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Posts Tagged ‘art’

  1. Skiffs, Sheet Shaking, and Tarot

    December 23, 2013 by Carley

    Skiff and River

    The holidays over, so I guess that means I can’t eat candy for breakfast anymore.  Sigh.

    I’ve got a bunch of events in January and February…they’re listed on the events page of this site and I hope you’ll come to one or all.  I’ll read new sad poetry, old Stalker stuff, even newer, dirty, nostalgic, indie rock n’ roll fiction, and a sestina!!

    My dear friend, fellow poet mom, and partner-in-crime, Caitlin McDonnell, had a tarot card-induced vision last week and has started this exciting new performance piece/installation/incantation called Shaking Sheets.  I think you should check it out!  It strikes me as a particularly good way to start the New Year.  Shake out a sheet!  Shake out shame!  I made one of these little movies in a blizzard and it felt good (opened up my shoulders and my heart)!

    Speaking of tarot cards and the new year, another dear friend and fellow poet mom, Hoa Nguyen, is offering a series of virtual and in-person tarot reading workshops in the next month.  Here’s the link to her site and the Facebook events page if you’d like to sign up.  She’s practically giving away these workshops!  And you could learn about the tarot deck!  Hoa gave me an on-line, over-the-phone-reading last fall that opened my eyes in some significant ways.  Tower energy anyone!??

    Oh, and finally here’s a new poem:


    The Skiff


    My heart is a skiff,

    pirated in swells. 

    You sail it.

    You race it.

    You win.


    I rig up a tattered sail,

    and send out an S.O.S. 

    All is lost. 

    All is lost.


    I see through squall.

    I’m an icy gambit.


    I dream big in the wolf’s lair.

    The shape of it is airport hanger.

    The heat of it is hair dryer.

    I stumble towards a nursery school.

    There are kids outside of it—singing and shouting.

    Their high voices are honey, Calypso, sirens, all of it.

    I step onto the frozen river that moats their yard.

    It splinters, groans, and opens up.


    Underneath the ice is more ice.

    Underneath the boat is more boat.

    Underneath the heart is more heart.


  2. Frances Ha and Middles

    July 1, 2013 by Carley

    Screen Shot

    Sorry blog, I’ve been ignoring you for a while.  But I do miss you and I’m back!

    So, like a lot of people, I’m a little obsessed with the new movie, Frances Ha, directed by Noah Baumbach.  I like that it’s about a love affair between two twenty-something best friends, Frances and Sophie–it’s so rare to see a movie with smart women at the center.  I like too that it’s about becoming an adult, finding your way through New York city real estate, and figuring out if you can and should make art.  When Great Gerwig runs/dances/skips/turns through the streets of Manhattan to David Bowie’s “Modern Love,” my heart runs/dances/skips/turns too!  I recognize this exuberance, the kind of dancing joy that finding one’s place in New York (even if only for a minute or a month) can induce.  But mostly, I think I’m obsessed with Frances Ha because it feels to me more like a movie about the middle of things, of getting stuck and moving forward and of finding one’s way in the world alone.  At one point Frances and Sophie decide that in the future they’ll  be like middle age women who re-discover themselves after a divorce.  Sophie deadpans, “My mom did that.”

    Maybe I’m projecting.  But these moments, for obvious reasons, are dear to me right now.  I love that Frances gets her own apartment and sets up her desk in it.  Baumbach has always been good at the chaos of re-inventing oneself or of finding one’s way in an urban landscape with a severed, “middle-aged” psyche (watch Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale).  It’s Sophie we worry about–she’s going to marry Patches, a well-meaning banker guy, and has given up her publishing job.  She spends the second half of the movie drunk, belligerent, and sad.  But Frances, who chooses to go it alone, who is repeatedly, jokingly called “undateable” by one of her pining, dickhead roommates, is gonna make it.  I dunno, the movie gives me blind, stupid hope, and everyone needs that, especially in New York, in the midst of a divorce. Right?

  3. The Clock, the Caravan, and Some Soup Cans

    January 27, 2013 by Carley

    We scored a free museum pass from Malka’s school, so I went to MOMA twice last week.  (Check it, I can get into ANY MUSEUM for free this year with a guest, so you need to go to some of this shit with me!)

    I spent 2:10 to 3:10 with Christian Marclay’s “Clock.”  When I walked in Mathew Broderick was passing out a test in Election.  I saw Agent Cooper spread out the fragments of Laura Palmer’s diary and Christian Bale’s woeful, lovely face while he waits for the train in the remake of 310 to Yuma.  John Travolta waiting for a bomb to detonate.  Robert Di Nero on a war ship.  Nicholas Cage, hungover in the afternoon and hanging up on Sam Rockwell in Leaving Las Vegas.  A woman writing in a notebook, “Time is eliminated.”  And lots of scenes I didn’t recognize.  I can’t hope to explain the pleasure of watching “The Clock.”  There were two five-year-old boys in front of me, who kept asking their exasperated mothers, “What time is it?”  Finally, one of the moms said, “Look at the screen.”  Something about this exchange made the rest of us laugh.  It’s hard to learn how to tell time, and then once we know how to do it, it’s inscribed everywhere or at least in our movies and stories.  The room was big and dark, there were about 40 big couches.  You sit with strangers, you wait for the next clip, and you watch.  There’s a lot of collective anticipation, giggling, gasps of recogition, and pockets of spacing out.  More than anything, I love the way “The Clock” helps you understand that narrative and story are always about the minutes and the movement of your own ticking, beating heart bomb.

    I went back on the last day of “The Clock,” but it was 3:45 and the line was 100 people deep and the installation was closing at 5:30.  The guard told me to give up, but I couldn’t accept it.  I waited in line for a half hour before wandering off into the rest of the museum.  I saw Polish sculptor Alina Szapocznikow’s uncanny wax lips, breasts, and phallus pieces.  I couldn’t quite take her work, but I had that queasy feeling that made me think I’ll have to go back.  I watched Eiko and Koma slowly crawl their bandaged, plastered bodies out of the trailer in The Caravan Project.  The installation reminded me of caves, beehives, and mummies–their movements in and out of the open trailer are hypnotic and a little scary.  Eventually, Eiko made it out of the side of the trailer (a kind of slow-mo stumble tumble), and the woman next to me said to her friend, “Eh, there she goes.  She’s out.”

    Up on the fifth floor, I stumbled upon Warhol’s soup cans, which I have always loved.  I like to check in on them so that I can see if I have a new favorite.  (more…)