Title: Sketches of Style on an Ocean of Air (Manuscript Art from original "Sketches of Style")

On the Artwork

On the Artwork

Placed in triangular formats, with oblong shapes as empty space left in the overlapping patterns of placement, emphasizing how style is a condition of emptiness or formlessness or the open-endedness aspect in expression, also known as “Sketches of Style”. It is my inkling that the freedom of empty space is the root of all creative inspiration.

“Sketches of Style” as a philosophy of creation is further pronounced where the action painting is done to reflect a kind of stop-motion photography. Whereas for example in improvisational painting or drawing, a line or brush stroke is imprinted with continuity, the blotter/drip action paint necessitates a kind of stop-motion effect, where each stroke/line requires a multitude of impressions almost resembling a kind of proto-pointillism. The perpetuity of spontaneous creativity is embedded within this mode of expression as any other, for to hold the mind in a state without any preconception is the goal, the source and the way.

Within the content of the image itself, which is a self-purported crossbreeding of a kind of “free painting” with “free writing” the sketches of style are the individual leaves or pages on which the writing and art coagulate into a whole expression, i.e. the experimental writing collection entitled, “Sketches of Style”. In the image, the pages float as if upon an open sea, where its wavering surface may bend and distort each page, blurring the paint and stretching the fabric. The water itself represents the practice of stream-of-consciousness poetics which underlies every expression. The reflection of the burning sun in the water instills in the consciousness, whether it is the spontaneous creativity of the writer or the interpretive ingenuity of the reader, a burning clarity, which exists at the edge of being obscured by the “Sketches of Style” pages or even unto greater obscurity outside of the image entirely. Yet, the sun’s reflection inevitably shines through, as visible as an intense ball of hot fire, situated under everything to further emphasize its importance as the necessary opposite of water. Are the leaves which make up “Sketches of Style” upon the water, or upon the reflection of the sun, ready to be scattered in the wind of a cloudless sky?



The title for this collection, “Sketches of Style” is from a dream. Also, I think even more subconsciously I am inspired by Miles Davis’ “Sketches of Spain” as this collection seeks to emphasize the element of style as a core aspect of the stream-of-consciousness practice of improvised writing, taking precedent over content and form.

The theory behind these writings is that style is an outpouring of perspective as perceptive choice, as in the idea that perception is based on active choice. What you see and register in your mind is based on your levels of experience and notions of reality and creativity. Because we can change our surroundings and ourselves, I begin from the source of my ancestry, which is predominantly Jewish-Mediterranean (from my maternal Grandfather) and so all of the historic and current occasions that I experience are inevitably transformed into a unique sense of self-understanding, grounded in my sensibility and aptitude toward a mytho-poetic persuasion in my perceptive and conceptive modes of experience, realized with increasing personal significance. Finally, I purport to share these realizations through my creative writing as an expression of style in formation as my own being undergoes a kind of formation that inevitably culminates into a complete obliteration of all recognizable forms unto a new way of seeing as the emergence of a unique style born from spontaneous creative practice.

Sketches on/of style: this collection highlights how my writing is not true poetry, rather sketches of style, that is, stylistic renderings of momentary instances, trails of thought, and imagistic devices to bring forth a harmonious and sometimes very dissonant balance between word, meaning and context, whether physically bound by page or voice. These are sketches and remain figments of writing, and are meant as a muse on the importance of challenging and making dynamic what is written. The basic intent is to practice an immediate and raw expression of mind, as sketches of mind to give foresight into insightful analogies between the unique experience of writing and collecting these sketches into a unified collection of writing.

Sketches of Style demands that what is important is not WHAT is written, but HOW it is written, i.e. emphasis is on form and space. Free Form demands that what is important and only important is that there is writing, where emphasis lies on spontaneity, groove, rhythmic stirring and pauses inherent in simply getting a page filled. Poetic identification in strings of words may follow the sympathies of freedom, when in fact, form is not freed unless style is present, as style acts in the life over the author, their certain style, at its blank, utmost vulnerable state, open for all to see in word sketches played over a loudspeaker of a strange mind asking too many questions.

Sketches of Style also utilizes a Free Form editing technique, taking certain phrasings and putting them together from the entire collection of writing, e.g. typing the entire collection as one body of work, going in to extract and replace passages that fit together. Is this similar to the cut-up method? It is sometimes more, sometimes less haphazard a creative process, yet intends equal spontaneous verity.

City Birds

Sound and space,
Uttered in unity and sung with delicate brevity,

Paused humming,
Spread by nature’s blended urge in the noosphere,

A breathless break in sound before
Rhythmic chirps, back and forth,

A wealth of intonation,
Grounded in atmospheric light,

A lightness to flight’s simple yet still supernatural touch,
Eager beckoning with sound to listen to two beaks conversing

On the holy tree of the world’s purest, most basic and sure evening,
A slight kiss with rhythmic forbearance,

To journey
Beyond each figment of normalcy

To this un-forsaken now,
Bringing mysterious harmony to all visiting

Beings, bodies filled with bright, sumptuous sound
Reduced to the click sharpness of a deep earth-brown wing,

Hidden warm
Aside the sexual body of patient ringing,

The silent space breathing
The all-thankful air into high, lone pulse,

Dramatic simplicity merged in natural inward laughing,
The birds in the city and his and her smiling worked effortlessly

In the painstaking beauty,
A wait, a wish,

To hear again,
The cyclic rhythms emerge, and in a never-ending share,

The two give timeless treasures of feeling in the space,
A resonant glory, so understated and with non-human passion,

A secret curing,
Brewing twilight

In the motionless loss of our human presence
From the awaited future, yet eternal sound

In patient happiness breeds the contented need to produce

To entice the sickness of pride to leave with day and unite mind
With a grateful stare into the mind’s ending,

The play of soft, smoothly alighting
With hops on Chinatown brushscape branches, and the tight niche strained

In the birdsong of this evening’s pleasure in song,
To dine on necessity and feel the last touches of a space lit with sound purely

Thinned into the dry air of our people’s prairie ecology,
The birds, gifting the presence of song herself, 

With unrestrained gladness,
Only felt by uniting mind completely free of strain

Into the immediate crest of sorrow’s blank awe to resolve the confused
Transitional towering of migration across borders and boundaries, and learn

The birdsong,
Not as a receiving, but a special offering,

To those birds,
Who in shared deep subconscious yearning join our heartbeat

To the soft turning of the universe and the creator preceding and to be,
To create equally with our birds, and fly mentally

To the place where song lives
In emptiness

And the day is called out of existence
With perfect harmonious chirping

Looking out onto my downtown balcony in Spring, 2011

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