Such a loving audience, such a supportive fingersnap, such a grand, grand room. It’s nights like these I am overwhelmingly grateful. N. and I together performed a set of poems on human rights issues at a cultural show held by Palestinian peace activists. A man who has been working restlessly on the immigrant rights reform bill thanked us afterwards and genuinely wanted us to continue to doing what we’re doing and continue sharing our stories because these are the kinds of narratives senators need to hear. I admire him greatly.
My body respond well to lightness. My hair is full of sun.
I am learning lightness.
And then Chicago
turned into a hollow drum,
But everything will be all right, quite all right because I haven’t yet been to Bryce National Park or western China and I haven’t finished reading Patricia Smith’s Big Towns, Big Talk or Martin Espada’s Alabanza anthology or Cathy Park Hong’s Engine Empire, and this is a brutally, brutally beautiful world where I’ve got a heart that wants to do nothing but grow and fill with all of it, and maybe I don’t yet know how to properly love people or even love them the best I can, but I will soon.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay (via likeafieldmouse)
Jay DeFeo - The Rose (1958-69)
“The story of Jay DeFeo and The Rose is both a cautionary tale of obsession and an inspiring tale of determination and belief. She began working on The Rose in 1958. She was 29 years old and for the next eight years, she did little else but sit on a stool in her studio, smoking cigarettes, drinking Christian bothers brandy while she painted and scraped away at her vision.
First titled The Deathrose, then The White Rose and finally just The Rose, DeFeo only stopped working on the painting when an increase in rent forced her from her studio. By then it was 1966, her marriage was ending, she was in fragile physical and mental health, and The Rose had become too large to fit out the door.
At nearly 12 feet high and in places eight inches thick, The Rose was constructed from layer upon layer of built up and scraped away black and white paint. DeFeo added mica chips to the paint and so The Rose has its own interior light.”