For Mike, a poem

How many nights have we spent
with our faces to the stars

your words are often poetry
and I, the writer, lean
back and listen, or
both of us so eager to talk
just like when
we were kids.
I have a history
with you like
no one else–

SevenTen Photos
SevenTen Photos

of dreaming and defining
and seeking and climbing,
and in the lateness of the night
when parts of us are dying, to each other,
on the phone,
taking turns
on each side of the river
of clarity and insanity.
I meet you there
more often than not;
sometimes the world
is too much for us
and we either break
or we are awakened–
holding hands and
contemplating the
tears in music.
Sometimes the world
is so big and stunning
that we can only
look up to the stars,
seeing our smallness
and smiling.

 

A Moment with Grams

My Grams w/ Emma
My Grams w/ Emma

It was a late Spring afternoon.  Mike and I sat across from grandma on the back porch in the shade, the hanging baskets of mixed pansies   fragrant on a gentle breeze.  I remember it so clear–she was wearing her light blue jeans and her pastel yellow, short-sleeved blouse with the white flower basket across the front, a lace collar.  We were enjoying the moment I remember, it was quiet between us–a gentle kind as sweet as Spring.  And then she said something to both of us that I’ll never forget.

lostinthevalleygrandma“I want you two to know something, what happened to you–it wasn’t your fault.  Neither of you.”

It was quiet.  I choked up.  She’d never brought it up before.  And I wanted her to hold me and say it again and again, yet the one time was enough for a lifetime.

Mike, my cousin and best friend my entire life, has Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Bad.  He’s 34 and has had his shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles replaced.  He’s a fighter.  He obviously cannot work and he fills his time with creation, and discovered he’s one hell of a sculptor–he is self-taught, and his work is incredible.  (Here’s his blog: Chicks Dig Scars).  If you’d like to read my essay all about Mike it’s HERE.  Ok, one more–my interview on him for his blog is HERE. Read More

Peggy Lee

This song takes me back to an afternoon up in my old apartment with Mike, him sculpting, me with my charcoal drawings, listening to the lazy blues, neither of us looking up from our work but talking.  A favorite memory

My Interview with Mike

Hey all, I’d like you all to check out the first part of a series of interviews I’m doing with artist/self-taught sculptor/and survivor of severe Rheumatoid Arthritis over at Chicks Dig Scars here: Interview on The Untitled.

Here Mike begins talking about what the sculptures are about, why, and the agony and wonders of being so severely disabled at times.  Please follow him, he’s new to the blogosphere and he deserves to be heard (and he’s hilarious).  Chicks Dig Scars

Mike's

The Self-Taught Sculptor

Me & Mike singing "Piano Man" at the lodge where we camp for a week every year

These are the sculptures of my best friend Mike (many of you have read about him in my essay Matters of Time or the poem For Mike).  He’s a self-taught artist–no schooling, no classes, no books.  He’s got severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (he’s 32 and has had his hips, knees, and shoulders replaced already) and the agony and depression and the fight in him is something to truly admire, and in these sculptures this laid-back, hilarious, wise dude reveals the pains within–what he goes through, over and over.  I’m helping him set up a blog called “Chicks Dig Scars“, it’s just a rough layout so far, he hasn’t gotten his stories and words up yet, but some sculptures are posted.  I encourage you all to follow him if you want to see some amazing shit from an amazing guy.  Love ya, Mike.

His blog is Here: Chicks Dig Scars

Read More

A Sculpture of Me

Me and Mike on the right

 

 

My best friend and artist/sculptor Mike made this of me–a portrait of my madness.   He says it’s not

quite finished yet, a few more fixes and then firing it and glazing… He was inspired to make it after I explained to him what it was really like to be psychotic, and he made it for me.  When I saw it I cried pretty good.  No one knows me in the way that he does.  I’ve written about him before in poems and essays (check out my essay on him: Matters of Time and my poem: Mike)–the artist with severe rheumatoid arthritis (has had many major joints replaced: knees, hips, shoulders…) and he’ll be putting

up a blog soon to show his art and his struggles.  Here’s the sculpture of me!!