These paintings make me feel calm (Nigel Van Wieck).

I’m loving Nigel Van Wieck right now. He feels like a modern Edward Hopper (who incidentally had a summer home very close to where I live, who painted the farms along the road I drive to work on ). I like the shapes of people’s bodies that he portrays, the positions they’re in. And he’s alive right now, living and painting in New York, which means we can purchase prints for eighty bucks, follow him on Instagram, wild but true.

*Please note that I technically know nothing about painting except that I love paintings.

To the PointTo the Point

The Wind Can See

The Wind Can See oil on canvas 24x36 inches a

Escape

Escape oil on panel 20x24

Holding the Heavens

HOLDING THE HEAVENS oil on panel 16x20

Q Train

nigel2

New Model

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Poem inspired by a painting (my poem; Clare Elsaesser’s painting)/

I am the girl with flowers in front of her face

 

I am the girl with flowers in front of her face.

You cannot see my face and all I care about

is keeping the flowers in place.

They are huger than I

& I snipped them for myself.

I can sense your attempts

to see through my cloud of pinks:

I sense you searching for an angle

that will unveil my veil

of petals. You can gaze forever

at the Mona Lisa, speak novels

of her brows, her simple little

almost-smile. But I am only

petals now. Like a pill bug

beneath a stone untouched

in a forest, I am occurring

wholly elsewhere. You may never know

where I harvested my flowers, let alone

what type of beauty or disdain

I hide.

 

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Buy it if you want it (I did).

A literary recap and also some beautiful things.

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I went to AWP last week, for what felt like a week. For you nonwriters, AWP is the biggest literary conference of the year. Workshops, lectures, readings, a bookfair big enough to kill any sane person’s love of books, famous writers all around, lots of glasses, lots of beards, lots of notebook scribbling, lots of beers. I schlepped apricots, trail mix, water, my phone, notebooks, and about ten pounds of books around the city of Boston for three days straight. Other things that occurred: lattes, reunions, inspiration, Anne Carson, free chocolate, free pens, free buttons, literary journals, poet swoons (see: Anne Carson), and I met my pen pal for the first time, with whom I have been corresponding for a year. Magic! Below are some tidbits from the weekend too good (read: weird &/or awesome) not to share.

 

“I believe that the future of poetry belongs to dead poets.” -Valzhyna Mort (poet)

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“I prefer myself to Charles Simic.” -James Meetze (poet)

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“You’re some kind of something and I like it.” -Dara Wier (poet)

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“They will try to make you choose between the things you love but you do not have to choose.” Muriel Rukeyser, as quoted by another passionate woman

THEY WILL TRY TO MAKE YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN THE THINGS YOU LOVE BUT YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CHOOSE. 

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“For nonconformity, the world whips you with displeasure.” -Emerson, as quoted by a college professor dude

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“I am just another person in all normal regards except for my love of lemurs.” -James Tate (poet), as quoted by another poet

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“Lanyards are a great way to humble people.” -Jacob Otting (poet & comedian)

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“This wig is terrific.” -Terrance Hayes, reading one of his poems (SWOON)

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And here are some patterns I am loving this week, by Phoebe Wahl.

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And that is all for now. Besides for the joy of another friend engaged, the speed of a new (old) car, the sound of the rain (rain! not snow! woah!), the crunch of breadcrust littered with seeds, and the feel of a hot mug in my hands.

 

February collage (illustration; photography; Frank Ocean).

Some people feel negatively about February, including, possibly, Maira Kalman. Or maybe she just picks up on everybody’s February blues. It’s hard to love February in the city, this I understand.

Maira Kallman's Feburary

 

 

This February, I’m all about Patti Smith (again). Maybe I’ll make February my Patti Smith month. Why not?

 

patti smith 7

 

 

But guys….remember those other times, those other seasons? Remember flowers?

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Remember how it’s going to be Valentine’s day soon? Let’s not bring up our consumer culture rants again, we do that every year & even the truth gets stale. This year, lets just do some good lovin’. Let’s share what we got, or give ourselves a little bit more. I mean, Phoebe Wahl is doing it! And why not.

 

beyourownvalentine

 

 

ILoveYouvalentine

 

If you’re still not feeling good about February yet, then, here! Have this gift! It’s a free Frank Ocean mixtape! Also did you know he has a tumblr?! Fuck yeah, America! You know?

 

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Alright February!! Allllllllright!

Snowstorm chitchat (plus images).

Today I bought blood oranges. Like the ones below painted by Emily Proud, an artist I discovered through another artist, Lisa Congdon. I don’t know either of them personally but maybe someday they’ll come over to the farm and eat citrus with me.

 

bloodoranges_EmilyProud_72dpi

 

I bought them in preparation for The Storm. I also bought bacon, of course. And, as usual, kale. Also milk. And a knobby three-knuckle piece of fresh ginger.

Meanwhile, down at the coop, the chickens are all, “Where is the grass? Why can’t I have it? Why aren’t babies coming out of these eggs I’m sitting on? I’m cold!” They’re huddled on their roosts underneath their red-bulbed headlamps as I write this. If I make a ruckus the rooster Claude will crow & crow until he lets me know that he heard me do it. Having a rooster really gets one thinking about the term “cocky.” That dude walks around like he’s the king of something awesome. Because he is, I guess.

 

wickies roosting

 

 

Farm & fairy art (Phoebe Wahl).

There’s been a *lot* of farmplanning going on in this household, lemme tell you. So many facets are being organized that yesterday I had to call Misha into the bathroom while I was showering so he could write down some ideas I’d thought of while shampooing my hair. The artworks below, by an art student at RISDE whose blog I stumbled upon while tumblr-ing, are the sorts of pieces that relay what I love about a farmy life: patterns, brightgreen and brightpink vegetables, fresh flowers in jars, herbs hanging from string, sitting in the dirt in a dress, handkerchiefs for sweat and color, fairies. Once this farm gets going ,it’s going to be a beauty. It’s going to be a beautiful, colorful, scentful, and shareful thing.

 

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MIDSUMMERPARADE

 

 

Check out more of Phoebe’s work here.

“Like torpedoing birds” (photo story) (mine).

Last week I met this man in the coffee shop. He was well-spoken and friendly and we chatted. Here he is:

(from Peter Money’s website)

I didn’t meet Allen Ginsberg; he’s dead and likely never visited White River Junction. The man I did meet recommended that I read Joanne Kyger. As it turns out, she’s great! She’s beautiful!

Then the other day I got in the truck and there were four pumpkins sitting shotgun. I put one out by the mailbox and two along the driveway and one is still riding shotgun.

(from this isn’t happiness)

It’s autumn and the mums are on display. I’ve been reading The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard and oh I love it so much I love it so much.  Also, we’ve been drying sliced tomatoes, storing them in oil, stacking them in the cupboards where they’ll wait until they’re given as gifts. Here’s a painting by Joe Brainard, of a tomato.

(from The Met)

Outside, everything is in motion from the wind, the leaves flying to the ground like torpedoing birds.

(from Misha’s flickr)

 

The end.