Heard by a Bird
"The Internet makes you smart and cruel."
- Matt Drudge
Did you see the cloud in the shape of XVII (17 in Roman numerals) over Shandaken last Tuesday?
Faces have names; bodies do not. If I saw Meryl Streep's body walking down the street, I wouldn't recognize it.
ALL ROADS LEAD
"My mother made pizza when I was a girl, and she'd always decorate it with pinecones," remembers April Sinecuse. "We'd lick off the cones, then take our slices. But Mom had a knack for the visual; pinecones on pizza are beautiful."
Shandaken Poetry Patrol
Instead of British empiricism,
I believe in Brazilian idealism.
- Jack Chirrup
I am the lead singer
of Led Zeppelin
(in my shower).
- Art Drager
"My mother's an antiwar activist, so I grew up eating Peace Food," Addie Bromson recalls. "She relied heavily on Recipes for Planetary Healing by Jane and Edward Kevaw. According to the Kevaws, certain foods create tranquility: e.g., snow peas, carrots, brown rice, cashews. Mom served us piles of those. When I visit my mother, I still ask her to make Earth-Renewal Carrot Muffins!"
IF WHITE MEN COULD DANCE,
ALL WARS WOULD END
Aaron Plonsky: The Recent Work
Aaron Plonsky, who was interviewed in these pages, showed his decorated found cigarette lighters at Arts Upstairs in Phoenicia, New York in early September. As you may recall, Plonsky finds these modern-day matchsticks in the woods, then transforms them into artworks. In the gallery, five lighters stood in a row on a small shelf: blue, green, red, orange and purple (from left to right). Actually, the colors were not immediately visible; you had to peer around the back . The fronts of the lighters were entirely covered with white stickers, on which figures were drawn with blue magic marker. The images were deceptively simple: interlocking abstract shapes, a portrait of Albert Einstein (or someone similar), the words "Faux-nicia" in bubble letters, and full-length figures of a man and a woman, both with bunny ears.
My favorite was the woman-rabbit, who stared down shyly like a fourteen year old girl in a photograph.
Seeing Plonsky's whimsical images, one notices how disturbingly anonymous these plastic cigarette lighters are, without embellishment. They are translucently inhuman.
His drawings seem almost like doodles, quickly dashed off. But on closer examination, they raise deeper philosophical queries. Is Plonsky saying that Phoenicia is somehow faux -- French for "false"? Is he attacking the hypocrisy and self-serving egotism of this town? Or is he purely making an amusing pun?
Also, how would people with bunny ears be treated, in our modern society? Would they be accorded full rights as individuals, or seen as stuffed animals come to life?
And what is the relationship of these pictures to the cigarette lighters themselves? Did Einstein smoke? Does "E = mc²" explain the lighting of cigarettes? Does smoking, in a sense, give one rabbit ears?
Plonsky's work challenges our basic assumptions about cigarettes, and life.
[Incidentally, Aaron cryptically told me: "My greatest inspiration has always been Dakota Lane."]
Tags: Sparrow , Phoenicia , Bird , Poetry
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