September 21, 2017

August 08, 2017

July 23, 2017

April 26, 2017

December 21, 2016

song of myself

"i believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars, and the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and the egg of the wren, and the tree-toad is a chef-d'oeuvre for the highest, and the running blackberry would adorn the parlors of heaven, and the narrowest hinge in my hand puts to scorn all machinery, and the cow crunching with depressed head surpasses any statue, and a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels, and i could come every afternoon of my life to look at the farmer's girl boiling her iron tea-kettle and baking shortcake."

— walt whitman

March 17, 2016

post title

hunting flowers down the Amazon

trading buttons for lives

competing finches in birdsong

getting approval for gender dysphoria

collecting bodies in Afghanistan

living in on the Mount of Olives

keeping Rams in Iceland

entering the ecstatic dreams of moustaches

campaigning in Bolivia

renouncing Catholicism

running across Canada

returning to the riverbank

finding love at a conference

breathing through pancakes

community organizing in queens

on the lam in Florida

on house arrest

watching my mother die

ruining a family

dating a pair of friends

setting resort furniture on fire

driving a taxi in Ethiopia

lost in Rio

selling real estate in Sydney

singing through the financial crisis

hiding at a Swiss hotel

secreting the body of Eva Peron

a Lebanese immigrant in Paris

conversing with Hitchcock

walking through a ghost palace

August 22, 2015

To give them meaning

To whom did I send this recently?

"The banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual? [...] how are we to speak of these common things, how to track them down, how to flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they are mired, how to give them meaning, a tongue, to let them, finally, speak of what it is, who we are."

George Perec, Species of Spaces, 1974

A world of quiet

It occurred to me recently how much my relationship to drawing is informed by a deep skepticism about my authority as an author — as an eye, an arbiter of visibilities, a translator of our world.

Why should one thing be chosen over another? What insight can my point of view bring? Are my attempts at beauty — in character, narrative, or form — universal or fair in any respect, and in what ways are they reflective of bias? Is drawing from the real world a kind of aesthetic imperialism?

I draw what I see: but who am I? Who am I to draw? Who am I to see? And what do I see? For many years now I've lived with the understanding that the things that we draw and the way that we draw them are reflective of our innermost selves: our sensitivities and sensibilities, in sensual and social terms. It is no revelation to say that there is a politics of representation, but I find the responsibility too much to bear at times.

When I look back at my body of work, I see happy, gentle faces, characters holding onto the thin belief that everything will be okay. There is a sense of temporality to their existence; and pat resignation. They can be wistful, but aren't sentimental. They are alone.

There are happy dogs, and children in quiet moments; long women, pleasantly occupied, and dense and desolate urban spaces. This is a world of quiet; slow melancholy; soft isolation; summer light, afternoon light. A lot of being in the moment; of wide eyed not knowing. Life passing.

Reading these as a confession, I gather some sense of myself: that I have a flat but optimistic outlook, skeptical but bright, staid and fragile. This is not a world in which one becomes alarmed: rather, one moves through it, softly, slowly.