The barns of New England, the supreme representatives of American folk art, a manifestation of a tough and peculiar people imposing a powerful vision on a harsh and beautiful land. This one, built in 1840 in the woods of Massachusetts, sets a sterling example. As an indomitable symbol of order, civilized ways, the structure is constructed to withstand the blazing elements, driving blizzards, wild hurricanes, hellacious heat, storms freighted with thunder, the depredations of wolves, the destroyer, time.
Specifically, these cascading miracles appear in South Kingstown beside the public library on the Old Post Road, once the main passage to Manhattan from Boston, trod upon by John Adams, Stephen Hopkins, other crusty patriots passing to Philadelphia sipping rum, before the pedestrian highways Eisenhower ordered built.
The library is a shingled shack really, painted white and well maintained, a rustic outpost crammed with treasure & redoubtable women devoted to their task, the stewardship of books, information, ideas not allowed in Dark Lands, Russia, China, North Korea, the grim territories of ISIS, Mordor on Planet Earth, shrouded in perpetual fog.
this tempest of white, green, tan, black and blue, a riot of color, tempestuous & disciplined simultaneously, redemptive, the bracing light which promotes sunny optimism, memories of Eleanor Roosevelt, a democratic openness to all people, all experience, everything encountered, which may survive us in a form unknown.
The most impressive mural in the city done by the same man who did the corporate entrance for one of the tech giants in Silicon Valley. Explosively imaginative, with traces of Dali, the perfect reflection of the peak performing human mind, with its geometry, the mysteries of millions of years of adaptation, still impenetrable to the most advanced technology, the most searching thoughts of philosophers, revealed on patterns that resemble the ravishing quilts made by Amish women in the 19th century in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The overwhelming suggestion, nothing ever really dies. All near the block in Oakland that most resembles Greenwich Village, leafy and serene, at 17th & Webster, free.
It’s testosterone in a can ejaculated on whatever turns up the next step, the block beyond, an abandoned truck, a sign, a dumpster, a wall uncluttered by the minor orgasms of rivals, all this canvas space free. Mostly, it does wonders to soften ugly asphalt, turns the city into an outdoor art museum. Out of the primordial muck, a vast amount of scribbling, enough to extend round the globe if you added it together, a percent is painterly, so beautiful & impressive to the eye.
Crawling at snail’s pace, steadily, inch by inch, like a caterpillar, almost belligerent with determination, he comes down the long avenues on a beaten up go cart of the sort you see used by people too obese to walk. He appears high in the eighties, this gnome like man from Latin America, with a lithe frame blasted/shrunken by gravity. Continue reading
Dressed up with erudite warriors, always rare, the Ashurbanipals & Alexanders, the Amazons too, women unstoppable made of rock to inspire awe in the minds of the public, the idea no one, not you especially, is above the law.
Indian, now Native American, the noble savage, dripping sex, multi-lingual, by turns murderous and hospitable, restless, resourceful, they took to liquor ravenously with doleful results, inextricably connected to the land, the rushing sea, until they came, the non-indigenous, like an invasive species, relentlessly spreading, an indispensable part of the most amazing story, in fabulous boots, hand made, the apogee of style.
Pilgrim, an intrepid wanderer, technologically superior, greedy for land/power, bookish, unflagging in effort, infallibly fucked up in the head by fanatical religion/ancient prejudices/bizarre superstitions, genocidal in a pinch, radical farmers, sexually repressed, unconquerable, hale & heroic, home at last.