Jack – graveyard

31 05 2010


Jack has been called the graveyard for poetic souls. Wonders abound. Tranquility. Beauty. One’s breath is taken away. For a while. But then it starts to set in. What is all this about? Wonder does not answer the question. Poetry avoids the truth… Jack has been called a lonely place by tourists. Animals seem to live side by side with each other without fear. The lion sleeps with the lamb. Creatures have no need for each other. There are no predators. No victims. It is a planet empty. Of fear. And this emptiness gnaws away at the soul. It is the abyss. Without our demons, what will protect us from the greater terror? Being alive? Being here? Without a reason.

Jack – straight talk

30 05 2010

There is a voice in my head. That internal conversation that all of us have. Except on Jack, that voice comes from a real person. Or at least one that looks you in the eye. In my time on Jack that voice comes from a cop. A private cop. A Sam Spade. And he wants some straight talk. And I try to lay it on the table. As clearly as I can. But its never clear enough. Sam says I’m holding something back. He can tell by the way my eyes flirt around. Won’t lock glances with him. And I tellĀ  him when I lock glances I endĀ  up falling in love. Sam laughs at me and calls me some kind of fruit cake. And I would like to lay it all out there on the table. But once you see it. Once you see the truth. There’s always something extra you have to add.

Jack – out there

29 05 2010

Jack exists in a different dimension. Somewhere between reality and fantasy. Between the waking state and sleep. Nightmares on Jack are a reality. They exist. Monsters appear and crawl out from under children’s beds. Time is a prankster and doubles back on you just when you think you have escaped. Jack is especially difficult for children. Who become entranced by their dreams and have trouble separating the world in their mind and the world – out there. On Jack ‘out there’ is an illusion.

Jack – death

26 05 2010

The other evening I spent 6 hours at the hospital. I thought I was having a heart attack. I’d had one 4 years previous. It was a silent heart attack so the symptoms were not dramatic. Nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, discomfort. Well, that could be a lot of things. This evening it was extremely hot. I felt light headed. My blood pressure had soared. So I went to the hospital. Had tests. Waited. And thought about death. Death on the planet Jack is not treated the same way as it is here on Earth. On Jack, death is equated with waiting. And it’s boring. That’s the number one complaint from people who have died and communicated back. There’s nothing to do. You just wait. And when you ask those around you, who are also dead, what they’re waiting for, they just – shrug. That’s what’s so great about life. You’re always busy. Even when you’re waiting. In a hospital emergency room.

Jack – Split-level Hole

22 05 2010

Split-level Hole is what it is called. It is a river that appears to run upstream. I say appears because many visitors refuse to believe that it actually does run upstream. That’s another argument. There is a plaque nailed to the bottom of the river to one Edward S. Kuris. He is considered by many the greatest fisherman of the last 200 years. I must add that fishing is the national sport on Jack. Its part of people’s belief system. Almost like a religion. And Split-level Hole is the Madison Square Garden of the sport. The fish are large, lively, and succulent. They grace the menus of the finest restaurants on Jack. But that is not what draws fishermen. It is the water. Stepping waist deep into the river. Barefoot. The fishermen enjoy what can only be described as the ultimate pedicure. The waters ease the feet. Tittilate. Stimulate. Make one feel as if one is floating. And this is Kuris’s greatest gift to the people of Jack. He discovered Split-level Hole. And it is said that on many a warm night. Lovers enter the waters. Naked. And their cries can be heard for miles.

The flag of the planet Jack

19 05 2010

Perhaps this is the first line of a novel. About the planet, Jack. This is their flag. I’m in their airplane. Or one like it. The man who is actually in the airplane was a great hero on Jack. His name was Victor Genova and he set all the speed records in their early days of flight. He disappeared over one of the oceans. Trying to circumvent the planet. Which is more difficult than circling the planet Earth. Jack changes sizes. Its as if the planet is breathing. And so, it is thought, Victor Genova crashed into the sea when the planet’s chest expanded and the sea rose up in front of Victor’s plane. Victor was trying to raise enough money so that he could have a sex operation. Not because he wanted to become a woman. But because he loved his best friend Terry F. And Terry was very heterosexual. This is the way life is on Jack. Unexpected.

Death in your face

14 05 2010

This is a poem I can’t

get out of my head…

I see death in your face

dust in your eyes

your beauty just holding on.

I remember that smile

that laugh

those lines around your mouth

crawling inside.

And I feel as if I am to blame.

If I had left

so many years ago…

You would have stayed the same.

Murderer in the park

11 05 2010

What is there about a park that sends a chill up one’s spine. Is it all the fun that people are having? Knowing that it will end. Or how relaxed everyone is? Knowing that there is some turmoil waiting on its border. Something that they have pushed to the back of their mind. For a short spell. Or is there some danger? If we are alone. If it is dark. If is mid-afternoon and it begins to rain. And why the rush to pack up one’s belongings and get out of the park before the sun sets? Completely.

What strikes me about this collage is how ordinary it looks at first sight. Except everything seems to be inbedded in ice. And the woman in the foreground seems out of sync with the rest of the collage as if she were standing in front of it and looking at the collage hanging on a wall. And there is a hunched over figure in a plaid jacket who looks menacing. But then what is that couple ahead of him doing? Is it love or assault? And then deeper in the park there are figures. Difficult to discern. And what about the trees. They seem crowded together. As if the picture were several pictures layered on top of each other. Or perhaps the murderer is standing behind the woman in the foreground. Perhaps it is … you.

Eclipse of a dog

6 05 2010

I exhibited this piece at a local high school exhibition. One of the students enquired into the piece. He wanted to buy it. I set a price. I know you’re supposed to make money on your work but I wish I had given it to him. (He didn’t have the money.) First of all he was a really bright kid. A great athlete. He got a soccer scholarship to an American university. He was engaging. He ran for school president but lost because he refused to make silly promises to the student body. I first saw him with his mother in his first year. She was a beautiful woman. She looked like royalty. Her head up, perfect posture, with a gentle coolness about her. (I was a little smitten.) I’ve seen Brian a few times since. To me, he is a special kid. But I don’t think he realizes it.

The end of the strip

1 05 2010

I loved doing this graphic novel. The illustrations were fun. But I found myself limited by the writing. This limiting of description made the work feel thin. To me. God, I admire what Hemingway was able to do in his work. He kept cutting back. Cut off the fat. I wanted to do more. In depth. Perhaps I should do another version. With a greater emphasis on the writing. Well that would be later in the summer. There is another graphic novel I was working on. Ideas in my head. Story basically done. Its a story about the assassination of Lincoln. But that too will have to wait. I’m off to Spain in June. My wife wants to introduce me to the Inquisition.