Thursday, January 9, 2014

Obamacare, Year 1

I don't know about you, but the advent of a new market for health insurance in the United States has given me new flexibility in my work life, something I've wished for since graduating from college in 1997. No longer am I required to have a full-time job in order to be able to see a doctor. Woohoo!

In talking with friends, colleagues and business associates, I've heard many sides to this story. I'm excited; others are less so; some are even more ecstatic than I can imagine. 

What will happen this year?

If you have an Obamacare-related story to share, get in touch. I am planning to create an embroidered portrait of sorts of year one of this new legislation. Below is my own portrait - paint and embroidery on tyvek.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Night Static, Frost

2013 reignited my interest in poetry, thanks in part to a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council for my @EmbroideryPoems project. 

Yeah, I was one of those literary kids - poetry editor of my high school literary magazine, Patterns (thanks Sharon Lustbader), with a librarian-poet father and a linguistically-gifted mother. My brother also wrote poetry - he had a "blog" of sorts long before anyone had a blog.

Anyway, I'm back to writing WITHOUT embroidering first/while writing. It feels weird but somehow like a high school reunion with myself. Know what I mean?

Here is something I'm working on - something new. I feel totally uncertain about this direction - writing for writing's sake. But when I sat down at my computer the other day, this poured out, surprising me.

Maybe the best thing to come out of all of this is that I'm spending lots of time with InDesign - not a bad tool to learn...and as I'm a freelance artist, I'm up for hire...writing, design, art commissions, etc. Inquire within.

"Night Static; Frost"

Do you remember
the night we stood
on 7th Avenue
on mounds
of hope like snow?
The soft crunch evidence
that purity
could still exist
in NYC.
Do you remember
our talk on 7th Ave?
Static crackled
as you pointed to the hospital
where your nephew was born.
You admitted
how scared you'd been.
I shared
a story of loss that had left me
crying in the street,
on the train,
in a doctor's office,
everywhere, really.
to end your
Saturday night like this,"
you said. We stood
for 10 minutes or more.
You never stopped talking
Sidewalks seemed to invoke
your tongue, the thief
who stole
another morsel
of my time and attention,
grey hairs from my head,
the ones you claimed
never to see amidst the red.

That night on 7th Ave
our snow
started to melt
under my tiny feet—
my one foot
pointed towards you
as you reassembled your bike,
unlocking and then snapping
the detached front wheel
to the slim body;
My other foot
pointed towards the subway.
I was looking
for a way
into you or a way home;
for the night's 
static to leap from your cowlick
into my mouth
encasing me 
in unrelenting light.
I would have
stood there all night
but you rode off,
slightly drunk,
without a helmet,
still talking,
as I took my snow
home with me on the F train.

Starting off 2014 with a non-literal but literary Bang

(freedom is a trip)
a concrete (i.e. visual) poem by Montana Ray 

My re-interpretation in embroidery and fabric manipulation with stuffing...A "soft" gun. Flat, before stuffing and embroidering, the separate fabric pieces I cut resembled Montana's original - I traced her poem to get the right shape. Somehow in the translation, the shape morphed. For one, I added extra fabric at the extreme right because I ran out of space for the top 3 lines of the poem. 

As you can tell, the piece is small
- 3.5" h x 7" w x 1" d