Thursday, December 15, 2016

383


My mom was visiting and the girls were in a great mood.  I danced in the living room with both girls at once. I can't even remember the song, probably some African Christmas song. It was almost extraneous; merely an armature for the dance. I swirled both girls up in a swirl of magic, made them fly, and then land back down in a pose of grace. It was only a moment in time, a small one, but one that fully deserves to be here among these 1001.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

382

I was explaining to Sofia what a silhouette was, which lead to looking up the etymology. It was named after an 18th century French politician named Etienne de Silhouette. No one knows anymore why, which made me curious. Was it some kind of metaphor for shady dealings? Anyway, when I saw this graffiti cover-up on the wall in Doughboy park in Queens today I decided to take the silhouette selfie.
I was dancing to a band Mandi Rudd introduced me to called Houndmouth. And they had one song, Sedona, with lyrics ending, "A Saturday night kinda pink." And I loved that idea, it made perfect sense. But it also hit me on a deeper level. I want my work week to be so good that I'm swimming in Saturday night pink. That's the goal. Swimming!



Though it's Wednesday, there's a little Saturday pink in this pic. But mostly I just love it as a reaction to the political climate. The way the darkest moments can bring out the best in people, the way that can change the world. 


381


Went up Roosevelt to see if the Banksy I saw 3 years ago was still there. (See essay at end of this post.) Discovered on Spotify that the Hamilton Mixtape came out and listened to that. Listening to the "Immigrants (get the job done)" song from Hamilton, while dancing up Roosevelt and dodging in and out of immigrants of all stripes. Which all felt pretty good given the political climate these days.

    good name for a twee band

   a million things to see on Roosevelt Avenue


    beautiful composition, natural. Or at least beautifully arranged by the poster putter-upper.

   Finally made it to the wall. No more Banksy. Is it under the paint? I couldn't find a trace.


And here's the essay I wrote and finished this morning about seeing the Banksy here 3 years ago.

The Queens Banksy Chase

On the morning of Oct 15th, 2013 my wife Genevieve sent me a text, letting me know that Banksy was in the midst of doing a residency in New York city and that I should check it out. I googled and found out that Banksy was half way through a 31 day long self-imposed residency in NYC for the month of October. Every day of October Banksy was putting up a new piece somewhere in one of the five Boroughs. It was a project epic in scope, even for Banksy.

The day before Genevieve tipped me off, Banksy had made international news for the 14th piece of the residency, a prank he pulled off in Central Park. He set up a stand, among all the other stands, selling his prints for cheap, which were subsequently ignored by droves of tourists. Nobody knew they were originals, worth tens of thousands of dollars each. It was wryly funny and critical of the capitalistic culture of value, two qualities I'd come to expect from Banksy.

I was curious about where the 15th piece was going to be that day, so I began to google deeper. I found out that one had been done just that morning at 68th Street and 38th Avenue in Jackson Heights. It was within walking distance! I sprang into action immediately. I did the hundred and one things needed to get the girls ready to go out the door, got them both in the double stroller and rolled.

The girls are Lucia and Sofia, then ages 3 and 4. Little did they care about going to see a fresh Banksy, but they were always happy to go for a ride. I pushed the stroller up 39th Avenue to Roosevelt, then up Roosevelt to 68th. Roosevelt is directly under the 7 Train for approximately 75 blocks, which creates a very long tunnel effect. My neighbor Stephen Nickson calls Roosevelt Avenue a tunnel of diversity, as hundreds of businesses of all different cultural backgrounds line the blocks under the tracks.  This was the avenue we walked down for 18 blocks that morning in order to witness a a brand new Banksy piece.

We were still new to these environs. We had just moved from Boulder Colorado to Queens NY. After ten years in Boulder, NYC is quite a change, almost like living in another country. The skies are bigger in Colorado, and so are the vistas. The smells, sights and sounds are radically different. The people are much less ethnically diverse in Colorado, and they also operate on a much lower vibrational level, baritone, even bass. In New York most people are working tenor or soprano levels. New Yorkers walk about twice as fast as people from Colorado. It's exhilarating, but exhausting. But you build up the stamina, just like in Colorado you build your lungs to acclimate to the altitude.

The downside is no joke though. A NYC dentist told us that teeth grinding is common problem here. Stress is a killer. You have to learn to manage it. Time goes by quicker here, so you have to find ways to slow it down. Otherwise you will age much faster.

On the other hand, contrary to expectations, we found the people in New York to be more neighborly than those in Colorado. We knew more neighbors in the first two weeks of moving into our apartment in Queens than we did after ten years of living in Boulder. The density of people here creates countless small communities, entirely based upon proximity and need.

I quickly began to appreciate what Queens and NYC had to offer. Just prior to the Banksy residency I had been reading Jonathem Lethem's fresh-off-the-press novel, "Dissident Gardens," about Sunnyside Queens in the 1940s through to the 1970s, from back when it was a communist cell through to the folk, beatnik and hippy years. I was also taking walks and bike rides everyday, exploring even the graveyards. You could say I was steeping myself in Queens.

Three days prior to Genevieve's Banksy tip, on October 12th, I had gone with several of the gardeners I had met from the Sunny Gardens Community Garden, located behind our communal Sunnyside Gardens Park, to see Lethem read from "Dissident Gardens" at the Sunnyside Community Center. (That's a lot of community in once sentence.) After the reading I told the gardeners that they were the real Dissident Gardens, which got a good laugh. But it was true. Lethem was using Sunnyside Gardens in his novel as a kind of metaphor of defeat; the open backyards of the ideal planned community were now fenced in, the dream was long gone. But that's fiction for you. The truth is more complicated; far from gone, the socialist dream is still alive and growing in Sunnyside Gardens and the amazing park to which it was attached.

So now here we were, walking up Roosevelt with a stroller, as if dropped in a Lethem novel set in real time, about to see this fresh masterpiece from Banksy, in the middle of his already legendary month long residency in NYC. There was a palpable sense of history to the whole thing.

I pushed the stroller off of Roosevelt and up 68th. There was a little bodega on the corner of 38th Avenue and 68th and we could see some people crowded around the back, staring at the rear wall. Bingo! There it was, still fresh, still unmarred. It immediately shone with that mysterious aura of great art.

An hour later this art would be tagged by local hooligans. This was a recurring problem for fans of Banksy, because in the local tagger's eyes Banksy was stepping on territory. The locals were defending their so-called turf, which seemed petty to me, in light of Banksy's gift, but, on the other hand, it added an exciting element to the sport of the hunt, because it made it that much sweeter to get try to see the piece and get a good shot of it before it could be trashed.

We just made it in time, this time, but it was a close one. An hour later and this piece would be tagged by Topic, then Team Robbo and finally Problem Child. Problem Child! The local punk taggers add something indelible to a Banksy piece in the process of destroying it.

Over the next 2 weeks of the residency we would witness more fresh pieces just in the nick of time before they were destroyed, and three of those times we arrived even as they were being destroyed. It was a race between my stroller/subway skills with my toddlers in tow and the punk taggers. And victories were sweet.

The text of that first piece we saw on October 15 in Queens reads, “What we do in life echoes in Eternity." Next to the words there was the life size stencil of a man who is scrubbing the graffiti off the wall, erasing the word "Eternity."

The quote is from Russel Crowe's Maximus in the movie Gladiator, and it is a variation from the original by Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor and philosopher, which is commonly translated as, “What we do now echoes in eternity.” For Banksy, to take a pop culture quote from a cheesy Hollywood movie (one that happens to be both terrible and great) which is in turn a quote, an echo, from hardcore western world Roman history, is a mark of his style. In that way he is in the tradition of the pop artist, marrying the highbrow to the low, and consequently, the elite to the common, the rich to the poor.

At first the piece struck me as a simultaneous celebration of both the work of the artist, which somehow pushes out into eternity, and a critique of the critics who deface art. But as with most Banksy pieces the meaning of the work was even more layered and resonant than it first appeared.

This was a temporary piece of street art that was paradoxically about longevity, and that's why I loved the picture I was able to take of the girls standing in front of it, caught in that fleeting eternal moment. Somehow the girls looked as if they belonged in that scene too. The colors of their clothes even matched. I had extemporaneously captured a moment of their youth that spoke to eternity. It struck me that just by being alive the girls were erasing the foreverness of eternity, that our lives themselves, by being finite, were, paradoxically, small erasures of timelessness.

But it also occurred to me just then that, not unlike figurative art, the girls are a literal embodiment of something that I have done in life that will echo toward eternity, i.e. having children. I liked being able to frame this thought in such a perfect way. Later we framed the shot of the girls and gave it to my father as a gift. My girls are, after all, also an eternal echo of something he did in his life, echoes of an echo.

But there was another surprise twist to this artwork that unveiled itself only recently. A few weeks ago some Australian friends were staying with us. They saw the picture of the girls in front of the tag and recognized the font in which Banksy had chosen to write "Eternity."

They told us the story behind it. It turns out that Arthur Malcolm Stace, otherwise known as Mr. Eternity, was an Australian eccentric and soldier, a reformed alcoholic and thief who converted to Christianity and spread his message by writing the word "Eternity" in copperplate font with chalk on footpaths in and around Sydney for about 35 years, from 1932 to 1967. (The first tagger?) Later on Wikipedia I found out that in an interview Stace said, "Eternity went ringing through my brain and suddenly I began crying and felt a powerful call from the Lord to write Eternity." Stace was illiterate and could hardly write his own name legibly, but, he said, "the word 'Eternity' came out smoothly, in a beautiful copperplate script. I couldn't understand it, and I still can't."

He was breaking Sydney's laws, of course, and he narrowly avoided arrest about twenty-four times. Each time he was caught, he responded with, "But I had permission from a higher source."

It is estimated that Stace wrote the word around 500,000 times. Only one survives, found years later, poetically, in a bell tower above Sydney's Post Office. One out of half a million! But now there was another one, in Queens, as if from beyond the grave, an exact copy of the divinely inspired original script. Banksy is literally echoing Eternity.

Echoes are everywhere. Banksy's work echoes Stace's, i.e. "Permission from a higher source." The story of Mr. Eternity provides a rich allegory to this piece, but is so subtly presented as to be nearly hidden. It's for Banksy himself, first, an homage to his forebearer, Mr. Eternity, but it's for the rest of us too, an Easter egg to be discovered later.

This quality of Banksy's work can also be seen in the way his overnight graffiti art stick-ups around the five boroughs that month became like hidden treasures to be stumbled upon and discovered by the the residents of the city. Whole neighborhoods were caught up in the fun. And on that morning a Jackson Heights bodega owner found himself in possession of a piece of art that was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, if he could only find a way to remove it from the building and sell it.

I turned the stroller around and pushed the girls back home. I remember that the fall breeze was brisk, but the sun was bright and lit up a thousand interesting faces on Roosevelt Ave. (Queens' faces are some of the most interesting faces on earth. Da Vinci would have a field day here.) It was an auspicious first day of the Chase. And the moment is still echoing now, will be for a long time, maybe even on into my children's children. Every day, for the rest of October, there awaited a new adventure from Banksy, which would take us on an incredible treasure hunt throughout the other 4 boroughs of NYC.

The last piece of the month, on October 31st, was also in Queens, and also within walking distance. We got there just in time to spy it across highway 495. It was Banksy's signature on the side of a building. At first it looked just like it was done in an old school Queens-style bubble letter tag, super simple and understated. But as you looked a little closer you could see that the letters were 3-D. They were balloons made in the shape of a bubble font, as if the bubble font had bubbled out, popped out into the shape it originally mimicked. It was a reverse tromp-leoil. This was Banksy both paying homage to the locals and one-upping them at the same time. It was also a clever way to sign the entire month long "residency," his love letter to the city.

I took a shot of the girls sitting on the overpass guard rail, the bubble-letter Banksy signature hovering between them in the distance, and then we looked for a way to cross the highway to get a closer look. By the time we made it across the highway and found the building the piece was already gone! In that short 5 minutes some kids had put up a ladder and pulled it down. Meanwhile the NYPD had arrived on the scene and caught up to the kids before they could take off with the partially deflated letters. There were several bystanders watching the show, mostly fellow Banksy chasers, some of which I had come to know in the last few weeks. The cops let the kids go, but they put the bubble-letter Banksy in the back of a police van. Presumably they still have it now. It's worth a fortune.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

380


This morning I listened to the band recommended to me a few days ago by the couple I met in the cemetary. Blockstop. It was great to dance to, jazzy hip hop with politically motivated lyrics.

Just Be Just

Be yourself, be clean,
be kind, be beautiful
be practical, creative, logical,
open and original,
be conscious, be aware,
sensitive, be sensible,
sensual, sentimental,
take care of yourself
and know your body,
know your mind,
know where you’re going
mostly all of the time,
be responsible, responsive,
reach for autonomy and
realize your dreams, be healthy,
helpful, hopeful, not doubtful,
be safe, be courageous,
don’t fear death,
it’s just a transition,
don’t get rattled,
complete your mission,
serve yourself,
take the road less travelled,
look inside for answers
but ask others if you must
and just be just.

Open your mind.
Feel the presence of light
shines at the right time.

Be a child of the universe,
be at peace with God,
be godly, be good,
be holy, life’s unfolding
as it should
be a doer, a generator, practice,
be persistent, embrace difference,
honor your own existence
cause it can only serve
to enhance your aura,
karma, prahna,
build your home, keep it clean,
warm and welcoming,
speak to strangers
and welcome them,
even just to say hello,
know no one’s above you,
no one is below you,
they don’t know you,
you don’t know them,
make whoever you can a friend
unless they got bad energy,
then just let it be
meditate, drink V8,
lose weight, shoot straight,
don’t lie to loved ones,
just love them and just be just.

Open your mind.
Feel the presence of light
shining on time.

Open your heart,
let it guide your life.
You’ll see love is ours.


    This beauty can be seen inside the unknown dancer's mausoleum:

    This can be seen flying above the cemetery at just that moment:



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

379


Woke up in shock with the rest of the sane world this morning at the election of Trump. Genevieve in tears. Such a serious set back.  Ugh.

But walking the girls to school, some hope:

"Girls, did you hear that Hillary lost last night?"

Sofia says, "Who won?"

"Trump."

Long pause...

"Well, when I grow up I guess I will become the first woman president."

That's our girl. Tears came to my eyes and I high fived her.

"Why do you like that so much?" she asked.

Because it is optimistic.

"What is optimistic mean?" asked Lucia.

So I explained the difference between optimism and pessimism. Seemed so apt!

After walking them to school I meditated, which helped enormously. And then I danced. A powerful one two combo.

My upstairs neighbor asked, "Random question...nt sure if you're home. Im' noticing the floor and windows are shaking. Any ideas why?"

"I'm dancing. I can try in basement though."

"Ha, no big deal. Sounds like fun."

"Yeah a good way to shake the blues." 

Joel Davis' Terrasonic show from Nov. 5 gave me the soundtrack for a great dance, which hit a full on beautiful pitch by the time he got to the DJ Nu-Mark track 45 minutes in.

https://www.mixcloud.com/terrasonic/terrasonic-05-november-2016/









Thursday, November 3, 2016

378

    typical of the clever halloween decorations in my neighborhood


I got a new iPhone 7+. Was excited to have good picture taking capability again, but alas, found out this morning that the Blogger iPhone app no longer exists. I never thought I'd have this problem with Google. I'm assuming it has something to do with Apple/Google proprietary rights. Anyway, lame.

Today put on an African mixtape, from Spotify, and headed to the Cemetery. Haven't been there in awhile. I was thinking about the idea of putting dances up on youtube, as a way to document them, so I set up a video camera on a grave and began to dance. 

This couple came by and asked what I was listening to. Uh, Snoop Lion, Snoop Dog's reggae self, his song fruit juice. 

The man, Jeff, told me about French political rap music he thought I would like (?) called Blockstop. I told him I'd check it out. Then he told me he was in NYC's Labor Chorus and they were having a concert at NYU on  November 12th, and that I should come. And that they needed baritone singers too if I was interested. Apparently they sing choral labor movement music? Hard to fathom, but I'm definitely intrigued. 

Nice to meet some neighbors while I was I was out dancing.

Oh and they said they liked my moves, thought I was a professional dancer! That's what I needed to hear today. Feeling old and lame otherwise. 




Tuesday, November 1, 2016

377

Devendra's last album Mala. Love to dance to a full album, to be in the hands of a good artist. Getting sweaty in the living room while sick Lucia watches Super Why.

Monday, October 31, 2016

376


Basement dance delux.

Danced sooooo hard to Die Antwoord's brilliant new album, Mount Ninji and Da Nice Time Kid. OMG. Matthew told me the live show wasn't to be missed, so I imagined I was there live. And Matthew's medicine helped with the magic too. Danced so hard I could only get through 5 or 6 songs, but yeesh. Unbelievably forward and raw.

Later in the evening, though  it wasn't a dance, per say, maybe, I listened to Devendra Banhart's new album, Ape In Pink Marble as I cleaned dishes and it sent me far. Surrealistic softcore music for the ages.

A year of dances, that's butterfly life-span talk.


Caught this reflection of my hand, my hand reflecting light from the sun in the basement window into the bathroom, and flashing it in time to the music, while dancing to Die Antwoord, a special, personal, effect.


The bathroom photo up close, taken originally by Genevieve. The light reflecting!


375

We saw an incredible dance performance in the lobby of MOMA today by the Jerome Bel company. The performance consisted of museum employees leading several other museum employees in different styles of dance. The dances ranged from tango to African to ballet to hip hop to butoh. I teared up during one of the dances, it was so good, so full of joy and the possibilities of art.

I danced too, at the back of the crowd, while watching, feeling the moves and the music.  

A powerfully passionate Matisse at MOMA I've never noticed before

Friday, October 28, 2016

374

More living room dancing. Super hard to Grimes' "Art Angels", a full album worth of dance, completely drenched in sweat by the end of it. Great dance album all around, super interesting beats, with at least 3 songs that took it to the next level. 

            Sofia's pumpkin is so cute. Lucia's is pretty funny too.

A keeper!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

373

Read article at dentist about how LSD was a big inspiration for the Beatles' Revolver, which in turn was a kind of evolution for pop music itself. And for society itself. So today I followed the music and messages of that album as I danced in the living room.

Such an exercise will extend your life and liberty.

And also how about these lyrics, partly taken from Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert's manual for taking LSD, "Tibetan Book of The Dead." The lyrics, all by themselves, are a pretty incredible manual and must've been such an awakening for so many people listening to this album in the late 60s, and still. I had a friend who had a bad a trip on acid once, and it would have been great to be able to have him listen to this over and over...

Tomorrow Never Knows


Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream
It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void
It is shining, it is shining

Yet you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone
It is knowing, it is knowing...

... that ignorance and hates may mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams
It is not living, it is not living

So play the game "Existence" to the end...
... Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning
Of the beginning, of the beginning


And this staring at me in the living room as I danced, Sofia's ceramic gnome and his girlfriend, who he stole from Frankenstein.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

372

Got a Lyft tonight. Told the driver we were heading to Forest Hills to see Van Morrison. He told us he saw Van Morrison with Them in the Village in 1966. Half a century ago! Did they play Gloria I asked? Yes, he said, and then mentioned it was the first song he had learned to play on guitar. (We found out later this guy went on to play guitar with Leslie West from Mountain. We also learned he hadn't been playing for the last year because he lost his job and was in the middle of a divorce. Ooh.) Do you think he'll play Gloria tonight I asked? Nah, I don't think he'll play that really early stuff, he said. I hope so, I said, because it was my late great friend Bill Berkson's favorite song.

Turned out Van Morrison played it afterall, for his encore, a wild and surprising 20 minute long version. The crowd sang along at the top of their tired lungs. I imagined (felt?) Bill next to me, singing along too, taking it all in with that charming and mysterious smile of his.

It felt as if I were witnessing the encore of a momentous time in history.

I have a slight fever, caught a bug this weekend from one of the kids, feeling achy and shaky, especially old, but for that encore I still got up and danced.

Friday, September 23, 2016

371

For my work out today I danced to the new Nick Cave album, Skeleton Tree. This one is orchestral, slow and lyrically driven, such a good record. I learned afterward from Pitchfork that near the album's completion Nick Cave's twin son fell from a cliff and died. My heart sank. "The song [Jesus Alone] was among the first Cave wrote for the record, yet its opening image—'You fell from the sky, crash-landed in a field near the River Adur'—feels unbearably prescient." God. Glad I didn't know that about this album before I danced to it. It would have been too hard to move.

As it was I entered a strange upside down world. The ceiling in the basement is so low I can almost put my elbows on it. So with my eyes shut I put my hands up on the ceiling and pretended like it was the floor, and I the gravity was low enough that I could move around on my hands. It was a self-illusion.

About half way through the album I wanted to try something more cardio oriented, so I switched to Kanye West's Life of Pablo. Turned out this was another gospel record of sorts. But the pure puerility of Kanye makes for such a strange counterposition to the hard-earned wisdom of Nick Cave. A study in contrasts. Yet I loved it for the adrenaline rush. And here and there is an honest grappling with honest grappling. It's often clever and thought provoking too. For example, Pablo in the title might refer by turns to Picasso, the drug lord Pablo Escobar, or as Kanye hints, the Apostle Paul...

Both records got a 9.0 on Pitchfork. Go figure. Two self-styled off-kilter gospel records, both equally well made, and seemingly from opposite ends of the spectrum. A perfect dance between the two.

I sometimes wish others were witnessing these overtures, but then again I suppose someone was.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

370

Release of the day in the basement while Gen put the girls to bed, sneaking it in. The soundtrack was the first mixtape from Joel Davis' new joint, Conduit.

https://blog.conduitmusic.co/why-conduit-approach-to-music-discovery-is-different-and-better/

Near the end is a remix of CSN+Y's "Back To The Garden."

"Got To Get Yourself Back To The Garden."

And part of this dance tonight is about shaking off the tension between Genevieve and Lucia (who is a handful) and then this, and suddenly I'm Adam and Gen is Eve (Genevieve) and I'm letting go of knowledge, of thinking, and getting back to the garden.

I'm thinking about that Paul Valèry quote, "When you think, you lose the thread."

Try to hold onto the thread.

"Lose yourself in the music, the moment." Eminem

369

Dancing hard to the new Jack White Acoustic Album, high on vibes left over from a brilliant weekend, feeling that bodily confluence with the music like I haven't for awhile. In full shake, rattle and roll, stop, break beat, go go go mode.

I did some yoga postures afterward, and as I did I began to hum/om along to the music, in key. Music yoga. In different poses, different registers of voice. Bending down to a low om from the chest, hands raised in the air, go high and sing in the head. Singing up the chakras, singing back up, with Jack White in the lead.

I just slipped into these new sonic asanas, like I once slipped into 5/5 time while playing a 3/3 Bach Partita (it was so different that way!) like I slipped recently into a pure effluvium of swirling shapes and colors while meditating, like the substratum of thought itself. No thought at all! The first time I've ever been able to get there, just the endless spin of the elements. Slip in the slipstream to somewhere new altogether.

Dang, music yoga y'all.

Monday, September 19, 2016

368

When I blew out my birthday candles this year it seemed sacrilege to wish
for anything beyond the moment itself. I just blew. No wishes...
Dexter and Nori brought a bottle of Hudson Valley Bourbon,
best I've ever had, with a burnt caramel flavor, wood smoke,
pass it around, get a magic 8 Ball from KC Trommer, kids go crazy,
Lilla brings a peach torte from patisserie, Amy brings a peach pie,
Cristina, fancy snacks and socks, Therese a painting of a hummingbird,
Catherine a handle of rum, Nonna and Papa delicious boursin cheese,
Marco oak aged beer, Quinn guitar strings, picks and a pear,
Tyler and Karen, wine and a watermelon: and more I'm forgetting,
suffice to say it was superabundance. Just so happens
that Flicks & Jazz in the Garden was scheduled on my birthday.
Big band jazz plays for an hour. Meanwhile I throw a giant frisbee
high so it comes back to me, as if I was playing catch with the sky,
while dozens of kids swirl around me trying to catch it too.
After the big band jazz the Brooklyn Raga Massive plays versions
of Beatles and Zeppelin, with the Pyeng Threadgill singing
(daughter of jazz great Henry Threadgill who just won the Pulitzer.)
I danced with my daughter Lucia and she was so fantastic!
It was the highlight of a night filled with highlights.
Then my favorite new band, The Flushing Remonstrance,
played soundtracks to old experimental films,
including George Melies' Trip To The Moon.
This was followed by old Felix The Cat Cartoons.
Soon it was 10pm and the girls were both lying on me
comfortably, while we watched cartoons outside in the park. Perfect.
A wild Austrian neighborhood kid, Hans, hanging around my neck too.
I hardly know him, but it seemed natural, and no one, least me, objects.
It was a warm night, with a cool breeze. Full harvest moon! No bugs!
Better than I could've imagined, like when Whitman says,
" O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you-yet I love you;
You express me better than I can express myself; You shall be more
to me than my poem." The night expressed me better than I could.
Or when Seamus Heaney says, "And what happens next is a music
that you never would have known to listen for."
We end Saturday evening drinking port that brother-in-law Matthew
hand delivered from Portugal, Dow special reserve. Best port
I've tasted, with distinct flavor of strawberry, raspberry, plum
and chocolate. We paired it with Lilla's peach torte. Now that's the life!
Sunday, the weekend extends still further with a Doppio Giallo style
doubles tennis tournament in the park, a fundraiser for earthquake in Italy.
I'm curious what Doppio Giallo means. Carlo says it means Double
Mystery. But doesn't giallo mean yellow I asked? Carlo says yes,
but yellow in Italian also means mystery. Do you know why, I ask,
but he doesn't. So now we have a "giallo" giallo,
why is mystery in Italian the color yellow? It's a mystery.
Afterward off to see the opening of Mierle Laderman Ukules' show
at the Queens Museum. Gen and I were so tired after night before
and the doubles tournament that neither of us really wanted to go,
but we rallied, and so glad we did. Such a great show. So inspiring.
And doubly glad that we got to meet Mierle. Do you know her?
Now thoroughly tired, and pinching myself to see if this all
might be a dream, but instead of waking up, I fall asleep!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

367

 In a day that began at brother's new house on Lookout Mountain in Golden, moved to a disc golf game in Arvada with Jeff and Matthew to Denver for sushi burrito lunch to Boulder for the opera Carmen under Bandshell (!) to see Tom at the Beat Bookstore to sleep Mom's in Loveland.

And one stop to see my old friends' band Wonderlic in Skyline park in Denver. They gave me a shout out and the girls too. Sofia wanted to dance, so we gave the crowd a show, both girls in tow.

So sweet, twirling the girls around to that rocky mountain beat.

366

Incredibly in sync dance with Diandra at Matthew and Monica's house in front of fire place. Hard to believe how synchronized a dance can be, how expressive, how mutually creative. Kept me up too late, but well worth it. An unexpected (and needed) gift from a personal God.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

363

I was watching the girls in the Splash Pad at the Lakeside LeFrak of Prospect Park, a very large area with sprinklers on the outside and about an inch of water covering the ground on the inside. I was meditating, and waves of ecstasy were washing over me with each breath. There was a large speaker playing music and Abba's dancing queen came on. I got up and went into the center of the Pad with the girls and began to dance. It was great because the inch of water became a dance prop, something to kick and splash with my feet. Then I spun the girls around and we worked on some new moves, splashed in the sun. At one point time slowed down and I watched the water fly from my dancing feet, glittering with diamonds of sunlight, and thinking: this is it!



We made it to 4 other playgrounds today, epic, but that was the highlight.

Another nice moment was in the Imagination Playground. On the ground in tile were the words "Where sea serpents roam/ I love to whistle!" And to illustrate the point there was a large bronze sea serpent with water flowing over it like a giant wave. Whistle! That sums it up. This was the answer to last night's anxiety dream.



Sofia in the Imagination playground making friends with Ezra Jack Keats' Willie.





Tuesday, July 5, 2016

362

After the beautiful day learning Paul Simon songs on the ukulele on the beach, diamonds on the soles of her shoes, jumping off the dock into lake with girls, all smiles, I come home to a doctor's appointment, check out healthy for now, luxuriate in the fact that this is a doctor in the West Village and not Queens. Queens care = queen scare. Afterward dancing on the corner of 23rd and 5th, in the setting sun people streaming all-around. Beck's "WOW, it's all happening now "on auto repeat. Then Blood Orange for the home stretch. Caught 2 lightning bugs for the girls.

Subway ad reappropriation. Christian Slater = Christians later.

DOD (discovery of the day)

That top quote is money


And this is my boy 

Friday, July 1, 2016

361

Paul Simon's last concert in his home town of Forest Hills. Dancing hard to "Me and Julio" in the rain. Glorious!


Gen before show catching up with work friend Diana, who is looking like a madonna.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

360

Today's dance was short and sweet, just like a Ramones song. We went to see the Ramones show at the Queens Museum. In the back room there was a virtual Ramones concert happening, projected on the wall, loud speakers. The girls and I danced hard. Brilliant. Felt like we were living at the birth of punk.















Sunday, June 12, 2016

359

The amount of great moments I have in my life is hard to fathom.  Last night at the dads camp out fully immersed in the music around the campfire for instance. I know it is nothing to write home about. Especially with all the famine on the farm. And the Orlando nightclub shooting still fresh blood.

But it is no use to live less.

Rounds around the campfire of "I want to rock 'n' roll all night and party every day," done some bud {damn autocorrect} Samba style.

Change lyrics to: "I want to Rock and roll all night and party every day. But my wife left me and now I'm in AA. I have to call my sponsor, I have to go away. I want to rock 'n' roll all night and party every day."

But suffice to say I stayed up all night anyway and got completely lost in, full of, the muse w/ my crews.

How to bring that noise to the masses?

Them's my assays. 

Double pronged business plan 2016: 1. WorldFest, 2. sound and vision series. To get real about work (and thus deserve the pasture.)

Oh yes, and about this dance. It was to Junior Farm by Paul McCartney. With Lucia, we made up moves and got very into the music. All kinds of fancy moves. Seriously not something everyone should not feel. All the 
time. 








Sunday, June 5, 2016

358

Watched joke of itch (damn autocorrect) Djokavic beat Murray in the French Open. Such a savage confidence. So much spirit and grace in the body. Ha ha, I love that mistranslation, "joke of itch."

 On the way to the cemetery I saw Justin Marks on the street. We talked about the ins and outs of Helen Vendler. Because I am so immersed in her commentaries on Emily Dickinson right now. Justin told me some great stories about her. I said she was getting heat in the community. I loved Justin's response, "She's got PC issues." Meanwhile Justin's kid Henry complained that we had talked through a full red light cycle as we were standing on the corner. Justin said, "That's one of the great things about living in New York City, Henry, having conversations with people on the street." 

Then I put on the Pharaohs, a band that happened to be recommended to me by Justin's partner at Birds, Inc, Sampson Starkweather. Interesting coincidence. Turned out to be a perfect dance record. Including a stellar version of "People tell me I'm the life of the party because I tell a joke or two." Joke of itch. I went hard at the old boneyard.

At the secret Rendezvous I danced with the unknown French dancer. She was exquisite! Oh yeah, Djokavic spoke perfect French too. He inspired me to learn French, and to be more organized and smart with my time my short brief time.







Saturday, June 4, 2016

357

showed up late to Tyler Burba's 40th birthday party at the Parkside Lounge in Lower East Side. He was playing The Beatles' "Run For Your Life", but it was a version so raw ripped and bluesy that I didn't even recognize it was the Beatles. It was like what the Beatles were trying to be! And it got me dancing hard, instantly. And I was the only one.

The song ended and Tyler pulled me up on stage to do a couple songs. He handed me an electric guitar, which I'm not used to, and I just rocked out. It was full throated and full throttle, still can't believe I can get there sometimes, and with the crowd on my side. Verdant.

I remember improvising the lines, "40 years hath Octember. 40 years the lungs have wrapped the peek hole. 40 daisies on 40 ladies."








Wednesday, June 1, 2016

356

It was perfect weather today so I decided to take advantage and ride my bike across the Queensborough and into the city. I rode up the East Side bike path along the river until I got to 95th and then headed over into Central Park. I stopped to do the old soft shoe to "Mista Dobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien for awhile in the grass near the sailboat pond. Then I decided that since I was so close to the Met it would be a minor sin not to go see some art. I looked up what was playing. At the Met Breuer was "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," a show of unfinished paintings by the Masters. Totally great. Below are some highlights.

This one was poignant. It was the painting Van Gogh was working on when he killed himself. That unfinished blue sky!

This painting by Degas reminded me of Caravaggio's "Conversion of St. Paul", one of my favorite paintings. (I cried when I saw it after Genevieve and I stumbled across accidentally in church in Rome.) The man is in same position as St. Paul, but these horses are going the opposite way, and running at that. And the jockey doesn't seem to be having the same kind of conversion as St. Paul. But maybe that's the joke? The horses are oblivious of the man in both paintings.

Turner unfinished! It's a straight up link to the Abstract Expressionists, but more beautiful than anything done by the lot.

This Ed Ruscha print cracks me up. The word says "PRECISE" and Ruscha's precise note for the printer (which appears to be unintentially ironic) is to make the letters whiter.

This etching by Rembrandt is personal. St. Jerome reading. The lion is protecting him. I feel like a lion of sorts is protecting me today so I can study Rembrandt etchings at the Met. I love how St. Jerome (myself) appears to still be forming.

I remember in 6th grade seeing an unfinished painting by da Vinci with the inscription "When the eye cries stop, stop." It's still stuck in my mind all these decades later. And now this drawing by him coming from unfinished chaos in the fringes to the "finished" look love in the face of the Madonna.

Jan Van Eyck drawing with just the background painted in. Hard to see here just how exquisite this is.

Albrecht Durer, unfinished Christ. Haunting.

Picasso purposely playing with levels of process.

Warhol taking Picasso's idea a step further. 

Kerry James Marshall takes Warhol a step further with this portrait of the artist in front of a color-by-numbers self portrait. 

I remember seeing this piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres in San Francisco in the nineties. It's a pile of candy with the same mass as the artist. A self-portrait. You take a piece as a symbol of the the viewer taking a piece of the artist. I kept two pieces of candy from when I saw this pile 20 years ago and I believe I still have them. I guess I didn't need to as it's still being replenished. It's unfinished! I took two more this time to give to my daughters.