Archive for January, 2013

Self Portrait

January 20, 2013

self portrait

Oil on canvas, 12″ x 9″, painted with a palette knife while listening to everything I have by Janis Joplin on her 70th birthday.


Cafe on the Pinsengracht

January 13, 2013



amster finish

amster 3

amster 2

amster one


Oil on canvas, 30″ x 24″. Here it is step by step, or session by session. The sketch is from a notebook I took on a trip to Amsterdam. The last two sessions–most of the painting–was done in one day.

I was inclined to make some changes–adjust the perspective of the door, add a little leg (human) under the table. But I left it, thinking it was finished. Ha! I came back a week later and made those changes and really dug into the Moon Pie face of the man, picking up the green contours from the yellow globes. This resulted in the penultimate state. Too jaundiced. Still not candle lit. Another two hours first thing in the morning. Now, I’m calling it finished.


January 9, 2013


The cinema. A stage. Extraneous light
in artificial space. But what have we done
with our defining grace and gift of light?
Our longing for a circle of delight?
What brave new world is shining in our face
from cherubed angles narrowing our light
and measuring the music? Holy light
is foiled as a replacement for the whole
of heaven–the reflection for the whole.
In darkened rows a Mass beholds the light
and chokes on dusty particles of time
that glisten in the blush of curtain time.

“I’m late!” the rabbit cries, believing time
runs parallel, if second place, to light
across some dreaded finish line. This time,
he’s right. I see it’s medication time
as watches slide through fur on chains and dun
the audience with open-ended time
demands. Let’s get on line. In space. On time.
Let’s imitate the sweeping hand-on-face
routine. Wake up! Sit straight! And listen!–face
the stage. It’s late. That ticking is the time
you wasted. Wait! The rabbit’s in a hole
and *tock*, already… Fire in the hole!

at Circle in the Square. Well, that’s the whole
magilla/enchilada, Ellis. Time
for tea. Let’s say we join the jack-a-hole
who’s hawking hats in sizes half and whole.
“How do you take it, Sugar, dark or light?
Or something in between?” He dumps the whole
Krups percolator somewhere near the hole
that spins with starlight in your cup, “You’re done,”
he snarls between the cakes. His dishes done
in staggered stacks, the Hatman eyes the hole
a mouse cut in the cheese. “He would deface
the provolone.” What fury’s in a face!

But wait a minute, there’s another face
revolving in the precious java hole
of china white. I wouldn’t have you face
the facts, considering the floating face
of Dr. Katz keeps smiling all the time
in holographic green. His northern face
is hung with moss. There’s fungus on the face.
“Forget the facts,” a grin of feisty light
and cracking teeth imparts and fades to light.
A problem: Close your eyes–you’ll see the face
of Dr. Katz. So this is how its done.
Forget the facts …forget the facts? It’s done.

A queen in red. A queen in black. I done
forgot my axe! But one dissolving face
or head is quite enough. And it’s been done.
Still, catty compliments are never done–
“I like your dress.” “You look divine”. The whole
charade and shuffled deck (the deal) is done.
With everything on her “To Do” list done,
the red one starts to get undressed. In time,
her rival takes it off. They take their time
on Tangos Palatine. And when they’re done
you close your eyes. The Doctor’s in, the light
comes up. There are mouse tracks and your wallet’s light.

But what have we done with our defining light?
What did we drink that shrinks us all the time?
Who was the worm that smoked and talked the whole
time we endeavored to enquire, his face
a pasty galaxy? What have we done?