man-sized lobsters

A dream: floating in the deep dark waters of an oceanic bay at dusk– a city’s lights shine against the surface, and I’m a little scared, but mostly exhilarated. I look to the shore and see that it’s rocky, with large breaking waves. I wonder how I’m going to get out, and then see a kind of calm spot with clear water. I swim that way, and as the sand floor looms up, I see that it’s covered in big crabs and lobsters the size of men. Pincers bigger than my head. At some point, I have to touch down, but guess correctly that the pincers are not too powerful. They snip at my feet, which makes me jumpy, but doesn’t hurt.

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until it bursts

Still thinking about explosions and expulsions. Geology and biology and as many other systems as there are systems come to a critical mass, an uncontainable tension, and then burst or tip or disintegrate. I like Maija Fiebig’s erupting volcano (via)…

Maija Fiebig. Swamp Mountain. Acrylic and watercolor on paper, 2010. 30 x 22 in.

…and Jen Stark’s towering, vomiting “Dark Matter” (via)

…and Charles Ray’s quietly leaking, recycling Ink Line (a thin line of wet black ink proceeds from the ceiling and enters the floor, circulated by an invisible motor)…

new folk tales to tell

My work right now has taken a little sidestream from more creaturely subjects, but they’re still lurking in the background. And when I see things like the work of Stacey Rozich or Christopher Davison, my heart beats a little faster.

^Christopher Davison^

^Stacey Rozich^

Rozich has a new show up at Pun(c)tuation Gallery in Capitol Hill, for those of you living in the Seattle area. See a thoughtful write-up by Sharon Arnold here.

andy vogt and the architectural understudy

^via^ (update: another view here)

I’m really taken with Andy Vogt‘s wooden sculptures that seem to lay bare the skeleton of a structure, expanding it from the walls and windows like an architectural dissection extraordinaire.

^via^

It puts me in the mind of images like this (a detail from Rembrandt’s “Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulip 1632”)


how to swim

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,
instinct

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
sweetness
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is —

so it enters us —
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights up the deep and wondrous
drownings of the body
like a star.

Mary Oliver