Poem Beginning and Ending with Lines from The Doobie Brothers

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Somewhere back in her long ago

Every station moves to create

Time not made of now leaves life

She’s everywhere and nowhere


Swells sing above the static

Of pop songs misremembered

As oracles   dream lovers   dis

Associated       disappeared


She doesn’t identify us apart

From viscid evenings spent

Outside of one another again

Echo rises to her apology

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A Partial Record of My Education

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“Those who love wisdom must investigate many things.” – Heraclitus

“I write-and talk-in order to find out what I think.” – Susan Sontag

In 2014, I graduated with my doctorate in education, and this seemed miraculous to me. A sustained focus, logical arguments, and the synthesis of an area of literature were inherent in the task of writing a dissertation, and I didn’t feel like I’d ever be able to live up to this challenge. As a child, I felt most comfortable with image and sound based communication. Music and visual art are such a large foundation for my thinking. I’m pretty certain this had to do with my mother taking me to museums and libraries, playing records in the living room regularly, and encouraging my growing interest in drawing.

Images could convey ideas that were both at the surface of my thinking and buried in my subconscious. Painting or creating something visually interesting and potentially communicative was something that came naturally. The imagery did not have to mirror reality. It could be completely conceptual. I was driven by the need to play with things that had an uncertain end. Not being driven to an actual destination, instead being propelled forward with intuition and curiosity, liberated me from having to make any sense of what I might be feeling in a way that would communicate to another. It was a drive to create.

This drive has pulled me in many directions at once. I have obsessively composed with sound, painted primarily textural (if not always aesthetically pleasing) images, and sometimes incorporated sound with paintings. Notes and small drafts of “diary” or journal entries have always been included as well. The outcome of these experiments was a amalgam of forms. I’m never quite certain how a thing may turn out…what form or hybrid it may take finally. I don’t even know if the outcome is the final version of a thing.

My default thinking is in fragments. If there are connections between the ideas or works, I have no knowledge of it during the process. It is always a dive into the unknown.

The past two months have included more than a few occurrences of fragmented thinking and organization that has not yet solidified into a coherent statement or group of thoughts. My regular lists of reading, listening, and watching have increased. I have rapid and incomplete connections between ideas and forms (text, image, sound, memory, etc.).

notebook march 2017

March-April 2017 Notebook, Thinking in Lists (more)

Recently, I have been reading Sloterdijk’s Spheres trilogy (Bubbles, Globes, and Foams) that have finally been translated, Hito Steyerl’s The Wretched of the Screen (2013), Kate Zambreno’s Book of Mutter (2017), Kafka’s late writings, Wittgenstein’s late writings on culture and aesthetics, Kadinsky, Susan Sontag, a biography on Eric Dolphy, so many disparate essays, and massive amounts of poetry.

Lately, I have been awed by the visual artwork of Rosy Keyser, Titus Kaphar, Fernando Zobel, Hito Steyerl, Julie Mehretu, Rebecca Horn, and Agnes Martin.

As I have written before, my sister told me once that whatever I put into my head must eventually come out. In what form will it arrive?

It eases my mind to know that others seem to have the same attraction to this process of discovery (like Sontag’s diary entry below).

From Sontag’s As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (with my scribbles)

Probably due to the Sloterdijk, the fact that Eleanor is beginning to trace the letter O, and my attraction to the simplicity of the ensō, circles and spheres have dominated my visual thinking. I seem to find them everywhere. From the Book of Genesis to NASA’s documentation of space trash, I seem to collide with imagery that represents a circular/spherical containment or a cyclical process.

 

Day 5 of Creation (Book of Genesis Illustration, 1493 Nuremberg Chronicle)

From Alberto Manguel’s Curiosity (2015)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

Iannis Xenakis- from Formalized Music: Thought and Mathematics in Composition (1992)

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This poem was written after a concert at the Stone during our honeymoon. We had taken a cab back to midtown, and there was a “supermoon” that evening. I was reading Paul Auster’s translations of Joubert’s writing at this time. The performers at the Stone were Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee on clarinets, saxophones, and pocket trumpet. Later, she purchased the photographs of the event from Peter Gannushkin (http://blog.sonicbeet.com/ & http://www.linkedin.com/in/gannushkin), an amazing photographer who captures the music and the personalities of the evening perfectly.

East Village Evening (For Anna, 3-19-2011) with description

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East Village Evening (For Anna, 3-19-2011) with description

This poem was written after a concert at the Stone during our honeymoon. We had taken a cab back to midtown, and there was a “supermoon” that evening. I was reading Paul Auster’s translations of Joubert’s writing at this time. The performers at the Stone were Ken Vandermark and Joe McPhee on clarinets, saxophones, and pocket trumpet. Later, she purchased the photographs of the event from Peter Gannushkin (http://blog.sonicbeet.com/ & http://www.linkedin.com/in/gannushkin), an amazing photographer who captures the music and the personalities of the evening perfectly.

JASON DEAN ARNOLD

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Read this poem at NNATAN’s page.

nnatantwo:

AMPLIFIER

Beyond words,
birds are burning,
& I’m walking with nothing but a snaking horn,
Singing photographs from silent stars
into whisperwalls

Into

the camera of time’s tiny bones
partially buried backwards through the sound or rhythms

Missing from music.

When those birds
can’t sing
above their own flames,

Attempt to veil softly, reflecting any feather artifacts
closer to mine.

And
when we are blind:

Keep the birds clean,
& even angels won’t understand
your eyelids.