwali is a five day Hindu festival which occurs on the fifteenth day of Kartika. Diwali means “rows of lighted lamps” and the celebration is often referred to as the Festival of Lights. During this time, homes are thoroughly cleaned and windows are opened to welcome Laksmi, goddess of wealth. Candles and lamps are lit as a greeting to Laksmi. Gifts are exchanged and festive meals are prepared during Diwali. The celebration means as much to Hindus as Christmas does to Christians.

Because there are many regions in India, there are many manifestations of the Diwali festival. In at least one area, the festival begins with Dhanteras, a day set aside to worship Laksmi. In the Indian culture, wealth is not viewed as a corruptive power. Instead, a wealthy person is considered to have been rewarded for good deeds of a past life.

On the second day Kali, the goddess of Strength, is worshipped. This day also focuses on abolishing laziness and evil.

On the third day (the last day of the year in the lunar calendar), lamps are lighted and shine brightly in every home. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and encourages reflection upon the purpose of each day in the festival. The goal is to remember the purpose throughout the year.

The fourth day of Diwali falls on the first day of the lunar New Year. At this time, old business accounts are settled and new books are opened. The books are worshipped in a special ceremony and participants are encouraged to remove anger, hate, and jealousy from their lives.

On the final day (Balipratipada) of the festival, Bali, an ancient Indian king, is recalled. Bali destroyed the centuries old philosophies of the society. However, in addition to this, he is remembered for being a generous person. Thus, the focus of this day is to see the good in others, including enemies.

From the University of Kansas Medical Center


Diwali this year starts on November 13. Blessings and light to those near and far.

You can go into a pitch black room full of
evil, full of darkness, and light the smallest candle : instantly that darkness flees.
But you can’t do the opposite.
You can’t go into a room full of light, truth, wisdom, joy, health and harmony with the universal power, with amount of darkness, and have any effect whatsoever.

Paraphrased from a Len Horowitz quote.


A candle loses nothing of its light by lighting another candle.

James Keller


image

Sleeping under the American Flag. San Diego, November 2012.


1. There are an estimated 10.000 homeless people in San Diego county.

2. This estimate does not comprise of people sleeping and living in their car.

3. The winter shelter that is about to open after much waiting has 400 beds.

4. There has been a 20% increase in homelessness in the past two years, and many are homeless as a result of continued recession, job loss and home repossession by banks.

5. 32% of the homeless in San Diego have a four-year college degree.

6. There are approximately 30,000 vacant houses, condos and apartments in San Diego County. See below for more info.



In North San Diego County alone, as of August 2011, there were 15,168 vacant homes (3.5% vacancy ). In Southwest San Diego County (Metro) houses, condos and apartments went from 88,090 to 191,513 due to the early 2000’s building frenzy. By 2010 Southwest County had 7.9 % (vacancy).
This means that in the metro area, where most homeless people are found, there are 15,129 vacant houses, condo and apartments. Data is extrapolated from info found here.

Le Cirque des Rêves

image

San Diego. November 2012.

image


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

From the novel ‘The Night Circus’

image

The set above was designed by Jenna Ann Mac Gillis for the performance
‘The Desperate Characters of Mercer County’
which took place at San Diego Space for Art on November 10, 2012. Read all the lurid details of this Americana story here.

Like a Gillian Welch Song

I can feel poetry
rise out of silence
like an undeniable tide,
a Polaroid floats to the surface.

The words appear
Oh honey, just take out your lighter,
they are written in lemon juice

Loving you was like
carrying a cardboard suitcase
in the rain

In the absence of

I collect mugs by my bedside
Ride in empty buses
-straw bale leggings-
and always get to the theather
after the movie ended

I walk among the Saturday night revelers huddled around a screen
-the miniskirts march in lockstep

It’s date night in San Diego
a cold one too
knights in shirt sleeves have donated their coats
and presents are opened inside cars.

I steal glances and compose poems
that don’t help anyone tonight.
The lines start to sound
like a Gillian Welch song.
If you have a mind like a diamond,
expect it to cut.

I was in love with the dream of you
And now I am shackled to a ghost.

Some kinds of pain never die;
they can only ease a little,
and not every day
.



San Diego, November 2012

Night Sky | Aquarius

image

image

image

Poem at 4.17

image

Poem at 4.17 AM

You left me with all the pieces of the engine laid on rags – garage floor

I sat there wearing my nightgown trying to make sense of the puzzle – there are no instructions and I’m not a mechanic

I sat there for a year.

On some nights I imagined them chess pieces, and played against
you, them, myself

On some other nights I wrote on walls with no ink or feather
about snake charmers
and wolves in sheep’s clothing

Narcissus was tired
The Prince’s treasure, under lock, turned out to be a room full of mirrors
.

Mornings I thought

For a summer I made sculptures and looked at photos

That night in the warehouse, our distracted dance, our last

You drove away
with an engine-less car.

San Diego, November 2012

Drawing by Jackie McDowell.

I am posting the first of a series of samples of student work from the exhibit  History of Architecture: Analysis and Synthesis Through Visual Notes. Moving chronologically, today we start with the Beginnings of Architecture.  This body work was completed for the Graduate History of Architecture sequence, comprising of three courses, which i taught during the 2011-2012 school year.

I will also post some photos from the Exhibit.

These visual notes are by Jackie McDowell.

Drawing by Jackie McDowell.

Drawing by Jackie McDowell.

And here is the  paper abstract summarizing the project objectives and research purpose.  The full paper will be presented and published next Spring. 

History of Architecture: Analysis and Synthesis Through Visual Notes

Miti Aiello, Full-Time Faculty

NewSchool of Architecture and Design, San Diego, California

The need to update and make relevant the study of History of Architecture in an evolving profession and academic environment has never been more urgent: our discipline demands not only an expanded scope (mandatory inclusion of global or ‘non-western’ traditions and architecture of the vernacular), but new methods of delivery and course projects that are interdisciplinary, that bridge the divide between studio courses and history and that educate the young practitioner in reading history utilizing the same
methods learned in design practice.

Spiro Kostof, the legendary UC Berkeley architectural historian, advocated giving students “something tangible to carry away to the drafting table”.

It is possible to adopt an educational methodology that questions monumental architecture of the past and the traditional, vernacular “architecture without architects” in the same way as students approach a design problem in studio. Hans Morgenthaler’s “Chronology versus System: Unleashing the Creative Potential of Architectural History” – which served as this paper’s catalyst- denounced the inadequacy of relying on the chronological organization of history and suggested designing the History course as a series of design problems or buildings/events, illustrated through architectural drawings (the language of our profession) and not photos. History of Architecture instructors are encouraged to “occupy themselves simultaneously with the study of the past, with critique, and with invention”.

The argument for learning history through drawing, in this case in the form of student-generated visual notes based on textbook reading is related to the ‘invention’ mentioned above and supported by Morgenthaler: “This approach derives from the understanding that a drawing is capable of communicating information about buildings impossible through other means. In addition, as a subjective record, drawings could become part of the history of ideas, as opposed to photographs, which are only evidence. Moreover, drawings express the “belief in architectural precedent and typology which gave relevance to history.” Rachael McCann in her “Exploding the History Survey” also introduced ‘graphic summary pages’ as active inquiry in her course at Mississippi State University, breaking down her large lecture course in smaller sections which would investigate a question brought forth by a particular building, through visual analysis. It is clear that History of Architecture lecturers are seeking novel, more critical models to articulate the course, and better narrate “a story of architecture”.

image

It is that time again. November First-ish, and like every November I will try to join the marathon of Nablopomo, and maybe even Nanowrimo. I have failed so far in my previous attempts to post everyday, and while i know that the definition of madness is doing the same thing expecting different results, every November finds me with renewed hope. I have good news today. Do you remember the post on the Flaneur? My drawing of our stroller and wanderer with turtle has caught the eye of a small, independent art press and will be used as a logo for a series of walks that will be published in pamphlet form .. ‘Basically, these are poetic/conceptual walks written by writers in different cities. Readers can buy the walks/pamphlets and take them as the writer instructs’. The project just started but please take a peek.

Another month rushed by, seemingly accelerating towards the end, as though sprinting to the finish line. The year’s end. Another year.

This past month brought also new beginnings and renewals. Just like accountants, professors measure years differently from the general public.

So this, other, new year that starts with the fall -the harvest- brought Spring in October : experimental mixed media and history courses, new energy, enthusiastic and curious students, expanded involvement, new projects and many welcome social occasions…and always, the company and camaraderie of my gentle and wise kin.
I love my job and feel so blessed. (I have just been given a Service Award for Five Years of outstanding contribution to the school, celebrate good times..)

I hosted my very first reception for my Graduate students’ work in the History of Architecture course this last week. The title of the exhibition was

‘ History of Architecture: Analysis and Synthesis through Visual Notes’.
My past students’ critical, and sometimes lyrical and poetic work –their beautifully rendered drawings, sketches and diagrams–have been gracing the halls of my school and received much acclaim. This body of work and research into this alternative method for teaching history is the topic of a forthcoming paper, which I will present in the Spring.

I am also launching a project called Builtculture, which I will be editing. This is something I have been working on for few months along with a stellar Graduate student of mine, Samar Sepehri. Builtculture is a repository for lectures and cultural events happening in San Diego and the So-Cal region, for the architecture and urban design discriminating aficionados. It exists in form of a facebook page for now, but will soon morph into a simple yet useful calendar site–as soon as I can catch my breath.

Planning to post photos of the Visual Notes Exhibit next week -need to scan few more examples and ‘teasers’- and to share Builtculture when it is ready too. I am thinking about adding an Academic section to my work site, Archistdesign, for such endeavors.

All of this to say, really, is that my full-time job and volunteering [ for community build and garden build projects , I have learned to build a deck and plaster, aka architecture for social purpose … yes!] have taken ahold of my heart and days  lately, and my art has had to wait.
I also (also!) will have my poetry published. New poems have been brewing and blooming, maybe I will share one later tonight.

I know that there are few of you who follow these ramblings of mine , who gently coax me when I have not posted for a while, and wanted to reach out and declare that I do not want this to be a ‘ travel blog’ , a dalliance…but that I also have to make peace with the fact that I am nor cannot be a a full-time writer, poet or artist, (although I would embrace these lives and crafts in a heartbeat, teaching is my calling) and that I cannot post or work on my art everyday. Life itself needs to be explored, precious work completed, books need to be read, and body, soul, and spirit nurtured daily. Perhaps, I have been given too many passions for just one life. These are heavy gifts and Chet Baker sings ‘I fall in love too easily’…

Before biding my hopefully brief adieu, here is a poem that I recently found among old correspondence.
It is nice to be old enough to have that.. Speaking of correspondence, see ‘ Young Goethe in Love’. I died.


The Undertaking

The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .

The darkness lifts, imagine, in your lifetime .

There you are — cased in clean bark you drift through weaving rushes, fields flooded with cotton.

You are free.

The river films with lilies, shrubs appear, shoots thicken into palm.

And now all fear gives way: the light looks after you, you feel the waves’ goodwill as arms widen over the water;

Love, the key is turned.

Extend yourself —it is the Nile, the sun is shining, everywhere you turn is luck.

Louise Glück

Lift Now

image

 
Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven,

Pour, cupbearer, the wine of the invisible,

The name and sign of what has no sign.

Pour it abundantly.

It is you who enrich the soul–

Make the soul drunk and give it wings.

Come again always, rich one,

and teach all our cupbearers their sacred art.

Be a spring jetting from a heart of stone;

Break the pitcher of soul and body–

Make joyful all lovers of wine.

Ferment a restlessness in the heart

of the one who thinks only of bread–

Bread is a mason of the body’s prison;

Wine, a rain for the garden of the soul.

I’ve tied the ends of the earth together.

Lift now the lid of the jar of heaven

Close those eyes that see only faults

Contemplate those that only see the invisible

so no mosques or temples or idols remain

So this or that is drowned in his fire.

Rumi

Wrapped in Words

image

Paragraphs of books become a pattern for a one-of-a-kind infinity scarf.
Be still, my heart.

Relics and Deliverance

image

Just completed a watercolor/collage on a drawing by my father.

image

image

A beginning of a collage over my father’s drawing.

The Persistence of You II

image

image

image


The Eternal Life of Objects, the Persistence of You

You skate
On the membrane of my dreams
We are divided by a thin layer of ice
The surface breaks
And there it is
All of our love
All of my sorrow
Flooding and resurfacing
Precarious degrees
Separating water
From water.

We spill over fields and rice paddies
-This is how we will come back-
All of our impossible futures,
The ache of forking paths
We will be streams, and rivers
Timeless and steady arteries.

I visit you in images
Stitched together between awakenings.
I take your things, put them away
The inevitability of your arms
As i come to.

You lie just beneath
the gossamer veil of thoughts
– forgive as the sea forgives,
as it heals, as it forgets,
Forgive as children are forgiven-
Their eyes are not windows yet
But mirrors.

Calabria, September 2012

image

image

image

On my way to Roma but wanted to share my latest project.These are the prep sketches and the charcoal outline on the final canvas, which measures 5.5’X2.5′.
This painting was commissioned and I am lucky to have a very lovely client : )

The last photo is from the Princeton Architectural Press catalog, which just came in my office.
I would love my studio to be like that one day…
Ciao!

At Work

image

This photo was taken by my dear friend and photographer/artist extraordinaire Maha Comianos.

She is currently exploring the creative side of architects in her Archi * Artist Series, among many other artistic endeavors.

Check out her inspired work at:
http://www.studiomaha.com

Ink drawing of The Age of Enlightenment – Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breuteuil, Marquise de Châtelet, 2008 by Yinka Shonibare, MBE



There are particular nights, small time frames, where everything you want, and, yes -everything you need- is given to you.

You watch your life unfolding perfectly, like a well-written screenplay of a comedy of errors, where the characters, after a series of ‘harrowing events’ and near misses, find each other at last. These nights you believe in signs, and that there are no coincidences.

I am not saying that life or love have a happy ending, but some days do.

Last Friday, the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park hosted an extraordinary event, part of their Summer Salon Series (inspired by the tradition of French literary and cultural salons). This event was a 36 Hour ‘continued’ Salon taking place in the museum’s galleries (open consecutively for 36 hours…I will never forget contemplating Egon Schiele at 2 in the morning), auditorium, and outdoors in the sculpture garden.

Needless to say, the collection of happenings taking place ranged from the superb to the surreal. Wandering in the museum galleries in the wee hours of night with other artists, revellers and cool types felt very subversive and….Big City.

A Yes Men lecture, an avant-garde play on self-loop for four hours, museum tours, German Expressionist Cinema, ambient music with obligatory trippy visualizations, live bands, a napping station plen air, stargazing on the lawn of the sculpture garden, drawing dreams and nightmares and, my favorite, a marching band in which us, the audience, were given a makeshift instrument and played (and marched) directed by the one-man band’s crazy frontman.

The general feeling of anarchy, and being caught between confusion/freedom/disbelief/engagement made this event very Dada, or something the Situationists would have conjured up…

Click to enlarge

During a lecture, I drew one of the pieces on display {above}. you can find a photo of the piece here.

From the museum’s literature: The Age of Enlightenment – Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breuteuil, Marquise de Châtelet, is from a series of five figures depicting notable philosophers from the eighteenth century. The marquise, fluent in several languages and an accomplished mathematician and physicist, personified the “enlightened” person. Her lasting legacy is the translation and critique of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica that is still used to this day. Despite the fact that the Marquise de Châtelet was a leading mind of eighteenth-century France, much of her work was overlooked because of her gender. Her most famous lover, Voltaire, described her as a ‘great man’ whose only fault was being a woman.

I like to think that the Marquise is headless because she has never been recognized for her work and her name is virtually unknown.

She has been deliberately omitted in the annals of His-tory.

The fabric of her dress also tells a fascinating story of colonialism and the fallacy of ‘tradition’.

Ink and watercolor on hand.book paper. July 16, 2012.




Ink and watercolor on hand.book paper. July 16, 2012.

image

One of my most cherished books.

image

Lord Byron’s handwriting.



Stanzas Written On the Road Between Florence and Pisa



Oh, talk not to me of a name great in story;

The days of our youth are the days of our glory;

And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two-and-twenty

Are worth all your laurels, though ever so plenty.

What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is wrinkled?

‘Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled.

Then away with all such from the head that is hoary!

What care I for the wreaths that can only give glory?

O Fame!—if I e’er took delight in thy praises,

‘Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases,

Than to see the bright eyes of the dear one discover,

She thought that I was not unworthy to love her.

There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee;

Her glance was the best of the rays that surround thee;

When it sparkled o’er aught that was bright in my story,

I knew it was love, and I felt it was glory.


George Gordon, Lord Byron

November, 1821




Romantics, for more on the lives of the Poets, you might hide here for a few days, and spend the evenings at your local cafe reading poems accompanied by a well-tempered clavier.  For my part, I have ordered Ugo Foscolo’s Le Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis (The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis)–and  look forward to sinking in its lyrical, poignant song that so well describes the passion and contradiction of the Italian spirit (and carries me back to the Halcyon days of Literature and Poetry studies in high school).  A presto, more watercolor portraits await…

Image

 

 

Do not write love-poems. Avoid those forms which are too trite and commonplace: they are the hardest, for a great and mature power is needed to give of one’s own where good and often brilliant traditions throng upon one. Therefore betake yourself from the usual themes to those which your everyday life offers you. Paint your sadnesses and your desires, your passing thoughts and your belief in some kind of beauty

—paint all that with quiet and modest inward sincerity; and to express yourself use the things that surround you, the pictures of your dreams and the objects of your recollections. When your daily life seems barren, do not blame it; blame yourself rather and tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for the creative worker knows no barrenness and no poor indifferent place. And even if you were in a prison, whose walls prevented all the bustle of the world from reaching your senses, even then would you not still have your childhood, that precious, kingly wealth, that treasure-house of memories? Turn your attention towards it. Try to recall the forgotten sensations of that distant past; your personality will strengthen itself, your loneliness will extend itself and become a dusky dwelling and the noise of others will pass by it far away. And when from this turning inwards, from this retreat into your own world verses come into being, then you will not think of asking anyone, whether they are good verses. Nor will you try to get journals interested in these works, for you will see in them your own loved and natural possession, a part and an expression of your life. A work of art is good, when it is born of necessity.

Rainer Maria Rilke – Letters to a Young Poet

Image

Image


I woke up with the sound of your voice telling me

“I know where this could potentially lead to

And I am not afraid.”




In a Manner of speaking

I just want to say

That I could never forget the way

You told me everything

By saying nothing


In a manner of speaking

I don’t understand

How love in silence becomes reprimand

But the way that i feel about you

Is beyond words


Oh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me nothing

Ohohohoh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me everything


In a manner of speaking

Semantics won’t do

In this life that we live we only make do

And the way that we feel

Might have to be sacrificed


So in a manner of speaking

I just want to say

That just like you

I should find a way

To tell you everything

By saying nothing.


Oh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me nothing

Ohohohoh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me everything


Oh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me nothing

Ohohohoh give me the words

Give me the words

That tell me everything

Work in Progress II

 

Almost finished with the background. Acrylic on Canvas. April 2012

 

El Templete, Habana Vieja (with water from the Malecon).
Ink on hand.book paper. Habana, Cuba. April 2012.


Example of Moorish (Mudéjar) Architecture in Habana Vieja.
Ink on hand.book paper. Habana, Cuba. April 2012.



….

image


Music is a total constant. That’s why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in you or the world, that one song stays the same, just like that moment.”

Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

 

 

The Arms That Wouldn’t Let Me Go

 

On this sweet, rainy evening

My thoughts run to you

Like water towards the ocean

In the city’s gutters and roofs

Towards countless drainstorms

Powerless in the face

Of a calculated incline.

 

It is a sweet rain that is falling tonight

It wears your scent of promises

It is music, it sings of gentle breezes through wooden wind charms,

Of a veranda in the Caribbeans.

A scattering of drops

Like miniscule sand pebbles on my books

As I wait.

 

O Night, your silence descends upon me like a mantle

It calms me

I could write lines like an ode to your burning eyes

Your long, long lashes that caught my tears

Brushed away listless years

And changed me.

 

Tonight I don’t see the bus stop in front of me

Or the muted lights of cars

I see you waiting for me on that street

The staircase that separated me from bliss

[I met my two loves on the steps of Italian cathedrals,

they gave me their blessings]

I know you are there

And when you see me, your eyes smile stars,

twinkling benign in the skies between us.

 

If the world ended in two days,

As predicted,

I would have felt safe

Your broad shoulders would have protected me

From all the walls and crumbling houses of the City.

 

Sleep, days, a thin membrane

Before and after us

A tender gauze between dusk and your sunset skin.

 

We stole nights

Like compassionate thieves

Time measured in kisses

A perfect, impossible life

Soft like the sound of a far-away gramophone

Or a clavichord in Vienna

(Will you come with me to cobbled alley-ed Vienna?)

 

I am home now

The lanes are deserted and streetlights have relinquished

their daytime tyranny

The night is wide with the tabac scent

Of water falling on hot concrete and asphalt

It is a summer night somewhen, somewhere else.

 

I am home now

The house is still

And bathed in red solitude

I need to stop writing

And conjure up what I’ll be wearing tomorrow

I need to stop thinking

That I could die happy tonight.

 

 

San Diego, April 25, 2012

 

 

image



Moon Over Cuba

La luna sobre Habana
Tiene una sonrisa
De la Calle San Francisco a Espalda,
En el Vedado.

El Malecon vio’ todo, sus serenadas,
La trova y el son.

Las olas en la noche
Regresan y regresan
amantes para la izquierda
Como tu pensiero
Caliente
Que no me dejas dormir.

Todo es posible en La Habana
Dijo’ Graham Greene.
En la ciudad de las columnas
Tome’ las espinas ayer
Y ora
Tomo la Rosa.

Habana, 5 Abril 2012

Moon Over Cuba

The moon above Habana
Has a smile
From San Francisco Street to Espalda,
In the Vedado.

The Malecon saw everything, his serenades,
The trova and the son.

The waves in the night
Return and return
unofficial lovers
As your thought
Burning
Which keeps me awake

Everything is possible in Habana
said Graham Greene.
In the city of colums
I picked some thorns yesterday
And today
I catch the Rose.

Ya lo se
Que voy a quierer de sentir
El sonido de tu voz
Tu acento

Par la calle la brisa es suave en mi piel
Aqui nunca hace frio
La noche te cubre
Con sus caricias
Su bufanda hecha de estrellas

Estoy olvidando
Todos mis dolores
Las olas se la traigan con ellas

Los muros conservan
Los abrazos de los enamorados
Todo me habla aqui
y tengo que regresarme
Tu me dices

Como escribir en la rena
Y esperar l’agua
Que borra
Un otro amor.

Habana, 8 Abril 2012



I already know
I will want to hear
The sound of your voice
Your accent

In the street the breeze is smooth on my skin
Here it’s never cold
The night covers you
With her caresses
Her scarf made of stars

I am forgetting
All my sorrows
The waves carry them away

The walls conserve
The embraces of lovers
Everything speaks to me here
and I need to come back
You say

It’s like writing on the sand
And waiting for the water
To erase
Another love.


 

‘Habana is very much like a rose,’ said Fico Fellove in the movie The Lost City,

‘it has petals and it has thorns…so it depends on how you grab it.

But in the end it always grabs you.’


“One of the most beautiful cities in the world. You see it with your heart.”

Enrique Nunez Del Valle, Paladar Owner

Habana’s real essence is so difficult to pin down. Plenty of writers have had a try, though; Cuban intellectual Alejo Carpentier nicknamed Habana the ‘city of columns,’ Federico Llorca declared that he had spent the best days of his life there and Graham Greene concluded that Habana was a city where ‘anything was possible.’

ARCHITECTURE

Habana is, without doubt, one of the most attractive and architecturally diverse cities in the world. Shaped by a colorful colonial history  and embellished by myriad foreign influences from as far afield as Italy and Morocco, the Cuban capital gracefully combines Mudéjar, baroque, neoclassical, art nouveau, art deco and modernist architectural styles into a visually striking whole.

But it’s not all sweeping vistas and tree-lined boulevards. Habana doesn’t have the architectural uniformity of Paris or the instant knock-out appeal of Rome. Indeed, two decades of economic austerity has meant many of the city’s finest buildings have been left to festering an advanced state of dilapidation. Furthermore, attempting to classify Habana’s houses,palaces, churches and forts as a single architectural entity is extremely difficult.

Cuban building – rather like its music – is unusually diverse. Blending Spanish colonial with French belle epoque, and Italian Renaissance with Gaudi-esque art nouveau, the over-riding picture is often one of eclecticism run wild.

Brendan Sainsbury


















This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Good Morning, Habana

image

image

Habana

Nadie’ en tus arquiadas
En tus piedras llore’
Tus plazas me acogieron

Respire’ en la sombra de tus arboles
Sufrie’ por su cara
–los abrazos olvidados en la rena
estan alla’ hasta otro viento–

En tu son
Tu sol
Comprendi’ tus ojos infinitos
El calor the tus brazos dorados
Me calento’

En la noche el agua va corriendo en las fuentes–
Todavia estare’ alla’,
En los pasajes y las calles,
En las escaleras y las puertas serradas,
y en tu corazon de sal.

La Habana, Cuba, Avril 2012

Havana

I swam in your porticoes
On your stones I cried
Your piazzas welcomed me

I breathed in the shade of your trees
I suffered for his face
–the embraces forgotten on the sand
   there remain, until another wind.

In your sound
Your sun
I understood your infinite eyes
The heat of your golden arms
Warmed me

In the night
The water will continue to run in the fountains
I will be there still,
In your passageways and streets,
In your staircases and closed doors,
And in your heart of salt.

Havana, Cuba, April 2012

Work in Progress

image

image

image

image

Earlier this year I acquired two books from my lovely blogsister Ghadah Alkandari at PrettyGreenBullet.
One was to keep…the other to collage.

Here I asked my dear friend Bassemah, of Palestinian origins, to respond to one of Ghadah’s drawings.
She chose this one.

We spent an afternoon doing art in her warm San Diego home, playing Cuban and French music…I would love for you to have been there, Ghadah!

And to listen to the two of you speak Arabic *___*….

Light The Candles


To Happiness by Carl Dennis

If you’re not approaching,
I hope at least
You’re off to comfort someone who needs you more,
Not lost wandering aimlessly
Or drawn to the shelter of well-lit rooms
Where people assume you’ve arrived already.

If you’re coming this way, send me the details
—The name of the ship, the port it leaves from—
So I can be down on the dock to help you
Unload your valises, your trunks and boxes
And stow them in the big van I’ll have rented.

I’d like this to be no weekend stay
Where a single change of clothes is sufficient.
Bring clothes for all seasons, enough to fill a closet;
And instead of a single book for the bedside table
Bring boxes of all your favorites.

I’ll be eager to clear half my shelves to make room,

Eager to read any titles you recommend.
If we’ve many in common, feel free to suggest
They prove my disposition isn’t to blame
For your long absence, just some problems of attitude,

A few bad habits you’ll help me set to one side.
We can start at dinner, which you’re welcome
To cook for us while I sweep and straighten
And set the table.
Then light the candles
You’ve brought from afar for the occasion.

Light them and fill the room
I supposed I knew
With a glow that shows me
I was mistaken.
Then help me decide if I’m still the person I was
Or someone else, someone who always believed in you
And imagined no good reasons for your delay.

“To Happiness” by Carl Dennis, from Unknown Friends.

Even When He Dreams


The task of art is to transform what is continuously happening to us, to transform all these things into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory.

That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy.

A writer or any artist has the sometimes joyful duty to transform all that into symbols. These symbols could be colors, forms or sounds. For a poet, the symbols are sounds and also words, fables, stories, poetry.

The work of a poet never ends. It has nothing to do with working hours. Your are continuously receiving things from the external world. These must be transformed, and eventually will be transformed. This revelation can appear anytime. A poet never rests. He’s always working, even when he dreams.

Besides, the life of a writer, is a lonely one. You think you are alone, and as the years go by, if the stars are on your side, you may discover that you are at the center of a vast circle of invisible friends whom you will never get to know but who love you. And that is an immense reward.

Borges

Rugged Beauty

image

A Moon Over Berkeley
[We Became Art for a Moment]

There is no need to seek her
For she is the Moon
Her stunning face hangs over me
Never lets a night go without
The ache of her beauty
Do you see the small star by her?

Her shadow is cast over the city
Like Brunelleschi’s cupola over all of Tuscany.
The heaviness of her copper lies
[in my mouth]
She hides under train tracks and asphalt
She peeks from our longtrodden alleys
She’s under and above me.

I have to see about a City
-I said to him-
The way others go see about a Girl.
‘The city is a girl’ he replied.

They wrote about us
We became Art for a moment
Part of the city like streetlamps
A collage of colors
Red for San Francisco cars
Mustard like her scarf
White, my fedora
Red was our debaucherous light
Her crisp apple shirt matched paintings
[gray as planes]

In Buena Vista park we laid on the grass
Fed mosquitoes and waited fairies
I crafted stories on Bechtle’s California suburbs
Stories of quiet misery and afternoon beers, for her…

Blue for too many train tickets
We sat in a room full of patterns
And listened.

Under brilliant suns we walked
To the edge of Sunset.
Faded too early in the streets of Janis Joplin
Among Tibetan jewelry stores,
Earrings and beads,
We found minstrels and poets.

Lemonade and Mate,
I told her about the weight of flowers
Narrated the geography
Of my broken heart.

It is night again
And I still choose my dandelion poetry
Over sleep
And being on time.

San Diego, March 7, 2011

image

image

image

Click to see my architectural shoots over at ArchistDesign | Studio. All projects by Architectural Concepts in San Diego, CA.


Apparently this is my year. The year of the Water Dragon.
I am happy to say, I am finally completing my architecture website.

This other digital studio has been on the back burner for about a year , but it looks like 2012 is the antithesis of  procrastination.

A year that quickens…like a strong sun that vanquishes the fog.

I have added some photography work for my friend and mentor Margit Whitlock at Architectural Concepts. Photographing these well-executed design projects was a joy.

Still few portfolio items to add to the site (and three new projects on the boards!)
Will keep posting updates as they happen, and hope to finish in few weeks.


The girl with the ukulele. Oakland, Feb. 19, 2012. Ink on hand.book paper





San Francisco My Love II

image image

image

image

image

image

image

image




NOT A DAY ON ANY CALENDAR

Rumi (1207-1273)



Spring, and everything outside is growing,
even the tall cypress tree.
We must not leave this place.
Around the lip of the cup we share, these words,

My Life Is Not Mine

If someone were to play music, it would have to be very sweet.
We’re drinking wine, but not through lips.
We’re sleeping it off, but not in bed.
Rub the cup across your forehead.
This day is outside living and dying.

Give up wanting what other people have.
That way you’re safe.
“Where, where can I be safe?” you ask.

This is not a day for asking questions,
not a day on any calendar.
This day is conscious of itself.
This day is a lover, bread, and gentleness,
more manifest than saying can say.

Thoughts take form with words,
but this daylight is beyond and before
thinking and imagining. Those two,
they are so thirsty, but this gives smoothness
to water. Their mouths are dry, and they are tired.

The rest of this poem is too blurry for them to read.




Translated by Cleman Barks in “The Essential Rumi”

My California

image

image

image



My world, my California, still needs to be made.
To make a new world you start with an old one, certainly.
To find a world, maybe you have to have lost one.
Maybe you have to be lost.
The dance of renewal, the dance that made the world, was always danced here at the edge of things, on the brink, on the foggy coast.

Ursula K. Le Guin

When the Sun rises…

I will wait for you…

 I will wait for you.


With the stubborness of a chair.

Venezia. January 2012. Ink on hand.book paper.

Rosetum, Milano, built in Lombard style in 1896. Graphite on hand.book paper.

What a fantastic way to start the Year!

The Liebster Blog Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers, and is reserved to ‘upstart’ blogs with less than 200 followers.
It originated in Germany and its meaning is ‘beloved’, or favorite.<3
It was bestowed to me by the Kuwaiti artist (und blogschwester!) Ghadah Alkandari at PrettyGreenBullet, whom I consider a role model as a 360 degree artist and blogger.
Needless to say it is a great honor to receive this, and more to receive it from Ghadah.

Check out her other awardees, it is blog goodness at its BESTE!

I in turn will have to bestow the award onto five upstart bloggers, so stay tuned, deliberations have just started.

Venice makes you question the idea of “impossible”.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Winter Venice

image

image

In the winter, Venice is like an abandoned theatre. The play is finished, but the echoes remain.

Arbit Blatas

To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.

Alexander Herzen

There is something so different in Venice from any other place in the world, that you leave at once all accustomed habits and everyday sights to enter an enchanted garden.

Mary Shelley

It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.

Erica Jong

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand.

Lord Byron

A train-ride takes you from Milano to Venice..whose real name is Venezia, the Most Serene city and splendid, golden Republic. On the train you think about Byron, his letters written on trains, his Venetian Countess.

Through frozen fields and dormant earth, through fog and long-gone rice paddies , you deboard to the Sublime.

At dusk the lights from bars and cafes shimmer on the dark waters, and you start thinking in cliches, such as temporarily inhabiting an Impressionist painting.

Yet the feeling is fresh and true: each visit to this surrealists’ dream had its poignant moment of suspension of disbelief.

Each time the city grabs you and takes you away with her.

Here’s a taste of today’s acts of flanerie in La Serenissima.

Dispatches from Milano

e

Crocheting Cathedrals. Il Duomo with parasitic architecture (stage for New Year's festivities). Ink and watercolor on hand.book paper. December 31, 2011.

Aperol and Spritz. Most of the older ladies in my neighborhood are incredibly fashionable, decked in the latest trend winter coat. Here's two enjoying a mildly alcoholic aperitivo at 11 AM. Ink on hand.book paper. December 31, 2011.

Santa Maria Presso San Satiro. The obligatory pilgrimage to the second Bramante's church. Last year I drew Santa Maria Delle Grazie, which is near to my place. I am always amazed by the playfulness and modernity of the oculi (round windows) on the Northern Romanesque facade. I found out that the space in front of the church is called 'Largo Jorge Luis Borges'. Can it get better than this?
Ink on hand.book paper. December 31, 2011.

Window of the Pio Albergo Trivulzio. In an act of Flanerie, I got lost trying to reach the Roseto, and found these whimsical, almost Gaudi-like windows on a palazzo I had not seen since my childhood, painted in the typical warm 'Milanese Yellow' (think saffron rice and add a patina of melancholy, smog and time). Ink on hand.book paper. January 1, 2012.

Holly Days

image

S C A T T E R  J O Y

Wishing a Luminous 2012…The World Over.

Happiness





“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?” 

Vincent van Gogh




Dream before Nonno died. He was a fisherman. Ink on notebook paper, 2003.





Fragments {and a cashmere wrap}


The cashmere wrap finally arrived in the mail

so much weighs on this stole

‘opportunity a thief makes’

he said before giving me homework

— how we love.

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep”

Saul Bellow

A lot weighs on this stole:

conversation is rippled with diamonds

they tumble , heavy, they are words, quotes

…out of the mundane…

a pearl – grasp it and keep it.

Wisdom is the only jewelry I wear this season

and my greediness awaits

meaning.

He who grasps more than he can hold, would be better without any.

If a house is crammed with treasures of gold and jade,

it will be impossible to guard them all.

Lao Tzu

Did you hear the sound of wisdom, Heart?

The message you sought.

My only wealth is my memory.

Like a mendicant I gather precious words,

fragments of light that I bring back,

puzzles I spend days composing.

– You, collector of spirit, feeder of souls.

Everyone wants to go to Heaven, no-one wants to die.

The falcon, scarred wing, alighted the sill.


– the magpies, once they have caught the prey,

lose interest

and look around for the next creature to pursue-



Yogis come and go,

grasp their message

Catch leaves in the wind

take them home, make a nest.

Heaven is simple:

let go of anything that is not love or peace.


San Diego, December 15, 2011


image


San Diego, December 14, 2011.

New painting's "Underpainting". December 6th, 2011. Acrylic on Canvas.

I started to paint again. And now, I cannot believe i have been away from my brushes and tubes for so long. I set-up a makeshift easel in the kitchen, by the window, a little corner of happiness.

Where this new painting will go might surprise you.

Sunday, I found joy in heading to my neighborhood’s art store to buy white paint. All my old little guys are there, sketchbooks, papers, paints…and now a new jewelry section! I bought some new clasps for my wire crochet pieces.

Will post progress updates.

 

 

Art is neither a profession or hobby. Art is a Way of being.

Frederick Franck


Painting isn’t an aesthetic operation; it’s a form of magic.

Pablo Picasso


Being an artist means : not numbering and counting, but ripening like a tree,

which doesn’t force its sap, and stands confidently in the storm of spring,

not afraid that afterward summer may not come.

Rainer Maria Rilke


I try to apply colors like words that shape poems,

like notes that shape music.

Joan Miro’

Napkin Sketch

Pen on bar napkin, December 5, 2011.

Love The Questions II

Ink, pastel, and acrylic paint on newsprint paper.

Love the question as though rooms lit at night, never visited.

Love The Questions

November 28, 2011.



Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language.

Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.

And the point is, to live everything.

Live the questions now.

Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke “Letters to a Young Poet”

A Blessing

Marker and pencil. November 2011.



Ring the bells that still can ring,

Forget your perfect offering.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.


Leonard Cohen





Having lived in Paris unfits you for living anywhere, including Paris.

John Ashbery (quoted in The Last Avant-Garde by David Lehman)

Fall Bouquet {and a button}. November 26, 2011.

 

Think in images, not sentences anymore

or better, fill yourself with food-sounds

against hollow silences.

Colours are a kind of music

and music pours a red-yellow wine here.

Drink it.

 

Sit like a cat in the Sun,

this warm December Sun that heals

this warm December Sun that lights

all dusty corners of the soul

and renews.

My California, My South,

My brilliant blessing, I thank you.

 

Year, rush to an end.

Is it Spring when the birdlets leave the gilded cage?

Open all doors.

Is it Spring when the starlings return from Southern latitudes?

Then burst open shutters and windows

They never do close here.

 

In the photograph, the hand is like a wing that shelters

It is always there,

in the heart-home

that has no doors

like a nest.

image

San Diego, November 25, 2011. Third Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

image

San Diego, November 25, 2011. Third Avenue bridge and context (canyon).

Bridge, De-constructed.

” In recent years , the modern understanding of social responsibility as functional program has been superseded by a concern for context. But contextualism has been used as an excuse for mediocrity, for a dumb servility within the familiar. Since deconstructivist architecture seeks the unfamiliar within the familiar, it displaces the context rather than acquiesce to it. What makes it disturbing is the way deconstructivist architecture finds the unfamiliar already hidden within the familiar context. By its intervention, elements of the context become defamiliarized. In one project, towers are turned over on their sides, while in others, bridges are tilted up to become towers.”

Mark Wigley

Fall Bouquet

Cafe' De Flore, Paris, October 2011.