Friday, December 21, 2012


presses in
it does

this precious



 Copyright © 2012 by Troy's Work Table

Thursday, December 20, 2012


"The words of the diseased, even those who can manage only a murmur, carry more weight that those of the healthy.  Then, too, all healthy people will in the future know disease.  That sense of time, ah, the diseased man's sense of time, what treasure hidden in a desert cave.  Then, too, the diseased truly bite, whereas the healthy pretend to bite but really only snap at the air.  Then, too, then, too, then too."
—page 661, 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, translated by Natasha Wimmer.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Thanksgiving was a family affair, including people of three extended families, gathered in one home.  The meal was a loosely-structured Thanksgiving potluck that covered all of the staple dishes.

TWT seems to be the only beer drinker, although others enjoyed their wine.  Seeing the need for celebration, TWT ventured into the beer cellar.  The beer chosen to accompany the meal was The Abyss from Deschutes Brewing.  The bottle was a 2007 vintage, having sat untouched for five years, mellowing into its current ambrosial nectar.

Nearly five years ago, I wrote that "I cannot wait to have the other bottle after a few years of bottle conditioning!"  Well, obviously I can.  In fact, I almost forgot it was there.

It was an excellent accompaniment to the ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, and various vegetables.

The nose still retained its fig, charred log, and licorice aromas.  The flavors had melded together, swirling one forward and then another—fig, plum, espresso beans, campfire smoke, wood bark, tobacco leaf.  The thick dark liquid clung to the sides of a glass like a wine more than a beer.  In the mouth it was equally thick and oily, coating the tongue and palate.  Finally, the high alcohol content (11% abv) warmed the gullet in a subtle manner, sneaking up with its heat, while making its effect quickly apparent.

It is definitely a sipping beer, one not to be quaffed but to be savored and enjoyed.  Letting it warm a bit in the glass and the hand made it sing even more.

Sunday, November 04, 2012


"For dead writers are like gods who are always hungry, no matter how many sacrifices they inhale."
—from "Rocket and Lightship" by Adam Kirsch, as found in the November 2012 issue of Poetry.

Friday, October 19, 2012


There was no apparent theme for Frost Park Chalk Off 5:29, so TWT decided to draw something that has been creeping into his dreams.  Why?  Who knows?  But, there it is.

The bottom layer includes seven sections and the color green.  Each successive layer has one less section than the prior and the next color on the color wheel, until the final single white dome.  Perched upon it is one of the chimerical creatures of Assyrian mythology and architecture—body of a lion or bull, head of a man, and wings of an eagle or angel.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:28 seemed to have a theme of either partisanship or bipartisanship.  Therefore, Troy's Work Table tried to play within those themes while also revisiting elements of one of his favorite chapters of Moby-Dick, "The Counterpane."

The counterpane quilt became the flag attached to the "pole" of the harpoon, with Queequeg and Ishmael merged into a "bipartisan whale," all basking in the light of a lamp fueled by whale oil.

Oh, obsession!

Friday, October 05, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:27 was without theme, which simply allowed TWT to wander into weird places.  There was an image of a bio-industrial octopus/oil derrick that I could not shake from my mind.  I think I originally dreamed it at some point.

"Fracktopus" by Troy's Work Table.

Detail of "Fracktopus," showing gear eyes, drill beak, oil runoff.

The oil runoff was created by first chalking the colored layers of soil and rock and then adding heavy layers of cowboy charcoal at "ground level."  A few squirts from a spray bottle got the charcoal running through the colored chalk.  A few more lines of charcoal and a few more squirts of water and the charcoal dried in place.  TWT was rather happy with the effect.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:26 was "zombie hunter" themed.  So what should inspire TWT but a few characters from the Sanrio collection.  Zombie hunter Badzt Maru (with flamethrower), Zombie Hello Kitty, and zombie hunter Tuxedo Sam (with machete) made a nice "birthday present" for The Niece.  She wasn't too thrilled with it, by the way, and "refused to accept" her gift.  Oh well.  Perhaps next year.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The theme for yesterday's Frost Park Chalk Off (season 5, episode 25) was "zombies."  TWT decided to draw a zombie Moby Dick, erupting from an American flag peppered with the "death metal" of harpoons. 

"Death Metal" by Troy's Work Table.

Detail of "Death Metal" by Troy's Work Table.  The stars of the flag's blue field were a last minute addition, but they felt right.  They helped bring some of the flag back to the sea of blue, with the small white figures representing the men of the Pequod flung into the ocean when Moby (Zombie) Dick attacks.


This piece won Frost Park Chalk Off 5:25.  TWT and The Child will be attending The 2012 Tacoma Zombpocalypse due to the tickets he won as his prize!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken read at the Gig Harbor Library this evening.  It was a refreshing reading due to the fact that not only did she read from her own work, but she likewise highlighted a few of her current favorite Washington poets by reading a poem from each of them—"A Moment in My Rented Room" by Koon Woon (Seattle); "Crimson Hat" by Jean Musser (Tacoma); "Needle" by Joseph Green (Longview); and "Bonaparte Gulls" by Dorothy Trogdan (Orcas Island).


Her own work was divided into three distinct "sets" of material—
(1) new music-themed poems that she is working into a collection
-"The Recital"
-"En modo di (In the manner of)"
-"Let Me Sleep Twenty More Minuets" (pun intended)

(2) poems from her first book Famous
-"The League of Minor Characters"
-"Lost Coat, Please Call"
-"Life and Art"
-"The Minor Celebrities")

(3) poems from her most recent book Plume
-"Mosquito Truck"
-"Whole Body Counter, Marcus Whitman Elementary"


Flenniken's reading was perfect.  Her voice was soothing and inviting.  She provided enough background on each poem without drowning it in such.  She was a commanding presence with a large and welcoming personality in evidence.  I could have sat and listened to her voice for a couple more hours.  I think she could make anyone's poems come to life in her own reading of them.


I also liked her two goals for her stint as Washington State Poet Laureate.  The first is to hold readings in each of Washington's thirty-nine counties, especially since she herself felt cheated growing up in Richland and saw Eastern Washington often passed over for literary events, with even Spokane usually losing out to Seattle and/or Tacoma.  The second is to focus poetry workshops on third, fourth, and fifth graders—a group that is just learning how to really utilize metaphors, without all the encumbrances of adolescence and adulthood.


I highly recommend the poetry of Kathleen Flenniken to you, especially as I've read Plume many times over, discovering new passages that sing to me on each reading, and, now, having heard her voice illuminate her poems (and those of other poets) in ways that make them sing even bolder.

(If you live in Washington state, then keep your eyes open for a reading near you! )


Kathleen Flenniken's blog.

The Far Field, focusing on Washington poets.

Washington State Poet Laureate at Humanities Washington.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:24 was another chalk event without theme.  Therefore, it felt right to default to the traditional cephalopods.  With the upcoming election being bandied about everywhere, it felt right to remind people to remember to vote.  Hopefully, the inundation of the inane political chatter doesn't turn people off so that they forget to exercise their right to help determine the direction of our nation.

"Americapus" by Troy's Work Table.

Detail of Americapus herself.

Detail of the mini-octopuses.

Americapus and her patriotic cohorts were chalked on a wall behind a concrete planter filled with red, white, and blue flowers.


Remember to vote on Tuesday 06 November 2012!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


"They looked at the two sets of text in front of them.  Slue's copy suddenly appeared to be very plain, short, and uninteresting when compared to the image floating in front of Hieronymous, where the sentences described things they did not fully understand, and passages appeared to be written for the beauty of themselves, and the images they provoked, and the sounds they made as the words were echoed in the reader's mind." 
—page 59, One Hundred Percent Lunar Boy by Stephen Tunney.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


Sussex speckled hen.  Chicken barn at the Puyallup Fair.  Puyallup, Washington.  Friday 07 September 2012.

(I spent a lot of time in the chicken barn.)

Saturday, September 08, 2012


Rhode Island Red rooster.  Chicken barn at the Puyallup Fair.  Puyallup, Washington.  Friday 07 September 2012.

Friday, September 07, 2012


The annual cattle run that begins the Puyallup Fair.  Meridian Avenue, Puyallup, Washington.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Mongolian sunflower with honeybee.  The home garden.  Puyallup, Washington.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:22 was space themed in honor of the death of astronaut Neil Armstrong, but TWT already had an idea in his head prior to finding out about the theme.  Therefore, "Grapes of Wrath (Rev. 9:7-11)," which is not a reference to the grapes of wrath in the Bible, but to the novel, and then paired with a passage from the biblical book of Revelation, was born.  It felt like something akin to TWT's "Queequeg Fireworks" earlier in the chalking season.

"Grapes of Wrath (Rev. 9:7-11)" by Troy's Work Table.

Locust detail of "Grapes of Wrath (Rev. 9:7-11)" by Troy's Work Table.

Goggle and gas mask detail of "Grapes of Wrath (Rev. 9:7-11)" by Troy's Work Table.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Field of wildflowers—paintbrush, lupine, Queen Anne's lace, arnica, and more.

Tipsoo Lake, Chinook Pass, Washington.
Sunday 26 August 2012.

Saturday, August 25, 2012


The Dread Crew of Oddwood.
Singing some songs and chanties in the ever-popular "Heavy Mahogany" style of music.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire.
Sunday 19 August 2012.
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The pickle wench.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire.
Sunday 19 August 2012.
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


Cavallo Equestrian Arts.
Jousting and other games of horsemanship.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire.
Sunday 19 August 2012.
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Academia della Spada.
Sixteenth-century German sword fighting.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire.
Sunday 19 August 2012.
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Random (and rabbit) roustabouts.

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire.
Sunday 19 August 2012.
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012


King James: The King's Corndogs of the World. 

Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire
Sunday 19 August 2012. 
Bonney Lake, Washington.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


...The Dog tucked herself in for a nap on the couch.


TWT decided that it was time to introduce The Child to the splendor of Dungeon!  That meant pulling out the 1980 vintage game board for some monster-killing and treasure-gathering.  TWT took on the role of Hero, while The Child opted to roam the dungeon as an Elf.  We cleaned up most of the chambers and rooms of levels one, two, and three.

Friday, August 17, 2012


TWT decided to try his hand in the kitchen with some bulgogi (Korean grilled beef) lettuce wraps.  The recipe is authentic and from the kitchen of the mother of Tacoma poet Maria Gudaitis.

It was a hit with The Wife and The Child.  I wasn't sure the latter would like it, but it was intriguing enough (Asian tacos in lettuce instead of tortillas) to get a try, and it was a spectacular recipe, so the "tacos" just kept being made.


Frost Park Chalk Off 5:21 was a hot one, so I chalked the Badlands, with a fossil sea creature superimposed over the layers of sedimentary rock.

"Badlands" by TWT.

Detail of "Badlands" by TWT.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Last night, TWT headed over to King's Books to read a poem ("Just Another Day in the Life of the Pagan King") from one of his self-published chapbooks (All the Heroes Are Dead and Buried).  None of the other Puget Sound Poetry Connection participants signed up to read first, so TWT did.  They were probably wishing someone else set the tone for the evening!

Photograph by The Child.

Friday, August 10, 2012


For Frost Park Chalk Off 5:19, Troy's Work Table paid homage to Bike Jump the Fourth by Gaytron the Imploder.

"Bike Jump the Fourth" by TWT.

"Bike Jump the Fourth" (upper detail) by TWT.

"Bike Jump the Fourth" (middle detail) by TWT.

"Bike Jump the Fourth" (lowerdetail) by TWT.


It received no votes whatsoever (which was somewhat expected), but it was fun to get it on the sidewalk while trying out a few new techniques.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


TWT and The Child were invited to participate in another chalk event in Tacoma.  This time it was hosted by Hilltop Artists as part of National Night Out.  As much fun as that would have been (and The Child loves their glass hotshop), time was working against us.  In the spirit of National Night Out, it also seemed a good idea to stick close to home and be out and about in our own neighborhood.

So we set out for Puyallup's Pioneer Park and chalked in front of the library.

We used an oil painting by HM Saffer, Woodland Gloaming I (16" x 20" oil on panel), as our inspiration.

"After HM:WG" by Troy's Work Table.  It was an opportunity to try out some techniques that were (but no longer!) foreign to me.  I worked on blending colors.  It doesn't have the pop or brilliance of color of HM Saffer's work, but it was still fun to create.

"After HM" by The Child.  This version features a bird in one of the trees and a jaguar.


People walking by chatted with us about our pieces and chalk art in general.  One guy walked by with an armload of library books and two children, whose arms were also loaded with library books, and thanked us for making art for everyone and anyone to appreciate.  That felt like what National Night Out was all about to me—conversation, getting to know people in your community, focusing on the good rather than the problems of our society—even if it wasn't an officially sanctioned event.


I'm thinking that a semi-regular chalk event may need to occur in Puyallup, with its own "free chalk" box and suggested themes.

Monday, August 06, 2012


Mammatus clouds, North Hill, Edgewood, Washington.

"breast-clouds / sagging with the weight of snow // wander the sky / like the ample udders of Audumbla"
—from "Ginnungagap," as found in the chapbook All the Heroes Are Dead and Buried by Troy Kehm-Goins.

Sunday, August 05, 2012


Another day, another chalk-off.  Yesterday (Saturday 04 August 2012) saw TWT competing in the Iron Artist Chalk-Off at Tacoma's Tollefson Plaza (sponsored by The Cartoonists' League of Absurd Washingtonians and Tacoma Art Museum).  Chalking for two hours in 95ºF heat on hot concrete was not what I was anticipating, but it was still a lot of fun.

A couple of bottles of water and a made-in-Washington frozen watermelon fruit bar (from Jeff's Ice Cream) helped keep the heat at bay.

TWT chalked "White Knight," a follow-up of sorts to the prior day's "Four Horses."  I think the horses may be purged from my imagination for a while.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


TWT and The Child needed some to experience some art.  It needed to be a one-time event (even if this was the fourth installation of this event (see below)).  So we headed off to Tacoma for Bike Jump the Fourth by Gaytron the Imploder.  Gaytron is the alter ego of neon glass artist Galen McCarty Turner.  Galen created two hundred feet of custom neon tubing through which Gaytron the Imploder would ride his BMX bike.  Gaytron has done this for the past three years on the first Saturday in August.  This was going to be the fourth such jump on August the fourth, hence Bike Jump the Fourth.

A crowd gathers.  The event officially started at 9:00 p.m., but I knew from word of mouth that it was usually about an hour after the beginning of the event that the actual bike jump took place.  Gaytron connects pieces of the framing and neon tubing while the audience watches.  It also seems that its a good excuse for hipsters, local artists, and spectators to drink cans of Rainier beer and smoke (as especially noted by The Child).

Testing lights/teasing the crowd.  The "Bike Jump" sign lights up for the first time to the hoots and hollers of those gathered.

Fully operational.  Gaytron tests the various connections and works the crowd.  He is quite the showman.

Lighting helmet sparklers.  An assistant fires up a blowtorch and lights Gaytron's helmet.  The assistant also lights "rocket" fireworks on the back of the bike.

The bike shoots past in the dark.

Post-impact.  Gaytron the Imploder has just crashed through the neon and onto the pavement.  But then he is up with arms raised in a "V" for victory to the cheers of the crowd.

"Bike Jump."



All in all, it was a spectacular event—part vaudeville/circus act, especially with the accompanying soundtrack and DJ; part stunt; part performance art.  If there is a Bike Jump the Fifth, we will be in attendance.