Christmas Circus

Christmas Circus

There’s quite a show happening
on our Advent Wreath.
An Advent Wreath arranged on a white oval plate
with a cushion of evergreen leaves
and twigs with red-orange berries.
An Advent Wreath sitting
in the middle of the kitchen table.

There are two black specks rappelling
down the candle sticks!
And another speck of spider stringing
tiny silky lines from the pink one
to the three purple ones.
Three trapeze artists rehearsing,
with the greatest of ease,
for the annual Christmas circus.

Gregory Zeorlin 12/5/2016 @3:28pm

(SHARE this odd poem if you wish).

 

Out There

Out There

There’s frost sparkling on the lawn chair.
I do not dare go out there,
in my boxer shorts.

Picture me, or you, turning blue.
Puffs of steam float out our mouths.
Most birds up North have gone South
or just now pass overhead wondering…

“What are those humans doing down there?”
Well, we’re sipping coffee
in our underwear.

But of course not!
There’s frost sparkling on the lawn chair.
But in the spring, I’ll be there, half-bare,
coffee steam rising to boost you home.

Gregory Zeorlin 12/1/2016 @ 7:45am

SHARE this poem if you wish….

Island-Spaceship-Mall Planet

I recently entered a colossal glass roofed shopping mall spreading over acres of land. The structure seemed like something in between an island and spaceship or a mall planet closely orbiting earth. I generally avoid these environments as my spacesuit isn’t equipped to endure the atmosphere.  The gasses generated from such places suit the aliens who look like me but require another type of atmosphere to exist. Prolonged exposure to the mall planet’s atmosphere causes both people and aliens to succumb to impulse buying behaviors.

While walking on the surface of mall planet the sensors on my spacesuit detected fumes gassing from $800 dollar leather purses.  I notice many aliens carry credit cards and other charging devices in these show bags to continue generating high pressured debt.  But carefully designed exoskeletons allow these aliens to carry the debt burden while maintaining an expressionless look. Their deadpan faces are similar to the photographs displayed in the mall of fashion models wearing designer clothes while carrying highly coveted and priced handbags. But who noticed these trophy bags since most aliens walk with heads titled down to gaze at communication devices? Some aliens carry the trophy purses to the mall planet while wearing pajamas just to sit and drink caffeine.

Magical Purses

Magical Purses

As I venture deep into this unfamiliar planet I realize it is filled with millions of pieces of designer space debris. The openings on each side of the tarmac grant access to vast showy warehouses where pulsing music, shimmering homing devices and blinking beacons guide aliens to boots, polished metal trinkets, gilded suits and more.  It’s all available and acquisition requires only a credit card.  I’m relieved as warehouse workers evaluate my spacesuit and decide I am not one of the aliens.  These semi-robots sharply reduce their pre-purchase dialog with me (which gets modified depending on what exoskeleton an alien wears).

Gilded Suits

Gilded Suits

The island-spaceship-mall planet defies common sense. I see palm trees nearly hovering in space inside glowing blue glass boxes.  White flags hang above these full-sized artificial trees and serve as antennas guiding shoppers to the correct designer space debris depots.  Some consider these flags as displays of public art. The flags are without color or content and fill the void above the fake palm trees. The trees and the flag mean absolutely nothing.  Perhaps this is to remind us we are nothing until we buy something? Buy something, put the exoskeleton on, and fit in. To be an alien means we’ll learn to bear crushing debt and even feel normal racing around frantically in automobiles costing as much as some homes after departing from the mall planet.

Hovering Fake Palm Trees

Hovering Fake Palm Trees

I did see a pair of $215 dollar shoes I liked. I’m not sure, but my spacesuit may have temporarily malfunctioned allowing me to detect leather scent which weakened my logic. Or, the flag-antenna system successfully signaled “BUY ME” data into my brain. Fortunately a defense system in my brain will override it and guide me to a thrift store. I will eventually find those shoes in a thrift store where out of fashion space debris gets reacquisitioned by people living down on earth.

As Black Friday approaches (and all variations and renditions released by the alien mother ship), I wish all fellow humans  good luck and good shopping. Let’s buy stuff to cram into our closets and rented storage units! Buy even more stuff to leave in our automobile trunks until we remember to carry it into our cluttered lives. Or…RAISE YOUR SPACE DEBRIS SHIELDS! But…eventually we will succumb to the aliens vast marketing power.

…..High on my gift wish list this year….. the before you “go” toilet spray gift-set that cloaks my stink before I let it go. And all imaginary readers who made it to this point wish I used that toilet spray before I posted this c#%p. Too late.

Now get out and buy something you didn’t need! And if all else fails remember…Things Sell Better With Jesus (Yes you can buy this sticker/note-card…See! The aliens on the Mall Planet got me to make a sales pitch before Black Friday).

Things Sell Better With Jesus

Things Sell Better With Jesus

 

So….Peace, love and happiness to those who celebrate for many reasons between mid-November and January 1st.

Starting With the 38 Bus

(This layout is not what I want but I don’t know how to correct it. But, this post is so long that only imaginary readers and me, myself and I will read the entire thing anyway. So…I’ll not sweat the invisible stuff).

This post recalls a day well spent drifting around San Francisco using public transportation. I take notes as I ride and sometimes they turn into buzz hacking songs. (I’ll post a link to a song at some point for my imaginary listeners out there in digi-world).

 

Starting With the 38 Bus

On the Number 38 rapid bus route going towards the Pacific Ocean, I watch mad men on Geary Street scream at pedestrians or themselves, depending on the moment. No one makes eye contact with these unpredictable souls. No one else talks on this bus heading west. Everyone messes with cell phones. So I sit and stare or scribble hurriedly about what I see, hear and smell. I’ll tell mostly the truth, but fiction, or at least my imagination, rides with me, too.

To my right, a mother reads aloud to her daughter as horns on the street blare “Watch out!”
She hears nothing except her daughter’s voice. I wonder what choices got them here on this commuter bus right now?

“Never Mind” was quickly written with black spray paint on a concrete retaining wall at Geary and Presidio Street.
But the recorded voice on this bus I’m riding says, “Please hold on.” Now I’m not sure what I should do. So I continue to ride towards the ocean blue. Or at least that’s what I hope it will be.

Lily’s Magic Alterations and Tailoring at Geary and Stanyon Street is across the street from a Cross Fit training gym where fit men
jump rope looking out the door on Geary Street. This bus ride is my temporary alteration. “Please hold on” says the bus voice as the bus doors close and people find seats.

At 6th Street and Geary on old woman wearing a men’s gray felt jacket picks white cat hair off the sleeves one by one. She gently flicks each hair towards the bus and never looks up. If you didn’t realize what she was doing, you’d just think she’s crazy. Not everyone is crazy out there or in here on the bus.

At 29th Street and Geary, a man with hair in a tight bun drags on a cigarette while nursing a to-go cup, but I’m not sure it’s coffee he’s sipping. I’ll keep riding on to 48th Street, but at 44th Street, Geary slopes down quickly. I finally see where the ocean meets the ground.

At Lands End the coffee is good, dark and includes refills. I shall quake with caffeine before I touch the ocean with my fingers. My coffee buzz counters the slow methodical moves of tai chi practitioners. I watch them as the surf crashes on the beach behind me.

There was a man at Lands End who screamed at the land, sky and ocean. His rage is directed everywhere at everything and everyone.
He took our attention and for a moment, became bigger than the ocean.

Lands End

 

If I could surf, would I be free? What if I don’t surf until I’m seventy? Would the fish laugh as a shark made a meal of me? “Please hold on” I imagine the bus voice saying now. I could sit all day at Lands End. I could pretend I’m a local obscure poet. But the 28 bus route waits to cart me to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s not a sacrilege to say God hangs ten at the ocean of nature devotion. So I will imaginary surf on the 38 bus to Park Presidio Boulevard and switch to the 28 bus. But I can’t be late because I’m just drifting, looking and listening to whatever comes along. Yes, I’m a well-kept man on vacation. But, “Please hold on” says the magic voice from the bus. Oh, that magic lady voice does so care for all of us.

 

Surf beach near Cliff House

At the bus stop for the 28 bus, a shirtless tattooed man’s back carries, I suppose, an image of Jesus. As if anyone knows what Jesus might look like? He prances on the tips of his shoes at the stoplight while others step aside adding distance from this mad man. He sips bright red liquid from a clear plastic bottle and returns it to a side pocket in his backpack. Maybe this is a modern-day Last supper, but I didn’t see any bread or apostles. “Please hold on” said the magic voice as the bus rolled on. Perhaps God is testing us. God, he, she…a street bum and maker of a cathedral from a wave at Lands End. “Oh behave!” my Queen Anne might say if she rode this bus with me. I’d better be careful or I might hear heavenly voices no one sees.

I exit the 28 bus where everyone flees to see the Golden Gate Bridge equipped with selfi-sticks opened and ready. I attempt two hand-held pictures of myself with bridge and delete both. I’ve run across the bridge before, maybe twice or even four times. But this time only my eyes will cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Am I lazy at sixty? If I was on the bus a voice would now cut in and say, “Please hold on.” So see? Now I am hearing the magic lady voice without riding the bus, be it route 38 bus or 28 bus. But I feel great on this day of riding and walking. It’s a day of retreat.

I’m back on the 28 bus heading to the 1 bus. “No Stops or Turns” a sign says near the Golden Gate Bridge. “Please hold on.” We do until we can’t hold on. Then we let go. On I go to California Street where I’ll exit and take the 1 bus. All this effort made just to head towards the Powell Street cable car. It’s OK, I’m a tourist.

Once off the 1 bus a short walk is made to the cable car. The car’s empty and the conductor sits on a bench smoking an electronic cigarette. “Get on if you want. Sit or stand, whatever you want” he tells me as vapor leaves his mouth. I ride the cable car to enjoy the sounds of the antique machinery. This turn of the century technology could have gone electric by now. But the clattering operating levers and smoking wooden breaks makes the ride more than transportation.

The now on duty conductor says to a co-worker, who hops on to ride but is off duty, “He (referring to another employee not present) came on like a rock star.” “But they won’t keep him. He can’t handle the pressure” he says while ringing the bell on the cable car like a jazz percussionist.

The end of the cable car line is one block away. The next riders wait at the turn around point. I exit early and walk back to the Hotel Nikko where doormen smile at each customer passing through the door. I ride a polished elevator to the 19th floor where I get a bird’s eye view of a magic crazy city. “Please hold on” down there. But it’s obvious many people have lost their grip.

Gregory Zeorlin 10/13/2016 (A day in San Francisco, CA)

Knowing, Watching, Waiting

Grace Cathedral Labyrinth, San Francisco, CA.

Knowing, Waiting, Watching

Oh you know I want to believe
in something more
than me or you.
I want to believe in something,
more than us.

But this thing called religion.
Well I’m not sure I trust
all it’s made up to be.

I’ve said it once
and I’ll say it once more…
Not sure God entered through
any church door.

But don’t slam that door on me.
I’ve been wrong so many times before.
Or maybe the door is open wide,
so vast it’s unseen.
As if we’ve walked in and out,
and out and in not even knowing it.
And God’s unknown too…

Or maybe the door only exits
as an opening to the outside world,
where God’s knowing, watching and waiting.

Gregory Zeorlin 10/14/2016 @ 10:43am.
Inside Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, CA

 

Art Isn’t a Shelter

Art, regardless of its form, is dead. Art has always been dead. The romanticized view of art includes giving art a soul, a spirit or even an unexplained energy.  But art is dead, has no pulse and is cold. Art is a concept, a thing, a string of words, musical notes, an inanimate object, a product sold in the art market, a commodity.  I’ve kept a studio practice for over 30 years and this idea of lifeless art is fairly new for me and a little unsettling if I only stay on the surface.

Clouds For Lease.

Clouds For Lease.

But if I dig below the surface this lifeless thing called ART does enhance life.  It can introduce us to a range of thoughts and emotions. However we should not tag the actual emotions or feelings to art. Tag them to ourselves.  This is what art does…It’s a door that we choose to open to get access to our emotions, feelings and ways of seeing.  Passage through this door is often a luxury. We wouldn’t pass though the art door if we were seeking food or shelter. Art does not feed us. Art is not food. Art is not a shelter.

Finally, I note the coldness of art…the lack of a pulse. Art is not alive. Even dancing human bodies are only a series of motions that end.  Those artists who sacrifice all for their art…forgoing marriages, children and strong commitments to other people end up alone. They become just another notation in an art history book or the maker of some thing in a private or public collection. They create a void in their lives that art cannot fill.

I am an artist. I make things and write poetry (www.ZeorlinArt.com) but none of it has a soul. I am also a husband and father…and it is this part of my life that fills my heart and soul.

My Olympian Throne

My Olympian Throne

The day is young the goals are high!
My television set is glowing.
The Summer Olympics are on again,
“Go America!” my patriotism is showing.

I’m in my chair and set to go!
I’ll cheer my team while knowing,
the refrigerator’s full of cold cuts
and America’s beer will be flowing.

It’s the Olympics say! I know what I know!
I’ll coach my team to gold!
I’ve learned a lot by sitting in this chair
that sports a bit of mold.

When the race is tough and I’ve had enough
to the refrigerator I’ll retreat.
I need to eat a little more energy
to fight away defeat.

Beer and meat are the training tools,
as we Olympian champions know.
Eat quickly and don’t drink too slowly
when going for Olympic gold!

Gregory Zeorlin 8/12/2016