Neither dire nor gloomy;
gentle patterings on the sill
And out the streetside window—
Wet roads that sound like
crushed velvet or old dresses,
piled flat in a secondhand store.
No slantwise wind or biting air
Just a fine steady parade of silken threads
falling from bright skies
Sequins and bright baubles
gather on the lips of things,
then parachute one by one, to
Join up with silvered rivulets
in the mud of backyards, or
the sunken spots in the pavement.
Inspiring of bookish pursuits
or, maybe, a walk—
The streets are quiet and empty.
Only the swishing of tires as they pass,
pressing unforeseen creases
into the faded dresses—
a jazz brush accompaniment
for a quiet grey spring day,
May 22, 2017
Saturday evening there was a fundraising event on the historic museum barge in Red Hook; the reading of every last canto of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself, as read by a number of local luminaries. It began before and ended just after sunset over Brooklyn’s Buttermilk Channel and Erie Basin, the once-Dutch, fierce little neighborhood called Red Hook.
I’ve long had emotional ties to ol’ Walt on account of my father being a fan; he passed it to me. So when I read him in high school (the same all girls Catholic school with fierce teachers that managed to get A Handmaid’s Tale on our reading list), I was all in.
A pleasant surprise (in addition to some celebrity personages) was that one of my classmates from aforementioned high school was among the readers. I ought to’ve stayed to say hello, but it was crowded and felt like it may have been complicated after so long. Her name is Alison Smith; I read her book Name All the Animals a few of years back. It was really well written; poignant and heartbreaking. It was the first time I’d seen her since high school, and brought some memories to mind.
Proceeds went to the ACLU, PEN America, NEA, Sunny’s Bar (Red Hook), and to the Waterfront Museum (the host of the event). It was a fine reward after a seven mile wander, followed by a feast at Ice House.
Below is a pencil drawing I did in a backyard (the words are from an earlier day, unrelated to the sketch). I;d like to bring a pencil more often. It was nice to go slow; not have to commit to every line. I initially intended to paint it as well, but it was getting late by the time I finished drawing.
Some friends and I took a trip into the Big Town on Monday to check out a couple exhibits at the Met. One was the Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons exhibit of works spanning some decades. The gallery space was designed specially for this, a collaboration between the artist and the Met, and the whole experience was stunning and ethereal, and sometimes creepy (in a great way). We really enjoyed it, and I wish it had been less crowded even, so I may have spent more time sketching.
We also looked at the Irving Penn retrospective, also pretty damn wonderful and inspiring. Below are some photos from the first exhibit. Enjoy!
Here’s a first for me: Beer can label design for the Sunset Swing annual gala, held by one of my clients (Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp.). Five Boroughs Brewing Co. created a brew just for the upcoming event, and this is the proof for the finished labels. So fun!
Below are some photos of the can and the ad journal from the event last evening. They were printed with printed a metallic gold for the lettering and windows, which looks fantastic.