Getting Ready for Halloween -

Are you Scared Yet?

Are you Scared Yet?

Did you get

your Halloween

costume yet?

Or are you gonna

come as you

are ?

perceived,

I mean.

On Halloween,

ppls pretends

not to be them self.

On Halloween,

You gets to deceive

ppls & be

pretty or witty

or even shitty.

On Halloween,

You gets a pass

to be an ass.

You gets to

try on diffrent

masks

& tell whoever

asks

it ain’t me, babe,

no, no, no

it ain’t me you’re

lookin’ for, babe. 

Like Cher with your

hair.

Whatever.

This year I’m gonna

be Xenia

and I seen ya

lookin’ me

up & down,

wonderin’ if

I’m a woman

who can hold

up over time

& still get ’round.

Well, guess what?

I can & I do

& I can

also

change a

nickle to a dime,

Like Houdini.

You seen me.

What d’ya think

of that,

Bat Man

Geteting Ready for Halloween

Geteting Ready for Halloween

If a poem doesn’t get you in the mood to celebrate October 31 this year, try reading a few stories in Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbinders in Suspense – stories of mystery and excitement. Book is copyright 1967 from Random House & the cool green illustrated endpapers are just a bonus.

The Bowling Poem

Where the Dudes Hang

Where the Dudes Hang

I’m not always

at home

writing a

poem -

some times

I’m at the

bowling lanes -

knocking

down spares

with

no worries

or cares

& strikes,

which I

likes,

when the ball

do what I

tell it to.

spin fool!

knock down

that pin –

slip in

that pocket

like a rocket,

man!

don’t you

go backin’

up on me!

as you can see,

I’m not

a

one note

poet-ess.

I confess,

some times

I hang

with the dudes,

with tats

& fedoras

& spiffy

cases to

carry all

their custom

balls around.

at the lanes,

we all

poets

of one kind

or another -

one mind,

anyway.

we all be

sayin’

we all be

prayin’ -

knock them

damn pins

down

the vintage part of this book

the vintage part of this book

This book, Bowling! was published in 2013. It doesn’t even remotely qualify as a book for this blog. Having said that, this fun, newer book is chock full of vintage advertisements like this one, above, for Coke. Having spent the better part of my writing time this afternoon, otherwise engaged, this poem will have to suffice. Won’t it?

OLD LOS ANGELES

 

Los Angeles in the 1890s

Los Angeles in the 1890s

Hey L.A. -

I knew you

when you was young -

before your Botox

& Your Face Lifts -

before Hollywood

& Rodeo -

before 9 0 2 1 0

&  before

The Sunset Strip…

Before you was

Rich AND Hip,

I knew you, Babe.

Hey, L.A. -

You always

been Idea-l.

You a

Road Trip, Honey.

Sunshine and Money

Sunshine and Money

Where dreams get

born & where

dreams die –

You real-ly gotta shake it

to make it in L.A.

you gotta

see how

the dice comes

when you shake it -

low or high

low or high

I thought I’d give

you a try, L.A.

& you did

not

disappoint.

you bitter-

sweet funny

always sunny

write of

passage

gave me

no rest.

but you know

what, L.A.?

I love ya, Toots!

you still da

best.

Very Old L.A. circa 1890s

Very Old L.A. circa 1890s

Here’s one of my antique treasures – a book of photographs of Los Angeles in the late 1890s – pre-free-ways, pre-smog, pre-paparazzi, pre limited access to the beaches. This book is Los Angeles California Illustrated. No copyright date, with a worn cover. Who cares? Even pre-Hollywood. Los Angeles is one of my obsessions. I spent the good part of my life there. Like Randy Newman, I Love L.A.

 

Picasso – Fifty Years of His Art

Picasso - After Fifty Years

Picasso – After Fifty Years

Picasso

told you so.

His art

tore apart

all the old

concepts

about form

following

function.

With Extreme

Unction,

his brushes

confessed

that passion

fuels life.

Picasso didn’t need

words

to portray

how birds fly

or women cry

he drew

straight from

his heart

onto the canvas -

& the hoe in

the ground

& the bicycle

wheel he

found

by walking around -

all art to him.

whim & not whim.

Picasso

knew things

we’ve only

guessed

& we can

tell this

by looking

at what he

did about

what he saw

& what he left

us

full of awe

full of awe

what Picasso saw

what Picasso saw

From the book, Picasso, Fifty Years of His Art by Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1945. A grand book full of Picasso’s works, in b/w & color, before the Mid-Century. Book is hardcover, 314 pp.

Pretty Pictures: Kate Greenaway, 1905

Kate Greenaway's version

Kate Greenaway’s version

Wish life

could be as

pretty as

a Kate

Greenaway

picture -

Little childrens

in plumed hats,

carrying

armloads of

flowers,

under blue

skies,

no showers

threatening -

just Monarch

butterflies floating

by, with

no sign of

bats.

Imagine that.

A world

without bats.

Well, that’s

how Kate Greenaway

saw it.

a Greenaway adorable

Greenaway winsomes

This is a well-worn biography of the late 19th Century British illustrator, Kate Greenaway. Best-known for her charming pictures of children, Greenaway was a prolific illustrator of many books, from 1871 – 1900, shortly before this book was published in 1905. Mother Gooose (1881) is one of the best-known of her books, as is Kate Greenaway’s Birthday Book for Children. My book pictured above is what we in the trade call “shabby chic” – at least on the exterior. Inside, the 52 colour illustrations are universally bright and winsome. Not fade away.

Anybody Here From Jersey?

Where It Concerned WW II

1945, any way

No. Not me

I be

from Colo-rad-o.

Coolness

Cowgal,

pal.

Tho

I been to

Jersey once.

Atlantic City

weren’t so

pretty    back

then.

hot & sticky,

felt so icky -

my young bod

stickin’ to

the wet

sheets.

Probly

not the best

taste

of Jersey

in the ’50s.

There must

of  been

niftier sights

all right,

but I didn’t

get to

see ‘em.

I was stayin’

on the Baltic

side,

low-rent -

when I really

longed to sample

Rich Uncle’s

Park

Place.

Too bad

for me

that weren’t

the case

 

WW II Jersey Boys

WW II Jersey Boys

This 1945 non-fiction book was written by three Passaic New Jersey reporters who went oversees in WWII, reporting on the Jersey boys fighting on the battle fronts. This was the closest thing to Twitter back then – reports from the field. Not as quick, but mebbe more deeply felt. Published by The Herald-News,book is  274-pages of up-close and personal war news reporting.

Twenty Drawings, Kahlil Gibran, 1919

The Prophet's Portraits, 1919

The Prophet’s Portraits, 1919

 

by nature

an artist

is a seer -

a prophet

in the way

things fall

or don’t

will or

won’t,

an artist

looks inside

to make

answers

appear

in

pen to paper

brush to canvas -

as a

kind of 2nd

skin, so

an artist

reaches

deep within

to pull

the fear

inside

out      to

banish

vanish

varnish

scars & scares

woes & cares -

blur the lines

cam-ou-flage

in color

sprawl the paint

not planned -

an artist can,

no other

way makes

sense.

an artist

only guesses

in defense

of self  &

same,  names

one

name

of parts

that rattle

prattle, always

battle,

an artist

tempts

attempts

approximates

reason

but still,

after all,

can not break

or move

time -

only bend.

winter

always

falls always

at

the end

One of the 1919 Gibran drawings inside this book

One of the 1919 Gibran drawings inside this book

 

This is Kahlil Gibran’s second book, published in 1919, by Alfred Knopf. The now-rare book consists of 20 Gibran drawings – all under tissue and all familiar stylistically to those of us who’ve read  The Prophet. Gibran was an artist, as well as a poet. He studied in Paris under Rodin. And if you look at the figures he drew in this book, you can see Rodin’s shadow.

Animales Fabulsos – Mexican Supernatural Art

Supernatural Mexican Art, 1980

Supernatural Mexican Art, 1980

here’s a book

that could scare

me

if I left it

in the dark

on a wobbly

table in a study

where the doors

some times

closed by

themselves

and books tumbled

freely

off their shelves.

Things like

that can

happen with

books -

Once Freud &

Jung had dinner

& were discussing

synchronicity.

Freud felt

it felicity to

explore coincidence

as serious subject

matter.

Of course, a book

fell off a shelf

as they walked by -

- an incidence

of Jung’s pk – or a

delerious irony.

mebbe both.

some books,

it seems,

just

want

to make a

lasting

impression.

that’s why this

one

is moving

on

 

This is a large illustrated vintage coffee-table book – 270 pages of text in Spanish and art in b/w & color. I must say some of the old supernatural art work is pretty goth. This book was published in 1980 by Fondo de Cultur Economica, Mexico. It surveys the ancient and antique art work devoted to mythical animals in Mexico.

 

 

VIDEO ART, 1975

 

hand-held and grainy in 1975

hand-held and grainy in 1975

A part of me

thinks art

belongs on

a wall  -

if it’s art,

at all.

Take Picasso.

He’s so framed

& acclaimed -

hanging on walls,

everywhere.

Take grafitti.

it’s also on city walls

&

we have

Basquiat

& Banksy

to thanksy for

bright’ning

up the

grimey streets.

But

back in the ’70s,

art was

moving off

the proper

gallery walls

& into

the tv

screens.

How could

it not?

We were

so tuned-in

to the tube & its

power-full ads.

Not fads- they morphed

into art, as

some ppl claimed.

Here’s Warhol’s

Underground Sundae,

a video ad for

Schrafft’s.

Art? Mebbe?

Mebbe not.

But,

it’s no laughing

matter when

the King of

art-commercial-art

starts

selling sweets.

Everybody has a

price, right?

It’s probly nice

to

think of it

that way.

 

Warhol's 1968 Schrafft's video advertisement

Warhol’s 1968 Schrafft’s video advertisement, far left

Found this really really cool 1975 video art exhibit catalog at an art collectors’ sale. It wasn’t flashy, so it immediately attracted me – it was Underground – like its subject matter. Inside, you can find the art works of many now-more famous artists, including Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Richard Serra, Rebecca Horn, Taka Iimura – Even the late great Ernie Kovacs – who were all experimenting with the medium of video-as-art.  This exhibit was held from Jan 17 to Feb. 28, 1975 at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. This 116-page softcover catalog is as close as I can get to being there. I would have rather been in Philadelphia

VICTROLA BLUES

Your RCA Victor Records Indexed by the Book

Your RCA Victor Records
Indexed by the Book

 

Caruso long gone

Banished to the cabinet

where records played songs

 

How to Fix Your Victrola X

How to Fix Your Victrola X

 

Up at the top, a green page from the never-used Index book for alphabetically listing your RCA Victor records.  Likely from the late 1920s or early ’30s, the book is part of a collection of RCA Victor ephemera I listed for sale –  including brochures for the Victrola X (from the Victor Talking Machine Co.) and the Micro Synchronous Victor Radio (“A Radio That is Really a Musical Instrument”). The record in the book shown above is the Victor label recording of Enrico Caruso singing “Aida-Celeste Aida.”  Not so long ago, we coveted our v-tunes