Friday, November 30, 2007

Analect 2.192x

30 November 2007. Bright chill air, scarves and winter coats on a Northern California morning... Light raking long diagonal on blue-white Pepsi truck, the great yin and yang reduced to its cathode ray tube equivalent, lodged on a dull horizontal. Think instead of Ni Tzan, wandering among the reeds...

Among the reeds... A dutch girl in gypsy shoes--or is it a gypsy girl herself? Nurse? Curandera... Gathering of warm hair under prim white cap, sign of attentiveness, patience, care--all the qualities of value and need. Far off--pouring rain in a dark garden, matted willow leaves, clumped ferns. Remnant blossoms of South-African orange, hugging the fence in misty air. A small lemon and lime...

Gracias a Dios...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Analect 2.191x

29 November 2007. Gentle November sun. Ripple of water at pavement's edge, green hose snaking through overgrown yard. A verdant intertwining. Songs of innocence, songs of experience. Yesterday: a young man in muted red sarong, his blouse an even deeper red, buttoned all the way to the neck. Small hat, dark in color, carefully placed on a round and forthright head. The dress of somewhere far off--a drift of peoples, each one known to the other, fathers, mothers, sons, pictured in part, at a table, before a window, working in a field. Houses amidst trees, gestures and meanings, lived over time, source of story. "The Human Clay," Kitaj's phrase. Always with a certain dignity--as if the endeavor itself were beyond question, to justify each other, to redeem--each touch, each line, each act...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Analect 2.190x

27 November 2007. Gold-gray November skies, light from the east, poring over the hills. Morning. Young man with dark hair helter-skelter, dashing along street to reach bus just as its door is closing--the driver, impassive, pushes a lever and the door re-opens. Across the way, gaunt man in red tee, climbing out of polished gray Prius--bending as he does so.

A tiny boat--white in color--on a dark dark lake, set in a narrow column of black. Next to a rolling field of trees and grain, neither open nor closed. Above--two figures, also dark--a man and a woman--standing side by side, almost touching. Long diagonal of floor--somewhere inside--reaching up and up. At the right--faces of figures from far away. The past? Or simply distant?

A single ear--in chiaroscuro, carefully drawn--to hear the world...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Analect 2.189x

20 November 2007. Hands moving over keyboards, man of middle years working alongside--plaid shirt, watchcap, pointed gray goatee. Weathered face, but not quite Gary Snyder. Rubber flip-flops--Solano de jure--humming occasionally under his breath.

In the front, with crumpled newspaper in hand--Mr. Copes. "How are you my friend?" He smiles in his predictable but always genuine way. Teeth occasional. But his walk is off--he holds the doorframes as he makes his way along the street, gathering materials, returning inside to do the windows, standing on a rickety aluminum ladder from the back room--the corporate ladder, so inscribed--but for Mr. Copes, simply an approach to heaven...

Or the day's wage...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Analect 2.188x

17 November 2007. Slabs of gray, with yellowish underglow--maybe a touch of blue--or is it the tint of the window? Monsanto, House of the Future...

Gold-gray Pathfinder pulling in, Lela and Deepak. Her red and gold leopard floral pattern dress, red cotton blouse, black tights and sandals from Nepal. A girl, a mom, an ancient being. Hair pulled back in taut clump, cotidienne casual... Deepak in his customary black--vest, t-shirt, cargo pants, stubby black hair trimmed to the strong and compact shape of his scull. Sauntering across street on an unplanned diagonal, nibbling on a half-peeled banana. Tough-guy retinue--but for whom?

Last night: Anu visits. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Large eyes in a dark dark face. Precise plans, inner animation. At one point I ask the class what it must be like today to raise a child--living amidst this avalanche of untoward influence. "Anu, you're a mom, what would you say?" Thinking for a moment, then, slowly, "To have a child is a great great pleasure..."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Analect 2.187x

14 November 2007. Clean November light. Dark shadows under the eves. 7-eleven lot: chunky strips of yellow concrete at the head of each empty parking space. A single white panel truck, at an angle. Now, suddenly, a smallish dark maroon Toyota...

Germaine Montero: Spanish folksongs. No Hay Quien Pueda. Fisherman's song. El Puerto de Bilbao. Yellow lights on dark harbor waters, criss-crossed gantry cranes over brightly lit decks. Across the way, smaller lights, running along sandstone cliffs and low hills. The Café Iruña: a single figure hunched over curve of long bar. Pintxos calientes: serranitos y morunos. Vino tinto criaza.

The claims of possibility, each new image an opening. Ports of entry. Voyage, viajero...roam...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Analect 2.186x

13 November 2007. Gray gray. Dr. John. Chunky woman in dark blue hood emerges stretching from low-slung silver car. Earlier: Russian girl and her mother at the pool, a Giovanni Bellini in Albany (the doge swim cap drawn high over mound of hair). Yesterday: l'hitrondel: a new word in the Israeli governmental vocabulary: to fly back and forth with little effect. C-o-n-d-i the root... Just now: a teenage boy in old-style baseball-length cutoffs--very narrow build, droopy orange backpack slung low on his shoulders, whitish cap, walking in desultory fashion--one long right arm down with sliver of cigarette. Opposite: Lee's shopping cart, a single yellow plastic bag, among others...


Friday, November 09, 2007

Analect 2.185x

9 November 2007. Sun on veiled sky, November weather. Whether November... Velzy & Jacobs, veiled obsessions--a darkish room smelling of balsa and fresh resin--the glossy sheen of each leaning totem, silent in dowelled racks... a kind of lore, each shape made real. How so? A question of the ocean--the form of a wave, its particular mass and curl, rate of break...face of left slide at Trestles, through the scrub and Marine Corps tracks, a streambed estuary opening to the sea. Or, the Oceanside pier at dawn, checking the break against just how far out along the pilings--to the fish house median. Winter storms--a roiled expanse of broken white, spindrift foam blown horizontal, cross-current chaos...

Summer mornings, new light on a deep blue-green, no trace of wind. Outside, outside...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Analect 2.184x

8 November 2007. Ta'o Ch'ien. Both straight and bending. Gray on yellow gray. "Very resourceful." Single gull on high pole, a puffy mass on two spindly legs. Colors just like the sky, but with more emphasis.

Edge of a winter stream: the teacher. The listener, rather. Stories from life, Tárrega and Sor, beautifully rendered. A shadow just behind the door: Hojin. Also life.

Suddenly, the sirens at noon: righteousness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Analect 2.183x

Gray morning, coast to coast--or at least our little part of it. Churning thoughts: first, man's inhumanity to man. A guy in an alligator suit, somewhere in Florida. Go 'gators. But what about us gators? Not to mention Paul Watson, on the Farley Mowat--gold braids and the black flag of a pirate, careening across the southern oceans. Eye of a wounded whale--true and massive compassion--in the Buddhist sense--or is it some larger intelligence that can (finally) bypass vengeance? As in territory, as in unbendingness. Reeds in the wind: the ancient Sung dynasty painting--Early Snow on the River--fishermen in their matted huts, built on spindly piers out over gray water. The wet and the cold. To find some appropriate interchange with the universe. For what IS modesty but a need for the private--and a willingness to listen.

No truth in ideas, however golden. The materials are all...

(for L)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Analect 2.182x

2 November 2007. The Road to Magnitogorsk, on a sun-filled autumn morning in California. An untenable contradiction? The story of Victor Kalmikov, in bast shoes, six up in an early Soviet railway carriage, then, with a 50 pound drill, pounding evenly-spaced half-inch holes into a steel girder. Night school with chalk words on rough blackboard--again, the name of the place of the name. Mag-ni-to-gorsk--City of Magnet Mountain. A Pittsburg in the Urals. Photographed by Max Alpert (credits say 1899-1980). A long life, to tell the story--a Soviet Salgado.

The commissars, in Mozyr, to my father, in 1921: "But Osher, we are BUILDING something here..."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Analect 2.181x

1 November 2007. November sky--even and gray. Sidewalk opposite: a youngish man of Middle-Eastern descent, charcoal watchcap, downcast, hands shoved into pockets of short gray coat. Just outside: golden retriever leashed to bus stop pole. Patient gaze in our direction, tail tucked ever so slightly between his back legs. Mouth ajar, alert--he turns his head suddenly, then his shifts right ear. The world--present tense.

An interior by Gwen John--upstairs room. A garret? Suffused with warm and delicate light. High, round-backed wicker chair, a book on a small table--naples yellow and white with a touch of dark. Jane Freilicher, too...