Play Satie’s Gnossiennes and a hundred swifts may come from nowhere to turn a skywheel overhead as you look and listen to move with precision and meter seemingly attuned to Erik’s notes left for a piano to trace the moments he spent, perhaps, watching swifts come from nowhere to turn a skywheel high overhead. Joseph Gallo April 8, 2011
My grandmother is in her kitchen. She’s pressing handmade corn tortillas. She’s crushing fresh-picked chilies in a granite mortar. She’s alive. The stone pestle makes a tectonic sound. She looks like my mother looks now. Her attention leaves room for me as she looks up and smiles. I can describe the kitchen, but which one? She had so many in those young days. I was sure she was part Gypsy, roaming the small tight worlds of East Los Angeles, each house an adventure in redecoration. Four or five times before I was twelve. I suddenly realize where my truck-loading skills were honed.
So I pick a kitchen on Indiana Street. Split-curtained window over the sink, ordinary drawers and cabinets, tile-top counter, white and mint green squares hand-set, made to fit. I trace my fingers along the many junctions skating an index in grout canals. Glass jars with strange powders, Mexican spices whose purposes I cannot guess at. She turns a tortilla, throws it hot atop others into a small straw basket lined with a white cloth, and replaces the woven top. Everything is magnified by eggs frying in a black iron skillet, tempered by the release of crushed red chilies that I elect no part of.
I’m only eight or so and my palate hasn’t quite warmed to such things yet. A half-tube of red chorizo lies wounded on a cutting board. She spins around and lops off a piece mixing it in with a small wooden spoon. She turns again to add water and fresh-diced onions and tomatoes to the mortared chilies. Miraculously, Wonder Bread is toasting in two slots transforming to a divine char. Grandfather is wise enough to remain in the nook where just now, I notice him. He has a cup in his hand and a spoon lies on the curve-cornered table still wet from the instant Nescafè he stirred in. A reign of brooking bacon rules heavy this province of kitchen.
Grandmother is moving in a slow fury now, part still- life, part hummingbird wing. She is conducting. She is magnificent. All melodies find their singular thread to weave a single canción in a fugue of breakfast. Plates appear in a vision of ceramic virgins amid shimmering flatware and glasses of blood-orange juice. I hear torero music in my mouth. My belly is smiling.
wisdom is worth all we lose to attain it. ~aucassin verdé
i wonder if the artist ever lives his life-—he is so busy recreating it. only as i write do i realize myself. i don't know what that does to life. ~anne sexton
you must acquire the trick of ignoring those who do not like you. in my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid and the envious. the stupid will like you in five years time. the envious, never.~john wilmot, 2nd earl of rochester
art arises when the secret vision of the artist and the manifestation of nature agree to find new shapes. ~kahlil gibran
creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. art is knowing which ones to keep. ~scott adams
those who don't know how to weep with their whole heart, don't know how to laugh either. ~golda meir
i said to my soul, be still,
and wait without hope,
for hope would be hope
for the wrong thing.
wait without love,
for love would be love
of the wrong thing.
there is yet faith;
but the faith and the love
and the hope are all
in the waiting.
wait without thought,
for you are not ready for thought.
so the darkness shall be the light,
and the stillness the dancing.