Monday, July 30, 2012

I made a muffler

My wife's maternal grandmother was a devout Jew. And whenever she left the house in winter she wrapped a big wool scarf around her head. I just finished this muffler and I thought to myself that if Batya was alive I would give it to her.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This is a piece I made because I love dogs.

Today I sniffed
Many dog behinds—I celebrate
By kissing your face.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Midnight Cowboy is considered by many to be one of the best American novels published since World War II. The main story centers around Joe Buck, a naive but eager and ambitious young Texan, who decides to leave his dead-end job in search of a grand and glamorous life he believes he will find in New York City. But the city turns out to be a much more difficult place to negotiate than Joe could ever have imagined. He soon finds himself and his dreams compromised. Buck's fall from innocence and his relationship with the crippled street hustler Ratso Rizzo form the novel's emotional nucleus. This unlikely pairing of Ratso and Joe Buck is perhaps one of the most complex portraits of friendship in contemporary literature.

The focus on male friendship follows a strong path cut by Twain's Huck and Jim, Melville's Ishmael and Queequeg, Fitzgerald's Nick Carraway and Jay Gatsby, and Kerouac's Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarity. Midnight Cowboy takes a well-deserved place among a group of distinguished American novels that write--often with unnerving candor--about those who live on the fringe of society.


James Leo Herlihy was born in 1927 in Detroit, Michigan to a working class family. After serving in World War II, Herlihy studied art, literature, and music at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, whose faculty had boasted such luminaries as William De Kooning and John Cage. After a professor told Herlihy that he had no future as a writer, the disillusioned Herlihy turned his attention to theater, where he met with considerable success and found acting roles in more than fifty plays over the span of several years.

But Herlihy continued writing fiction despite the discouragement he had received and in 1960 he published All Fall Down, a largely critically acclaimed work which was later adapted for film. In 1965 he published Midnight Cowboy, which cemented his reputation as a serious writer.

After the success of Midnight Cowboy, Herlihy retreated from the public eye and turned his attention to teaching. He took creative writing posts at the City College of New York, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Southern California. Herlihy died in Los Angeles in 1993 from an overdose of sleeping medication.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pig puppets

Sometimes I make a thing to amuse myself.  This new hand stitched work is one of those things.

“…therefore would I rather be a swineherd on Amager, and be understood by the swine than a poet, and misunderstood by men.”
— Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), Danish existentialist philosopher writing in Either/Or (1843).

Dickory, dickory, dare  (Mother Goose)   
Dickory, dickory, dare,

The pig flew up in the air;

The man in brown
soon brought him down,
Dickory, dickory, dare.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Angry Red Dog Rug

Angry Red Dog Rug by Bascom Hogue

Dog's Death
by John Updike
She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.

Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog!
                                                                    Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.

The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed

And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur

And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,

Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhoea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there.  Good dog.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Chicken Boy

Norman Thorne (ca 1900 – 22 April 1925) was an English chicken farmer and murderer. He murdered his mistress Elsie Cameron on 5 December 1924 and dismembered the body.
He was tried at Lewes Assizes on 11 March 1925, before Mr Justice Findlay. The prosecution was led by Sir Henry Curtis Bennett and the defence by J. D. Cassels. The defence claimed that Elsie had hanged herself and that he had concealed the death out of panic. The evidence of Home Office pathologist Sir Bernard Spilsbury was that she had been beaten to death.
He was hanged on 22 April 1925.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gates of Hell

I like to use metaphors and allegories in my work.  This piece is not about Stull, Kansas.  There are not Seven Gates to Hell.  But there are politicians and corporations and individuals who believe corporations are people, and they make our lives seem like hell.  So here are the politicians and corporations stoking hell fire with the victims of unbridled and unregulated corporate power.