Sunday, May 28, 2006

avon lady brings love...

"In art, intentions are not sufficient and as we say in spanish,
Love must be proved by facts and not by reasons.
What one does is what counts and not what one
had the intention of doing."
-picasso, 1923

Oh ken! My mother's new boyfriend is a real ass-hole...Don't you wanna come over here and marry her for me?
(Claire, from a 1996 postcard)
The painting above is of sean and claire one night in a empty old house, they played dress-up, they played house.

Clayton continues to come by almost everyday. The hood and his girl do not. The hood is in jail again and the girl has a new hood, saw them pulling a trailer and old boat by hand up the alley one early morning. The price of metal is up. Clayton has a new girlfriend and one night of garbage can cruising he found a old ring, a old avon ring. He gave the new girlfriend the ring and she wears it. He seems pretty happy and told me that he even went to one of the respectful relationship meetings he is suppose to attend. They talked about abuse, all kinds of abuse.

This is bill and thelma. It took me ten years before l finally got a good photograph of them. Bill reminds me of tom waits with his thick wavey hair and gravely voice and sometimes even the words he speaks. The night l took these photographs bill spoke about turning sixty five next year and how depressed he was of this. "If l had a gun ken...l would kill myself." he said. but he had been drinking and l knew and he knew that it was loud talk. Bill was full of tender emotion that night, telling me what a good person l was, what a good friend. Even thelma joined in, wanting to smother my cheeks with kisses, wet dog eared kisses. "Oh stop it thelma" bill would say. "Leave him alone for god's sake." They were both tender. Not long after that night thelma had a bad stroke, ended up on the mainland in a long term care hospital.

"Someone told me there's a girl out there
with love in her eyes
and flowers in her hair."

Monday, May 22, 2006


...izzy, l did this painting a few years ago. And now l am preparing a show, a series of paintings of love. So this other photograph of isabelle l will paint. ...because what l remember is, through her sea of pain izzy has this incredible love for humanity.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

3. final story of mickey

" one gets to see exactly what we see." (amyrubin)

..."Let's go Mickey...remember today...we're going for a drive." I had even marked it on his calendar, a big X, Sept.27th. Hauling Mickey's clothes out of the closet he asked for his dungees. "You mean your jeans Mickey?" A plain white shirt, and his brown sweater. "Can you shave me Kenny?" Well we got out his old plugged up electric razor and l proceeded to shave him. His face was like a hot water bottle, warm and rubbery. "Don't forget the moustache." "Watch the sideburns...feel it." he said. Save for the aftershave lotion Mickey shuffles to the bathroom to comb his hair. A young boy getting ready for sunday school.
 The first 15 minutes were held in silence as we drove around calgary with both of us filling the car with a heavy fog of smoke, Export A plain. My question breaks the silence. "Get out much Mickey?" "Naw, don't get out much...the guys in the flys...get a bottle, get a bottle."
 Lived in New York, Mickey did, until they kicked him out for an expired work visa. He used to frequent High Park and listen to political rallys until 4 or 5 am. Drinking red wine and fcking snake on the canals in Montreal. Five years in a prison war camp in europe and escaping three times, once under potatoe peels. His boxing days, winning the bantam weight division in Saint John in 1936. From coast to coast Mickey has worked and played only to pass out in calgary and wind up in the Colonel Belcher Veteran's Hospital.
 Two weeks later l stop in to see Mickey again. He remembers our car ride. I change his calendar again.
Mickey's friend "Jello"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

smiling and shaking... of my first adventures with mixed media- black and white photographs, tissue paper, a little paint, early 90's l believe. The photograph l took in calgary, was walking down ninth ave and came upon this friendly sort, "Come on, were going to some drinkin." he said. I followed him to this open tin shack, three walls and a roof, all of tin, a old couch and some upturned buckets. Three of them, all friendly with one of them silent and shaking. They proceeded to puncture a can of lysol and drain it into a gallon wine jug of water. A swig every fifteen minutes seemed to be the routine and when passed to me l politely declined.
Years later while working at a homeless shelter in Prince Albert l noticed that the lysol has been replaced with mouthwash, lysterine.

This is dave, he came into the shelter late one night, dropped off by social services. He was seventy, he was scared, he was shaking. I smiled at him and told him not to worry, l told him things would be okay. I gave him a empty room and wished him a good sleep. A couple of months later dave gave me this poem he had wrote.
"I wandered Lonely as a cloud
That floats on high over hill and dale
When all at once l saw a host
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the trees Below the lake
There l saw myself a fluttering in the breeze."

Dave ended up in a private resthome of sorts way out in the country. I don't think he liked it, couldn't get to town easily and sometimes he needed to get a drink or to talk with other people.

"So what becomes of all the little boys, who run away from home, well the
world just keeps gettin' bigger, once you get out on your own, so here's to
all the little boys, the sandman takes you where, you'll be sleepin' with a
pillowman, on the nickel over there.
-tom waits

Thursday, May 04, 2006

rust and canadian tire paper...

Step right up, step right up, step right up,
Everyone's a winner, bargains galore
That's right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on
One-tenth of a dollar, one-tenth of a dollar, we got service after sales
You need perfume? we got perfume, how 'bout an engagement ring?
Something for the little lady, something for the little lady,
Something for the little lady, hmm
-tom waits

clayton was by again today and gave me some more canadian tire money and it got me thinking. I want you all to send me your canadian tire money. Yes come on, you will never use it, it will sit in your glovebox or kitchen drawer until you move out, you'll leave it with the dirt and dust. So l got a deal for ya. Send me your canadian tire money and l will send you some rusty metal. Yes yes it's true l give clayton double the value in coin but unless your homeless l will give you a rusty metal stranger instead. The more c.t. money you send, the better the shape. Here's a couple of examples of what a couple pieces of C T paper will get you.

So for those that would like some rusty stranger but don't live in canada, well l don't know what your gonna do, send me something that would equal this, something you have found, a old piece of glass, rusty bottle caps, old postcards, jackknives, old fabric, comeon doit. Here's my address; kflett, 3728-6th Ave.,Port Alberni, BC., canada, V9Y-4M1

this bikeman made from rusty cans and given to my bestfriend mike. You would need to have quite a wad of C.T. paper to get something like this.

The Great Sea...

The Great Sea
has sent me adrift
it moves me as a weed
in the great river
earth and the great weather
move me
have carried me away
and moved my inward parts
with joy
-eskimo shaman

Monday, May 01, 2006

vacum salesman...

...the hood and his girl haven't been around this week but...the other night a guy trying to sell me two twenty gallon cans of paint. Then at one am l'm outside routing through my rusty metal like a rat in peanut butter and l hear a shout from across the dark street. "Hey, Hey." It's the paint guy again, this time he has a vacum in hand. "Hey, you want to buy a vacum - ten buck." "No thanks, l'm busted ." He looks across the street at the neighbors house..."Guess their asleep hey." "what you doing up so late, can't sleep?" "Ya" l say and then ask him why he is up so late. "Can't sleep either." he says. Damn l should had ask him what the hell his is doing selling vacum cleaners at one in the morning.

Clayton was by again yesterday - everyday. He didn't bring me anymore dead lawnmowers but he did bring me some more canadian tire money. Boy, one day l'm gonna walk into CT with a wad so thick the tellers will cry.
clayton missed his "respectful relationship" meeting, and his probation meeting. I told him to tell them that he is homeless. "I am homeless" he says.

"A DragonSlayor's Whisper" (rusty metal, leather, bees wax, cat)

s i l e n c e

There is a mystery too deep for words;
the silence of the dead comes nearer to it,
Being wisest in the end. What word shall hold
the sorrow sitting at the heart of things,
The majesty and patience of the truth.
Silence will serve; it is an older tongue:
The empty room, the moonlight on the wall.
Speak for the unreturning traveller.
-john hall wheelock

2. The nauseating fog...

I remember when l left
Without bothering to pack
You know l up and left with
Just the clothes l had on my back
Now l'm sorry for what l've done
And l'm out here on my own
Well it was a train that took me away from here
But a train can't bring me home
-tom waits

"You should become an accountant...good money in that." Mickey informs me as l sit next to him on the bed. The room stinks of smoke, heavy smoke like a sort of fog, only nauseating. TV is on blaring out some obscure soap opera. The heat must be cranked up as the room is almost unbearable, combined with the fog, creating a boiler room.
 "Yap, yap, yap." Mickey replies in response to his marital status. Mickey was married once however left his wife because of his mother in law. "Always yapping, yap, yap, yap." He was married for eight years and in turn created two off spring, a boy and a girl. Funny l can't picture Mickey being a father, sure a husband, as l picture him being the wild sailor, money in his pocket, melting some girls heart, with his cute boyish looks, promises of things to come. A real ladies man. "Yap, yap, yap, yapping mother in law." Mickey tells me his daughter doesn't drink. "Wife never did son's a bum...always borrowing money...the bum won't get any money out of me." Mickey tells me he hasn't seen either for about eight years. We both remain quiet, each of us pondering the last bits of our conversation, like sherlock holmes and watson trying to piece it all together. Both having different reasons.
 Mickey offers me another smoke, Export A plain, shit, l decline thinking l might have just lost one lung because of his damn smokes.
 I question Mickey's choice of clothes as he's wearing his pajama's, colonel belcher specials. "Got drunk yesterday, in the park, passed l'm grounded for a month...can't leave the grounds." A small polite laugh comes from both of us.
"Do you believe in alcoholic?" Mickey asks me. I'm hestitant, not sure which way to go. Like trying to please a teacher, l want to please Mickey. "What do you mean?" I reply, trying to play the idiot.
"No such work, l don't believe just like booze, that's such word as alcoholic." Mickey says. The subject is ended now and Mickey and l drop into silence, into the nauseating fog.