Thursday, February 05, 2009

It was a cold and wintry night...

and I got to hang out with some lovely Bardians (newly graduated) under one of those bright, Brooklyn half-moons for a birthday party.

We had a free-wheeling conversation and yummy birthday (cup)cake. Under candles folks started waxing about school and stuff. One of the things I encouraged them to do despite being smarty grad students, was to go the commencement ceremonies. My mother forced me to go to my graduations after I was a full-grown lady and they were fun! The whole ritual process of walking, the gown and stuff, really makes the experience tangible. You can feel time passing in a way that we're often too rushed to see.

Speaking of tangibility, that weekend after the party I slid over to the Watermill Center on longuylan -- that's "Long Island" for non-natives -- and checked out Robert Wilson's spot: . Met some very groovy artists and saw some fun work by them.

Despite the limited experience due to the winter climes (they've got lots going on in the outdoor space too), have to say the art collection in there is phenomenal. From all over the world from very modern to very old in spaces that were super minimal color-wise so each piece seemed to be suspended in animation. It was quite a different perspective for this writer to consider art in workspace (I live in an orange house, so that should tell you something).

Quite the pristine spot and even kinda museum-y what with the no-shoes policy and my mom didn't even have to be there to tell me not to touch anything...guess I kept a few things from my 5-year old self!

Even though my borough is attached, longuylan does feel New England-y in a way the rest of this neck of the woods does not. Some ways good, some ways bad: yesterday I was walking down 6th ave in Manhattan and there were these weird collections of garbage that seemed almost deliberately placed: a gigantic pile of left-over McDonald's food on the sidewalk as if it had been installed and further along in Greenwich village a substantial collection of horse manure almost pyramidal shaped on the sidewalk. It was just there with no indication that a horse had been there at all...odd even by NY standards. Rushing-by people had this look of disbelief on their faces, including me -- and we have a high garbage visibility threshold in these parts.

They were so random yet self-contained that after I said 'gross'! I thought they had to be a set-up: the garbage in New York is like everything else good and bad in the city: not that well-organized.

I did have flashbacks to NY in the 70s though: gritty, nasty, lively. Maybe those piles were milestones marking the end of gentrification as we knew it.

What [The flower sermon]
by Ron Silliman (excerpt)

The flower sermon:
critique is like a swoon
but with a step increase,
the awkward daughter who grows
to join the NBA. All we want
(ever wanted) was to be on that
mailing list, parties at which slim caterers
offer red, yellow, black caviar
spilling off the triangular crackers
while off on the bay
rainbow-striped sails dip and bob and
twist. The woman in the yellow raincoat sits
on a bench at the edge of the schoolyard
while two small children race
across the asphalt plaza. Too many books
sail the moth. A tooth that's lost
while flossing. A short line
makes for anxious music. Not breath
but civilization. The president
of Muzak himself says
that humming along constitutes time theft.
First snow in the Sierras = cold showers here.
The east is past. Margin of terror. The left
is where you feel it (dragging the eyes back
contra naturum). We're just in it
for the honey. Spackling paste
edits nails in wall when painted. Elbows,
shoulders jammed together on the bus.
At each transfer point, glimpse how lives
weave past. A woman with an interesting book
in her purse which I pretend not to see.
Letters crowd into a thought. Green paper
folded around long-stemmed roses
is stapled shut. Rapid winter sunset
lacks twilight.

PS: BTW, if you saw my earlier post from almost exactly 2 years ago (or not), I lamented on the bulkregister inaccessibility drama. Anyway it's ovah and you can find my little pithy comments via, and/or or .net. -- T