Friday, May 29, 2015

EMERALD ELK, BLACK TRUMPETS


"Emerald Elk, Black Trumpets" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 29 May 2015.

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These elk and their accompanying giant black trumpet mushrooms were inspired by painter Albert Bierstadt, naturalist and painter John James Audubon, and author Jeff Vandermeer.

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They are also part of a poem cycle I am currently writing.

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This piece is about ten feet wide and took just under an hour to complete.

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Detail of "Emerald Elk, Black Trumpets." Right bugling bull. AKA the fifth trumpet.

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View more pictures of "Emerald Elk" HERE.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

WIRE at NEUMO'S


Early in the concert.

[1] "Blogging" • Wire
[2] "Joust & Jostle" • Wire
[3] "Silk Skin Paws" • A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck
[4] "Boiling Boy" • A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck
[5] "Mekon Headman" • Object 47

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Graham Lewis and Colin Newman both on the mic.

[6] "Burning Bridges" • Wire
[7] "High" • Wire
[8] "In Manchester" • Wire
[9] "Sleep-walking" • Wire
[10] "Shifting" • Wire

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Playing "Stealth of a Stork. The bass and guitar attack rattles the camera!

[11] "Stealth of a Stork" • Change Becomes Us
[12] "Split Your Ends" • Wire
[13] "Octopus" • Wire
[14] "Blessed State" • 154
[15] "Swallow" • Wire

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Playing "Harpooned."

[16] "Harpooned" • Wire
encore
[17] "Brazil" • Pink Flag
[18] "Adore Your Island" • Change Becomes Us
[19] "Used To" • Chairs Missing

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Wednesday 27 May 2015. Wire at Neumo's of Seattle. 1 hour, 35 minutes of pure art-punk sonic assault. Founding members Colin Newman (vocals, rhythm guitar); Graham Lewis (bass, vocals); and Robert Grey (drums) were joined on stage by new lead guitarist Matthew Simms.

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Having seen Wire in concert twice before, in May 2000 and September 2002, both at the Showbox, and both with original lead guitarist Bruce Gilbert, I was really intrigued for what the band would bring to this venue. First, they owned the room. Second, I was glad I brought earplugs with me. I needed them on quite a few of the songs to help limit the blast my ears took. Third, Matthew Simms is a completely different guitarist from Bruce Gilbert, even though he can get similar sounds out of his instrument. Bruce was insular and tended to turn away from the crowd and almost meditate on his guitar. Matthew faced the audience, was almost manic at times, and occasionally "threw" his guitar around to achieve some of the dissonant whale song and squall that the songs required. It was beautiful to watch.

On top of that, Robert, Graham, and Colin were in the finest form that I've seen them. They were loose and focused, confident and carefree, and they played with fervor and abandon. Robert is a human metronome; he kept the beat and kept the band together as they ran over the crowd. Colin obviously enjoys his role as lead vocalist; he is the showman of the group. Graham revels in the songs he gets to sing lead vocals on; and "Mekon Headman" and "Blessed State" made that clear.

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Since Matthew Simms is now a full-fledged member of the group, and Wire's fourteenth studio album (the eponymously-named Wire) sees him included in the songwriting rather than as touring guitarist or hired hand, it made sense that the show was heavily weighted toward the new album. I was surprised that they played the entire album, however. It was a pleasant surprise.

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The other surprise was when they started in with "Silk Skin Paws." Many of the twenty-somethings, who had been bobbing their heads along to the Wire material, seemed unfamiliar with it and fellow A Bell Is a Cup track "Boiling Boy," which were staples of my early twenties.

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All in all, it was a wonderful evening with my all-time favorite band. I almost didn't go. I am really glad that I did.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

IMMORTAN JOE


"Immortan Joe" by Troy's Work Table. Chalkboard chalking for Tuesday 26 May 2015. Mad Max: Fury Road warlord.

Monday, May 25, 2015

SLIT


"Slit" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Monday 25 May 2015. One of the Warboys from Mad Max: Fury Road.

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Mad Max: Fury Road was an off-the-charts rush. It was a movie unlike anything I've ever seen and I've seen The Road Warrior so many times that it's unhealthy! MM:FR is TRW squared.

Needless to say, I needed to sketch a couple of the main Warboys in chalk.

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View more of Slit and Nux HERE.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

SHILOH: A REQUIEM


The Wife planted flowers in Puyallup's Veterans Park for Memorial Day.

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Shiloh.
A Requiem.
(April, 1862.)

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
     The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
     The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
     Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
          And natural prayer
     Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
     Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
     But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
     And all is hushed at Shiloh.

—"Shiloh" from Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War by Herman Melville

BATTLE-PIECES

The Battle-Pieces
in this volume are dedicated
to the memory of the
Three Hundred Thousand
who in the war
for the maintenance of the Union
fell devotedly
under the flag of their fathers.

—dedication of Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War, 1866, by Herman Melville

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SUNSET


Sunset. Puyallup valley.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

SLIME

“Slime doesn't wreck anything," I explained to Jody. "After all," I reminded her, "slime is part of the two greatest pleasurable experiences known to humankind."

She thought for a moment.

"What's the other one?" she asked.

"Eating," I replied.

—page 76, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery

LIVING WATERS


David Mecklenburg of Hagengard Studios reads a selection from his novel The Nightingale's Stone. LIVING WATERS: A Reading. The Nearsighted Narwhal. Friday 15 May 2015.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

LIVING WATERS: A READING


The Nearsighted Narwhal's signboard for LIVING WATERS: A Reading.

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Friday - 5/15 7pm
Living Waters
Poetry + Prose

w/
David Mecklenburg
and
Troy Kehm-Goins

Music by
Michelle LaMent

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Last night was an awesome reading. It was lightly attended, but the people that were present made for a spectacular and engaged audience.

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Dave and I rocked the microphone with our poetry and prose! And musician Michelle LaMent was a nice fit; she mostly focused on songs that matched the "Living Waters" theme.

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My set list was:

Invocations 
1. “Regional Water Partnerships” (My Two Melvilles)
2. “The Age of Wonder & Progress” (Let There Be)
3. “This Is the Slow Collapse into Fire and Ice” (All the Heroes)
4. “Just Another Day in the Life of the Pagan King” (All the Heroes)
5. “Your First Glimpse of Hel Is Like a Gateway Drug” (All the Heroes)
6. “The Wolves Linger Just Outside Your Front Door, Growling” (All the Heroes)
7. “The ½ Werewolf” (NaPoWriMo #30)

Incantations
1. “Fish” (NaPoWriMo #18)
2. “Black” (“director’s cut” of “Black Psalm i”)
3. “Black Psalm iii (Aquatint)” (Black Psalms)
4. “Black Psalm iv (Parkinson’s)” (Black Psalms)
5. “Selah” (Black Psalms)
6. “Midden” (NaPoWriMo #21)
7. “Octopus Sonnet” (NaPoWriMo #22)
8.  “Athene” (NaPoWriMo #23)
9. “Black Psalm xvii” (Black Psalms)

Friday, May 15, 2015

FROST PARK: LIVING WATERS


"Living Waters" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off 8:7. Friday 15 May 2015.

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A simple ten-minute chalking that plays with mirroring across two differently colored panels of sidewalk.

CHALK ART

Troy's Work Table has had the opportunity to work with 18 awesome third and fourth graders on Fridays, exploring various art techniques, media, artists, and art movements. When TWT first started, many of the students would tell him that they couldn't draw. Some of them would burst into tears when we would start a new project.

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Oftentimes, the kids would rush through an art project, producing sloppy work and telling me they were done and were bored. They've grown over the past year. And yesterday, when we headed off to learn about "chiaroscuro" and experiment with shading and shadows in charcoal and sidewalk chalk, TWT had to make them put the chalk down and clean up. They were all so excited. No tears. They could draw whatever they wanted as long as their first piece only included a charcoal outline and one color of chalk. After that, they could make additional pieces with as many colors as they felt were needed.

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I provided black and white versions of sketches and paintings by various artists. Some kids used those pieces for inspiration. Some kids didn't. The following is only a handful of pieces the kids produced.

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A dog inspired by a Vincent van Gogh sketch. Fourth grader.

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A dog inspired by a Vincent van Gogh sketch. Third grader.

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A seal's head. Third grader.

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A Pokemon creature, some sort of super-evolution. Third grader.

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A tea cup. Fourth grader.

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A bull inspired by a Picasso lithograph. Two third graders.

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Barnyard animal heads (peeking out of the grass). Fourth grader.

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One-minute sketches. Fourth grader on the left. TWT on the right.

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American flag. Third grader and fourth grader.

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American flag. Two third graders.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

POST DEFIANCE



Screenshot of Post Defiance. Wednesday 13 May 2015.

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Post Defiance is an online literary journal/blog based in Tacoma, Washington. They cover local issues and arts. And I am absolutely flattered for them to have reviewed my poetry.

In fact, I am (mostly) at a loss for words, so I'll simply include a link to the review by Katy Evans.

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"The marvelous makings of poet Troy Kehm-Goins"
postdefiance.com/the-marvelous-makings-of-poet-troy-kehm-goins

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

LIVING WATERS: A READING



"Come explore shadow wells and the wine-dark sea in poetry and prose." 

I'll be reading poems from my latest chapbook Black Psalms. My fellow writer David Mecklenburg will be reading selections from his novel The Nightingale's Stone.

7:00 p.m. Friday 15 May 2015. The Nearsighted Narwhal.

Visit the LIVING WATERS: A Reading Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1631263773755766


PRECARITY

“It just makes me sad that everyone lets everyone go all the time. Precarity and chronic melancholy have made everyone emotionally inert and estranged. Now that all the previously stabilizing and organizing structures (however false, oppressive, manufactured, and unsustainable) have been eroded by late capitalism, we need to create internal structures of hope, love, devotion, sustainability, and stability. Otherwise, we’re all doomed. Ok, will stop texting about all these serious things now.”

—Masha Tupitsyn, via Berfrois

Friday, May 08, 2015

FROST PARK: CHALK of the GODS

For Frost Park Chalk Off 8:6, Troy's Work Table ended up with two pieces of chalk art.

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"Saturn (after Goya)" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off 8:6. Friday 08 May 2015.

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The original plan was to draw a piece that was an homage to Saturn Devouring His Son by Goya, but I made a mistake in the place I chose to chalk. First, I chose a wall. I usually chalk on the sidewalk because I find it easier to chalk when I can move around my "canvas." Second, my chalk and charcoal wasn't sticking to the concrete as I had planned. My charcoal was breaking up and the colors weren't adhering the same way that they do on the "new concrete" sections of sidewalk I usually choose. So my homage isn't anywhere near as dark as Goya' piece. I ended up with a Fauvism-meets-Goya version of Saturn. I added some lollipop balloons and called it quits. It is really more rough sketch than finished piece in my mind. Oh well.

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"Minotaur 4" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off 8:6. Friday 08 May 2015.

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My second piece was another quick chalk doodle, but this time on sidewalk. I initially was just drawing another bull head, but then decided to add the cartoon-outline body and it worked! He's as much Baal as he is Minotaur, so he can battle Saturn once the latter Titan is done chewing on one of his kids.

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This section of sidewalk is one of the older concrete sections surrounding Frost Park, but I made due. I'm also pretty happy with this piece.

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View more pictures of Frost Park Chalk Off 8:6 HERE.

BIBLIOMANCY: BLACK NEWS!

"But soon he frowned severely and bit his lips. Black news!"

—line 716, book XVI, The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel by Nikos Kazantzakis

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A random number generator to conjure the book. 16.

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A random number generator to conjure the line. 882.

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But then, while on the way there, a stumbling upon. Line 716 instead.

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(And, all truth be told, the two lines could couple together and be just fine.)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

BULLS ON PARADE: MINOTAUR 3


 Bedtime bulls on parade. "Minotaur 3" (self portrait) sketch. Sidewalk chalk and chalk pastels on small chalk board.

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I bought two small chalk boards so that I could chalk indoors when it rains or when I want to chalk at night. They are really just excuses to sketch and chalk whenever and wherever I want.

Friday, May 01, 2015

FROST PARK: CERBERUS


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"Cerberus" by Troy's Work Table. Frost Park Chalk Off 8:5. Friday 01 May 2015.

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Following on the heels of "The Mourning Athena" comes another mythological being, courtesy of the ancient Greeks.

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Cerberus was inspired by a sketch of a dog by Vincent Van Gogh. I was rather impressed by his sketch, with the exception of the dog's muzzle. I felt it was either an afterthought or the muzzle of one dog pasted onto the body of another. So when I chalked Cerberus, I used my own dog's head as a model instead of that of Van Gogh's sketched dog. I like the structural composition of my dog better than Van Gogh's because of that bothersome muzzle.

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A friend told me that he thought perhaps Van Gogh was playing around a bit, since the sketch has the feel of a cartoon. That may be, but it still bothers me.

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Anyway, I added a couple of eyes to the torso of Cerberus, so my dog is just as problematic as that of Van Gogh! (Plus, there are a few other things that bother me about my own chalk sketch, but you'll have to find them on your own, since I'm not going to spill my dark secrets.)

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View more pictures of "Cerberus" HERE.