Sunday, December 9, 2018

Free Death

Death By Search Engine was published by Anomaly Works Press in December 2017 in a limited edition of 100.

I am digging into my remaining stash and offering ten (10) copies, free to interested readers. First ten requests during December will receive a free copy in the mail.


description from Goodreads:

At first approach one could be forgiven for thinking this is a simple meditation on death; but one would be wrong.

“Death by Search Engine” takes our fascination with and terror of death and playfully unknots and reknots the spiky, unmanageable threads of our one future universal experience. Building on the straightforward foundation story of the death of a partner, the author doesn’t content himself with sentimental remembrances or a worn-out railing at the gods. Instead he goes off in a fountain spray of death tangents. Statistics, quotes, ponderings are seasoned with tongue-in-cheek advice for those left behind.

Part poetry, part polemic, “Death by Search Engine” mines our fears and delivers a wry, smart examination of what we’re afraid of and why.


How do YOU get a free copy?
Simply write me HERE - and include your mailing address. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The November Of My Years

The leg injury in early 2017, followed by pinched nerve pain in 2018, both of which seriously affected my ability to walk, for the first time suggested to me that perhaps I was not indestructible.
A good run I'm told; 65 years without any surgeries, no major diseases. And at the moment the mobility is back up and the pain is down.

Everybody knows they'll get old as much as they know they'll get wet when they walk into the ocean. It is a very different thing once you're shoulder deep and the waves start coming in.

It was a struggle in 2018 to create my annual art for the Burning Man event, and the photo montage work I had been doing for decades seemed to stagnate and visual art in general felt unsatisfying.
My first creative calling from the time I was a teenager was to write, and I have gone back to exploring that. In October 2018 I wrote one short sketch a day, creating what a friend called"...a patchwork quilt of word blocks - different yet connected", which felt very gratifying. You can read "Heliocentric" HERE
And so I begin December with another month-long PatchWord Quilt.™®

NUMEROLOGY - December 2018 - The November of My Years

The whole getting old thing led to this playful numerological concoction.
I figure making an 80 year visit to this planet and spending time with its damaged human species is a plenty good goal to aim for. Harold's friend Maude had it essentially right, with my footnote to consider an extension based on good health.
80 Years, split into 12 (as in months) = 6.67.  When I reached 66.7, in early August, I entered, to paraphrase Frank Sinatra, the November of My Years. I best get writing.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Empty Spaces

Retail businesses disappear in New York City, creating Empty SpacesPhotographs taken during 2017 and 2018.

See a selection of 50 images from the exhibition, HERE

click on image to enlarge

Friday, November 9, 2018

Heliocentric 31 Sketches

Read the 31 Sketches HERE.

This year for my October Project, unlike previous years where I created one photo-montage a day, I have chosen to do this exercise/discipline with the written word, creating one written sketch a day, under 250 words each, circling like a planet around The Sun. 

It has been a very satisfying journey in the writing -  I hope you find it so in the reading.

If you would like a .pdf sent to you via email, for printing/reading, drop me a line HERE.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Zena Mnemonic

Yesterday, coming across the word Mnemonic in the book I'm reading, I looked up the meaning. "A device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, or associations that assists in remembering something." 

I'm not good remembering at death dates (John Lennon died sometime in December) - birthdates I'm better at (he was born October 9th) - but a dear friend, who wrote to tell me she was lighting a candle in my mother's memory, reminded me that on this date in 2007 my mother had left the planet. My mom, Zena, was born on 28 April 1924.

The first thing that came to mind was the piece I wrote some time after her death.
The rest flooded in as I burned the midnight oil.


just a few thoughts. . . and some images from a very full life.
as well as links to a song and a poem, below.

a life filled with much pain throughout - and for that I hold her in respect.
but also much great yet simple joy -
and it is that - as reflected in a smile on her face, that i will forever cherish in my heart.

the modern cliche is - i am not religious, i am spiritual.
my adjusted formula has been: i am not spiritual, i am chemical.

this was one of two amazing humans whose chemicals joined to mix up this unit i have come to identify as my self.
(yes, i know . . . my first teenage love told me i was "too existential")
to me this perspective doesn't play things down, it raises them... to physical reality, where touch lives!
my father passed away when i was 15... a hug from him now would beat any heaven or god.

there was much love between my mom and i.
and in the last few weeks, her health failing, we spoke often...
honestly, respectfully, by telephone - over the 1000 miles of geography that separated us us.

"give hugs to the kids and a kiss goodnight to you, like i did when you were small... goodnight."
- the last clear words i remember her saying to me less than a week before she was gone.
gentle and kind, from someone who was not sentimental, but rather known for her tough edges.

the list of differences and distances was long...
to be expected . . . she was a first generation ukrainian/polish immigrant to this country,
while i came of age in new york city in the revolutionary 1960s.

so many stories, so many memories come flooding to the surface.
always so many things left unsaid, possibilities not taken advantage of,
and thoughts in the future that will not be able to be shared.

i just keep walking
through the overwhelm of loss that keeps accumulating,
looking at ways to not go too gently towards that good night,
somewhere on the horizon.


The song link I had attached to my written piece was The Smiths: "Asleep"  which reflected,  truthfully, painfully, how i thought she felt at the end.  [Regrets I've had a few, and one is forever wondering how I somehow could have done more.]

Sing me to sleep / Sing me to sleep
Im tired and I / I want to go to bed
Sing me to sleep / Sing me to sleep
And then leave me alone / Don't try to wake me in the morning / cause I will be gone
Don't feel bad for me / I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart / 
I will feel so glad to go
Sing me to sleep / Sing me to sleep
I don't want to wake up / On my own anymore
Dont feel bad for me / I want you to know
Deep in the cell of my heart / I really want to go
There is another world / There is a better world
Well, there must be / Well, there must be / Well, there must be
Well, there must be / Well ...
Bye bye / Bye bye / Bye ...


The poem I mentioned and had linked to the piece was a response of sorts; Dylan Thomas's Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (read by Anthony Hopkins) 


With me, three of her grandchildren, and my sister Christa.

Where her ashes nourish the wildlife, off Route 17, in Bristol, Vermont.


In December of 1973, a couple weeks before my 22nd birthday I wrote a poem for my mom, thanking her for the gift of life. During her last year of life she sent me all kinds of correspondence I had sent her, 

Below, the letter, and a photo-montage I made in 2016 from two photos that serendipitously crossed my desk. The DNA connection. 

And below that - what I suspect my mother's reaction would have been to that image. :-)

click on photos to enlarge


Thank you Judy for reminding me of the date, and mentioning encountering my mother's handwork around your home.  I went and snapped a photo of one piece I experience every day, a needlepoint (rare, black and white only) that graces a table.

Oh yeah, and a passport photo.

She arrived in New York City harbor in 1949, along with my sister, on the USAT General R. M. Blatchford.  Almost two years to the day I entered the planet at Bellevue Hospital.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Tiger Lillies

Going to see the Tiger Lillies at Joes' Pub at midnight.  If you're not aware of these musical maestros of the macabre, here are a few tunes. 

 Click on titles to play videos.

A great 'live' version of  a deliciously dark song. . . Crack Of Doom

One of their, um, prettier songs . . . 1000 Violins

A bit of delicious (and earworm catchy!) blasphemy . . . Banging In The Nails


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Good Eye in Pursuit of Awe Vol 2

Here's a baker's dozen of photographs taken during the month of October 2018, in Manhattan and Brooklyn.   All taken with the iPhone camera.


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Helios On The Horizon

Starting in 2009, and for a number of years afterwards, I set myself the discipline/goal of creating one digital collage a day during the month of October. 

October 2018 This year I have chosen to do so with the written word, creating one written sketch a day, under 250 words each, circling like a planet around The Sun. Only a handful of days left. It has been a challenging and very rewarding experience. I hope to share it here sometime during November.

Two previous Octobers. . .

October 2012. Added the challenge of annexing a bit of story to each image I created daily - moving the story and images along, tying up the disparate elements.  
(All the collages were made from photographs I took around New York City.)
                 See the story and read the images  HERE <

October 2013. The binding theme was the color Blue. Period.
               See the 31 images in a 3 minute video HERE <

Monday, October 15, 2018

Good Eye in Pursuit of Awe

Since my departure from Facebook I have missed sharing my photography. While I'm glad to be off the instant un-gratification of the share-anticipate-"like" carousel wherein I shared every glimpse I caught - I still feel there are some images I capture worth sharing. Somewhere. Here. A baker's dozen from September. 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Two Stories Up! on Medium

During 2016 and 2017 The Anomalous Duo (that would be my life/art partner Tammy Remington and I) worked on a collaborative project called Two Stories Up!

Comprised of a very short story written by each of us, often with accompanying art, it was mailed bimonthly, via the postal system, to a select group 
of friends and fans.

Promotional video for the project HERE.

All these stories (and art) are now available on Medium dot com

click on image to enlarge

> click on title to read story <

April 2016 - Transition Bound
Tammy - "Point Tipped"

May 2016 - A Dog

July 2016 - Gravity
AleXander  - "Falling Up"

September 2016 – Greed
Tammy "The Universal Dog"
AleXander - "Packing Greed"

December 2016 - Gatsby (First & Last Lines)
AleXander"Grand Awe"

Promotional Gatsby video

February 2017 - Topsy Turvy
Tammy"Belly Up"
Promotional Topsy Turvy video 

April 2017 - Winter Heart
AleXander"Money Grows On You"
Tammy"Where We Land"

July 2017 – Gender
Tammy "His Father's Son"
AleXander - "Uniforms R Viral"

Please "clap" on Medium if you like a story.

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