Monday, May 31, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fool of a Foolish Thomas Foolery

(Untitled, 2010)

Thomas was a fool, sure of that, he ran around with his pants down, tripped here and there, but took it like a man. He was the bravest person I ever met, and I called him the bear. He ran in circles of friends, he was quite popular, and when he told me he was leaving this rock I had no clue what he meant until the following day.
Two weeks later I received a call from him, he said he needed to be picked up, he was at some gas station, naked and lost. He had been on the news, or at least his face from his mother's photo album, and was reported missing. I never told anyone else that he had the intentions of leaving or rather, disappearing, I felt he wanted mystery, I think I gave him that. I finished my coffee, got in the truck with a flash light and shovel and took off to Nevada in search of my dear friend.
The road was quite, it was moments from dawn but it seemed to take forever. My headlights trailed on and on with a sea of little paired spheres of lights appearing all around the road. It was a little dreamy in the morning fog, the coolness hitting my windows and fogging the frame of my windows. It felt like I was on my way to something great in the American landscape, like Monument valley; a sight never taken for granted, and a place commonly seen as photographs but never quite make it as grand as being there and seeing how ridiculous it is.
The gas station was exactly where Thomas told me it was, with two giant billboards advertising a Indian casino in the opposite way I was travelling. There in the first light was a spark of human glowing in red and orange, lost and wet like a newborn, and cupping his junk. That Thomas I knew too well, he must've been the craziest person at that moment, as I pulled up, killed the engine and steadily approached with my hands waving the side of my hips as if I was about to draw some real western shit. I was confused at the sight, and throughout the whole time I was wondering, what the fuck happened to this fool.
Thomas screamed upon touch, he had pissed himself earlier, and then calmed down a bit after, and screamed again. I laughed and then realized he was serious, and so I just started talking to him in a way a stranger talks to another stranger when one of the strangers is in need of help and the other stranger doesn't exact know how to help so they need some help on how to give help.
In the car, with an extra small work coat on an extra large dude, Thomas stayed silent for the whole way back. The morning light was now settled into a white light scatter and everything that once was spectacular was now gone, it was a normal day. Every once in a while Thomas would turn his head towards me, and stare. I'd look over, and just say what, and he would just look beyond my face and smile. I was getting tired of wondering if Thomas was joking or now at this point, he was the type to get seriously messed up and be serious about it for a moment, and then fade into this foolish character again without anyone noticing and just fool you in a new way. Damn! I got ya again, dickhead.
But that never happened, he just stared out the window, with his cold flesh slowly turning the familiar orangish pink of his former self. We stayed silent for the rest of the trip, seeing the roads interrupted with the occasional driver, and then open and quiet again. Was Thomas really that fargone that he couldn't at least let a fart out and keep a straight face? At points I wanted to kick him out of the truck, he was a hitchhiker, but I had to take care of him. What happened to the Thomas that called me on the phone, did he go out in the desert and do some messed up drugs? The car started smelling like shit so I rolled the windows. I had to get my head right in Thomas' lap to roll his since clearly he wasn't doing anything for the next little while.
Bumps would be hit, the sun would rise, and the stops will be made; for gas, for food, and for pissing and shittin'. The desert rolled by and it was looking like a nice day in Tucson when we arrived to my place. With abandonment we find ourselves with a tool in hand, from a stick to a knife, and the clothes on our bodies potentially the last thing we'll ever wear. Our teeth clinch together, and we let out a good ole GRRRRR! and we become wild. We piss and shit anywhere, and we'll eat anything. I've been in this situation, and you've been in that situation, between you and me we've seen it all; small islands in the Pacific to which haven't been seen since the days of wooden pirates, to lost in the high desert to which folk songs were inspired by. With each time you think to yourself this day and the next are not good days to die, you have to get all the final arrangements just right, and by the time you do that, while surviving in the mean time, you get out of that situation, and soon those thoughts of how to die pass you by, forgetting them to the everyday grim. Back in and back out, it all seems the same sometimes. I haven't lost a lot of hair on my head, but I certainly have a fair share of whites. The ghost of our past is catching up, it will haunt us, say a yes-yes-yall and a boo-who, and who? But never will that ghost harm us, it can kick over that book, turn off and on that light really fast and strobe-like, but it can't touch us. These days I'm beginning to think I'm a wondering in circles, from a desert to an island, to a marriage, to a divorce, I keep doing the same thing, in different situations, over and over, until I'm at the point...


(more elaborate: each time is a further attempt at something not yet perfected not yet realized, upon the moment, with each situation to read the air with a tongue, to taste the uncertain future.)

Momentary Pause

(The Tree, Maui, 2009)

I think sometimes I'm going nowhere but I end up at the intersection without realizing that I fell asleep at the wheel.
This thing keeps going because you keep going, this is a moment I would like to thank you, the viewers, for all your careful eyeing. I'll have some good stuff for ya soon, please bear with me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


(November 25th, Sphere, Nocturne, 2009-2010)

About a year in the works by now, the folder on my computer called, CONTACT 10, featuring some of my favorite classmates in photo thesis, is now an exhibition on the break from opening.

With a collaborative effort from a fine young and talented curator and recent grad (ocad), Shelby Richardson, we were able to wrangle up an exhibition on the theme of nature.

Works by
Sherri Dawson

This exhibition is also the official release of my newest installation-based work, Before I Die, featuring the completed version of, The Man Who Disappeared, a speaking display case which narrates the last accounts of a nameless explorer before his disappearance.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

To Each Their Own

(Lost In The Fog, 2009)

With stars crashing all around, I wonder how we survived. At first, I wonder how I survived, with a beating heart, and a hand in my hand. I felt lost, yes, buried under the ashes, buried under the rumble. I've become a mole, pale and blind, dirty and homely. An arm attached to a body, a face extends from there, and grows on me. I call it first light. To tell of wonders and such, to speak of things of imagination and dreams is to reach as far as your eyes could. But dreams reach as far as eye lids I tell myself. In the realm of Ifonly, where lingering thoughts dwell, and chance is enchantment. I dare not follow too deep, until I fall, break bone, and struggle to breathe again at the bottom of my well.
In a dark place I call my home, it is easier to live here, it is easier to conform to change, because it is easier to close my eyes and dream. And in time, the rocks and the slim form blankets to my comfort, I forget how to see, and believe there are stars beyond my well. For such things cannot exist, such as her hand still with mine, or sinking ships full of Aztec gold. It is an illusion, with shine and flicker, dancing before desire, I am drunk with my dreams I tell this demon.
I awake cold, and count the bricks that climb to the top. Counting each strain of muscle I see what I cannot, but do anyways. Brick by brick, I ascend. With slips of minor, and slipping a mind, I am sinking already but I push to stop such thoughts as I carry on. Each brick. In that dark-dark, it becomes a lighter shade of black, and detail starts to form before my eyes. I had forgotten my struggle to delusion, I am happy as I climb and climb.
Days pass, my arms are like sticks tapping against iron, my legs like old men doing the hammer dance, and I am surprised at my body, and perhaps my will. And in a moment, and in a scene, I hear a voice which sounds like me, but isn't me who fell down a well. No, it's the me that is still holding on, as he sings, line for line, starting with, and ending with, it is, it is the eye of the tiger; the will to survive.


I tell this story to my grandkids all the time, they used to like it but now they're older, driving cars, and listening to rap music. I try not to scare them away, or lose their attention, I try harder to get them to visit, but I would be lost without my son, my daughter, and my other son, Fredrick. I guess, I guess it is, after all, to each, their own, after all. Can't touch this! (as the author goes off to do the hammer dance)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

(happy birthday, buggerface, 2010)

I look forward to another year of lower-case T trouble with this one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deserts of Sadness and The Infinite Love

(Lawrence Aki of Halawa Valley and his Taro, and his Land, 2009)

I was five when I first fell from great height. I got the wind knocked out of me, and I struggle to breathe. It was the first time I thought I was going to die, lying there on the grass, such a peaceful day in a peaceful place, it felt scary but it felt right. Relief came to me with that feeling of something which had been taken was now being returned. I was allowed to live again.
I remember reaching high, I remember the texture of apple tree leaves, and rotting apples. I remember slugs drying in the sun, and how I killed them by leaving them in my secret spot. Of all of the countless cuts and bruses, I think of the heart of a child broken for such silly reasons. I blame sadness. I can hardly remember my childhood. I blame you too. And in the end, I blame myself, kicking pebbles with my foot, pocket in hands, being foolish, being dumb. I have a heart, yes, I have a spirit on fire, hot hot red. But what have I become, with all this knowledge and all these threads. I feel hollow to a child, I see a smile as a canyon of the grandest and I try to aspire to. I see you as someone of love, someone who bares the scars and tears of a broken bird, but strong, as I hold your arm, strong enough to take off in full wind, and light enough to fly far far away.

Once I was traveling in the desert, I wrote the sadness words of my life. My mother told me we were coming close to where aliens would run across the road, she said we couldn't stop. We didn't. I stopped writing those sad words. For aliens, yes, for my curiosity, even more, and what of the possibilities I probably asked myself, there is an universe before me, in a creature running naked across the road, in a child's mind, and in a fool's heart. If I could tell that boy anything, I'd tell him that love is more than me, and more than you, it will take us higher than we had even been, and it will drop us from even higher heights. It will hurt when we fall, and sure there will be broken things, but you and I are strong, our hearts, they were made to be broken, over, and over. And I am sorry, I am sorry I will put you through this boy, but you and I have too much love, and when it spills, and when someone slips, we have to pay for it. With the only thing we got. You are love. That's all that matters. And then I tell him, that we have each other, and end it there.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Gosh-Darn and Gosh-Darnest

(Lost Memories and the Bible of My Grandmother, of Holy Mountain, 2010)

To Whom It May Concern,

Maybe it was the little pines and the windy wind that took a piece from me and took a piece from you. It's that lack of, the smell of, and the push-goes-to-shove. I am speaking completely naked right now, and I'm not cupping it either:
If anything says yes, if anything means more, if anything tells me more and more so, I'll tie myself to a rather large log and leave it by the river. Because nothing makes more sense than nonsense. On the second thought, let that river take me, I'll either drown or learn to breathe like a fish, and once I'm dead and once I'm amphibious I'll know the way the river flows. The way it takes me over, the way it throws me to the rocks, the way it gives me time to breathe, only to sink me into its rapids. And if I survive all of it, I hope you'll still be there, I hope that you'll still listen to my craze, my delusion, in my wet clothes; torn like my flesh and like my logic, of reminiscence of once was. If you are still there, I will tell you the most wonderful story I know. Yes, I'll build it, and yes it will be epic, for it is all I am. Until then, I keep telling myself, until then, I'll be here, by the river, ready to rock the unsteady. I'll drown, I'll hit that floor, I'll tell you it all, with a scream of whisper, of tales of the tallest and the shortest of lies, with hair on my chest, with blood in my eyes, with all the fire in my soul. All the fire in my soul, please.
If we make it there, can you just hold me.


-J. Rivers.