The Night Window. BIBLIOMANCY or VATICINATION?
On Thursday, February 27th, I waited to board my plane to Minneapolis, at LaGuardia. To kill time, I went, as I often do, to look for books, to stack a poem with the titles sold there, gently rearranging the bookshelves. Browsing the shelves at CIBO Express, this poem emerged:
The Night Window
Since we fell we were
the lucky ones,
the perfect couple
lost in the cabin
at the end of the world,
becoming the border,
It had an ominous ring to it. It left me a bit uneasy. Having done this at all types of book venues, from libraries and private homes, to independent and chain bookstores, titles offered at airport bookstores often fall in one of four categories: hot business, hot politics, hot romance, and hot self-help. The poems I stack there often have a level of anxiety that aren’t necessarily mine.
Once in Minnesota I stayed at the home of friends’ friends, a psychologist and her husband. I shared the poem with them and their friend, resulting in a delightful conversation. I implied I might rearrange some of their books. They laughed, and I gleaned from their response that they wouldn’t mind if I would. The guest room was next to her office. On the wall hung a framed photo of a group of campers, with a title: “I often think something marvelous is about to happen.” That text was an invitation for a book poem to be built on. Needing little impetus, I did. The office shelves were packed with psych books and children’s books, a potent combination.
I often think
something marvelous is about to happen
I’m a frog
singing the living tradition.
Where there is no doctor
cure the little prince
thinking in systems—
the way things work
stumbling on happiness
where the sidewalk ends
To my surprise this poem echoed the sentiment of The Night Window, an answer perhaps, or at least a continuation, more upbeat, but also with an open-ended last line, that begs for a sequel yet again… What’s next? If the first poem alludes to a proverbial mythological dark forest, its sequel might hold a key to emerging from it, to reenter the secret mysteries of our universe, our lives in it. Be well.
RETE: Mix things up
In case of flesh wound, blood will clot.
Fibrin (a thread-like protein) forms network. It dries up.
Clot becomes scab. Scab protects. Healing begins.
Dear earth, may it be so. May we let it happen. Dear you… Drink water. Mix up your life. Eat your veggies. Hug a tree. Call one another. Near and far. Someone new. Skype and zoom. Travel. Across time zones.
Ask “What’s up?”… Stay home.
Living in an Open City during Covid 19
The Covid Journal is a project I launched a few days ago. It’s my response, my contribution, my attempt to be useful in this incredibly strange and difficult moment. On a regular basis I am going out into my community which includes one of the most virus besieged hospitals in this virus besieged city, Elmhurst Hospital.
Xenogenesis: Flushing, Queens
From my 2007 diary…..What a strange and deeply inspiring summer. I have been living in New York City for just about ten years, and I think it is finally becoming the kind of muse that sends my creative spirit flying. Tonight I drove to Flushing to shoot xenogenesis. Little did I know that a drive to this marvelous Asian community would lead to one of the most unusual epicurean experiences I have ever had — eating authentic Szechuan food. This region of China includes the highly pungent taste of Mala. Eating this invisible, peppery powder in our appetizers was like diving into a pool of ocean water with an electrical socket plugged into the taste buds of your tongue. What a charge!
So back to filmmaking, though in many ways such taste-defined sensations are very tied into the witnessing and thinking that comes with collecting images for our words. It’s all new and all extremely sensory. Tonight I shot in the Sago Bubble Tea Cafe because it seemed like a great place to study the radical shift in life style between generations in the Asian community in this city. Here I was able to see tables of young people gathering to drink a particularly new dessert drink, to eat French fries, to participate in a sense of community that is, to my eye, so different from that of their parents.
Zenana: Images of Henna in a Queens Beauty Salon by Barbara Hammer
2007: Thanks Lynne for sending me to a new place in the 5 boroughs of New York, Queens! I have long wanted to explore the Roosevelt subway stop area which centers on Roosevelt Avenue filled with Asian Indian restaurants, sari shops, and, voila Le Henna womens’ beauty salon. The young woman artist who designed my hand was so surprised that I didn’t want an elaborate design, but rather, one that could be completed in the 2 to 3 minute video clip you asked of me. There she is, there are our ears, our hands. Wedded for 3 minutes! Of course, I immediately went to the nearby store and bought my own henna ready to draw the body brown line beauty brown. (Barbara Hammer)
Sitting in a park under the Queesborough Bridge, a beautiful Henna necklace was drawn on my neck. It looked great with my black dress.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYzlfG04FQk A semi-secret rock venue in Ridgewood, Queens employs the sound of an adjoining Mexican restaurant as a cover and as an indicator.
Bibliomancy: A Little Flip Book About Love and Sex
The passion of sex has become intertwined within our modern notions of love. Sharing loving moments with another person is the most primal human desire. And SEX is the most intrinsic physical expression of that love.
BUT if you’re home alone on Saturday night, without the tender touch of another, how could you possibly fulfill your desire? Read a book of course!
Each turning page contains a poem of loving tenderness. Skim the pages one at a time OR watch as passion explodes!
As infamous New Yorker Woody Allen says,
“Don’t knock masturbation, it’s sex with someone I love.”