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Omphaloskepsis Blog

Its All Roar and Cry and Suck and Snap

Feb 8, 2009


Mixing colors for a new paining, Its all roar and cry and suck and snap. I have a lot of colors to mix, I’ve completed mixing the sky and the bubbles. The flesh, rocks, and water are next. I’ve been reluctant to work on this one because I’ve been fearful of flooding  my house again. In fact, when I started mixing two days ago, we had pipes freeze upstairs. The last two under-water paintings came with floods in the living room, entrance, laundry room, and children’s bedroom. It’s been unbelievable!

I’ve begun mixing paints for the next painting. This one distorts the figure so that it’s completely unrecognizable as a figure. It looks like fire. That’s the goal. The title once again comes from a Jorie Graham poem.

To view the painting progression you can click here. Painting Progression: Its all roar and cry and suck and snap


I am a frequency, current flies through. One has
                                                              to ride
                                                              the spine.
No peace [of mind][of heart], among the other
frequencies. How often and how hard are answerings.
The surf, receding, leaves successive
hem-linee trims of barely raised institching sand--
bridal-wreath puckering--
glassy (this side), packed smotth (that).
Making one’s way one sees the changes.
What took place before one
Snakeskin of darker sands in with the light.
Slightly more raised and wider alligater-skins.
Crabtracks’ wild unfocusings around firm holes.
The single tubefish, dead, long as a snake, half-snout,
rolled over and over as the waves pick up, return, return
less often, go away. For a while he is incandescent
white, then blue, deep green, then white again, until he’s
                                                              left, half-turned,
eyes sandy till one wave, come back
this far as if in error, cleans him off.
Greenish with rising/falling weed-debris, shoremist
fingering long streaks of sun.
Graphed beachlength on the scallop-edged lapping retreat:
                                            christmas-ornament red shrimp
punctually along the highs of each
upskirting arc--prongs upright,
stiff. Swift ticks of sunlight count them
Who has enough? A little distance
two vultures feeding on a pelican. Later, claws and beak
float in the brack. Foam-bits lace-up the edge
of the retreat. Something feels like it’s not
coming back. In the tidepool
sand-grains advance along a long
walled avenue, iin ranks--at the conjunction of
                                           two rocks, algae
signaling the entry point--(swarming but
                                           swaying in
unison, without advancing) (waiting for
                                        some arrival)
(the channel of them quickening)(the large espousal)(light
beginning now to touch what had been only
                               underwater story)--
until the gleaming flow of particles is finally
                                              set down, is
                                              stilled: the grains
drop down and mat, silt in, begin to dry: the wandering tribe is
                                                                                gone, the
city’s gone, the waiting gone. The individual grains
are not discernible. I’m squatting so I hear
sand sucking water in. Gravity. Glistening.
I take a stick and run it through
the corridor of wilderness.
It fills a bit with water the first time. Is self-erased.
The second time is does not fill. It leaves a
                                                 mark where
my stick ran. I make
another (cursive) mark. How easily it bends to cursive, snakes towards
                                                                                             Looking back
I see the birds eating the bird. The other way my
gaze can barely reach shore-break.
The (little) weight of the stick in  my hand. The meditation
place demands. My frequency. This hand, this
sugar-stalk. The cane-fields in the back of us,
the length of tubefish back there too. And
if I write  my name. And how mist rounds the headland
                                                                       till the sea
is gone. One feels word should be sent us
from some source. It is all
roar and cry and suck and snap. The pebbles on the
pebbles roll. One feels one has in custody
what one cannot care for for long. Too much is
asked. Nothing is coming back the way it was.
But one can wait for the next hem, next bride,
next oscillation, comedy. Done, the birds fly
off. I can see through the trees,
through the cane grove, palm grove, out far enough into
                                                        the clearing where
the spine of the picked-clean story shines.

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