Ink Ocean

direct link: Ink Ocean (version 1)

Ink Ocean (9:47min), a poem I've been working on since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico earlier in the year, a darker, more troubled piece on love. Is it a good ending for my album of love poems? Not sure, though it is a love poem - loving amidst the pollution, with our wounds, whatever they may be. The reading was difficult since I live over a subway, and kept stopping the speaking every time a subway ran through because the muse beckoned the voice at rush hour this morning, O muse! Those sections were clipped out. I've been at my computer working on this recording for 12 hours I guess. May be too close to it to 'hear' it?

It's layered, of course, multiplicities seem what I like to do. You can read the words here if you like (though it looks more like a play of approaches and voices than a poem proper).

Spent days looking for music, too. I already had a small collection of 'possibilites' that I had collected through the year. Nothing was quite right. So I went searching at Jamendo. I found two tracks that each offered something substantial, and did something I had hoped never to have to do - I mixed them! Oh! I should give up these poetry performance pieces, or learn an instrument!

The tracks are a combination of that brilliant musician of experimental, midi, ruby texts that become sonic masterpieces, Alphacore's (Gabriel Garrod) side_project in his album Side Projects, and a new musician for me at Jamendo, Extra (Michael Erickson), and the beautiful track, The Quickest Vessel to a Distant Future, is from his album, Water Every Full Moon.

Three Mugshots:

Should I ever show the workings of my 'mad' mind? Ok, ok. I'm self-taught. From these mugshots you can get some idea why my poetry recordings take so long! Files get recorded and taken from here to there, and then there to here, and back again. Can you hear all those tracks in the final version? Who knows. But, like wearing beautiful lingerie, I know they're there.

Though with this last project - an album of poetry readings with the music of Jamendo musicians - has taken nearly a year, and with 11 tracks, it's only 33 minutes long!!

I may give up poetry recordings, and lingerie too.

Gulf Oil Slick, 2010, 13" x 10", 33cm x 25.5cm, 
mixed media on canvas

From Ocean Words
Where the poem began...

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Gulf Oil Slick

Gulf Oil Slick, 2010, 13" x 10", 33cm x 25.5cm, mixed media on canvas (click for a very large size)

no birds, insects, or animals,
nothing but the sludge-brown sea
smacking under the red sun
a rotted post that was once a dock

can we sacrifice our oil-hungry cars, our plastics,
the petroleum
of our lives

for the fish to frolic
the birds diving
while children build buckets of castles
on seafoamed sand?

(photo to right from NASA, satellite image May 1, 2010)
We need to rant. We need to get good and furious with ourselves, with manufacturers, with oil companies. These accidents are so huge that they continue to decimate the eden that is the birthright of every creature on earth. When I painted the sludge, I knew it was the oil slick... bubbling up in my vision, so far inland, so many thousands of miles away.

The painting is oils (oil paint is made from pigments mixed with linseed oil, which is from flax seeds), except that brown slick which is acrylic. Crude oil is used in the manufacture of acrylic polymers. While I know that there are many additives for acrylic paints that enable different effects so that it can look like watercolour or oil paints, I don't particularly like them except for underpainting because they dry quickly. This image was composed of leftover oil paint, scraped on with a palette knife, except at the end when I painted in the sun, so of excesses on my palette. The sludge of brown that represents the oil spill devastating the Gulf ocean and the coastlines of Louisiana is a scraping of acrylic paint, a plastic polymer which requires crude oil in its manufacture. It is what it represents, we could say.
And what if: "What has happened in the Gulf of Mexico is about to open a direct link to the molten core of the planet that we may not be able to control; much as the fallen being above, having become paralyzed by his obsession with the weight of his excessive dreams, now finds himself starring down into the unknown abyss of his own creation-the world may soon find itself nearly powerless before the primeval forces that we have allowed BP to disturb in the unholy name of private-profits over the survivability of this planet." Jim Kirwan, Declaring War on the Universe?

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