Taped Words at Crest Hardware Art Show

Drew and I, under our project name Saint Flashlight, completed a work for the 2nd year in a row for the Crest Hardware Art Show. We originally wanted to place our haikus on the ceiling, but when we arrived at  the store, we noted that the ceiling’s texture would not work with the electrical tape letters. So we looked around the shop for other locations finally discovered a shelf that had a wide front just right for Drew’s red letters. This shelf led right to a glass cabinet where I placed for my black letters. Drew cleverly thought we should pre-make the letters and bring them to the store on wax paper. A plan that went very smoothly!

Here are the complete haikus with mine first, followed by Drew’s:

Pull the tape measure–
And place it around your face.
Do you feel more now?

The hammer goes BAM!
Nails quietly disappear
For the longer job


Getting Married in 2010

It was interesting to think about how Craig and I wanted to announce our marriage with so many methods of communication available. And this was especially the case as we wanted it to be a surprise with a small ceremony at the Manhattan City Hall in May then celebrate with friends and family in September. We decided to get in touch with folks via an old-fashioned postcard to be received as we went on our honeymoon in Paris. While in Paris we wanted to further spread the news, so we posted a key photo on Facebook + updated our status to “married”. It was a wonderful way to hear from friends and family while being far away.

Photos from left to right: me with my pops Alan Gross,  with my husband Craig Howarth, husband and wife on the Brooklyn Bridge,  with pal Deb Magosci, and with pal Drew Pisarra.

The Joy of Side Projects

My best pal Drew and I have been chatting about the joy and importance of work that’s not related to paid work. We both take our jobs very seriously, but often talk about how it’s key not to think and talk about work all the time.

Recently he’s been working on a great project: producing a night of Gertrude Stein that he named “Now Repeat in Steinese”. He’s having four directors (or directorial teams) work on the same Stein piece “White Wine”. So during the evening the audience will see their four versions with white wine also being served. I was proud when Drew asked me to design the postcard announcing the show. I couldn’t have done with without Craig’s advice and photoshop skills. Here’s the piece below. As it states here the project will run every Tuesday in June at Under St. Marks Theatre. Here’s the facebook event page “Now Repeat in Steinese“,

And last year together we created a creative group that we named Saint Flashlight. Our first project was a video piece called Metal Rings that we made for the wonderful Crest Hardware Art Show. For this show one must offer pieces related to hardware. This year we are writing haikus in electrical tape that we’ll place on the Crest Hardware’s ceiling. The show opens June 19.

Spa Castle-A Journey to Flushing Queens

As a special treat my pal Drew and I decided to take a journey to discover the Korean wonderland that is Spa Castle. I had heard about it from a book club pal. We thought we’d see how to reach Flushing, Queens via public transportation knowing it would be quite a journey from Brooklyn.

Our first roadblock was the F. At the moment on the weekends one needs to take a bus to Jay Street-a very slow bus. Then when we finally reached the F train we road it into Queens where it meets up with the 7. Taking the 7 to the end of the line we made it, or so we thought. Spa Castle’s web site mentions a shuttle bus from the train. But coming out of the station to what might be one of the busiest corners of NY, there was no sign of the shuttle. Luckily I knew that bus Q25 also would take us within walking distance of the Spa.

Once we arrived, prepared with our swimming suits, we were given the uniform, which reminded us of Logan’s Run or as Drew said we might be in rehab! Then we entered the spa wonderland with its many many saunas. Two of our favorites were the huge one that was like a sweat lodge and a chilly one with ice walls. When we return, we thought it would be a bit better to go during the week because although it wasn’t too busy that Saturday, there were many school-age teens who liked to chat a lot, a whole lot.

We also reserved massage ahead, as recommended, and we both walked out on air feels like our minds had been massaged too! Upstairs in the two heated pools had blasts of water were hilariously strong and served as a second massage.

Our final conclusion was that it’s well worth a repeat visit, but we’ll need to find a car and take a day off during the week.

Leon Golub at The Drawing Center

I haven’t been to The Drawing Center in a long while. It’s the kind of place I’m always meaning to go to. I meant to see the Ree Morton show late last year, and never made it. I got curious after reading (more here) about this artist who I never heard of and seeing her delicate drawings. After hearing about the Leon Golub show I decided to make it here, as Golub is one of my favorite painters. It was a treat to see his small-scale works which were intimate and sometimes funny. I also greatly enjoyed the video of Golub working on paintings in his studio.

Odds and Ends: Shoes and A Film

I’m posting on two disparate topics that were on my mind this week: pretty shoes for a new dress and a film I want to see–Alain Cavalier’s Le Combat Dan Lile (1962) playing at Film Forum.

I bought a very special dress at Girl Cat on Atlantic Avenue (which carries dresses by Anya Ponorovskaya) with the wonderful aid of my friend Fatima a few weeks ago. Ever since I’ve been trying to find shoes to match, which is especially difficult because I’m not up for wearing high heels. After many trials and tribulations, ok just trials of trying on shoes of all sorts, I think I’ve found them! Fatima suggested red would be good to go with the blue and white dress. She also said to think Jackie O., but all the pumps that I tried on just felt too uncomfortable and not me. I remembered a shoe store called Sacco near Union Square that I thought would have classic, pretty, and comfy shoes. And there I think I found my cute red sandles! (But I haven’t run them by Fatima yet…)

This weekend Craig and I are heading to Film Forum to see Alain Cavalier‘s Le Combat Dan Lile. (This Alain Cavalier link from the Pacific Film Archive gives more info on his life and work.) I noted it in FF’s weekly email and I saw that it stars the wonderful actor Jean-Louis Trintignant. I especially love Trintignant in Romer’s My Night at Maud’s (1969). Then I noted that my former colleague Jake Perlin’s company The Film Desk was the distributor and that added to my desire to see what Jake had picked.

Wordsworth is in the Air

During the past couple of months for some reason the poet William Wordsworth is in the air around me. First after I bought some early spring daffodils a colleague recited part of the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” with its lovely first line….

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: –
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -and gazed -but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills
And dances with the daffodils.

Then online somewhere, maybe it was posted on Facebook, I heard this playful reading of “My Heart Leaps up When I Behold” with two parodies by Gerard Manley Hopkins and Odgen Nash:

Can’t stop reading Vallejo

I just bought a copy of The Complete Poetry  Cesar Vallejo (edited and translated by Clayton Eshleman). I’ve previously mentioned my love of Vallejo’s poetry here and posted a poem. Below I’m posting another that I’ve just read today.

Paris, October 1936

From all of this I am the only one who parts.
From this bench I go away, from my pants,
from my great situation, from my actions,
from my number split part to part,
from all of this I am the only one who parts.

From the Champs Elysées or as the strange
backstreet of the Moon curves around,
my death goes away, my cradle parts,
and, surrounded by people, alone, estranged,
my human resemblance turns around
and dispatches its shadows one by one.

And I move away from all, since all
remain to provide my alibi:
my shoe, its eyelet, as well as its mud
and even the elbow bend
of my own shirt buttoned up.

Spending Time with Godard

I’ve been reading Richard Brody‘s book Everything is Cinema on Godard on and off for over a year. This book is so dense with information about his working style and film history that I’ve had to take it in small doses. It’s been worth the time as I now have a better sense of the sweep of Godard’s accomplishments.  Because of the breadth of his films, I felt I needed a deeper understanding of his working methods and intentions to grasp his oeuvre. I like that Brody tells the reader blow-by-blow about Godard on the set and about his partnerships. Here’s a thoughtful interview with Brody on writing this book.

This weekend I’m watching a somewhat recent Godard film, In Praise of Love (2001), as I haven’t felt ready before now to approach his work from this decade. I also decided to  start learning French at FIAF, something I’ve wanted to do for years.

Here’s a scene from the film:

Creative Kick-Start

I keep thinking and talking to family and friends about carving out time for my own creative projects. Even my new year’s resolution was about this topic. I told everyone that my resolution was to live my life with a peace symbol in mind–or pie chart cut into three parts: friends/family, work, and my creative projects.  The most difficult piece of the pie is creative projects. If I had to go to work at 1pm on Sunday I’d be there, but it is much harder to set aside the same time for a personal project. Or at least at the start. I’m guessing that once you have a framework, it’s easier to move forward. I managed to do this with my last chapbook. Setting a deadline, I worked backwards from that date to figure out when all the parts needed to be completed–drafts, copy editing, and printing.

Now I have a vague idea for a video project. I’m not sure if it will end up being a traditional short film or footage to use in an installation or maybe sometime to post on the web. That makes it a bit more difficult to start. But I think the first step is to try some of the ideas bouncing around in my head. I chatted with my brother Matthew today and he recommended two books that he thought could be helpful even for a non-traditional short film project. He suggested I read Writing Short Films by Linda Cowgill and Grammar of the Shot by Roy Thompson and Christopher J. Bowen. I like the idea of reading about the structure of short films as that might kick-start my getting out and getting started!