Sunday, November 29, 2009


"I see and taste
no sweat more honest
then the drops you have enjoyed
between your thighs..."
-woody guthrie

did some embroidery, built a fort in the trees,
l am getting settled. Will post soon.

Hope your all enjoying the coming of winter.

"My body's naked now
and it was born naked."
-woody guthrie

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

it always smelled of rain...

"Our mood was gone, a restless night, unfulfilled desires..

morning came clear and brilliant. I will do some heads
of you today Zinnia,. The mexican sun, l thought,
will reveal everything, something of the tragedy of our
present life may be captured. Nothing can be hidden
under this cloudless cruel sky. And so it was that she
leaned against a whitewashed wall, lips quivering nostrils
dilating, eyes heavy with gloom of unspent rainclouds.
I drew close. I whispered something and kissed her.
A tear rolled down her cheek and then l captured forever
the moment.
-edward weston photographing tina modotti 1926

Mexico City...history built on history. I was given a canada council
grant in the nineties, travel to mexico city for two months. They
(Fondo) gave me a home, some money and the rest was up to me.
It's hard to write of my trip there, so much, it's like a thousand souls
entered my body, like the Sahara, sands being whirled about, moving,
changing, coming together.

My home was in the district of Cayoacan and l walked the streets
every day. The green tent, this was my treasure. I discovered a
big green tent on the sidewalk outside of a paper factory, tarps,
couches, tables, a stove, a light. The tent ladies, they had been on
strike for a year, and l visited with them every day.

I brought them goods, baked goods, pop, and a deck of cards.
We played rummy, they would make me hot corn drinks, none of
them spoke english, maybe a few words, "hello, goodbye, love"
But it didn't matter, we communicated through laughter, gesture,
doodles on a note pad, and just plain knowing.
It's like the "dancer in the dirt", when you are honest, sincere,
natural, and just "being", then we hear, we see, we feel.

The tent ladies were always an enigma to me, l didn't understand
everything, like shadows that floated behind me, just catching a
glimpse of them but never able to grasp them.


Jose - l met Jose in an alley, he and his wife lived in a tiny cement
room, a bed, a dresser, and walls filled with photographs, crosses,
and symbols of "the virgin of guadalupe". Jose and l would just chat
in the alley, share smokes, grasped at words that sounded familier.

La pura verdad


I met her in an ice cream shop, and in her stumbling english
she asked if l would teach her english, she would teach me
spanish. Sandra was different than the tent ladies, where
as the tent held a darkness, a sadness, Sandra was light,
joyfull, "Oh ken ken ken" she would say with laughter.

She helped me navigate mexico city, took me places, even to
her home for dinner and to meet her parents. She was more
spanish then mexican. She was so lovely.


Rosa- it was Rosa that l attached myself to at the green tent.
She seemed to be in charge or perhaps just more respected, she
guided me as l guided her. We passed yellow notes back and
forth like kids in grade school. She was a dark chrystal.

...l digress, this is a painting of rosa, of mexico, of my loves back
home, memory, past and present, roaming around in my
body, my soul, painting is always so much more, so many lives
go into a painting, so much history.

"it always smelled of rain"

I would walk Rosa to the subway most nights, around
midnight and in that mile there were so many scents.
...close your eyes and smell what is around you.
It was assaulting, but in such a delicious way. It was like
the earth made love to you.


...silence is how l should sum up my stay in mexico city.
My beautiful friend Ron wrote the following for me and
next to silence it says it all...

"Aquaintance with a great white turkey sums up a wonder l feel.
The ugly beauty of this abused bird speaks to a dark light in me.
This unlikely creature confirms how utterly strange life is.
It is a strangeness which shocks, amuses and comforts.
The white turkey of Cayoacan heals our alienation.

Suddenly, we smile in recognition of a greater belonging.

It is this amused earthy wholeness l would have us remember."


...we are moving
from the shores of the west coast to the shores of the east coast,
close to bear river, nova scotia. I will be driving very soon, with
Cedar and a truck of belongings 6000k's.
I may not post for a couple three months, but l'll return.

I was going to leave you with edith piaf but have chosen this
wonderful video of Small Faces (itchycoo park) as it just seems
like better driving music.



Monday, August 03, 2009

dancing in the dirt...

well the road is out before me
and the moon is shining bright
what I want you to remember
as I disappear tonight
today is grey skies
tomorrow is tears
you'll have to wait til yesterday is here
-tom waits a good carny player gone bad, my hands are empty.
No story, no post as l am off to the U.S. with my lovely family
for a week and a half. So l leave you again with a couple of snap
shots and a little running brook.

...a long time ago, while drinking one night at the "rocking horse"
pub, l noticed something. There was a couple dancing.
She was pretty, wearing a nice country dress with flowers, she
was precise with her dance. He was roughly dressed, hair askew,
it's like someone just kicked him in the dirt like a stone. But his dance,
he dances like he has no secrets. He doesn't know how to dance like
her, he doesn't know how to dance at all, but he does. He dances
beautifully wild like he doesn't care...
It's like Christopher Alexander's book "the timeless way of building",
"Care but don't care"

This is how we should build, how we should paint, how we should write,
how we should live and how we should love.

and her knees up on the glove compartment
took out her barrettes and her hair spilled out like rootbeer
and she popped her gum and arched her back

-tom waits


before l go
please take a look at "apollinaires tattoo"
He works hard, he lives in Cape Breton and you have to work hard
to live there. There is a beautiful sadness to his blog, a loneness,
something deep, like the ocean, or like a endless field.



Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a fallen crow...

"A photograph is a secret about a secret.
The more it tells you the less you know."
-d. arbus

You may never see a crow's nest.
I feel fortunate that the crow's built a nest in our trees.
But l'm sad that somehow the baby's ended up on the sidewalk
in front of our place, they died after a day or two, except one.
Now l generally don't interfere with nature, well there was that
once l help my cat kill a rabbit, oh and then there was that time
l had to shoot a wounded deer on the highway, but usually...

A friend took the last sickened baby crow, but he didn't make it.


"When beauty and Beauty meet
All naked, fair to fair,
The earth is crying-sweet,
And scattering-bright the air...

-rupert brooke

I am not a veteran of the heat.
I am a fall kind of guy, summer is complacent.
I am putting a new roof on this little home,
so no story this week, maybe you'll come back
late next week and l'll will show you something.


Monday, June 29, 2009

a period of rest before the coming...

When you walk in rhythm,
lovely with abandonment,
You seem to be swayed by a wand,
A dancing serpeant.
-Bouldaire you remember who taught you to frenchkiss.

I am going to keep you in the nineties for awhile longer,
l have a few more stories to tell.

I use to think that only the young and the old were worth talking to.
Those in between too busy, running around like a nosebleed
that won't stop. The young have a power, a magic mystical, untamed
and raw, ready to lick the blood from your neck.

"...when the story of the hero's wound is made part
of the story of desire, when the weaving activity of
the soul, the work of memory and imagination, the
weaving of one's story, is informed and suffused
with the hero's violent spiritual flame."

-eileen greagory(summoning the familiar)

I met Sean in the nineties, he came from a program for lost punks.
They asked if l would take him in my studio, mentor him l suppose.
He came to my studio, hung around, rambled poetic lyrics, and he
brought with him, his family. A family of hooded punks, black cloth,
spiked collars, with dreams of a fresh new world. I photographed
Sean one night, with his girl Claire - here

and he says that he loves me
even though its not his baby
and he says that he'll raise him up
like he would his own son

and he gave me a ring

that was worn by his mother

-tom waits

Sam was pregnant. She was a tad older than the rest, and
with growth in her belly she was somewhat of a guide to them,
perhaps she glowed with a secret light.

...part of painting of sam


Christie and Killie, two more beacons that danced quietly
through this time.

Although they seem to carry a heaviness, they carried your concerns,
your burdens, your wishes, they carried what you lay in bed dreaming of.

"a period of rest before the coming"

Willie Mae... makes me smile thinking of her.

She could make the world smile. An endless flame, a shinning star,
the drop of dew on a blade of grass. She had cancer, they took
her leg off at the knee.

She would come to my studio now and then, help me with the
painting. I told her to write something on the painting. She
found a quote on my wall and wrote that;

"the ocean doesn't want me today,
but l'll be back tomorrow to play"
-tom waits


Char- I lived in a little shack in Parksville and beside that shack
was a wood shop of some sort. I would see her drive up on her
bike. Loud , maybe a harley, clad in the blackest leather. I didn't
know if she was boy or girl. I couldn't tell but l wanted to photograph
her. So one day l ran into her and with the flapping of wings in my
tummy l asked her. "Can l photograph you"
Slammed against the wall, one hand on my throat, a fist to the groin.
Well that is what l expected, but no, yes, out came this beautiful
sweetness, "why yes darling, that would be nice"

I photographed her at night in my studio, we talked for hours.
Her life in a small town, it was hard for her, being gay in this town,
being inside a body that she wanted to change.

Am l lucky to have met these people, damn right.
They all burned, burned with a fire, a fire that was true and deep.

But you's there,
in you, in all of us.

"How many years ago
Were you and l unlettered lads
Mad as the mist and snow"



maybe check Fernandes
he has fire