Sunday, November 25, 2007

Smoke not fog

Malibu from Redondo, 7:22am, 24 November 2007, fonecam.

We went down to the water yesterday and watched the latest Malibu fire for awhile. All that wind swept smoke has blown on shore this morning, but there's some marine air, or something like, so the ash isn't airborne and lung infesting, it's just wet, and falls to the ground where they say it's good for dichondra and grampa's driving range, something to be thankful for, what do you think?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rinaldo Alessandro Niccolo Notto

Portrait of My Friend at Seventy, acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches.
This was to be your birthday present,
but I could not send it, cannot give it up,
it will always hang above my desk.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One drawing, three details

28 October 2007, ink on watercolor paper, 11.25 x 30 inches.

Left detail.

Center detail.

Right detail.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The Sycamore Tree

The world is pigeon gray: warm underneath but cool above at the feathery end of the blowing fog where low clouds grab and drag Hokusai wave tops across the surf, across the beach. Wet sand flies along The Esplanade, grainy spitballs that scour concrete and skin and clothes.

I sit and dream on a bench with the dog, watching people, staring out to sea, running the Philip Glass
Akhnaten prelude through my head, wondering at the perceived distance, (quickly closing but without danger of collision), between the two converging points of an empty container ship on the far horizon and the ketch leaving the harbor.

I am looking at the sea but thinking of the sycamore tree in the yard, trimmed naked yesterday by three men wearing plaid shirts and khaki pants.

My hood is up, my hands are in my pockets; the dog is quiet in the weather.

A mother wheels a baby carriage, a jogger runs by, a few tourists from the United States lean on the rails of an embankment taking photographs of the coast.

An old and beautifully sun creased beach town woman passes, her tightly bound coral head scarf is the color of her lip gloss; the scarf is just damp enough to mash her hair and stick the curls and rayon together like the frothy coat of the rheumy yellow spaniel she walks after a crab cake lunch with a friend at New Tony's-on-the-Pier.

She looks straight ahead and down The Esplanade as she walks her dog, she is used to being looked at, salty spray dots her blackout shades, traces of Shalimar, cooking oil and chardonnay steam from her turned up Burberry collar.

The dogs in the wind make eye contact without incident.

“Come Monty”, she says, changing her leash hand to search for what I guess to be a half gone package of Tareytons. Coral nails are revealed, blue veins and a large pink diamond, and with a quick inhalation, her nose flaring imperceptibly, she clutches a wad of tissues in her pocket, and remembers smoking cigarettes so very long ago.

I watch her walk on up The Esplanade, turn east towards Avalon Boulevard and I imagine she stops for a tin of Altoids at the corner store, ties Monty to The Sea Breeze rack, (“Stay Monty”), then walks into the warm darkness of the market, eyes the tobacco shelves behind Mr. Habib and buys a pint of Tanqueray along with the mints
She leaves and passes the car detailer from The Inland Empire on his way to the beach with his daughter and a football and she will pass the skateboarder, whom she remembers from a loud time last August, when the boy broke all laws of sound and physics between the buildings in her narrow street, and then further on she will walk up the stairs to her apartment humming something, she can't quite remember the name, from Martha and the Vandellas .

I stay close to home and watch the raven above the squirrel in the hang man’s sycamore and yell at the little dog to kindly shut the fuck up.

Though they will kill each other if you let them, they will not hurt you I tell her, I will not let them hurt you.

It’s dark early now, there are no more leaves.

Seated Scribe, Gentile Bellini, c. 1480


Caught napping!

Ha ha! Yes. I fell asleep.

The morning is gray, no shadows, the fog is thick. There's a chill: things and the ground are wet, and for the first time this season the doors are closed to keep the chill from the sea off the dog's back and my bare legs. The hood is up on my sweatshirt, I feel monkish. Sounds are blanketed under the clouds and the yaking of the ravens and gulls and wild parrots in the magnolia behind the lattice becomes intimate to me, like an audience murmuring before the composer raises his baton.

But I will wake up now, make tea, stream some music and work till Santino brings lunch.

Nothing too loud.