Monday, October 29, 2018

Poe Poems




Did everyone go out this weekend and celebrate Halloween in some way or another? I actually did this year, which is rare. The last time I dressed up was I think eight years ago. This year I did the utter least in way of costume which was to dress as a cat with just my actual wardrobe, a scarf for ears and a yoga mat string thing for a tail. Needless to say it was very basic but who cares! I was moved by the H-ween spirit this year and going to a fete and walking around the city seeing people in lame to amazingly impressive costumes and general mischievous joviality warmed even the most cynical of hearts.

I know that Halloween is technically a few days away but heck, I don't have kids so it’s already over for me but to keep with the spirit of the season I thought it would be nice to share some poems by American Goth #1, Edgar Allen Poe.

I love Poe’s writing. I always say that Poe has a terrible PR manager because he has this silly perception of being a twee-goth in a whoa-is-me sort of way but he is actually quite a literary technician and he is a sort of American writer that is of the place and time in which he lived and imagined.

Enjoy the turning of seasons and may you find tricks and treats to sustain you for the coming long winter days.


Edgar Allen Poe (1809–1849)

Alone

From childhood’s hour I have not been 
As others were—I have not seen 
As others saw—I could not bring 
My passions from a common spring— 
From the same source I have not taken 
My sorrow—I could not awaken 
My heart to joy at the same tone— 
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone— 
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn 
Of a most stormy life—was drawn 
From ev’ry depth of good and ill 
The mystery which binds me still— 
From the torrent, or the fountain— 
From the red cliff of the mountain— 
From the sun that ’round me roll’d 
In its autumn tint of gold— 
From the lightning in the sky 
As it pass’d me flying by— 
From the thunder, and the storm— 
And the cloud that took the form 
(When the rest of Heaven was blue) 
Of a demon in my view—


A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?  
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp 
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys 
By good angels tenanted, 
Once a fair and stately palace— 
Radiant palace—reared its head. 
In the monarch Thought’s dominion, 
It stood there! 
Never seraph spread a pinion 
Over fabric half so fair! 

Banners yellow, glorious, golden, 
On its roof did float and flow 
(This—all this—was in the olden 
Time long ago) 
And every gentle air that dallied, 
In that sweet day, 
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, 
A wingèd odor went away. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 
Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically 
To a lute’s well-tunèd law, 
Round about a throne where, sitting, 
Porphyrogene! 
In state his glory well befitting, 
The ruler of the realm was seen. 

And all with pearl and ruby glowing 
Was the fair palace door, 
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing 
And sparkling evermore, 
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty 
Was but to sing, 
In voices of surpassing beauty, 
The wit and wisdom of their king. 

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, 
Assailed the monarch’s high estate; 
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow 
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!) 
And round about his home the glory 
That blushed and bloomed 
Is but a dim-remembered story 
Of the old time entombed. 

And travellers, now, within that valley, 
Through the red-litten windows see 
Vast forms that move fantastically 
To a discordant melody; 
While, like a ghastly rapid river, 
Through the pale door 
A hideous throng rush out forever, 
And laugh—but smile no more. 


Fairy-Land

Dim vales—and shadowy floods— 
And cloudy-looking woods, 
Whose forms we can’t discover 
For the tears that drip all over: 
Huge moons there wax and wane— 
Again—again—again— 
Every moment of the night— 
Forever changing places— 
And they put out the star-light 
With the breath from their pale faces. 
About twelve by the moon-dial, 
One more filmy than the rest 
(A kind which, upon trial, 
They have found to be the best) 
Comes down—still down—and down 
With its centre on the crown 
Of a mountain’s eminence, 
While its wide circumference 
In easy drapery falls 
Over hamlets, over halls, 
Wherever they may be— 
O’er the strange woods—o’er the sea— 
Over spirits on the wing— 
Over every drowsy thing— 
And buries them up quite 
In a labyrinth of light— 
And then, how, deep! —O, deep, 
Is the passion of their sleep. 
In the morning they arise, 
And their moony covering 
Is soaring in the skies, 
With the tempests as they toss, 
Like—almost any thing— 
Or a yellow Albatross. 
They use that moon no more 
For the same end as before, 
Videlicet, a tent— 
Which I think extravagant: 
Its atomies, however, 
Into a shower dissever, 
Of which those butterflies 
Of Earth, who seek the skies, 
And so come down again 
(Never-contented things!) 
Have brought a specimen 
Upon their quivering wings. 

Monday, October 22, 2018

A Million Little Pieces

Gregory Kalliche at Marinaro

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point but sheesh, am I busy! Not sure what it is but I feel like I am treading water just to keep myself in one place/not drown/die. Sigh. I feel like it’s something in the air, stars, whatever because everyone else I have been talking to seems to be in some such state or another.

Anyways, I really don’t have the time or bandwidth to write coherent thoughts but also feel like you don’t deserve another cut and paste so below is just some random things that I thought, saw or interacted with in the past few days that happen to be pre-frontal at this very moment.

Again, sorry. Again, hopefully next week there will be space and time to do this right.


Fear Faire at Marinaro

Went gallery-hopping solo in LES/Chinatown this past weekend. Saw some good things, some blah but the one that stood out was Fear Faire organized by Nathaniel de Large at Marinaro. It was in their precariously odd sub and sub-sub basement spaces and although that sounds possibly project-space blah, it was anything but. It felt like some sort of art-haunted-house and de Large did a good job of rigging up messy slats of dry wall and cheap plastic curtain to make various zones and general spook-vibes that also felt strangely “hip.” The use of the architecture as medium was done in a way that was playful which made the cacophony and sheer number of artists participating feel well placed.


So You Want to be an Art Dealer

I took some students to a gallery in LES earlier in the week for my day-job and had them meet the gallery owner for a one-on-one talk and meet/greet. It was nice to see students so curious about all that is involved in being an art dealer. It was down right cute some of their questions. What was an interesting theme throughout was this concept of creating community. That buzz word I have been fraught about in various posts. It was also interesting to see how the dealer talked about themselves in both revealing and keeping vague the stratagems of survival. I guess the takeaway is that talking to dealers about the state of art is just as complex and important as it is to talk to artists.


The Perfect Crowd Size

I have figured it out! The perfect size for a lively dinner party is sixteen people. Enough so that there are sub-conversations and general buzziness at the table but small enough so that it doesn’t get unruly. Even numbers are good and with that many bodies in a space it makes you want to stretch out so people make their way to other corners of the room as the evening wanes. 16. It’s the magic number for hospitality.


Relax, No One is Judging You

Okay, so I know people are sensitive, and I know that sometimes we (me especially) can talk in ways that might be a bit rough around the edges, but sheesh, people, relax a bit about being offended. Lately I have noticed within my conversations and conversations I observe, people are very defensive. Any perceived slight is pounced on. Any minor calling out is seen as a incitement of attack. How can we have conversations when we aren’t listening to the other person but just wanting to respond? How can we have conversations that don’t allow for opinion and remark that might not completely mirror what the speaker has just said? Being respectful doesn’t always mean having to agree. Balance and less self-victimization will make everything more understood and generative.


Time Heals All Wounds

That moment of realization when you truly understand and see another person and how utterly unbelievable it is that they ever affected you so much. Liberating.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Vegan Dinner Party



Sorry ya’ll! So so crazy busy at the moment that days become nights and night become days! I promise to stop being such a turd about posting on Mondays!

I have to leave like now… So I will just copy and paste the menu for a vegan, gluten free dinner I made over the weekend. It was for 16 people! So I just tripled everything.

Okay! Till next week! Hopefully I will have some time/sanity! Maybe not!


Winter Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry

INGREDIENTS
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 small whole green chiles, such as jalapeño or serrano
  • 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  •  Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  •  Pinch of cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  •  Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

PREPARATION
  1. In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
  2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This allows the heat and flavor of the chile to release into the sauce without making it too spicy.)
  3. Add shallots to skillet, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add mushrooms to pan, season with salt and toss to coat. Continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return squash cubes to pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.
  6. Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.


Chana Punjabi

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 small Thai bird chili, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  •  Cooked rice for serving (optional)

PREPARATION
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat oil and add onion. Sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chili, and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until tomatoes are very soft, about 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  2. Purée mixture in blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pan and place over medium heat. Add paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, coriander, the garam masala, turmeric and lemon juice. Add chickpeas and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
  3. Cover and simmer until sauce is thick and chickpeas are soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir pan about every 10 minutes, adding water as needed (up to 1 1/2 cups) to prevent burning. When ready to serve, sauce should be thick. If necessary, uncover pan and allow sauce to reduce for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until desired consistency. Stir in cilantro, adjust salt as needed and serve with cooked rice, if desired.

Cucumber And Cilantro Raita (Not vegan)

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  •  Scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • ½ cup finely diced peeled cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

PREPARATION
  1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt and salt. Mix well. Add scallion, cucumber and cilantro. Mix again, and transfer to a small serving bowl.

Cucumber and Tomato Salad With Cilantro and Mint

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 Persian cucumbers, chopped
  • ½ small white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped purple or green basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red chili powder(or ancho chile powder)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

PREPARATION
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl; toss, and serve.


Apple Crisp (Substitute vegan butter)

INGREDIENTS
  • 6 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples or ripe pears, 2 to 3 pounds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • ½ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 5 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • ¾ cup oats
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans

PREPARATION
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Toss fruit with half the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar, and spread it in a lightly buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.
  2. Combine remaining cinnamon and sugar in container of a food processor with butter, oats and nuts; pulse a few times, just until ingredients are combined. (Do not purée.) To mix ingredients by hand, soften butter slightly, toss together dry ingredients and work butter in with fingertips, a pastry blender or a fork.
  3. Spread topping over apples, and bake about 40 minutes, until topping is browned and apples are tender. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Sick Of It All




The last two weeks I have been sick. The last week, actually really sick. It’s that time of year when your immune and will to live basically dies and you either embrace it or pretend it’s not that bad, thus making the damage prolonged.

During my invalid state, I had a lot of time to just mull around all the things I am sick of and below is a quick list because does any of if matter anymore! Also, yes I know this is a day late. Who cares?!

Things I’m Sick Of:


Texting – I feel like those (…) will actually make us all insane.

Potatoes – Sometimes I just can’t stand the look of them.

Podcasts – I listen to too many and they are melting my brain.

Eating – I’m in the, I hate food vibe, just give me a nutrient nugget and let’s call it a day.

Shitty Friends – Friendship is a type of labor.

Men –Such disappointments.

Artists – Blah blah blah, okay we get it.

Socks – Somehow they seem like they should be easy but they are not!

Drugs – Not sure what the point ever was.

Catching up – We are all bored of each other, let’s not waste each other’s time.

Memes – Cool.

Bagels – Sometimes too much is too much.

Walking – Put me in a cart and dump me in the ground.

Making things comfortable for others – At least give me a tip.

Trump – Everyone is obsessed and he’s obsessed with Obama. Unhealthy.

! – I use this way too much and mean it only like 2% of the time.

Meat – Sometimes if just freaks me out.

Treating people – They will never, ever get you back the next time.

Saying Hi – Can’t we all just agree that eye contact is sufficient?

Dating – You are all so fucking boring.

Making Amends – I wanna make amends by putting my face in a lemon meringue pie.

Believing in things – What. Does. That. Even. Mean?

Long Time, No See – Is it just me or is this phrase freaky?

Nicotine addiction – Self-harm is a bitch.

Underwear – What’s the point even?

Exercise – Don’t do it but still sick of it.

Art Talk – Only enjoyable with someone who doesn’t use proper nouns.

Politics Talk – Only enjoyable with someone who knows how to spell Beto O’Rourke.

Talking in general – My body language is telling you everything you need to know.

Holidays – Can we just skip it and get to April already?

TV – The internet is melting our brains.

Twitter – I’ve always hated it.

Guilt – I hope by 2060 women are free of this burden.

Monday, October 1, 2018

R.I.P. Phyllis Kind


Phyllis Kind and Roger Brown

I got a message the other day that Phyllis Kind died. For those of you who don’t know who she is, you should. She was a gallerist and a personality unlike anything the art world had before.

Her gallery, Phyllis Kind Gallery, was the first job I ever had in New York. It is the job that made it possible for me to move/live here and it has influenced my approach to art in ways I probably still do not understand.

She originally started her space in Chicago, selling prints and such, and then she got into the thick of it and is the reason why The Hairy Who, the Imagists and “Outsider Art” has the influence that it had/has and is finally being paid its dues.

I started working for her as an intern while still in college, commuting from Rutgers to her Greene Street location once a week, then worked full time as a gallery assistant. It was the end of the grand ol’ days as this was sometime around 2003, but for a total art newbie, entrance into her multi-level Soho space was both intimidating and wondrous. She lived in the back of the space so the mixing of business and personal overlapped in inviting (sharing Chinese takeout at her kitchen table) to rattling (potatoes being thrown at your head during an outburst.) But it was a type of education that was beyond impactful.

Under her tutelage and observations, I learned how a gallerist is more than just a person in the art business but a character of sorts. Anyone who knew Phyllis would be swirled into her vicinity and it was up to you if you could stay a float in her currents. Her mind was sharp, her tongue sharper, and the mixture of hard and surpassingly generous softs showed you the depth and complexity of what it meant to be a gallery owner and human being.

The thing that I learned most, the thing has is a base of so much of how I operate and think about art today, was her unwavering way of thinking and seeing art and who makes it. Her mixing of insider, outsider, has been talked about in many different circles, but Phyllis truly loved art in a way that seems cliché. She would get so excited and thrilled about an artist, she made it her business and passion to make sure that people saw, people understood, people opened their eyes to what she was seeing.

In addition to her authentic passion for art/artists, she played the gallery game so well. In the 80s she was a force that was recognized and feared at times. She was all New York brashness with a mind that could remember any date and name and eyes that could pierce any undeveloped soul. But through it all she remained herself and unnegotiating on what she thought art could look like and who were valid in making, buying and seeing it.

I hadn't seen Phyllis for years, after she moved to the West coast, but her name and the links I have made from my time with her still connect. She had that ability to create a sense of family. Dysfunctional in many ways perhaps, but she was this mighty force, glue, magnet that kept everyone connected. I guess that’s because if she saw you, if she took you in, that meant something.

Phyllis Kind. What a legend. What a shame that gallerists and key players fade away the way they do, but I guess that is normal. Even so, her legacy will still remain because the work people are just starting to remember now is what she loved and supported decades ago.