Artist’s Date: Mass MoCA

Yesterday the woman I love and I took an afternoon trip to Mass MoCA. There was some interesting art there (always is), but on this trip, as on my last, I found myself caught up in the space itself. Lines and angles and light. A perfect black and white visit.

Anybody got an abandoned factory I can buy cheap?


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As always, prints are available. Contact me for sizes and costs.

Poem: The Plight of Dead Artists


The Plight of Dead Artists

The wing lies on the table.
Plasticine, almost clear.
Framework like leaded glass.

The rest of the creature,
surely dead by now,
stripped of its ability to fly,
has disappeared.

The wing is all that is left.
A thing of beauty,
even lacking

About this poem

The picture was taken on my back porch.

I haven’t sold a painting this month.

Funny where poems come from.


Poem: Abstract Art (3)


Abstract Art (3)

It hangs on the wall like a frozen wraith,
a brightly colored wall between the worlds
shielding the other word from yours,
or you from them,
or perhaps it simply waits, a tantalizing tease
for some etherial unveiling.

You stand before it,
unsure why it sings to you, or even
what song it is singing.
A dirge?
A hymn?
A siren song of unspoken desires?

You cannot say, aware only
of some call deep in your breast,
that this piece of stranger’s art
has forced you to feel
beyond images or scenes from reality,
to something more real,
a tease, subliminal and blatant both.

Your heart beats faster.
Confusion and chaos?
Yes, Joy,
odd and unexplainable,
it is enough to rejoice without reason,
to allow this assault on your senses
to rule over the kingly mind,
an unruly child,
charming and maddening both.

About this poem

I often go to art galleries and take pictures of things that touch me. I am good at taking pictures of the tags that tell you who the artist is, the name of the piece and perhaps a few paragraphs of history and explanation. I like giving attribution because I would want the same for anything I put out there.

For some reason, I did not take that tag shot of this piece. It lives in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and I’ve seen work from the artist in a few museums here in the Northeast. Yet the name of the artist eludes me. All of his work ( I remember that the artist is a he.) intrigues me. I can’t tell you why, but I often find myself parked in front of them for long enough that regular patrons probably wonder at me.

That’s OK. I wonder at me sometimes too.

I seem to write about Abstract Art often. This is the third poem with that title since I began this blog. I decided to make it official by giving it a number because somehow I am sure that title will show up again. I’ve said it before, I am less creative than expressive.

I did some painting myself yesterday. First time in a bit. Therapy.

It’s the winter solstice. A time of turning.

From those thoughts, this poem.


Artist’s Date: Mass MoCA, Space and Yearnings


Saturday, the woman I love and I went down to North Adams to visit Mass MoCA. 

I go there a few times a year because the exhibits change constantly. It’s never the same collection twice and I find myself constantly inspired. Recently they just added a huge addition, opening up one of the old factory buildings and transforming it in thousands of square feet of exhibition space.

I will be honest. There was not a lot of the current exhibition that sang to me.  There was some good work. Some odd work. Come curious work. But very little that sang to my soul and inspired me. What really sang to me though, was the space itself.


It began when we entered one of the first rooms. There were three little multimedia works on the wall. They did little for me, but as I stepped away, I saw them in a different light. There were three chairs set out for the devout to look at them at length, and the juxtaposition of the chairs and art, the spacing, space itself, struck me.


In the next room, one of the huge galleries, there was this installation called “In Bed (how will we sleep when the planet is melting?) by Sarah Braman. The piece itself was for me kinda “meh”, but as I walked around it, and saw it in space, it took on a life of its own.

And so it was the rest of the afternoon, particularly as we came to the new space.




I have been missing space. A decade ago I had a huge old farm house, about 4,000 square feet. There were five acres and outbuildings. There was space for anything I might buy or anything I might want to do. All that space was, I have come to realize, and incredible luxury.

Since my divorce, that house had to be sold. I lived in a couple of tiny apartments with a whole lot of furniture crammed in, and finally landed here in Vermont, where I have a nice house, what has been a perfect house for me and the kids the past several years. There’s plenty of room, plenty of light, but not much wall space. It is house on a smaller scale. It’s on two-tenths of an acre of land, which is nice when you travel like I do. Not much to take care of. But also not much to do things with. No sculpture gardens here. No workshops. No storage for strange and odd things that I might pick up. (because I do.)

I have to be economical with my space.

In the last year or two, I have been half-looking for a big space. A barn or large garage, or perhaps a section of an abandoned factory to move my studio into. I don’t know if it is a natural progression of my art, or some inner part of my spirit that feels the need to do bigger things again, create bigger art, impactful things, but I yearn for more space. Nothing fancy. Just space and light. Or even space without light (Lights can be bought, after all.).

And that’s what my artist’s date did. It brought that yearning back. Is that inspiration? In a way I suppose. But inspiration or not, it’s a reminder of what lies underneath this mild, economical facade I carry with me, and that has value. Without yearning. Without dreams, I am nothing. I am dead.

I learned that a long time ago. The hard way.

Be well. Travel wisely,



Poem: Art. Life.

museum site

Art. Life.

Color, and the lack thereof.

and at times, little more.

And emotion.
never forget emotion.
Without it,
everything lacks life,

lacks a reason
to be.

About this poem. 

I have an artist’s date to Mass MoCA planned for tomorrow. So art and how it touches life (and visa versa) seems to be on my mind.

The picture was taken in the west wing of the National Galleries in Washington, DC.


Poem: Purses at the Market


Purses at the Market

The purses hang at the farmer’s market,
bright and colorful, each one hand made,
each one unique, beautiful things you have no use for,
but gaze at for perhaps a bit too long,
letting the vibrancy fill your vision,
letting the ebullience push out your inner winter
and leave you twenty again,
innocent and free of baggage,  or triggers,
free of the mistakes that have piled up like so many weights.

The purses hang at the farmer’s market.
You don’t stare as much as meld,
letting the patterns feed your joy,
fill your parched soul, that tattered thing,
dry as dust, hungry for color, unknowingly
hungry for that lost innocence.
You are no longer seeing.
No, it is something more, feeling, rising,
oh yes, you remember now,

About this poem.

Too much going on here to write a pithy “about” section. Some of it has to do with age. Some of it has to do with the woman I love and all the color she has brought to my life. Some of it has to to with growing older. Some of it has to do with a talk I have to give later this month on “How to Look at Abstract Art.” Some of it I am still sorting out. Most of it, I am still sorting out.

But that’s why I write poetry most of the time, to sort things out.