Wednesday, March 19, 2014

floating states

 on a night like this
when you bring me
the full aurora realm
from ether streaming
 softly, softly the glass
dissolves to dry floatage
above the jetting sky
all the birds unleashed
but on these other nights
we will hang heavy within
the cool flocculus steam
of unintended savior states

Thursday, February 20, 2014

sun muun

 the door may be closed
defensive syntax on guard
above cold foreign soil
invested chinese swamp

 or blank as a renouncement
barring prejudicial flames
the colour lines were drawn
and yet they are re-crossed

 a single character marks
a half number retreated
to consolations unknown
behind the multilocked door

 perhaps they soon shall pass
more inscrutable as always
but never going very far
from portals so hard won

for all the ancient societies
of the persistent secret orders
will leak a welcome of sorts
to those who can open doors

Monday, January 27, 2014

the fenestration of an empty building

when all the glass has been smashed in, the invitations go out -
edifying hosts, no bar
the front door may be missing, but climb through the windows anyway
the lights will not come on
feel your way along the firm floors, the still standing walls
through the south facing windows the rising moon beams into large empty rooms
negative spaces between absent furniture
when maximum capacity is reached, cast your phobic angst from the glassless openings
the cold night air is neither rational nor engaging
wait for water/drink, water/rain, water/blast
if none is forthcoming, turn inward again, away from the window arrangement to the damp warmth of a hundred bodies

avoiding all wet corners

will the morning light bring a forced surrender, flapping from a penetrating edict of sorts
interlocation is designed to draw out all those who stand and withstood
soon they will surround the tense will and block the joyless gape of a sentenced building
the political abstract to be waylaid by a loud compendium of passion
but such wholesome infestation is always assailable

beware the dangling buckets

Friday, January 10, 2014

fallen states

 an understatement of disrepair
hammers home the sordid truth
more will fall in exiled state
preponderances null and void

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

marking my clark park:: near the end of the year

 "...that is an indigence of the light,
a stellar pallor that hangs on the threads."*

and so it snows...for a few hours on a december day...near the end of another year...

may the new one be full of Lebensweisheitspielerei!

[*from the poem "Lebensweisheitspielerei" by Wallace Stevens, 1954]

Sunday, December 15, 2013

princess house

it is snowing leaves of gold the wind shaking them loose as they flutter down in front of the pale pink house full of slow shadows and faded doubts
the mesh-veil framed around the porch held up by dark pink columns muffles the light and mutes inconsequential secrets pulled back into the dark hallway
a hand quivers behind the drapes blinded by the inaction of certain grey days running damp and dirty down princess avenue of the unroyal house and home
continues up the warped stairs to sit in dusky rooms and lie a while on the saddled bed of mechanical emotions rolling over onto the final broken sacrament

Saturday, November 2, 2013

a mud-slinging screamfest

a clay orifice upon flesh -
fill the dark hollow with a howl...
sonic containment within,
psychical release without -
mouth to mouth resurrect.

If you feel the need to unleash the mother of all screams without disturbing the peaceful setting of West Vancouver, go and pick up one of these clay pots at the West Vancouver Museum and expand your lungs for a major howl into it. Your muffled bellow will barely ruffle the feathers of any sedate West Van matrons around!

These "scream pots" are the objets d'artifice of an exhibition conceived by the not so vociferous Babak Golkar whose magic persian carpet mushroomed a miniature city of intricate buildings at the Charles H. Scott Gallery last year. The terracotta pots are hand-crafted into varied shapes and sizes to affect the tenor of the screams emitted into them. Even if one does not feel the need to cry out, the tactile nature of the clay invites one to touch, hold, caress...


The second part of the exhibit includes a digital projection of blobs of clay being hurled at a wall with the accompanying plopping sound effects - the aptly scatological visual [and audio] is somewhat mesmerizing to watch and presents another release of sorts in the physical force of flinging mud...
[Gabriel Orozco also once pitched clay balls in one of his projects, but at the pots themselves as they were being turned on the wheel...[Cazuelas (Beginnings), 2002]

The "turds" dried and fell off with the resultant staining still manifest on the wall, creating a monochrome messy dot "painting" a la the Japanese eccentric Yayoi Kusama - with the baked pieces scattered on the floor below their previous elevated surface like so many dropped and inedible crumbs...

in the end, a lumpen being of baked clay
lies dejected, hardened, unused -
and failing to rise again,
sinks to the floorboards of life...

Dialectic of Failure
New Work by Babak Golkar
October 11 to December 7, 2013
West Vancouver Museum 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

lost in the woods...

the waterlily pond stasis of a clogged Giverny
without artful conventions in a west coastal setting,

and hidden within a pedicured city garden lurks
the overgrown portal to an interior forest...

the tree trunks reconfigured and reassembled
to hold up the rainproof canopy and glass curtains - 
still trying to keep the forest sliver within safe 
from being lost to the deep dark woods...

The Forest Education Centre in the VanDusen Botanical Garden was built in 1976 by Vancouver architect Paul Merrick.  Originally underwritten by MacMillan Bloedel and featured as "A Walk in the Forest", it was donated to the Park Board in 1986, which continued to offer educational programs until 2011.
This relatively unknown diminutive glassed "babylon" of westcoast modernism is now considered for demolition, or repurposed into a glorified outhouse!

For more information...

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

a horse did whinny...*

"a horse did whinny in the afternoon -
he had no pity for the old buffoon...

a horse did whinny in the pale sunlight -
he had no eyes, he had no insight...

a horse did whinny in the middle of the day,
a horse did whinny as if to say...
go away... go away... go away...... go away..."* 

[* the selected lines are lyrics from a song by Enzio Verster of Half-Chinese, a too-cool Vancouver band on the move to Montreal...]

["Horse did whinny" is the first song on their album We were pretending to be released by Sad Game Records, 2012]

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

downtown westside:: the sexy sixties [episode three]

The Guinness Tower [by Charles Paine & Associates, 1969] is as sexy as the International Style gets back in provincial 1960's Vancouver. Almost 50 years on, it can still hold its own with its sleek proportions, its silver threading through aqua-green glass, its seductive black "leggings", and its ageless integrity. Mies van der Rohe would be justly proud of this well-heeled derivative of his own tall pristine temples.
And, of course, thank you, Guinness family fortune.

Within this paean to Miesian symmetrical sexiness is a full-wall tile mural in the lobby that is so unexpected in its large scale chaotic surrealist conception, as only a one-armed wild-haired Catalan artiste from the realm of Gaudi can execute. Entitled "The Fathomless Richness of the Seabed", the ceramic tile abstractions sweeps one into a maelstrom of swirling sea creatures and blue tidal depths in low relief. I learned about an artist whom I have not known of before - Jordi Bonet, born in Barcelona in 1932 and after moving to Montreal, sustained a most prolific practice in painting, sculpture, ceramics and public wall installations during his short life.
And thanks again to the fathomless wealth of the Guinness family, we are graced with one of his magnificent, albeit a little hidden away, creations in our fair city of aggregating richness.

The Guinness Tower at 1055 West Hastings Street
Completed in 1969 by Charles Paine & Associates

*Please enjoy my new photo-essay book, BARCELONA PRIMITIVA, available for previewing on