Am I able to put all the little stuff in play
I am finding that I want you
out of this __________ I call me
No unclosed drawers or half-whistled
tunes half-whistled looks and
isn’t it sad I only see the stories
that paint you as my enemy
Radio radio tell me why you stay quiet
I want to know whether you are mine yet
None-these are the musings
of that flute there tarnishing
Trapped in words already wrote
Who are those ideas
Iris & Toc
I want to write a story about a dancer
She grows up to become ______
No. That doesn’t matter.
She dances each day in front of a mirror.
Her limbs are strong her sight is poor
but hastily corrected.
She is star of classes
But Teacher picks a star a day
to point out the point of their tendu
or flex in their frappe.
I think the story about a little girl
because she is a person
and I can’t stop assuming
Children are not persons
They are children
Children are little girls with
and costumes that are red and black and
tacked into their waistline
A single thread looped
and it makes men hard to think about
because I think they’ve been looking
Of course they were boys once too
I am sad I can’t paint you as someone I like
Can I imagine having a conversation with you
Given the conditions that:
1) I am able to communicate without turning off your ears that
I’ve stopped enjoying the thought of you
2) You respond just as I picture you would
Turning the thought about in your paws
You might have an inkling of who you are
I thought I liked you
but I find that I can’t
Speak softly to me please
The table has been ripped into jagged spears
Lengthwise by the grain of the growth
This was the tree’s wish
To be wielded as a weapon against man
But I don't see the bequest
Of a dining room table
Don’t mention the cord that snakes
out of my computer
The radio antennae is pointed downward
like a dog who smells nothing
Between enjoying the sun and snow this weekend in the Bristol Hills and being THE LIVE WITCH at the Roc Win Ren Festivus, lots presents as worthy ideas to unravel! This post, however, is more technical. The purpose is to demonstrate my process and products when I live draw + word think on a computer machine.
The topic is the film HELL OR HIGH WATER, which Patty and I found by doing parallel blind searches ‘best movies 20XX.’ (We laughed when we found we used the same semantic cues for the search engine.) The plot is violent. Two brothers, Tanner and Toby, rob banks to gain funds in hopes of saving the family ranch whose underground oil the bank covets. The initial violence jolted me, drew my mouth taut. With this project on my mind, I figured this was a good opportunity. I booted up my tablet and opened the sketch pad. The outcome is a certain style that shows one type of thing I make.
We didn’t pause or rewind the film, so I made initial sketches with the intention of ‘going back into them’ later. For the eight sketches I reworked, I’ll post the two versions. I made twenty-five rough sketches throughout the film. To rework a sketch, I used five to ten minutes. Writing up this doodad, about an hour and a half. I hope I caught what moved me. I hope to not spoil anything about the film; it’s good. Thanks for reading.
In the first scene two guys in ski masks terrorize a bank clerk. The two guys are brothers, and the one who does the shouting during the heists is Tanner. He wears his mask with the eye holes askew. Perhaps the cartoon goofiness of the eye holes combined with the gun he holds foreshadows his unsettling unpredictability.
In the second scene, they speed into another sleepy Texan town and scream at the bank teller to give them bills, no hundreds, no bundles. The woman rests her hands briefly on the desk with her head bent under the barrel of the gun. Films are in constant motion, and I found that the director, David Mackenzie, created within the motion brief moments of symmetry or body position heavy with meaning.
The shiny, reflective glass of the banks jars the senses. The viewer is used to a dusty landscape. The glass feels too new, too other, and this creates a visual hint that the bank is the cruel progenitor of progress. Indeed we soon find out that the bank is trying to buy their late-mother’s oil-rich ranch. The film examines the idea of upheaval and power through not only these features, but also through indigenous people. The work done in this theme is effective and subtle and somewhat surprising, given my initial impression of so many cowboy hats and white people. The cops put on the case is a duo: one white man who is set to retire after reeling in the culprits (Marcus), and one middle-aged native man who we later find out is Comanche (Alberto).
An inescapable feature of this film is the presence of guns, in the hands of the good guys, the bad guys, and the in-between guys (who are most guys). The dialogue in the film is much like the camera-work: laced with riddles and rooted in what the place has to offer. The world is Texas, the idioms fresh because they are local, and the plot is driven by the pervading sense of right and wrong. In Texas, right includes the right to gun ownership. This unfolds in various, realistically contradictory ways. Taylor Sheridan is a screenwriter I’ll check up on.
The brothers are at a gas station, and a punk kid in a souped up car throws insults from his drivers seat. He dangles his gun in this performance of power. This staging in this scene is excellent. I made a comment right on the drawing about it.
Texas is big. I talked to Prescott about this short project over dinner Saturday night. (Patty and I stayed at my parents after twilight snowboarding since we had plans to snowshoe and cross country ski down that way Sunday morning.) Prescott guessed that I had drawn some driving, since what else you do if you visit more than one place in Texas. He offered me the fun fact that El Paso is closer to Los Angeles than Houston.
I’m particularly pleased with the rework of this drawing of the cops, since the initial sketch looked a bit like Martians. I made the lines human, and hopefully you can tell, even with the shades on, who is Alberto and who is Marcus
The cops, who I should be calling rangers, have a relationship that is really a gem in this movie. I won’t say too much, because spoilers. This drawing comes from the a scene when Alberto is about to go to bed.
There is so much to say about HELL OR HIGH WATER! I’ll wrap up with a few more things for which I don’t have paired drawings.
I make notes of ideas in snowflakes I poke
To the left and right of my offhand glove
To decode these musings look to
the branchwork of the elm tree
Three ticks after the wind
Finishes its soliloquy
And before the sun’s palette
Makes pixels of my profile
Then, the idea will fall Alive
Like an animal born in a box
DAY TWO AFTERNOON
I stand heel side looking down the mountain
You took me to a wide forgiving passage
My left foot tips the board slips
Grateful to be awake
I swivel my hips and clench my teeth and legs
The sun falls full in my face I gaze at the summit
Others on dainty wisps of traction zip
And weave down the slope
You stand below and I tip again
Carve a swooping arc to meet you at
The gutter of the hill you say
Rock and Roll!
We go off dancing curving bouncing
The mountain yields joy the sun is unending
We read the library of shadows thrown on the mounds called moguls
A new balance required and mine to love if I prioritize,
like or unlike in daily life, to survive and marvel
HIKING THE RIDGE
Up there the names of trails fall upon my untrained head
Like celebrities or wistful dreams:
Hunziker-Main or El Funko or Bambi.
I am in my boots, board clasped to my side,
Balanced as you would a knife,
not at the point where a string folds double,
but where the weight splits easy, equal, subtle.
I dig in my toe. The skiiers with their one-joint walk
Create stair steps that if followed keep me above
The thigh-deep alpine drifts.
The sun doesn’t hide the edge of the bowl.
Specks of seekers move like magnetized dust
Around the far-off rim.
Here I stop and sit on my board,
pull out my blank book
And try to capture the magnificence.
OFF THE RIDGE
A vanishing act as the flat angles down
and the edge absorbs whoever
Was with me at the top of the world.
I find myself here to celebrate togetherness, snow, Nature, and good fortune.
My knees keep me from wanting to ski,
so I spend this week drawn, righ'n.
Brooke offered me the ..challenge.. of a workable draft
Elizabeth chased a squirrel round the fire last night
I told Ezek wow when he told me of the 1640s (fact check please)
revolt of the indigenous against the Spaniards
in this northernmost conquered ..virgin.. new world
Rode snug with the brothers and Jessie and Mom
the mountains provided a map
Peter said hi soon after Gustavo
and I am overwhelmed with names.
Mayra and I took a photo and threw a plastic disc
no one got clocked by our game of catch
we were in sync
I just repaired a swimsuit lost for a summer
at Robin's mother's house
and oh! I met a Rob(?)n and meant to ask
if a y or i was spelling it
and what did that mean.
Meanwhile there are kiddos all afoot
and Brooke told me their names in order
Pierce I've yet to hold eyes with
and Julien is the grandma--
I mean dad-- one of those two--
of this gaggle of humans
I'm happy to be surrounded by happiness here
Or maybe I'm just happy, and that's the story
i'm telling bout all the folks I see
Hopefully i spread like a
the phenomenon of contagion
is what I mean
Next Tuesday at the Yards, please join me for Valentine making. We'll have the staples: paper, ink, corny poem prompts, a cornier leader, glue, scissors, and staples.
I've been practicing: In my coat pocket I found a folded up piece of paper. Weeks ago the wellness team at work handed out recipes for the dish they were sampling at a farmers' market. On light blue in white text, the secret to corn pudding.
Thinking about this Valentine session, I refolded the paper then kept going; I folded triangles and non-90 degree angles. The paper became a wedge fit to burst. I alleviated the tension with snips at the edges. I kept snipping, triangles and non-90 degree angles.
Excellent! My heart was thumping with anticipation as I unfolded the paper and revealed... a snowflake? Wait. Valentines come on hearts, don't they.
Stop by Tuesday to see if I've sorted out how to cut out a heart!
Roses eat sun,
Violets weep blue,
I feel good
And other (love-dove) poems here!