Thursday, November 29, 2007

TOY SOLDIERS

Look its toy soldiers
in plastic bags all mixed
up together, some forest green,
others khaki tan, some kneeling
with rifles some leading
the platoon to battle some
holding grenade launchers
some motioning a hearty
salute of victory some in
a thrust-and-parry motion
with their rifles some motioning
towards the enemy some dead
and one writing a letter
home to his wife and smiling
at the little daisy in the letter
his wife wrote to him to tell him
how much
she missed him and all the
wonderful things they would
do when he came back We
can go dancing and the beach
and bowling LOVE LOVE LOVE
she writes she writes LOVE
Mary P.S. This daisy made me
think of you I mean it please
please come home soon Your
wife, Mary

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

A GREEN BRAINISH ORBISH LUMINOUSESQUE ROUND ORBY SPHERICAL ** THING, WITH A HINT OF CITRON* : WHAT IS IT?

I have asked all of my friends, and I still don't know what this is. I am not sure what to do next. Mr. Francis found it beneath a tree on a cloudy day in North Carolina.




* not the one with the umlat. The lemony one.

** one of those words that you shouldn't look at too long because it will make you doubt all other words because they will all begin to look wrong. They all will, after you have spent too long with 'spherical'

HOPELESSLY GAUCHE

HOPELESSLY GAUCHE

Were I to look at old movies–young men running through
fields of barley–and let’s say all the color has faded because
the movie is so old. If I started to cry, would that be
hopelessly gauche?

OR WOULD YOU DATE ME

If you thought I was sensitive when I
looked at the movie and cried?

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND

What if you asked me why I was crying?

I DON’T THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA

If you ask me why I am crying. I am allergic to barley.

STILL

Hey, I am not allergic to looking at barley.
Faded colors make me sad.

BUT HONESTLY THEY DON’T MAKE ME CRY

Faded colors don’t. You do. You were nearby
when I saw the movie. Guess what?

I LOVE YOU

You make me cry, so next to me. By the way: who do
you suppose those young men were in the movie?

COULD THEY BE YOU

Not possible, woman of my dreams. Perhaps they are me
as you imagine me looking at the images of me and crying
as the colors fade and you are so far away behind the camera.
I see you right there.

MAYBE

You are listening to Pink Floyd.

FUN FACT

They used to be called ‘The Pink Floyd’

PERHAPS THERE IS ONE THING YOU SHOULD KNOW

It concerns the door knob that is shaped like a hippo

OH

The house is so empty, and filled with colors

ALL THE TIME

I am only talking about love

ALL THE TIME

I am only talking about you

NEVER

Will I not

ALWAYS

will I do

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

THE CHAMPAGNE JOURNALS, PART TWO: A CHAMPAGNE JOURNEY, DEEP BENEATH THE SEA

Well, I wasn't careful and it got all over my trousers. And so I dived into the deepest part of the ocean to have a nice adventure and to explore–to explore those places where the puffer fish refuse to go. An adventure!

You know what I discovered? The champagne down there is green. And there really was no Titanic after all. I looked everywhere. Lots of champagne, though. Boatloads.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

THE CHAMPAGNE JOURNALS, PART ONE: CHAMPAGNE, OR A RIVER, OR PERHAPS A RIVER OF CHAMPAGNE

Or: why can't we have all three?



If you are not careful, the paint will drip down onto your trousers and you will get terribly drunk and oily.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I PROMISED ANGELA



all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

MY SIXTH GRADE TEACHER USED TO TALK ABOUT PERSIMMONS ALL THE TIME

‘Persimmon’ this and ‘persimmon’ that –-- how fine the ripe persimmon, how unsavory the unripe persimmon. Par example: “To even contemplate the word ‘cheat,’ “she would proclaim, “is like the bitter taste of a green persimmon upon the innocent and unsuspecting tongue.” What the hell, I would think. And Her arms would jiggle and she filled me with fear and sometimes horror. ‘You!’ She would say, all jiggly and pointing at me. ‘Me?’ I would ask, quivering and filled with horror. WAIT A SEC! Look up there at that persimmon tree!

Suddenly, as though God did it, we are in California and school is over. There are only a few little irregular orbs left at the very top of your beautiful persimmon tree where the squirrels couldn’t get them alas. And I will fetch one of those hookamajigs to get them down, and then we can eat them with honey and cream and night will fall and we will become sleepy. Tomorrow might even be summer, or a beautiful day for graduation.

I do love this tingly feeling I have right now -- I just can’t help it.

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

A HEART AND A QUESTION MARK (1994)

I always wanted to paint.

Walking down the street one night, it was very dark. There were no lights. The street was narrow and the shine of the city over the bay was orange, like an orange bicycle, and I saw him.

He was against the window, the window was open, two flights up, the house was Spanish. He had a brush in his hand and he was standing as though nothing had happened, and I was standing still, watching.

You might wonder how I say him, the street was dark, and there was no moon, he was in the window, he had a brush in one hand, and a cigarette in the other.

I could see him as he smoked. He inhaled so long. It was so long, I wonder what he was thinking. The sound of people screaming, shots ring out often here, too, and there’s garbage in the street. He didn’t turn to it. He held the smoke in his mouth. He paused and I thought.

The cigarette: out of the window, down two flights, hit the ground, still lit. Next to the cigarette was the garbage that’s almost everywhere. Cigarettes, too. Pineapple juice and coffee filters and dog tags, honey buns, old stories and milk cartons. When I grew up there was a cow called Elsie. Old bills. She had her own milk. Coffee grounds, biscuit tins, baby peas, children’s books. I love you,

Elsie: And interestingly enough, he turned on a light, but not what you’d expect. It was a kerosene lamp and it was illuminated just beyond the blue focus. But I could see, then, a canvas. Then he could see the canvas. He had the canvas in mind. Where was the cigarette now, I wondered. Where were his thoughts now, I wondered. He held his hand on his heart, with his free hand, his brush in the other, I could tell he had a good heart and he walked towards the canvas with one very unusual small step.

There were hibiscus flowers on the street but they grew everywhere anyway. The coconut trees are mangled and hurricanes did it. The sea is strong and has a good taste in the air. It could be any of these things.

His hair was black and his shirt was white. His hair was curly and his brush was very delicate and the way he held it made me want to hold a brush. I wanted to hold a brush. I wanted to hold a brush just long enough to paint.

Oh, and there was jazz. Somebody has a radio here. Look at the flowers and you can listen to the jazz too. Is it very late.

The canvas was white. He was almost against it and so was his brush and he held it there for so long. One more shot and one more scream. There’s a lot of talk about rent. People who talk about rent dance outside. His brush touched the canvas, which was white. His shirt was white. It wasn’t his painting yet.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I heard. “What do you think you’re doing?”

The dogs don’t travel by themselves, they are all together and the children run away from then and so do the prostitutes. It’s a prostitute talking on the bridge and the lights on the water are red, green, and blue, next to the theatre. Years ago the theatre ran “How The West Was Won.” She’s screaming “What do you think you’re doing?”

I look up at the window. I hear the dogs. What do you think you’re doing? I say in a whisper. I always wanted to smoke a cigarette. He lights another and the paint is on the canvas for the first time. It’s as though you could smell blood.

The brush on the canvas, and if I could guess, I would guess a very dark blue. The street is quiet every once in a while, now. The shape takes form, a heart, it seems. A heart or a question mark. One more cigarette. He smiles. Everyone smiles. A voice in the room. “What do you think you’re doing?” One woman’s voice. among many, and all the dogs here are downstairs outside and they don’t travel alone. “You shouldn’t be painting...”

Behind me a voice and I look at the orange over bay. “Would you like a date?”

I always wanted to paint.

“What’s the matter,” she says but I can’t imagine it, “Can’t you afford no date?”

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

THE PINES OF JUAN: SCRIBED, SCRUBBED, REMOVED, AND RETURNED TO THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE

THE PINES OF JUAN, part one & two

ONE

I pine for Juan

In Spanish:

Yo pino para Juan

or French:

Je pin pour Jacques


TWO


Of all the people I have known in this world, no one has pines like those of my good friend Juan. And so, because I love them, I covet them. I do not have no pick-up trucks (Spanish: No tengo ningunos grandes camiones viejos) but I am tempted to purchase one due to my affection and attachment to the pines of Juan, in order to procure the pines of Juan. I should mention that if I do decide to steal the pines of Juan by pick up truck, the only way I could rightfully acquire such a luxury, I needn't memorize the expression 'grande camione viejo' because Juan is actually from America, and I therefore could acquire a pick up truck here, in English, although he lives, with his pines, truly magnificent pines, in a small town or villa in Italy, his birthplace, where everyone speaks Italian, although his primary residence would therefore necessitate some oversea transportation of the truck, or camione. (Also, I should know Italian, which I do not. Io non parlo Italiano, furbetto!)

Juan resides in a villa that was named after his his great great Italian grandfather, Giovanni, his namesake, and he was delicious.

The villa, equally delicious, it is called 'I Pini di Giovanni.'

Juan's name, in fact, is Giovanni and Giovanni's is Juan, but he, Juan nèe Giovanni, changed it to Juan, because it is easier to say 'Juan' if you are in America than 'Giovanni,' a name more Italian, and less Spanish, that does not roll off the tongue like honey, but sticks on the tongue, like a pine needle: fragrant, sharp, and green, with little brown stems. Perhaps that's where all of this came from.

Which leads me to my next problem: wouldn't a pick up truck, were I to own one, be conspicuous in The Pines of Giovanni? It certainly would, in Italy, or 'Italia.' And if not, let' just say, where do I go from there, with, of course, my truck, my pines, and my dreams? I do not think that I should suppose Juan will help me in my misadventures for I am a rapscallion and perhaps a scallywag, a whippersnapper, an Americano Sincero who does not deserve his attentions. Besides, they were his pines and I took them. Also: how far is it to the ocean? One other thing: I love fizzy grape soda.

Sincerely yours,

Ricci de la Fortuna Imposible. Fragrante y Verde (con un poco de marrón)

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

REFLECTIONS ON ART: THE CRISPY MODALITY

Beloved and belovèd,

Whenever I get sad, I look at the work of Yue Minjun and I don't feel better I feel worse because...

1) I could be the guy in the middle. No one wants to be that guy.

2) I don't believe that if you smile the world smiles with you.

3) It's better to breathe through your nostrils than your mouth.

4) If you close your eyes, it's much harder to enjoy things.

5) You should never be nervous about your penis, but we all are.

6) What if that guy in the middle IS me? What are the odds that you would choose me over the other guys? 33.3%. Those are terrible odds. Worse yet, you might be looking for something 'different.'

7) It's 11 PM and someone is using a chain saw outside. I wish I could go outside and frown.

Signed,

Your Sleepy Crisp

PS that little fence is electric. that explains everything

all artwork, including monsters but not old timey photographs,
® mr. crispy flotilla, 2007
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