Saturday, March 28, 2015

BIBLIOMANCY: THE ODYSSEY

While poking about in A Good Book of Sumner, Washington, I once again stumbled upon The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis (and translated into English by Kimon Friar). It was lying in wait for me, as it had been on my prior two visits. I cracked open its cover and randomly flipped to a couple of pages.

---

This bit of bibliomancy told me that I needed to purchase this book right now.

---

"Divination" number one:

Hunger and Eros prowled through mountain passes then
and softly slunk in hamlets, knocked on every door,
till boys and girls met slyly in delirious night
to tell each other lovers' tales, and shadows rolled
entangled on the ground, by lickerish night devoured.

—page 123

---

"Divination" number two:

Ah, heavy-scented flowers I've smelled, brine of the sea,
earth's breathing after rain, the sour scent of sweat
from the deep armpits of friends who row in sun together,
and the sweet milky fragrance of a woman's breasts!
Neither the ears nor the eyes, not even the full lips,
can pierce the heart of mystery with such nakedness.
Smell, you're a thick memory—when you wake, dear God, 
you plunge down silently and plunder the head's castle.

—page 499

---

With such lines in hand (and now in my head) how could I not free this book from its shelf?

---

I flipped to the front of the book and perused the introduction by translator Kimon Friar, which provided the final "divination."

---

"Divination" number three:

The critics now found themselves confronted by a huge tome of 835 pages (subsidized by a an American patron, Miss Joel MacLeod), 10 by 15 inches in size, handsomely printed in a special type, limited to an edition of 300 copies, written in 24 books (one for each letter of the Greek alphabet), and in 33,333 lines of an extremely unfamiliar seventeen-syllable unrhymed iambic measure of eight beats.

—page ix

---

Sold!

---

I went to the counter, paid my eight dollars for this 1958 Simon and Schuster English translation hardcover of an original 1938 Greek printing, and headed home with my new treasure.

Friday, March 27, 2015

TROY'S WORK TABLE PUBLISHING

Troy's Work Table Publishing debuts four new chapbooks at APRIL Book Expo 2015.

Sunday 29 March 2015
11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hugo House, Seattle, Washington

Stop by and be the first to get your copies of these handmade poetry chapbooks.

---


My Two Melvilles chapbook by Troy Kehm-Goins.

-

#HermanMelville
#Moby-Dick
#epistolary
#counterpane
#pillowtalk
#Leviathan

-
 
I want to climb into bed with you and embrace you, like Queequeg to Ishmael. I want us to be covered in a quilted blanket, of a nautical design, specifically a sailed ship in the warm waters of the tropical latitudes, created and stitched together by the hands of elderly New England widows…

---


Let There Be chapbook by Troy Kehm-Goins.

-

#apocalypse
#seeking
#rain
#rain
#rain
#run

-

Over the water, mirrored in the sheen, the Gorgon seeks. Visible light tries to take form, shredded into component parts by one of the Disruption Shields.
There is a thump, then a wave of water. This is the Pulse. It squeals through us, past us. This Disruption Shield falls…

---


All the Heroes Are Dead and Buried chapbook by Troy Kehm-Goins.

-

#NorseMythology
#Odin
#Thor
#winter
#FenrisWolf
#fallenheroes

-

Wednesday, hump day, Odin’s day / the day that Fenris wolf humps his leg / and gnashes blood-flecked fangs at his good eye // the day that whale-breathed Jörmungandr / world-serpent, coils around his chest / twelve thousand times and constricts // the day that his bad eye, the missing eye / itches…

---


Black Psalms chapbook by Troy Kehm-Goins.

-

#psalms
#heavymetal
#black
#disease
#lamentation
#octopus

-

This is hot black, the sharpened black of obsidian polished by the kiss of deep earth. This is the stinking black of mold on bread and upon sails folded and improperly stored rather than stretched tight by the wind. The dripping black that hangs from the branches of trees…

Monday, March 23, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

DRONE


Detail of "Drone" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 20 March 2015.

---

drone /drəʊn/ noun.
A pilotless aircraft directed by remote control.

---

drone /drəʊn/ noun.
A male honeybee that performs no work, other than fertilizing the queen.

---

drone /drəʊn/ noun.
An idler, a layabout, a ne'er-do-well.

---

drone /drəʊn/ noun.
A continuous and steady deep humming.

---

You decide. View more pictures of "Drone" HERE.

Friday, March 13, 2015

HULK SMASH


"Hulk Smash" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 13 March 2015.

---

Hulk no need to explain Hulk picture!

---

You can view more pictures of "Hulk Smash" HERE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

ICYTHUS

"Jawe as Icythus! / that monstrous fluke / that maw all mercy - / sings / like a deep sea / harp of high heaven -"

—page 174, from "Jonah," as found in Minor Prophets, Major Themes by Daniel Berrigan.

AXE for the FROZEN SEA

"A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us."

—Franz Kafka, as quoted by Maggie Nelson in The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (page 212).

Friday, March 06, 2015

DEVILFISH NEBULA


"Devilfish Nebula" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 06 March 2015.

---

Art is play.

---

The paper collage work I've been doing with third and fourth graders found its way onto the carport concrete. It encountered the "devilfish" of the Northwest Coast peoples, better known today as the octopus, in sidewalk chalk, chalk pastels, and charcoal.

---

This devilfish nurtures a creature of its own making: a star born of a nebula, as an egg nurtured by She, the Mother Octopus, the Black Star Octopus, consort of the Watcher of the Deep, as well as Creator of her own mythos. She is the loving Mother that breathes over her egg, a constant companion until this star egg is on its own. Until it swims the sea of the heavens in its own right.

---

View more pictures of "Devilfish Nebula" HERE.

NORTHWEST COAST


"Eagle" by Troy's Work Table. Paper collage.

---

More paper art in the style of the Northwest Coast people. More exploration of these shapes—ovoids, U-forms, circles, crescents, S-forms, and wedges/trigons. More exploration of these four colors—black, white, red, blue (or blue-green). More learning the rules and then deciding when to bend or break them.

The third and fourth graders I'm working with are struggling a bit. Some are soaring as we each figure out how to depict eagle. Some are plummeting as they try to overcome obstacles—face or full body, frontal or profile, symmetrical or asymmetrical. But they all ultimately produce an eagle, each one a representation of who they are and how eagle speaks to them.