Saturday, May 20, 2017

INKTOPODES (now in blue, too)


"Rorschach" ("Inktopodes" #24)—watercolor, gouache, and India ink on 3″ x 3″ watercolor paper, by Troy Kehm-Goins.

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The "Inktopodes" will be available at the spring 2017 Destiny City Zine Symposium. In addition to orange Inktopodes, now there is also a new series of blue Inktopodes. Each unique individual comes in a small frame and with an official Troy’s Work Table Publishing “adoption certificate,” all for the reasonable and affordable price of $10 each.

Come and visit the TWTP table and start your own "octopus garden"!

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Destiny City Zine Symposium
Saturday 27 May 2017 • 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Destiny City Comics and King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave, Tacoma WA 98402

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"Every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it."

—"The Mast-Head," chapter 35, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A QUIET PASSION


I'm on a date with my Secret Girlfriend, or at least a Cynthia Nixon/Terence Davies rendering of her.

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A Quiet Passion is about faith, family, a woman's place in nineteenth-century New
England society. It is a series of meditations upon melancholia. It is a "pushing back" against the dictates and expectations of patriarchy, "within reason." It is filled with uncomfortable silences, beautiful gardens, exquisite cinematography, and, toward the end, scenes of illness and death.

But, primarily, the film is about the passage of time, which is explored in mostly "soft" and subtle ways.

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My favorite scenes are when just Emily (Cynthia Nixon) and her sister Vinnie (Jennifer Ehle) are on screen. They banter and cajole, pressing one another, scolding one another, forgiving one another, and loving one another. Their scenes together are filled with power and love—both familial and friendship. Yes, they may be sisters, but they are obviously also great friends.

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One of my favorite scenes is early in the film and involves a shot that circles (counter-clockwise and therefore "against" time) around the Dickinson living room at night, while the family members quietly read, sew, and sit in a room illuminated by candlelight, lamplight, and the fire in the hearth. It begins with young Emily reading and ends with her in tears, moved by what she has read.

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After our date, my Secret Girlfriend and I settle in at home for more intimate moments together.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

INKTOPODES


"Ceto" ("Inktopodes" #19)—watercolor, gouache, and India ink on 3″ x 3″ watercolor paper, by Troy's Work Table.

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The "Inktopodes" will be available for the first time at PuliCon 2017, Puyallup Public Library's Mini Comic Convention. Each unique individual comes in a small frame and with an official Troy’s Work Table Publishing “adoption certificate,” all for the reasonable and affordable price of $10 each.

Come and visit the TWTP table and start your own “octopus garden”!

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PuliCon 2017
Saturday 06 May 2017 • 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Puyallup Public Library, 324 South Meridian, Puyallup WA 98371

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"Every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it."

—"The Mast-Head," chapter 35, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Sunday, April 30, 2017

SHADOW-DICK

The Moby-Dick (1851, by Herman Melville) reference in Shadowbahn (2017, by Steve Erickson) appears on page 233.

Friday, April 28, 2017

AMERICAN

"There have been years she was confused, and more recent years when she may still have been confused or only pretending to be confused. In the thirteen years since Zema came to America, she has never had any idea that having no idea who she is and having no idea where she belongs makes her more American than anyone."

—page 51, Shadowbahn by Steve Erickson

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

INKTOPODES


"Inktopodes" #7.

Watercolor, gouache, and India ink on 3" x 3" watercolor paper.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

COSMOS and COSMOS ABSTRACT


"Cosmos" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, and chalk pastels on 24" x 36" concrete board.

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"Cosmos Abstract" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, and chalk pastels on 18" x 24" concrete board.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

POEMS for LENT • AT JERUSALEM'S GATE


"At Jerusalem's Gate" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, chalk pastels, and charcoal pencil on 12" x 12" concrete board.

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"No light shoots from / his fingertips. / His voice calls down / no fire. / And yet, they say / a fig tree withered / at his word." and "singing Hosanna! / Hosanna! Hosanna! / as if my very life depends upon it." —from "At Jerusalem's Gate" by Nikki Grimes, as found in At Jerusalem's Gate: Poems of Easter

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With Palm Sunday tomorrow, my "Poems for Lent" reading project comes to an end tonight. (Yes, Lent technically runs until Easter day, but I knew I would be using Palm Sunday, and therefore the start of Holy Week, as my ending point.)

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I decided that I wanted a poem with religious themes to end my days of reading poem upon poem, so I chose one of the poems from At Jerusalem's Gate by Nikki Grimes. They are the text of a kid's picture book with beautiful, bold, and brilliantly-colored woodcuts by David Frampton.

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These aren't mostly poems of Easter, but of poems of the Passion and what leads up to Easter.

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This particular poem reflects upon the arrival of Jesus at the gates of Jerusalem and his entry into the holy city.

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I wanted to capture the city itself, but using elements of the Palm Sunday story. Therefore, I opted to reflect the colors of the cloaks thrown down upon the road through the gate. I imagined the New City of Revelation (as shown to John of Patmos), though, and so made twelve gates in which to enter—a gate for each of the tribes of Israel (and the sons of Jacob); a gate for each of the Apostles; the number of perfection (3, representing divinity, multiplied by 4, representing creation)—with ten of those gates bound by stone and iron (representing the Laws), one bound by moon, and one bound by sun.

And, as Nikki Grimes presses a bit against the story of the Passion and asks questions, and allows doubt to make an appearance, all the while returning to a faithful stance in the end; I decided to play a bit, but then likewise return to the simple and the faithfully representational.

Friday, April 07, 2017

POEMS for LENT • TREES LIKE US


"Trees Like Us" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, chalk pastels, and charcoal pencil on 12" x 12" concrete board.

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"a breathing interrupted by a silence / in which the very air is suspended" and "All night the trees whisper sweet nothings / that put us to sleep, then hold us."

—from "Trees Like Us" by Marvin Bell, as found in Poetry for a Midsummer's Night: In the Spirit of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

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I've always been fascinated by anthropomorphized trees—the cedars of Lebanon clapping their hands in the Psalms, the Ents in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, treefolk of the fairy realms.

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Here, in this poem, there is magic.

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I tend to think creation gets saved alongside (and because of) humankind when humanity is redeemed. But this poem switches who is redeemed and who is saved alongside the others. Here it is the trees that pull us along.

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I get the sense that these "trees like us" aren't really like us, however. They feel as indifferent as the trees in the poems of Robinson Jeffers, They may be alive and they may sing us to sleep, but they don't really care about us, in the same way that we don't really care about them.

(Marvin Bell seems to care about the trees, especially since they feature in a few of the poems in this collection, but he seems to be an exception.)


Thursday, April 06, 2017

POEMS for LENT • THE DESERT PLACES


"The Desert Places" by Troy's Work Table.

Sidewalk chalk wash, sidewalk chalk, chalk pastels, and charcoal pencil on 12" x 12" concrete board.

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"And she shone yellow and red and matted hair in the light of my eyes. And she sweated in the heat of my breath." and "And when the man returned from the garden, dried-bloody and dirt-filthy and sticky from naming still more animals..." and "And I named the man 'mortal' and I named him 'returned to the dust' and I named all his days 'fruitless and weary.' And when I finally spat him out, I named him a pile of pulped flesh and ground bone and gristle."

—from chapter 2 of The Desert Places by Amber Sparks and Robert Kloss

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I'm not quite sure exactly what The Desert Places is. It's not really a novel. It's not really a collection of poems. I suppose it's a series of prose poems that dabble in the mythology and stories of the Old Testament.

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Chapter 2 is the story of the Fall from the viewpoint of a god of some sort, although not the Creator God. Perhaps he is the demiurge of Gnosticism, the Adversary of the book of Job, Satan of Christianity, the serpent in the Garden (although he claims there is no fruit of the tree of good and evil and he is no talking snake). He is obviously operating in his own interest.

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Regardless of the mythos in which Sparks and Kloss are playing and utilizing for their dark take on the stories of Creation and Fall, the Man and the Woman still end up in the same place as they do in the source material: mortal, suffering, "returned to dust," broken, and expelled from "paradise."

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And then there is a devouring, as Kronos to his children. We are in the primordial myths of the Titans. We await the child who will cut open the stomach of the father and rescue his siblings but none is here offered.