Wednesday, December 31, 2014


2014 casts long shadows. The Dog and TWT visit Ocean Shores. Photo taken on Sunday 29 December 2014.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Where the sea meets shore bubbles are birthed. The Dog loves to chase the bubbles as the waves deposit them upon the sand. There is much barking. Monday 30 December 2014. Ocean Shores.

Monday, December 29, 2014


The sea is relatively quiet. Waves but very little wind. No clouds in the sky. Chilly temperatures in the mid-30s. Sunday 29 December 2014. Ocean Shores.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Beneath the thermometer is a salt crust. Beneath the salt crust is a prime rib. Awaiting to accompany the prime rib is a bottle of Anchor Brewing Company's 2013 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Ale.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (Our Special Ale), a Winter Ale by Anchor Brewing Company.

12 ounce taster bottle served in a shaker glass.

5.5% alcohol by volume.

The pour is an intensely deep ruby red with a half-finger of tan head.

The nose is primarily spices: cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon.

The tongue is scrumptious wood bark, lightly roasted malts, and light spices. Dark fruits undergird the forward flavors.

The finish is woodsy and then lingering spices. The latter increase for some time.

As it warms, light chocolate and cocoa notes sneak into the background.

This is an excellent winter ale.


The sun makes its presence known, even approaching sunset, even amongst the brooding clouds. Saturday 28 December 2014. Ocean Shores.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


On the third day of Christmas. Follow the star. Ocean Shores.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Giant Pacific Octopus in Christmas Lights. Friday 26 December 2014. Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Freestyle Christmas cookie by The Child. "Santa with his sleigh and bag of toys."

Created with cut cookies joined together—two candy canes, two ornaments, and one Santa hat

Monday, December 22, 2014


I'm up because it's the longest night. It happens this way each year. I'm sure that it is mostly self-fulfilling prophecy, but "it is what it is."


So I read.


Online poems by local poets (Tacoma, Olympia) and those farther afield (Pittsburgh, Tallahassee) because the internet does not distinguish the distances.


The songs of Hannah (1 Samuel 2) and Mary (Luke 1). Similar songs of the Lord lifting up the lowly and poor, while sending the wealthy away from the table.


The final book in The Southern Reach trilogy, Acceptance, by Jeff VanderMeer. I'm drawing out this latter reading because I don't want the story to end.


I hope that sleep will soon arrive. I hope that I will not dream.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


TWT enjoys some Jule brød on this longest night.


Winter solstice.

Darkest day.

Longest night.

Welcome back
to the blooming light.

Copyright © 2014 by Troy's Work Table 


Longest night 2007.

Longest night 2012.

Longest night 2013.

Thursday, December 18, 2014


Sunrise on North Hill. Thursday 18 December 2014. A good morning, even though only about one-third of the day will see sunlight. (I'm enjoying it while I can.)

Friday, December 12, 2014


"Control" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 12 December 2014.


This is a self-portrait inspired by Control, the protagonist of Authority byJeff VanderMeer.


View more pictures of "Control" HERE.

Sunday, December 07, 2014


Sunrise on North Hill. Sunday 07 December 2014. Sunlight filtered through wood smoke, fog, and clouds. Alder fingers reaching for the heavens.

Friday, December 05, 2014


"Ink Cloud" by Troy's Work Table. Crayon and walnut ink wash.


This morning, TWT taught art to third and fourth graders this morning and had a blast.

First, I talked them through the process of turning walnut rinds into walnut ink. Then we talked a teeny bit about Leonardo da Vinci (who used walnut ink in many of his sketches, drawings, and paintings). Each sketched out some leaves and selected his or her favorite. Then we selected a "leaf color" crayon and drew the outline of the favorite leaf on some heavier stock paper. Next we drew the veins of the leaves in with white crayon, which was a challenge because we could barely see the lines. Next came a wash of my homemade walnut ink on each piece. It was fun because all of the kids were "oohing" and "aahing" when the veins "appeared" in the wash. Then everyone signed her or his name in walnut ink with a dip stylus-and-nib pen to give it the final "da Vinci" touch.

I may have had more fun than the kids!


In preparation for the class, I wanted to see how different color crayons would work with the walnut ink. The Child received the fruits of one such "non-leaf" experiment as this week's Lunchbox Friday drawing.

Thursday, December 04, 2014


"The Head of Optimus Prime" by Troy's Work Table. Graham crackers, sugar frosting, assorted candies.


Tonight, this happened. I was at a gingerbread house event.

Instead of making the recommended house, I used the limited resources I had to make Gingerbread Prime for my five-year-old friend. He wasn't there, but he loves Optimus Prime.

(Unfortunately, Gingerbread Prime didn't survive the move to the car or home. This was his second iteration, the first being more sculptural and crumbling due to too much weight and too little frosting mortar.)

"Autobots, roll out!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2014


"Terroir's direct translation is 'a sense of place,' and what it means is the sum of the effects of a localized environment, inasmuch as they impact the qualities of a particular product. Yes, that can mean wine, but what if you applied these criteria to thinking about Area X?"

—page 131, Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.

Friday, November 28, 2014


Archbishoprick, the thimble.


The latest member of the Pequod chapbook-binding crew has signed aboard.


"Pomegranate" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for (Black) Friday 28 November 2014.


I had to do some design work on a worship folder for work. One of the texts used was Deuteronomy 8:7-18. I fell in love with the description of the land. I also wanted to avoid the traditional images of thanksgiving. There would be no feasting, no Pilgrims, no Native Americans, no turkeys, and no pumpkins. I chose the pomegranate from the list.


In the biblical passage, there was this wonderful land mentioned—a land of plenty and abundance.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. —Deuteronomy 8:7-10.


I chose the pomegranate because there were so many images and sculptures of it, and they crossed cultures and centuries. I ended up using many public domain pomegranate images from The Collection Online of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


I chose the pomegranate because although it was an unfamiliar Thanksgiving food, it was on a list that demanded thanksgiving. I chose the pomegranate because of its gourd-like nature. I chose the pomegranate because each image felt somewhat similar to the others, yet most likewise differentiated themselves in some manner.


I chose the pomegranate because it is a likely candidate for the fruit that Eve plucks from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.


I chose the pomegranate because a few of it's seeds are the food that sustains Persephone in the underworld after Hades abducts her. They are a gift of nourishment as well as what will keep her in the underworld for a portion of each year.


I chose to chalk a pomegranate because it has been haunting my mind and my dreams for the past few days.


You can view more pictures of "Pomegranate" HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014


TWT is trying to walk a middle path tonight.


I participated in non-violent religious protests against the World Trade Organization in 1999. We walked down the middle of downtown Seattle streets on our way to protest outside the Kingdome's Exhibition Hall, where the WTO delegates were gathered. The police knew we were coming and put up temporary chain link fences as we marched. We had so many people present that we surrounded the Kingdome and the fences by holding hands and singing hymns.

We could walk down the streets because most of Seattle had been abandoned in advance of the non-religious protests that would follow the next few days.

But I don't understand protesters in Seattle tonight walking onto I-5 to stop traffic.


I understand anger at a grand jury decision one doesn't agree with, but I don't understand how that anger leads to looting mom-and-pop businesses in the same neighborhood in which one lives.


I hope that we don't become a culture of trial by social media. Or a culture of trial by the national news media.


I've served on two jury cases—one an assault, the other a murder. They were both difficult cases. The evidence and witnesses in each led to different conclusions—acquittal in the former, conviction in the latter. But the amount of time and energy the juries spent on each was intense and one side in each case was unhappy with our decision.

The grand jury in the Ferguson case spent 25 days over a three-month period of time hearing from dozens of witnesses and sorting through hundreds of pieces of evidence. I won't presume to know what that grueling process was like, anymore than I will presume to know the betrayal that the family of Michael Brown feels after the grand jury's decision.


This year, my family discovered that its family mythology, its genealogical record, and its DNA evidence are in a bit of conflict with one another. There was always some mystery and dispute in the former two, but the latter highlighted those mysteries and disputations (without necessarily solving them; in fact, it may have made them even more ambiguous and messy). We knew that there was Native American ancestry (although to what extent has been another mystery), but we weren't quite prepared for the possibility of Portuguese slave traders and West African slaves that now stares at us.

The discovery doesn't make me feel black or want to claim African descent, but it does open my eyes to a world that I am more related to than I once thought.

Native American ancestors and African ancestors stand alongside Western European and Northern European and Southern European ancestors. And now Eastern Europe ancestors also likely stand alongside all of the above. It changes who I am and how I think of who I am.



Is America the melting pot we like to claim it is?
Or are we different groups of people living next to one another?
Do we really know one another?
Do we listen to one another? (Or do we merely talk (or shout) over one another?)


I don't have any answers tonight.


Tonight, more than anything, I'm confused.


The only thing I can do at this point is pray.

Pray for peace. Pray for understanding. Pray for systems to be changed, for all men (and women) to be treated equal.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


"We live in a universe drive by chance," his father had said once, "but the bullshit artists all want causality." Bullshit artist in this context meant his mother, but the statement had wide applications.

—page 38, Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.


It was the kind of place where he and his father would have gone canoeing when he was a teenager. It wasn't true wilderness, was comfortingly close to civilization, but existed just enough apart to create a boundary. This was what most people wanted: to be close to but not part of. They didn't want the fearful unknown of a "pristine wilderness." They didn't want a soulless artificial life, either.

—page 81, Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.


Melanie the giant Pacific octopus "visiting" with me at Highline College's Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center and Aquarium.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Looking west toward Interstate 5 from the observation deck of the Smith Tower's Chinese Room. I set the camera in night mode and let the slight swaying of the building "move" the lights of cars and buildings.


Pequod, the book binding box.

Queequeg, the paper awl.

Daggoo and Tashtego, the binder's needles.

Moby, the bone folder.

The Pequod is ready to set sail into a sea of chapbook binding.

Friday, November 14, 2014


"The Hatching" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 14 November 2014.


This poor guy never had a chance. It reminds me of the urban myth about the woman with the beehive hairdo from which pours forth an entire army of newly hatched spiders. (Or a jester's cap.)

Sunday, November 09, 2014


"But it's not just the person who fills a house, it's their I'll be back later!s, their toothbrushes and not-being-used-right-now hats and coats, their belongingnesses."

—page 276, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.

Friday, November 07, 2014


"Bloodletting: The Third Day of Creation" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 07 November 2014.


The 1587-1597 Pietà of El Greco.
A recently attended funeral.
Mexican murals.
Genesis 1:9-13.
Recent sunsets silhouetting trees.
Early sunsets due to a return to Standard Time.
Donating blood a couple of weeks ago.
Iconography of the Apocalypse.
William Blake.


The notions of:
Art as act.
Art as creative impulse.
Art as catharsis.


View more pictures of "Bloodletting: The Third Day of Creation" HERE.

Thursday, November 06, 2014


"Self-portrait, to sea"

Pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil.


"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball."

—from "Loomings" (chapter 1) of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014


"His Heart was darker than the starless night / For that there is a morn / But in this black Receptacle / Can be no Bode of Dawn"

—poem #1378* by Emily Dickinson

*Johnson numbering

Tuesday, November 04, 2014


North Hill, looking west, sunset.

Sunday, November 02, 2014


"It takes more than a milk faith to await a death before which most of the saints themselves have been and still are in dread."

—from "Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague" by Martin Luther.


I found a timely read in the wake of the fear of Ebola.

(And from 1527 even!)

Friday, October 31, 2014


Either someone has a sense of humor or was playing a trick on The Child. The "treats" in the middle of the picture are mild taco sauce packets from Taco Bell.


"Our Lady of the Celestial (Sorrows) Sea" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 31 October 2014, All Hallows' Eve.


This piece was fun to create. It is layered over last week's "Octopodic," which peeks through here and there.


After studying some icons of Mary and the Infant Jesus, and thinking about how those would be represented by an octopus (She) and one of her offspring (the eggs She meticulously watches over until they hatch), "Our Lady" was born upon the carport concrete.


View more pictures of "Our Lady" HERE.


"Happy All Hallows' Eve" by Troy's Work Table.


I try to sneak a quick ink drawing into The Child's lunchbox each Friday. It's the one day of the week that The Wife is off to work early and I need to get The Child's lunch ready. This is my signature of sorts each week, and something that is shared with kids in the classroom. Most of them tell The Child that, "Your dad didn't draw that. It's too good," which I find rather funny. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


"Punktopus" by Troy's Work Table.

The All Hallows' Eve Jack-o'-lantern swims into the world.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


A skypool portal opens up during sunset on the North Hill of Puyallup.

Jump in!

Friday, October 24, 2014


"Octopodic" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 24 October 2014.


What does it feel like to have "things" crawling along your nerve paths? It feels octopodic.


Thanks to Ada for the word.


You can view more pictures of "Octopodic" HERE.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Insomnia and nerve pain have me awake. I can hear the BNSF trains blowing their whistles in the dark downtown morning hours as they transport coal and cars and consumer goods from the Port of Tacoma to points unknown.


And, as I lie on the couch, propped up on pillows, trying to achieve a minimum of comfort, her voice comes calling.


Our Lady of the Celestial Seas speaks black psalms to me. She tells me of her eggs that hang in the night sky like stars. She tells me of the ships she has shattered and left on the shoals of various countries and coasts. She tells me of wearing others like rubber suits and stealing their final breaths.


I try to gain a better glimpse of her and She inks and flees.


I lie and listen for her sing-song as She calls from the night sky, from the cold shallows, from the unknown and unseen fathoms of the sea.

Friday, October 17, 2014


"She Slips In" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking. Friday 17 October 2014.


It was raining, so staying home to chalk seemed a good idea.


This is one of my favorite pieces of chalk art I've ever done.


I worked fast and loose, taking only about ten minutes to lay down the chalk.


The picture is based upon a series of poems that I am working on and needed to "get out of my system" in a medium other than writing.


There were remnants of chalk from another Carport Chalking piece that were hanging around, so I used them as a base. That worked well since some of the colors and form were already present. Most of "Cosmic" was covered up or blended in, but it formed a nice canvas to work upon—the "gesso," if you will, for this new piece.


I took a "selfie" of my eye and studied it for some time. Then, I set off with the chalk.


Once I had a base of purple for the iris and added brown and green to get the "hazel" color I was hoping for, I laid down a thick powder of charcoal for the pupil. The smooth texture of this "hole" was exactly what I was hoping for, even if I was initially unsure if it would work.


Building around the pupil and iris happened very quickly. A few black strands for the legs of She and her yellow eyes and it was done.


I was (and am) rather pleased with this piece and keep going back and looking at the photos of it. You can likewise view more photos of "She Slips In" HERE.

Friday, October 10, 2014


"(You Down With?) SSP" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off 7:28. Friday 10 October 2014.


A title that plays on the song "O.P.P." by Naughty by Nature. Chalk art that incorporates neon orange and navy blue duct tape within its "canvas." An homage to Street Sign Project.


The person pictured on the wall has blown his mind thinking about the Street Sign Project's work for too long.


The green "halo"/"hair" of the person was chalk that was already present on the wall. I didn't event realize it made it look like he had hair until it was signed and photos were taken.


You can view more photos of "(You Down With?) SSP" HERE.

Thursday, October 09, 2014


"knowing from hindmost teeth to jackknifed tail / Leviathan is neither fish nor mammal."

—from "Eschatology, Piscatology" by James Brookes, as found in the October 2014 issue of Poetry.


This poem reminds me of Daniel Berrigan's portrayal of Leviathan as crocodile. Here, the monster is not carved up for the market; here, the monster is not commodity that cannot be tamed; here, the monster is exactly what Berrigan warns us to beware.

This poem resonates for me in the same way that Berrigan's glimpse does. And, in that sense, not only have I left crumbs of crocodile scattered on the Work Table once, then twice, but now thrice.


And the lilt and trill of "L" throughout this poem (which runs counter to the image) is a wonder upon my ears.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014


"Perhaps I should not hope to convey in mere words the unutterable hideousness that can dwell in absolute silence and barren immensity. There was nothing within hearing, and nothing in sight, save a vast reach of black slime; yet the very completeness of the stillness and the homogeneity of the landscape oppressed me with a nauseating fear."

—from "Dagon" by H.P. Lovecraft.


"Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, 'What are you doing here, Elijah?'"

—1 Kings 19:11b-13

Friday, October 03, 2014


"Hide-and-Seek with Annabelle of Ebola" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:27. Friday 03 October 2014.


The world is filled with horrors.

I'm pretty sure that movies about demonic dolls rank fairly low on the spectrum. I don't quite know where to place hemorrhagic fevers. Or tentacle-like plants.

But they all tumbled out of my brain and onto the wall together.


Plus, I kept thinking about the title of Anne of Green Gables and how Annabelle and Ebola could serve the same function in a title of morbid black humor.


View more picture of "Annabelle of Ebola" HERE.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Detail of "The Reach" by Troy's Work Table. Carport Chalking 7:26. Friday 26 September 2014.


A study of color. A study of form. Another chance to explore the octopus.


A dream of Lovecraftian horrors. A memory of the first hardcover book I bought with my own earnings—New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, edited by Ramsey Campbell and published by Arkham House.


The rain was torrential. I opted to chalk in the relative dry of the carport.


View more pictures of "The Reach" HERE.


Today's lunchbox surprise for The Child is "Stretched."

Friday, September 19, 2014


"Don't let Octopus steal your lunch."

Each Friday, I include a drawing with The Child's lunch. These are today's "words of advice."

Monday, September 15, 2014


To them
The good children
Are those
Who ask no questions,
Who accept everything
Like the tomb
Which does not reject
Even a dead leper!
Who accept everything
Like the rubbish pit,
Like the pit-latrine
Which does not reject
Even dysentery!

—page 137, Song of Lawino: An African Lament by Okot p'Bitek (as found in section 9, "From the Mouth of Which River?").

Saturday, September 13, 2014


"Translated from the Acoli by the author who has clipped a bit of the eagle's wings and rendered the sharp edges of the warrior's sword rusty and blunt, and has also murdered rhythm and rhyme." 

—Okot p'Bitek on translating his own epic poem Song of Lawino into English.


p'Bitek originally wrote the poem in his native language of Acoli. It was written in rhyming couplets and had a regular meter, both of which were sacrificed when he translated it into free verse for publication in English, hence his apology and/or lament.

Friday, September 12, 2014


"Octoblox" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:24. Friday 12 September 2014.


I was the only one at Frost Park for the Chalk Off (again), so I didn't plan on hanging around too long.


I wasn't quite sure what I was going to draw, but then I was inspired by the notion of connective-block toys, such as those of Lego. And octopuses sure have the means of connecting to one another via their suckers. Plus, with their ability to change color...

Octoblox were born.


View more pictures of "Octoblox" HERE.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014


"Cosmic" by Troy's Work Table. Carport Chalking 7:23. Friday 03 September 2014.


TWT wasn't going to make it to Frost Park this week, so an early chalking in the carport helped get rid of some of the creative energy that needed to be released.


"Cosmic" was created by laying down the chalk around an empty space on the sidewalk. A wet sponge helped form the tentacles.


View more pictures of "Cosmic" HERE.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


"Ammonite" by Troy's Work Table and The Child. Frost Park Chalk Off Challenge 7:22. Friday 29 August 2014.


Yesterday, TWT had enough time to finish another piece of chalk art, this one in collaboration with The Child. It initially started as somewhat of an abstract scribble, but its form came forth and then it was about two minutes of framing the shell and another five minutes for sketching of the mantle and tentacles and coloring everything in.


View more pictures of Frost Park 7:22 HERE.

Friday, August 29, 2014


"Jacob's Dream" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off Challenge 7:22. Friday 29 August 2014.


I don't know why the scene of Jacob dreaming has been haunting me for the past few days, but I decided to "chalk it out." And, of course, I couldn't help but add octopuses as the angels ascending and descending the ladder to heaven.


I even sketched the scene out on paper before hitting the sidewalk.


View more pictures of Frost Park 7:22 HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


"Salmon Spirit" by Troy's Work Table. Riverwalk Chalk. Wednesday 27 August 2014.


Swimmin' at ya!


Troy's Work Table needed to unwind after work, so he headed down the Riverwalk Trail and left a little bit of chalk art for the fisherfolk who are frequenting the trail right now, seeking out the best fishing spot along the Puyallup River.


View more pictures of "Salmon Spirit" HERE.

Friday, August 15, 2014


Today's poetry book finds at the library.

From the Beauty of My Belly (1999) by Esther G. Belin.

Book of Hours (2014) by Kevin Young.

Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals (2014) by Patricia Lockwood.


Today's music album finds at the library.

3-Way Tie (For Last) (1985) by Minutemen.

Obliterati (2006) by Mission of Burma.

Indie Cindy (2014) by Pixies.


"Midden" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:20. Friday 15 August 2014.


Octopus flees her midden.


The past few pieces of TWT chalk art influenced this piece. As did the sidewalk environment.


Square bricks provided a wonderful foundation. Real vegetation to the left became chalk seaweed and kelp. A dark gray concrete panel helped to make the colors of the seaweed and midden "pop." An adjacent light gray concrete panel likewise highlighted the black of the octopus.


This was a fairly fun, quickly drawn piece that plays with a few creation myths and stories that include Octopus as a primary deity. The sexual imagery of the piece wasn't initially intended, although, as it progressed, I certainly didn't shy away from it.


And my favorite piece is the midden/landscape "crown" that adorns the mantle of Octopus.


You can view more pictures of "Midden" and Frost Park Chalk Off 7:20 HERE.

Friday, August 08, 2014


This summer, my dahlias are spectacular. Record rain in late winter and early spring, combined with record high temperatures in the early summer, produced flowers blooming earlier than ever and with beautiful flowers.


"Hourglass" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:19 at Tollefson Plaza. Friday 08 August 2014.


Frost Park chalked "in exile" for season 7, episode 19. Actually, the Frost Park Chalkies were invited by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce to chalk at their annual picnic. The Chamber provided prizes for first, second, and third place, as voted on by their members.


Troy's Work Table and The Child chalked as a team, providing individual pieces, but presenting them together.

We took first place, squeaking out a victory by two votes. Our prize was a beer and craft root beer basket.


"Hourglass" was inspired by its two predecessors, "Clocktopus" and "Aquariums (Color Study)," as well as the diamond-shaped concrete panels of downtown Tacoma's Tollefson Plaza. And, as with "Clocktopus," it was a meditation upon time and death.


 You can view more pictures of "Hourglass" HERE.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014


"Aquariums (Color Study)" by Troy's Work Table . Hilltop Artists Arts Night Out. Tuesday 05 August 2014.


TWT and The Child were invited by Hilltop Artists to join them for their Arts Night Out event. So we showed up with chalk in hand and ready to draw. There were very few people chalking when we arrived halfway through the evening, other than mostly toddlers scribbling here and there. Once we started chalking, others readily joined in (we "broke the ice") and soon the sidewalk outside of Hilltop Artist's glassblowing hot shop was filled with the chalk drawings of children and adults.


"Aquariums" grew out of "Clocktopus" from Frost Park, but TWT wanted to explore color combinations and see how the same charcoal-outline octopuses would look. In that sense, it was truly a color study. What TWT really discovered, though, was an interesting effect of blending the colors together. It was most effective with the black and white panels, giving the blended edges a blur.


Arts Night Out was an interesting evening of art and community meeting one another at Jason Lee Middle School, which is the home of one of Hilltop Artist's hot shops. The event captured the flavor of the arts in Tacoma and Pierce County quite well, including the "grittiness" with which Tacoma prides itself.

A dinner of street tacos was provided by local restaurant Masa, and they didn't hold back. There were many options available for those gathered to make the tacos as they saw fit.

Glassblowing demonstrations were provided by the youth artists of Hilltop Artists.

T-shirts were available for $5, which also included access to various plastic templates and fabric paints and inks, in order that one could create their own art shirt.

Grit City Grindhouse was present with skateboards, helmets, and homemade ramps for kids (and brave adults) to try their hand at skating.

Members of the Stryker brigade from nearby Joint Base Lewis McChord were on hand to show off their military hardware and let people explore the Stryker armored personnel carrier that gives the brigade its name.

And, for those who needed a break from it all, there were hula hoops and soccer balls and Frisbees for people to play with on the Jason Lee football field and track.


You can view more pictures of "Aquariums (Color Study)" and Arts Night Out HERE.

Friday, August 01, 2014


"Clocktopus" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:18. Friday 01 August 2014.


A meditation upon mortality. The female octopus lays her eggs and then keeps them alive by protecting them and blowing seawater over and past them. Once they start to hatch she dies. By the point of her death she is usually emaciated, having not eaten since laying her eggs; senescent and senile; and pale in color. In other words, she has become a ghost of the sea, vulnerable and ready to be eaten by other sea creatures.


This piece came to me in a dream.


 You can view more pictures of "Clocktopus" HERE.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Troy’s Work Table Publishing is now an official independent publisher of chapbooks.

The first two books scheduled for publication in Fall 2014 include reissues of My Two Melvilles  (originally published in 2010) and All the Heroes Are Dead and Buried (originally published in 2011), both by Troy Kehm-Goins. The first new work scheduled for publication in Fall 2014 is a collection of new poems by Troy Kehm-Goins, This: Black Psalms.


As the "About" section states:

Troy’s Work Table Publishing is an independent publisher of chapbooks.

It all began in 2006, here, with the original Troy’s Work Table blog, which was started as a way for Troy to write review and thoughts about books, art, and beer.

The next step toward Troy’s Work Table Publishing was a private writing workshop, Writing House, in the summer of 2008. Troy and the other eight writers decided to continue on together once the workshop ended, forming a writing collective, Les sardines, and self-publishing their own literary journal Les Sar’zine, as a way to get their writing released into the world.

In addition to being actively involved in the publication of the first five issues of Les Sar’zine, Troy participated in more than one year of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), was published in the Read Write Poem NaPoWriMo Anthology, read poems at various literary events and open mics throughout the Puget Sound region, self-published poems for National Poem-in-Your-Pocket Day, and produced two chapbooks of his own poetry (My Two Melvilles and All the Heroes Are Dead and Buried).

Now, Troy prepares to publish chapbooks of his own poetry, as well as that of other writers.

Friday, July 25, 2014


"Sea Stack (after Chihuly)" by Troy's Work Table . Frost Park Chalk Off 7:17. Friday 25 July 2014.


This is sidewalk chalk art modeled after one of the glass pieces in Dale Chihuly’s Venetian Wall, 2002, at the Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. The original is one glass octopus upon another, with the bottom octopus clinging to a glass orb. TWT substituted a skull modeled after the recently viewed skull of Leon Trotsky at Pacific Science Center’s SPY: The Secret World of Espionage exhibit, as well as added another octopus because the scene seemed a bit more humorous that way.

You can view more pictures of "Sea Stack" HERE.