Reminded of things…

arbitrary views of aging posts on my site somehow meandered me into this…

and I like it!

Ronald Sukenick

(I still can’t find that masterful essay “The New Tradition in Fiction” by him I so want to share with all of you)

you can find it in here!

Waterplay – a triptych by Holly Suzanne


Waterplay – a triptych by Holly Suzanne

Waterplay – a triptych by Holly Suzanne


What we know for certain is the steady stream of life, the flood, the flow, replete with bits and currents.  Immersion.

What is less clear is whether we are rising or falling, whether paradoxes hold true, what that might look like.

And if we’re swimming together, how that alters the land, changes the buoyancy, rearranges our standards of measure.

We – individuals – no longer a fixed point of reference.

Now “I” that formerly looked oh-so-much like a “1,” is just a needle in a flurry of dried whirling pines.

Rising up, rising down, in relation.

The self, the other, the flood.

In certain light, it shimmers.  In little light it bleeds dark.

It’s not as if we’re provided decoders, infra-red goggles, enlightenment.

I’m as much in the sea of life as you.

We share, in this sense, an equal, fluid, ground.

And not as something to step up or out of.


The self, the other, surround – weighted flotation devices.

I’m in, at a kind of “over here.”  So are you.

There is no escape.  We sink.  We rise.

N Filbert 2012

(My apologies – these pieces have proven very difficult to photograph in a way that presents the depth of layering and colors truly present.  These are fairly large oil paintings created of Autumnal colorings and glow, many more greens and yellows, oranges and hues filling out the originals.  It is painstaking to present them here struggling with glares and digitalia in a way representative.  Forgive me, and if you are able come see the originals through the month of November at Mead’s Coffee House in Wichita, KS – they are rich to behold!)


I’m Learning

Within the architecture of participation, she asked for plausible promise.  More is different, she said.  I was learning a new society.  Worlds become foreign in very small missteps.  I am learning.

It’s never one-to-one.  Each encounter multiplies complexity.  Even the same.  Identity remains to be found.  Only hints and surmisings.

In that look I believed I had found you.  I suppose I did, and so many, pronouns always plural.

We disparage our language its labyrinths.  Drowning in oceans of context.  Each arriving a  slipping away.

How else might it be true?

“Language discovers what one might know, which in turn is always less than what language might say.”

– Lyn Hejinian –

*phrases lifted from Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody

Question: What Makes a Masterpiece?

“A masterpiece isn’t a masterpiece until it is well known and has absorbed all the interpretations to which it has given rise, which in turn make it what it is.  An unknown masterpiece hasn’t had enough readers, or readings, or interpretations…A work of art isn’t created a masterpiece, it becomes one…the authority, the familiarity and the relevance of a great work of literature: we open it, and it speaks to us of ourselves…naturally every reading affects the book, in the same way as the events we experience effect us…”

Umberto Eco & Jean-Claude Carriere, This is Not the End of the Book

Your thoughts…?  Any “unknown” masterpieces possible?

Outside This Window

I struggled this week, this picture, and the myriad of life going on…couldn’t seem to find a spark.  But in the spirit of Friday Fictioneers, felt I oughta make a go of it.  So here it is – and in accord, many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for taking up the inspirational, curatorial mantle of keeping our practice alive!

Stomps back, livid grimaced flesh flushed, shouts, more of a gritty scrape of screed: “you never…anyway…I don’t know why I ever…” huffs, seethes, jolting in a kind of place.

Unseen, steely, weight of concrete in its rage, him, silent, back there, unmoving.  Something trembles.

Wind too, perhaps occasions of rain, drizzle, precipitation seems likely, somewhere, here, somehow.

She keeps it going, it’s like a flood, like a multi-chambered dart gun, can’t seem to stop, doesn’t want to end.  Not silence.  Not distance.  Disregarding.

Something recedes, perhaps him.  Substances exiting every direction.  All wearing out.

Everything outside this window.

N Filbert 2012

Holly Suzanne and the Layering of Experience

It is my great pleasure to be composing something for myself regarding my wife’s art in regards to an upcoming showing of hers in Wichita KS (see below for details).  I am accustomed to engaging her work with an ekphrastic/participatory sensibility and interaction rather than an observer’s point of view.  The pieces below are mixed media encaustic works by Holly Suzanne on 6×6 or 8×8 wood boards.

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“First my…forever my…grown in a…garden” of hands, words, expressions, visages and image.

The mind in bloom, the mouth as fruit, our world in our hands, are nothing new.

Underlying love vaguely aware of an end from the stars of night to ground of flesh,

in layers.

I was thinking of text-emotion-change-emotion-text-emotion-change.  Of over and again.  Begin.

With rarely the perspective to see in, or through, as we are forming and tattering layers simultaneously.  Always.

There is something viscous about us, like warm wax.

“Turning away…she saw herself…”  But not really.  Recollection rearranges, perception also blinds.  Assemblers and dissemblers we.  Our stories.  Growing them even as we prune.  Story over story, backwards, forwards, like the strokes of a brush, the trembling of hands, motions of a body at rest.  What comes out, in, or through depends on the moment.  Each story a backstory with a curious future.

“First my…forever my…” ever-altering “garden,” the world in my hands behind my face.  I tinker and trouble, collage and create, rationally embodied in emotion.  What shields and separates reveals and connects: our skin, our language(s), our sighs.

Even our  names are malleable, oily pools.

Look at, look in, look through.  And over again.


If near Wichita…you can look for yourself!!:

Holly Suzanne Show: Mead’s Corner Coffee House
October 31-November 30, 2012

see more of Holly’s works here: Holly Suzanne: A Gallery of Creative Artistry

Holly Suzanne Fine Art

and visit her blog! Lifeinrelationtoart

Related: Show Announcement – Mead’s Corner (Combinatory Art in Motion)

The Pleasures of Reading : An Aspect : Multiplying Translations

The Pleasure of Reading

In other words (than what?  than which?) we all of us are readers, all of us writers.

That is a pleasure.

And all of us, always, doing both.  Simultaneously.


Speaking of my textbooks (were we?) – information sciences, developmental and behavioral psychology, reference services, librarianship / and the research to the side – physics, evolutionary biology, neuro- and cognitive sciences / my pleasures – novels, poems, stories, others’ blogs, visual, aural, literary artifacts / my relational – wife, children, family, friends, society, culture – gestures and vibes and dialogues and signs / my “self” – sensations, perceptions, formulations of these, reformulations, adjustments and maneuvers.

In other words, at all times, I am reading, even if only my lack of memorable dreams, or pulses and breaths.  And writing it all in actions, movements, responses, adjustments of speaking and writing and making.

It is a metaphor, obviously.  Perhaps.


Roman Jakobsen purported that “all meaning is a form of translation, and multiple translation (polysemy) is the rule rather than the exception.”  (I am translating his text just now into another con-text).

Wolfgang Iser’s (perhaps, anyway insofar as I am translating it here) concept of actual text (text as it is recorded by an author) and virtual text (actual text as read by a reader).

This is an aspect of the deep living pleasures of reading/writing for me.


An author/speaker/artist/scientist/mother/etc. has an urge or sensation – a possibility of action/behavior/message/idea (a virtual text) and translates it through multiple processes and levels of activity through some medium into an actual text/painting/utterance/experiment/recorded idea/sound, etc.  There it is in the real world – a physical artifact in time and space – added – if only for a moment.  Transforming (simultaneously) its maker into a recipient (translating a now existent text/sound/behavior/gesture/sculpture/experience for him or herself) and if any witness/participant/auditor/recipient or reader is in his or her environment they are simultaneously interacting (via translation through their own tools, language, perceptions, sensations, mood, etc) with the actual text, writing a virtual text (translating) of their own.

And it goes on.  And can be done innumerable times, this process, whether using an identical actual text over and over, or simply writing/reading life as it occurs, making it occur.


Paul Ricouer:  “stories are models for the redescription of the world.”  Possibly.  Or at least redescriptions (translations) of models for redescription.

Iser: “the relative indeterminacy of a text allows a spectrum of actualizations…literary texts initiate ‘performances’ of meaning rather than actually formulating meanings themselves…the reader receives it by composing it.”


Language, action, behavior as possibilities rather than certainties.


So that I can encounter with all I’ve encountered/experienced an actual text by psychologist Jerome Bruner translating these very quotes and contents with all he has experienced and translate it with the multiple translations of family life and being a human organism and novels and pains, poems and stories, paintings and laws, translated with data and education, emotions and animals, translating with you and a computer, internet, digits and bits, translating into…

a great pleasure of reading is writing reading

or, “a writer’s (reader’s) greatest gift to a reader (writer) is to help him become a better writer (reader)”

– Jerome Bruner (parentheses mine).


literary texts as “epiphanies of the ordinary”

-James Joyce-

Sentence Strokes

About running small.  Over a surface made of paint.  Exhilerating lostness.  It is then I know texture.  Arms draped over a streaking swell.  Scritches and scumbles underfoot.  Are there this many colors in the sea?  Splattering like sparrows.  Am I getting the picture?  I lie down.  Cairns and edgings against my back.  What seemed soft – crisp and poky as briars.  What looked hard and smooth gives like dried glue.  I scurry in the trenches left by brush.  Spin through dips and curls.  A painting is a planet I inhabit.  Directed through the paths of subtlest vein.  To explore I engage.  Guard asks that I step away.

N Filbert