a daisy turning its face to the east

For a few weeks now I’ve been creating work with fresh cut flowers in the studio (along with pinecones and wintery things I find on walks). While the winter in Santa Fe is beautiful, it is cold. Something about the colors here, even in February, (pink and green pastel sunsets, baby blue noon skies, the bright bristle of a fir tree limb heavy with snow, soft orange earth) make me long for the warmth of spring. For me in this season, the dormancy and folding inward that comes with winter seems like a period of deceptive external stillness, while so much is happening, growing, waiting to burst forth internally. And so, in anticipation of the activity and germinative nature of springtime, I’ve been drawn to the soft, open faces of flowers, and a colorful palate. A gentle contrast to the sharpness of ice and snow.

With this work, I’ve been revisiting two poems written back in the summer of 2016 during a time of a just-begun awakening— a thawing out— and large shifts in who and what I held space for in my life. This turning backward/inward is not only for mining the language and imagery I used, but I’d like to draw a line from there to here in order to observe the growth in my life (in heart and mind alike) since that time. Now, the sensation of love feels like a daisy blooming in my torso. My current state of openness toward that sweet, specific, vulnerable way, seems to be pouring out of me and into my work, making these poems seem distant. Where these poems are still full of the fear, grief, and dissipating numbness I carried, the new sculptures feel full of hope and abundance and signal a space for looking forward.

Though perhaps a bit maudlin, these poems were, nonetheless, an important step in my expansion into a more true-self. They mark a springtime of the soul. They are not polished, and there is a good deal of language-play at work, which I always find challenging, enjoyable, and useful.

Glacier

Glacier/ erasure

There is no such thing as

still

no
such a thing as paramount
Stillness.

Even glaciers creep.
And shrink
and shriek.

The stars spread outward
light

Dissipates
the dissolving horizon
like the heaving back of some beast

a blur at the edge of twilight
thawed
snake in the grass

Peripheral silence
Disturbed by a flaw in gravity
an animal instinct

skins sliding in the dark

seismic heat

___________________________
Asunder

Abyss / A bliss

Your lip and teeth.
A daisy turning its face to the east.

A shapely name:

Flower

  Founder  Flounder

Surrender

Show me your lines
your sinew, all angles
an arrow

My limbs are  
a parting

Open the floodgates
the salt mines

cave of wonder

Those things I inherited from my mother
before me

a white sheet
a blank space
a static
downward spiral

The curve of your neck
spelled in sleep

I sink


on beginnings and recent reflections from Santa Fe

I’ve always been comfortable with beginnings. The Aries in me (sun/moon/mercury) relishes the thrill and challenge of charging head first into new ventures, landscapes, ideas. However, after recently discovering the writing of Clarice Lispector, I’ve been thinking frequently about how things may be more cyclical than I used to imagine. The idea of infinity, something with no beginning and no end, things that circumambulate spacetime to be revisited, returned to, remembered. Even according to Plato/Socrates, humans beings, ephemeral and thoroughly un-infinite in corporeal form as we are, do not learn completely new information, but recall things from some vast collective-unconscious supply of knowledge and lives previously lived. What a lovely thought, to be always connected to the whole enormity of human history and the universe, consciously or unconsciously, through innate recollection.

And so I begin (or continue, as it were) to make more space for words and language in my creative practice. I’ve written poetry and prosey things since I was a little girl, and continued honing those skills into high school, more seriously through college, and finally they have stayed with me as an adult, although more as behind-the-scenes support for my studio explorations. I find the fecundity of written expression to be a necessity, working in tandem with/running parallel to my visual art, like essential roots from the deepest parts of my brain feeding my other outlets of creativity.

While this is not the start of a written practice for me, it is the first time since my youth I’ve given this particular part of my heart a public platform, a space for openly sharing myself with words instead of visual images/objects/environments. Indeed this blog is more of a return, than a true beginning, though it feels much like a shift in method… a fresh start and rediscovery of how to put my writing out in the world. Here, I hope to document those moments in which, like being simultaneously adrift in unbridled rumination and caught up in the vivid edges of the present instant, I am stretched wide in the grey area of perception, collective remembrance, and the conception of ideas, and in which, playing with the elasticity of language, the pliability of memory, and the jovial-melancholic range of the human experience, I write.

In the spirit of the murkiness of beginning/continuation/return, I’ll find a place to start with a recent poem, extracted from reflections on hiking near Santa Fe, NM a few days after heavy snow.

Snow is melting on the pines.
Drops of water
a webbing constellation

bright weight
a swoon
of bristling evergreen fingers.

Iridescent

heavy foot
leaking eye
a drag in the snow,
I am blood, frantic and trapped in the feedback loop of limbs and torso.

I grow fond of cold these days.
When folding in on myself
like a singularity

When, by comparison,
the cooling embers in us
still glow warm.

My breath hangs in the air.
Little clouds that say, I am

Not a question

I make weather.

Not like when some tepid gaze goes through me
And I unbecome

despite the beat of my heart
despite my density,
cumbersome gait

I evaporate

shifting smoke screen
Apparition.

But alone in the sharp of winter my churning heat is a hard fact

I am luminous
corporeal

wind stings my eyes
water
little stars slide down my cheek
and steam

Iridescent

Open throat and burning lung
I am

A smile, absolute and ephemeral parenthesis

I am

an entrance
enter exit
a beginning and end, tantamount unwitnessed

like    and

  (un)

and   sure

as anything
that congeals and dissipates

- written January, 2019