Sunday, April 24, 2005

Sonday Notes

Three to six inches of snow on this lovely Michigan spring day. Put away the winter coats a week ago, and refuse to dig them out. If I must wear sandals and shorts when going out today, then fine. I won't be intimidated.

Working on a variety of projects and soon-to-be projects/gigs, one of which is an all-sports blog-site (left the podcast thing over a month ago -- didn't feel right). At this point in the American empire, corporate sports play a large, influential role in the main culture. I love the physical beauty of athleticism and physical effort, but despise the politics and militarism that frame it. And like everything else in my life, I have to write scream stomp edit polish to work through my feelings on this. So that'll soon bow.

Got a six thousand word piece coming out this week in the Ann Arbor Observer about blue collar work and the bullshit people down here must endure. The piece won't appear online, but I can fwd a copy of it to those interested.

"When it's snowing, the outdoors seem like a room," wrote poet David Berman in his fine slender collection, "actual air," lent to me by my friend Luke. Yes -- a spring room frosted over, as if X-Men's Iceman came to call. And as I tap tap my stained keyboard, my nearly nine-year-old son is writing and drawing his second comic book in two days, the ongoing adventures of Mystery O and his battles with, not only arch-nemesis Shadow Hole, but his darker mind, which gives him powers he does not want and can barely control, sometimes pitting him against himself. My son takes breaks by working out storylines with his Marvel Comics action figures, turning the living room into a superhero battlefield. Still, he's the gentlest, sweetest kid I know. Not a single cynical cell in his tall body.

My 14-year-old daughter writes all the time -- what I do not know, but notebooks fill quickly. She illustrates her work, has a sharp eye and sense of perspective. Currently she's plumbing R. Crumb's art, which I was hesitant to allow, given some of the twisted mindscapes that Crumb explores. But then, Crumb is perhaps the most honest and confessional of contemporary artists, admitting to his darkest, perverted desires without having to justify or contextualize them. What with the utter depravity that surrounds us, artistic confession, no matter how demented, is to be encouraged. Just wonder what my daughter'll make of Devil Girl. . .

Slow days like this make me appreciate what I have. I didn't grow up around books, art, political discussions and aesthetic debates. I was dismissed or made fun of whenever I attempted some creative project. So to see my kids prosper in a home with floor-to-ceiling book cases (handmade by my father-in-law), books stacked in every room, magazines and journals on the tables and counters, a vast library of films, cartoons, and TV shows, all sorts of music on CD, tape and vinyl, a piano that my wife plays as my daughter sings Broadway & gospel tunes, Cole Porter and Burt Bacharach faves, and of course my son's growing comic book collection, warms me and makes me feel somewhat optimistic. Still, I know the blood-caked madness my kids will soon have to face. So this is their time to prepare for it, to later hit the street fully armed.

Just snagged a few tulips from our front yard. Couldn't stand seeing them covered in snow. Now in a vase, they open to the light coming in our living room window. My son sits before them, admires their beauty, then illustrates Book 2's first action sequence.