Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ah, Moon... Arkhitekton!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Black-Feathered Frost

I admit I was never a fan of Robert Frost. But then, I seemed never to care much for any of the writers who were required reading in grade school. It may have been because it just wasn't 'cool' to actually like your required readings. Or maybe it was because Frost was just too close to home? Maybe I always thought that nothing that takes place (or took place) within a 20 mile radius of my New Hampshire childhood house could possibly be worth any real interest? But I just realized that I never gave poor Mr. Frost a second chance, since grade school, to win me over.

And here I am, 33 years old, in one of the largest, busiest cities in the world, 5 hours away from New England, 240 miles away from that simple, beautiful Robert Frost Farm in Derry NH. Here I am, homesick for New England. Here I am, claiming to have a thing for poetry.

And I've never given him a second chance.

We just got buried up to our necks in one of the biggest snowfalls I've seen in a very, very long time. I was sitting all bundled up on the subway last night, drunk, on my way home from a night out with my friend Roger, and I looked up on the wall of the subway car and noticed a poem (part of the MTA's 'Poetry In Motion' project), and I read the lines and immediately felt incredibly touched, emotional, and I instantly longed for New England. And then I looked to see who the writer is, and I was surprised to see that it's Robert Frost! And then I re-read the poem a few times, and I thought to myself, "Well duh. Of course it's him. Who else would end a poem with the words '...of a day I had rued'?" And so now, one of my new tasks is to rediscover Robert Frost.

Dust of Snow

The way a crow

Shook down on me
The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart

A change of mood
And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ghost Poem

There are poems that never make it anywhere. They don't get thrown away, they don't get burned, they don't make it to heaven or hell. They are bound to me, haunting me, reminding me of my quirky unstable emotional wardrobe.

A bunch of years ago, some friends and I got together and made a book. It's called 'Ghost On The Highway". In a nutshell, it contains a short story about Alice, the one everyone knows about in Wonderland. But it's about her AFTER she got beheaded.

The story was written by my dear friend, Heather Hutsell. It's a pretty interesting tale, and interlaced within that tale from start to finish are random-but-not-so-random poems, sort of like little seizures, or strokes, which were written by me and two others- Ed Walters and Roxanne Nihiline. Each poem, and each chapter, are conceptual 'exits' off of the highway of the tale. And that's basically the only structure, however random, of the book.

I have no idea how many people know about that book, or have bought it, or have read it, or whatever. I don't really care, either. Our goal was to share with our friends something joyous that we all have in common- that being writing. We don't claim to be any good. We just claim to be a bit nuts. You can check it out by clicking here.

Anyway, here's one of my ghost poems. It was one of a few poems I wrote specifically with Hutsell's tale in my mind, but it actually didn't make it into the book. It, like so many others, is a reject, thus making it a ghost poem, haunting my mind.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Red Cap & Beard

ok ok OK! I've been slacking!

I'm feeling like "Gnomes" by Rien Poortvliet and Wil Huygen should be required reading for all. Why?? Because gnomes are perfect citizens!

They don't destroy the world around them, they live in perfect harmony with nature, they co-exist with all animals, they keep to themselves and don't bother anybody, they're really super smart and super talented, they make everything by hand, they don't over-populate the world, they live super simple lives, and on top of all that, they're cute as a button.

All this "Green" stuff we're trying to do now? They've been doing it, since the beginning. All this poverty and war nonsense we're addicted to? Not even an issue in the world of the Gnome. They may only be 6" tall, but they're way larger than we'll ever be- in terms of love, compassion, harmony, respect and balance. They're a perfect role model for Humanity.

All kidding aside, if you've never read this book, you HAVE TO. You will be inspired. I guarantee it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The End of A Six Month Depression

Indeed, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! It's a JOB, and it's all mine..

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Next of Kin

I get frustrated whenever I think about just how much computers do in our world. And no matter how many different angles I approach it from, I can't help but think that our computers, our technology, will inevitably be our downfall.

Maybe I'm just bitter because the architecture industry, the industry I'm trying to make it in, is completely overrun with computers. No one drafts by hand anymore. 'Blueprints' don't exist. You don't even need to know how to draw by hand anymore. Which in a nutshell means that you really don't even need the ability to think in three dimensions to be an architect. Why? Because today we're letting the computers do all the thinking (and drawing) for us!

Go take a stroll around Manhattan, look at all the new buildings that have been built within the last twenty years or so. Do they look more like they were designed by humans? Or do they actually look more like they were designed by... dare I say... computers?!

Computers were invented to make life easier for us. But it's all gotten to the point that not only do they make our lives easier, but they also do our thinking for us. What does this mean for the future? We know what's next: Androids. Computers that not only think like us, but also look like us. But- Will they be good?

Or will they be bad?

And will they completely replace us all together? Or exist as our slaves?

Is a race really a race if it was created by humans? Or can a race only be a race if it was created by Mother Nature? And will that new man-made race have rights? Or, are we simply heading towards a future of new slavery? And will that lead us to war with our own creations?

Better yet- Will we know when to draw the line for computers? Will we have enough control to prevent ourselves from being wiped out by whatever we create??

Is the human so lazy that our extinction will be brought about by our laziness?
I think about that every single time I open up this damn Revit program on my computer.

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Miracle So-Called 'Battlestar Galactica'

I can't NOT blog about this. I just can't. I've been obsessively watching "Battlestar Galactica" for months now. I can't stop! Why? Because. Simply, it's one of the most brilliant, intense, poetic, rich, humanistic, genius series ever put on television. That's why. I dare say it's right up there neck-to-neck with the genius of Gene Rodenberry's 'Star Trek'.

It transcends its genre, "Sci-Fi". It's so much more than that. It's intense drama, pure and simple. It examines the human condition, and the path we've taken as an evolutionary technological race. It is great art in its purest form, it is creative story-telling at its best. It is a bold mirror, held up to the face of Us.

It offers a fresh take on terrorism, religion, gender, abortion, civil liberty, democracy and corporatization and how it all affects society as a whole. It's symbolic, obviously, of everything we are living through today, even though thr storyline takes place in a futuristic context. It is the future, yes, but a very NEAR and BELIEVABLE future. It is a political allegory. It is a bold statement of love, pain, redemption, salvation, and hope.

It's about real people, flawed people, who are all suddenly forced into extreme situations where everyone must do whatever they can to rise above their own demons in order to survive and help everyone around them survive, so that the human race can continue.

And of course, it's about the very point of existence, the meaning of life. It's about what makes us all Human. Battlestar Galactica's concept, it's mission statement, is a tough one, damn near impossible, almost unachievable. But it measures up, and more. It not only delivers the Human Condition, it over-delivers. It gives you what any great television series should- It gives you mind-food. And that's why you don't even have to be a sci-fi geek to love it.

If you haven't given it a shot, you're definitely missing out big-time. That's all I can say.

I'm leaving you today with a piece from the series soundtrack, which, by itself, is every bit as amazing as the series it was composed for- composed by the incredibly talented Bear McCreary:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Be Mine

It's the day of love.. and here's a poem I wrote this morning for MY true love-

The Two

A bloom of red, a bright singing touch,
A timeline, a life, a movement

Bipolar energy. The neutron and the cosmic

Universe, the 'you and I'

Of the two.

The magnetic field of two stray cats
Never betraying the orbital dance

The coldest winter streets are the warmest
Heart beats,

Between the two,
Between the two.

The independent halves of a greater whole,
The gravity, the chaos, the blood-red soul,

The purring embryonic pathway
Of a feline dream.

The orbital, the negative, the positive
A painted bloodstream

Together they burn

The electric charge,
The ending undone

Burning so brightly,
Together as one.
This is 'Romeo and Juliet' by Frank Bernard Dicksee.
Don't I look good in green??

Friday, February 12, 2010

Architecture On Life Support

It seems to me like the most out-of-work industry in America right now is the architecture industry. Apparently it's a small field of only a couple of hundred thousand people at best, and among them, an estimated 50,000 are out of work. According to the New York Times, the architecture industry as a whole is facing over 40% unemployment. But I'm willing to bet that here in New York City, it's a lot more like 60%.

As my friend Roger always likes to say to me, "See that homeless guy over there? He used to be an architect."

When is it all gonna turn around? Soon, I hope. Or else I'm gonna have to start asking for change.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander The Great

I don't quite know how to do a blogospheric 'moment of silence', but.. well, I just want to somehow insert a moment of silence here for Alexander McQueen, who just committed suicide.

I personally think he was one of the greatest fashion designers who ever existed. I've never been a big fashion person. And if my boyfriend himself wasn't a fashion designer, I definitely wouldn't pay it as much attention as I do today.

But in all honesty, it was Alexander McQueen, and Alexander McQueen alone, who made me think that Fashion was worth any of my attention. He had a brilliant, genius way of completely redefining the human being in an insane, artistic, creative, organic, cosmic, animalistic, ethereal, gutsy way. There's really no way to say it, other than... When you saw his creations, no matter who you are, no matter what industry you are in, no matter where your interests lie, if you saw an Alexander McQueen creation, you immediately stopped whatever you were doing, physically and mentally, and just..... stared at it. And thought, "Wow. This is a human being. I had no idea.." His creations were timeless, iconic. There was something God-like and anciently monumental about what he made. You see a McQueen creation, and you want to get down on your hands and knees and.. I don't know what- pray, perhaps? Sing? Scream? Cry? Rejoice? Gasp? All of the above?

Well, he's gone, and he's never coming back.
Fashion Industry, be still. Be silent. You're all alone now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Every now and then I'll let one of my pictures influence / inspire one of my poems. And vise versa too. Here's an example:
The poem is very abstract, as it is meant to be. One of my favorite places in the whole wide world is the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I have a whole series that I shot in that cemetery, and one of them is this image below:

It's hard to figure out what that is, but it's actually a headstone. Not your traditional design, obviously. It was made out of metal, probably aluminum. It was very sculptural and I stood there moving about it for a good many minutes before shooting it. And if you look closely at the picture, you'll see that it's actually an abstracted doorway, partially open. Now, if you want, go back and reread my poem, and see how I let this image inspire me. And now the poem may also not seem so abstract, but rather a lot more literal.

Cemeteries always put me in a pleasant, relaxed mood. I don't find them depressing at all. Or sad. I just find them amazingly peaceful, beautiful, timeless. If you like to haunt cemeteries like I do, I fully recommend a trek to Mount Auburn Cemetery! You can learn more about it here on Wikipedia.

I haven't written a whole lot of poetry over the past two years, because a lot of other things have been going on inside my head that don't particularly translate well to poetry. But there are other things I want to try out, and soon you may... MAY start seeing/hearing some of those things here on this blog.

That's it for now. I'll close with a photo I took outside my house this morning during the beginning of this massive snow storm we're getting here today in Brooklyn:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Oh, Bones!

I'm in what feels like an eternal job hunt. This economy is a sick dog that doesn't seem to be recovering very quickly. There are prospects, but none of them are immediate. It's a waiting process. I'm standing in a long line, awaiting my turn, and it's about nearly as aggravating as waiting in line during Christmas shopping!

I've been joking with my friends, saying that I'm considering placing myself into cryogenic stasis until the economy becomes well again. And that, of course, got me started thinking about what it would actually be like to BE in cryogenic stasis. It's almost like being a mummy, but a living mummy. And that's really cool! And then that of course got me thinking about mummies, and tombs, and all the Religious implications of all of that (including the obvious Religious implications of cryogenic stasis), and THAT all got me thinking about. . . . .

The Capuchin Crypt!!

If you've never heard of it before, the Capuchin Crypt is underneath the Capuchin Church in Rome, and is the final resting place for over 4,000 Capuchin friars who died between 1528 and 1870, as well as several poor Romans.The soil in the crypt was brought over from Jerusalem. The thing that's so freakin' fascinating about this crypt is that every inch of it is completely decorated with bones! And THAT is another thing that connects my interest to the Capuchin Crypt- in a certain way, it is "bone architecture". Cool, right? Yes, right! Just look at this stuff:

Even the chandeliers are made from bones!

And check out this dude on the ceiling:

I wonder if they got to pick what to wear for eternity?

This one picture is my favorite one of them all, but I can't seem to find a hi-res version anywhere:

It just amazes me. Eventually sometime before I die I will make it to Rome, and while I am there I will definitely stop by the Capuchin Crypt to say "Hi!" to all the friars there. Nathaniel Hawthorne apparently favored the place- so much that he even set a climactic scene in The Marble Farm in the Cemetery of the Capuchins. And if it's cool enough for Hawthorne, it's cool enough for me.