Big 500 Show-ready to go!

My five panels for the Big 500 Show are done and turned in!






The series is called, “Topography of memory”. Each panel was gessoed and painted with an acrylic ground, then matched with a segment of patchwork fabric. The patchwork was created years ago, when I was a newly young woman, from a variety of velvets, silks and satins in our family’s  collection of scraps and repurposed fabric items. One panel has an embroidery I  had worked as a child; others have scraps left from sewing birthday and summer dresses, ribbons from giftwrappings and doll clothes, and so on. In this way, it carries old and long cast aside associations, since recovered and reworked: a kind of memory quilt.

Since I had had much creative enthusiasm, but little knowledge of how to properly construct patchwork, the original fabric soon fell apart. I was saddened to see a once gorgeously festive skirt become shredded, the fabric tearing beyond repair and breaking down, after only one or two parties and subsequent washings. Yet it was still too meaningful, and captivating, to throw away.

I brought the former skirt back out of hiding, quite serendipitously, in a hunt for scraps to use for Christmas  ornaments. The ornaments didn’t get made (yet), but when I  saw the skirt again, the panel series idea was born.

Each piece has been overlaid with a design derived from principles of sacred geometry. They were carefully traced on to translucent paper with gold and silver paint pens. Beads, rhinestones and sequins enhance the points of the designs, and bring out the eye catching sparkle in the materials. The overall effect is contemporary in style, yet mysterious, hinting at antique, even ancient and possibly occult references. I think they are awesome and magical, especially viewed all together.

I didn’t  concentrate too hard on the meanings or pairings behind the shapes and designs, preferring to let my hands, eyes, artistic experience and psyche be my guide in assembling these pieces. The result is an exploration of layered, intermingling themes: the healing force of the sacred lattices in transforming previous life experiences, forgotten hopes and dreams, or past grief and loss; the interplay of order and confusion in navigating one’s memories, and the need for guidance through waters that are, at times, seductive and treacherous; the mapping of the known and its ever changing relationship in response to the new and unknown; the impact of that which might seem merely decorative or passive, but which works on the viewer in aspects not easily explained away… I could go on, but I’ll leave room for your own interpretation.

I do heartily suggest checking out the show, and viewing these pieces in person- online photos can’t get even close to doing them justice.

And don’t worry! I’m happy to see these sweethearts sell and, hopefully, bring some holiday joy and inspiration to a gift recipient. I have plenty more patchwork- and fond memories- where these came from. Repurposing, in this case, will bring vibrant new life to these special fragments of time.

LitHop #2

Been slammed lately with BIG LIFE & ETC stuff, so I haven’t had much chance to do much reading or socializing, let alone writing. But I couldn’t pass up a chance to visit LitHop #2, this installment hosted on several different venues on Alberta Street. I got a chance to see three readers from Eraserhead Press: Kirsten Alene, with a tale involving intricately disturbing sushi; Vince Kramer, with an entertaining excerpt from “Death Machines of Death”, and Jeff Burk, with a tentacle rape porn short that takes some rather unexpected-and humanizing-turns.
Also, I have to put in a plug for Via Chicago, who along with Bunk Sandwiches, selflessly allowed these literary hoodlums to use their patio for such decadent Western transgressions. It is a pizza place that not only serves Truly Authentic Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, but also GLUTEN FREE SLICES! I was in pepperoni heaven tonight. For those of you who know me, you know how big of a deal this is. Rock on, Lit Hop… Maybe next time I will be able to check out, oh, the whole rest of the event. For now- deeply appreciating one part of it really hit the spot.


They say,

“necessity is the mother of invention”,

But I think necessity got
a bad rap-

See, viewed through the eyes of
those who invent,

We have come to experience necessity as a
cold mother,

Skin drawn tight around
stern brows,

gaunt face, shouting an inch away from yours

the old hag, so demanding…

But the cleanly ordered, infinitely predictable, mechanistic universe
of inventors,

has forgotten the times when

was a powerful urge, emananting from deep within
growing steadily
until a shout of joy burst forth!

When necessity was
that we all rise above

and experience, and cause one another to experience,
the greatest potential

Of art, of imagination, of love, of solidarity

of understanding

Because each and every one of us,
vessels of the Soul

are mothers of something

All you have to do
is close your eyes,

and remember…

(c) SBA 5/11/2014

Buzzpoems Reading Today

I have been invited by my friend, Curtis B Whitecarroll, to read a couple of short poems at the Buzzpoems reading for Starts this evening at 5pm, at the Glyph Cafe & Arts Space, 804 NW Couch St., in Portland, OR. There will be 50 poets, each one reading two poems that last less than a minute each. They will subsequently be used in between Xray’s programming. I’m number 39, so I don’t know how far in to our session that will be, but I have no doubt that all the poets reading today will be worth hearing!

Southeast Madrigal

Cycling thru streets
Dusted pink with
clouds of Spring, just before

The thundershower
I find a moments’ peace

A tiny interloper,
Folding naive bee winglets against
The coming storm

Rides at my elbow, a brief jaunt
To an uncharted neighborhood
Exotic spills of blossoms
Tumbling over mossy walls

The scent of fresh pollen, heady
and intoxicating

Or perhaps,
This was my spirit guide through
This early passage
Down a sleepy back lane of Faerie?

With such live, sunlit green panoply
Reaching out, trembling against
A curtain wall of
Charcoal smudge sky,

Why, one could linger for but a moment,
And years might pass, back in our

Consensual Reality…

Best to keep moving, feet tirelessly propelling onward

For an unspecified amount of afternoon,
I made it to the top of the hill okay.

When I looked down,
My sleeve was empty

(c) SBA 4/2014