city love song

~~a blog about the book about the project~~


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Nothing produces quote the same sense of guilt as a neglected social media platform.

Anyway. I’m making progress.

To any new visitors…

Welcome! It’s a rainy day here in Ketchikan, Alaska (what else is new), and I’m on the dock, ready to receive my first group of cruise ship passengers bound for adventure with the company I work for: Ketchikan Outdoors.

Today there is a feature in the Ketchikan Daily News that might mention City Love Song. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t seen it yet!

But if it does, and if you are here because it does, I’d first like to say, thank you for visiting!

And second, I’d like to say: go to the Facebook page! There’s far more information there. Pictures, reviews, friendly encouragement. Sorry for the cruddy link, I’ll clean it up later:

Now, off to work. I’m on a boat, y’all.

Ketchikan, I love you.


In terms of making art, it has been more than a year of near-dormancy for me. There are daily thoughts and minor actions, but these are pittances when compared to the consuming daily demands (self-inflicted) by the project City Love Song.

Recent days have brought a surge of that old, familiar desire to create. I am a dreamer and philosopher; hopeful ambition and relentless inquiry are fundamental to my person. I am an optimist and humanist; my being cannot contain my positive will toward other beings. (Call this “positive will” love, if you wish, or empathy, or whatever. Label me “starry-eyed,” and, if you smile as you say it, I’ll know you’re with me. If you scoff instead, and make the term pejorative, I’ll briefly grieve your cynicism. I am not blind to the unrelenting strife and pain that life on Earth presents to so many, but I will not be cowed before shadows. There is light and love enough for all. Part of my job as an artist is to say so, and to act on that conviction.)

One of the most important tasks for me to complete as I move into a new phase of production for this project (i.e. the book) is that I reorganize my notebooks. I have hundreds of them, as I write in longhand, but I am not disciplined in selecting a notebook when inspiration strikes. Any blank paper is good paper to create upon, and so I have boxes full of mismatched material.

At present I am living and working in Ketchikan, Alaska, with most of my boxes in my temporary digs in Wisconsin. (For the uninformed and interested: I have left New York City. More on that should it ever become relevant.) I brought only a small stack of notebooks with me here, and this morning I excised pages that no longer pertain to (or never dealt with) City Love Song.

Most of these I have thrown away. (Okay, recycled.) But a few I have kept because they still give the pulse of positive value. Some of these I will post online, in various forms. And such is the case with the following passage, scribbled in furious pencil, and detailing some of the fears I suspect many artists suffer. I post it here to share and to purge. Perhaps you’ll see your mind in these lines; at the least, you’ll get a sense of mine:

…………….there is such an incredible difficulty I encounter when attempting to exit my own everlasting head. I haven’t the first fucking concept of how another person thinks, so I can’t have the FIRST FUCKING CLUE about the relative value or risk of my own way of thinking. In this way I feel most isolated and alone. It is not that I believe myself to possess the authoritative perspective or understanding of anything; it is instead the (sometimes debilitating) recognition that I am the supreme authority of my own conception of the world, and, so very importantly, the sole bulwark against my own inflation toward an ego of extraordinary arrogance and uselessness and foul self-satisfaction. If there is any lesson to be taken from those colossal assholes who make it their business to be the top of the top at any expense, it is that they are, after all, colossal assholes. I want my work to have meaning and my life to have value, like any human /ANY HUMAN? ANYONE?/ but I am resistant to the cutthroat world of self-promotion and self-aggrandizing. I can’t stand the superficiality of the modern “branding” age, and I’m thoroughly bored by likes and retweets and follows. I am sick of the way that my country is behaving but am terrified of being marginalized for committing the cardinal sin of Scolding. It is so difficult anymore to find joy in the digital manifestations of the REAL & ACTUAL WORLD THAT WE OCCUPY, and it is no small irony that I am considering using digital media to spread that very message…………………..

So: there you have it. And now I’m done with it. These sheets go into the flames now: it is time again for me to fire up the forge.

#notebooks #longhand #pencils

Admiration for a quality or an art can be so strong that it deters us from striving to possess it.

Friedrich Nietzsche (via philosophy-quotes)

What might Mona Lisa think as she sits there through the days and hours? What must she make of the constant waves of human beings crashing through her room?

What deductions might she draw about us from this shuffling sea of faces? Faces of endless variety. Faces that study and stare.

What might she make of the flotsam of phones, the jetsam of cameras that float in with today’s waves? The clicks and beeps and buzzes, so many faces half-hidden?

Would she think herself a masterpiece, worthy of attention? Or might she grow weary?

What must stillness be like in that room?

Which do you think she’d prefer?


The same association I had made! (feels so validating…)    :)

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