NATURE AND DREAMS BY SIMON PRADES

by Ariadna Zierold

simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground

illustrator and graphic designer Simón Prades lives and works in Saarbrücken, Germany and teaches illustration at the university of applied sciences in Trier. He says that he prefers to work with analog mediums such ink, pencil and watercolor to help express his fantastic imagination that explores ideas of nature, memory, and dreams.

simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground

His work is often a combination of detailed and complex drawings and narrative ideas. Depending on the subject his illustrations can also be rough, spontaneous and moody.

simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground simon prades, illustrator, illustration, drawing, graphic designer, saarbrucken, germany, surreal, ink, pencil, watercolor, nature, memory, dreams, upper playground

First Friday: Memory Tapes “Swimming Field”

In the rainy days we have had this week, we returned to a nice 2009 album, Seek Magic, from Memory Tapes. Quiet bedroom electro, with a hazy downbeat style that is more accessible than Mr James Blake, this is a perfect mood piece.

From The Citrus Report

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David Levinthal’s ‘Toyland’ opening July 21 at Leadapron

20110714 100105 David Levinthals Toyland opening July 21 at Leadapron toyland leadapron David leventhal

Do dolls have souls? Do Toys? Most children wish them to – Toys are the objects that furnish our childhood and we learn both about the surrounding world and our abilities within it by manipulating them. To quote Baudelaire:

“All children talk to their toys; the toys become actors in the great drama of life, scaled down inside the camera obscura of the childish brain. The overriding desire of most children is to get at and see the soul of their toys.”

What is the function of a doll? A toy? Most obviously toys are playmates for children – upon which they project their puerile notions of the sexes – they role-play and act out those impulses that are innate to both the male and female instincts. Toys offer children an outlet to allay their fears, express their emotions, and to act out their drives– be those of aggression, adventure, mothering, rage, socialization, individuation, love. Through game play and charades they exert their will upon an otherwise frightening and senseless world.

Artist David Levinthal: “I don’t think childhood is at all innocent, so why should toys be? It’s a period of socialization and conformity. Boys are supposed to grow up to be strong and stalwart men, willing to die for their country, and so on. That period of one’s life instills certain values. Playing with toys is innocent only in the sense that most people have passed through that stage. I suppose I never have.” Levinthal has discovered and succinctly reveals “that toys are not benign objects, but metaphors for culture itself.”

Childhood is the blueprint for the rest of our lives and is populated by toys. Levinthal moves through time in and out of the melee of impressions and youthful experience to show us through his arresting imagery the fuse that cuts through these formative years.

Levinthal captures the graininess of the past, in vivid clarity, as an almost Wordsworthian spot of time so that we see the past now as we saw it then. His moments, though paused, carry us back to the attic of our memory and unfold in cinematic nostalgia, to the days of our creation. I think Tarkovsky, Bergman, a baseball game, a first date…back to our very own rooms, to our homes, to the wellspring of emotion…to the fons et origo…first desires, first blush, first time our hearts raced. The images we have known of color, size and shape are almost familiar in Levinthal’s work, as if he photographed our very own childhood.

One can also extrapolate to a discussion of toys and dolls as works of art in their own right, made by anonymous crafts people and machines. They are the epitome of pop in their mass production and packaging. Levinthal captures all the banalities of dolls, but then brings them into the larger theatre of adult play where he transcends the trammels of time and space exalting them to real subjects becoming more than dolls – subjects no longer objects – subjects with which we have to contend.

The artist must see the world anew, with childlike wonder – to see it perhaps the way it is and not how they’ve been told to see it. The job of the artist is to show us their world and thereby reveal a truth that we can choose to acknowledge or ignore. Levinthal recounts the past and draws us into the present so we can foresee our future. This is a great artist at work – a man who has the courage to play with toys and make the experience so powerful, so life-like and so beautiful that we question the very nature of reality – this is not only an artist but, in the world he has created, a God.

This land is our land this land is Toyland.

From The Citrus Report

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Notes From A Quiet Crucifixion, Part VI

On hiatus for a week while preparing for his Noise Pop performance, Jason Jaworski’s Notes From A Quiet Crucifixion series is back with a new installment of images, text and songs.

*     *     *

It was the same in this moment as it had been the night previous. I wrapped my forearm in the blanket I had been using these several nights to keep myself warm and with my hand shielded with fabric I shattered the pane of glass in front of me, easing my right forearm into the the square space of fractured glass, releasing the latch and hook from its place and with careful footing, began to enter the room.
I knock and call out for awhile. There is no one here. I am alone. A farmhouse in West Germany- laying down on what is, for the first time, a comfortable surface for me to sleep on. I take my shoes off for a brief moment and see in them things that would have made me shudder a week ago but now seem normal to my situation- large gashes from my feet’s flesh rubbing up against the wall of my shoes at a constant forming blisters and those blisters having been broken and that flesh having run together with the lining of my socks to form a strange consistency of part lint, part dead skin and part coagulated blood. I clean my feet the best I can and sit down once more, my hands running on continuously and continuously running through. I can see my breath in this space. I lay down on the floor, bag underneath my head acting as a pillow but resembling much more the harder surfaces of a sea animal’s carapace. I stare for a moment, studying the undulation of my breath and the immutable space which separates myself from the ceiling and the sky shimmering starless beyond me.
It is not long before images and dreams start to swim within me.

*     *     *

I see the people around me see themselves and I see them as if they were here but know that they are not. They are staring at me and staring at me they begin to come into the room that I am occupying. I see other things, distant things and distant memories once far from myself but now encroaching towards my inner self and coming inside myself. It is a curious thing to be alone for so long and to have no interaction whatsoever with the world around you in a verbal realm and instead experiencing everything through the lens of your eyes. Everything that I saw today was burned into my memory- things wild, boring, banal and mundane, beautiful things and lonely things- from the crowd of trees that I see above me as I fall asleep shivering, to the moments of inarguable grandeur of a sky converging downward with hands of cloud dripping and gripping through the rays of a morning sun’s chatter, to those distant stars and their imagery blinking back at me through thousand’s of years’ late light- a silver trigonometry shaping algorithms and equations that I cannot read coherently or decipher, but whose words and conversation I hear and experience fully.
The night is one of those things that makes one think of the world outside of themselves. The sun is gone, having traveled to some other hemisphere and as the earth turns, one’s thoughts gravitate to those plains of persons and people that have affected oneself. I think of my mother a great deal, the parting conversations we had and how long ago it all seemed. Those days were a different life and everything that I’d experienced then was from then and everything I was seeing was being sought out and kept from me. I think of my sister, arms flailing and running around with veins impure and filled with a poison that would later provide the means and basis for a schism between her character and herself. There is no heroine to heroin and this truth is something I will learn later but is a sentence that fits in now with this paragraph and this sentence closing out said paragraph.

*

The moon high and distant with incalculable light and shimmer. On golden days in my youth I used to run across the street and travel down the border, crossing over to Mexico and collecting forgotten items while running through a random conjecture of errands both asked of me and thought up from me. As a child my leg was split open when my age had yet to reach two digits. I remember looking down and seeing a red stream dripping crimson with rivulets bold in both color and movement. The sharpening pain that comes immediately upon recognizing a wound, my hands reaching for it and finding a metal nail dug into my joint. We were skating at a construction site a mile out from our house. It seemed like the right thing to do: I pulled out the nail and in agony began to scream. I don’t remember much after that, woke up in the hospital, a mother beside me half-angry / half-hopeful and a father smiling and supporting anything and everyone around him.
I see my father in visions in Germany now. I am under the trees, thoughts of a mother and sister having ran through my head previously. Now: a man so perfect for the woman he met and so distant. The family he has and had raised and his children, one a future junkie and the other a future vagrant, both smiling back at him through the glass of a frame he holds in his hand before sleeping, the photograph we are in having been taken more than a decade ago. What is the womb and why is it that we are constantly chasing it? I see it, the walls of flesh surrounding me; they seem to be less agreeable to me than anything else. With a blade fashioned from a festooned memory, I cut around and free myself, a liquid from my mother washing my body out and the light bouncing onto my eyes being the first I see before blinking. A slap and another and then I come to-

A man over me, hands by his waist, screaming something in German.
I am in the real world now.
A blurred image upon awakening then and a blurred image now upon trying to remember.
He is screaming to me in German while I slowly sift through a rolodex of dream imagery I’d just catalogued and experienced- mother, sister, childhood, father. Light moving quicker now and shadows talking louder. We move in and I come back: gashes on my feet, glass around my torso and a stranger whose house I’ve broken into for shelter and warmth standing over me screaming in a language I cannot comprehend.
I look back at him, still screaming and the light behind him from an afternoon sun perfectly outlining in shadow the flakes of spit frothing and tossing their way outside his mouth and onto and around my person.
I reach for the list of German phrases in my pocket from Frank and as my hand makes its way into the cave of fabric around my waist, his foot, covered in shoe and shoe covered in mud, lands itself promptly upon the portions of my wrist left outside my pocket.
He is screaming louder now and further particles of spit fly from his mouth down onto the spaces around me, their portions and running around resembling the vivisections of atoms with their unique nuclei and electrons and so on spinning continuously and constantly but never on or along the same plane.
He reaches into the pocket I was going for and pulls out the list of phrases gentle in their wording, lines of monologue such as:
“It is cold, is there a place for me to stay here?”
“Can I work for you?”
“I am hungry, I have no food and no money, but I can work an honest job to the best of my ability.”
Phrases similar, about a dozen in that same vein on the paper in ink which now rests in his hand.
The man, realizing that I am not a thief, lifts his shoe off of my wrist and extends a hand.
“English,” he says, “that is all that you speak?”
I nod, wiping fragments of earth and mud off of my palm from his foot.
“Don’t have money, little work. Molly, my wife, is cooking. Can have food, need to fix glass though. Glass you broke, right?”
I confirm that I broke the window through a conversation and dialect much slower and less syllabic than my normal speech, thinking it easier for him to understand me.
He nods and blinks his eyes while I do the same.
Leaving for a moment, he comes back with a blanket.
“Sleep. Food, when ready, I let you know, then you wake up, fix glass and then we eat.”
A thousand words run through my head and I choose two, “thank you.”

*     *     *

From The Citrus Report

Posted By The Citrus Report

Notes From A Quiet Crucifixion – III

Posted from The Citrus Report

It is now my fifth day living here. A night ago, two nights ago, I slept under an aluminum ceiling. Today it will be glass. My windows here are several meters high and all around me large steel fissures stretch from my position to the end of my eye’s view- a z-axis of steel, glass and other elements which make up the building whose architecture I am currently inhabiting.
I haven’t sat down in awhile. I keep moving, going from gate to gate, hoping that they wont realize that I am living here. The only time that I sit is when I sleep and even then it is spare. I don’t know what is out there- beyond the glass doors.

I have been living on the ground level of the Frankfurt International Airport, or, as it is known here, the Flughafen Frankfurt am Main, for five days now. It is strange to thrust one’s self into a situation whose entirety is a mystery. I do not know what it is I am doing, never have I felt more lost and never have I felt more at home being away from home. I have not spoken to anyone in over ninety-six hours and in that time I’ve deciphered and delved deeper within myself more so than at any other moment or time previous to this.
It is the fifth day that I have been living here and every face is that of a stranger. No one familiar here in flesh; the only things that bring me comfort as to their familiarity are those objects inanimate- chairs that I sit on, walls that I lean against, bathrooms that I haunt, sinks that I bathe in and doors that open and close or revolve around like those chambers of a gun.

The workers here seem to have no interest in me. I have been sleeping at Gate 41 for two nights now, my jacket covering my face every time I do doze off and my legs sprawled out in front of me. I go to sleep when the airport traffic is at its busiest, a time that I’ve deduced to be around 11am where I have time to sleep for two hours, then I wander through a small lull for around an hour and a half, get up, migrate over to the other gate, pretend to read a newspaper written in a language that I can’t comprehend and at around 3:30pm another rush begins where I have another two hours of sleep to where it is safe to be passed out amongst the masses without worrying if one will come up and question me.
I have been living here for five days now and in those five days I have studied and seen stretched across from me the faces of persons who are here, in this place, arriving only to leave it. What a strange paradox- a thought which crosses my mind’s avenue while questioning such things as this.
It is the fifth day that I have been living here and already I have begun a system of quiet intricacy which informs my walking and waking decisions. I rarely go up and interact with the employees here. I eat what I can find, the leftovers from a stranger’s meal left unattended like some bag on the top of a previously occupied table. I drink water from the few fountains haphazardly strewn about and when I wander it is mainly within the first terminal for the other seems less occupied and therefore has more chance of my getting caught there.

I woke up to the snow today. The sun is falling down in a spiral pattern. It is below freezing outside and I am beginning to acknowledge my stupidity with coming to a place where I know no one, have nothing, know not the language and left at a time when the weather is winter. A collection of vehicles scurry back and forth outside while workers around abound- waving wands, walking forth or straddling the sides of small trucks to enjoy cigarettes while their breath becomes animate and visible, resembling the cirrocumulus visuals of smoke and cloud; rising together and joining the spaces of mesosphere that crowd above the blue and all those planes start to shrink in size, becoming dots and joining the stars- sewn in together like separate sections of unfinished pattern across the sequined fabric of sky.
I watched this scene for nearly two hours before looking around me.
It has been five days since I’ve been here, feeding off of the plates of strangers as they leave for their flights in avenues of arrival and departure. It has been five days that I’ve wandered here, through the pathways of separate gates and terminals, going back and forth through separate sections of the airway. It has been five days that I’ve been here and I think I am in love with whoever invented the moving sidewalk. What a brilliantly boring invention that catapults a craze of laziness and allows one a Renoir / Régle Du Jeu view of their surroundings.

*
*          *

I am going to meet an angel today. Today, I am going to meet Frank.
In the beginning it felt like any other day, but today I am going to meet an angel.

Around 7:30pm I went to wash up in the bathroom. Upon entering I checked all the stalls to see whether or not anyone was occupying them before locking the main door to the bathroom and turning on the sink until the water was hot enough to bathe with. I can remember staring at myself in the mirror, contemplating whether or not to just leave the airport and walk outside. In the beginning, after I hung myself, I felt that no matter what situation I was thrust into or thrust myself into- that I could manage and meet it head on. This situation however was a little daunting. I stared at my face in the mirror and saw someone else. It took awhile to breathe and bring up the energy to do anything but look forward, but soon I built up a fire and with that fire my desire to burn and go out into the country was heated, started and begun. In delirium, from lack of sleep, food and water, I thought to myself: tomorrow I am going to go out, no matter whether the weather- whether or not I have the proper jacket or if I have the right gear- fuck that fuck everything and fuck it all. I am here. And I will reach my destination. I was going in and out of consciousness when a weight was pressed against the door-
A knock. Then another.
I heard a ring of keys moving and immediately put my shirt back on, washed my hands and straightened up. The door opened and a man who would later save my life came in.
He said something in German which I didn’t understand and then he looked at me, into my eyes, and spoke English, asking why I locked the door. Then he stopped saying anything. I attempted an answer but it didn’t bring any recognition to his face of having heard it. He stared at me for a moment so brief but a moment that in that moment felt like an eternity. Fuck, I thought, I’m caught.
“You’ve been here awhile, haven’t you?” He looked at me and extended his hand.
I stuttered a phrase which at this moment I cannot remember.
“Yes, yes- I’ve seen you before.” He paused. “I’m a worker here, clean up the areas- the food court mostly and the bathrooms sometimes if Edward ain’t here.” He looked straight at me, “so what are you doing here? It’s been a few days? Your flight, where are you headed?”
I didn’t have an answer, am a horrible liar, and decided to just tell him the truth. I told him the truth and in telling him the truth I told him much more than I think he wanted or needed to hear, but talking to someone- I felt this immediate and immense release. Up until then, I hadn’t spoken to anyone since I first got off the flight here five days ago and even that conversation was limited and small as I was talking to a child who had asked me a question that I am still trying to answer to myself.
I told him the truth, told him everything about my situation and he immediately started laughing.
“You’re from California?”
I answered yes.
“Seems so. My name’s Frank. South Carolina and Texas, grew up in a bit of both. You might feel like you don’t belong here, well- look at me!” he laughed, “a black guy from Texas and South Carolina in Frankfurt, Germany. You can’t imagine a thing like that, nope- you got a partner now, don’t worry.”
Before I could say anything he spoke again:
“You been here for a few days now- how you eat and all, how are you getting by?”
I told him barely, and explained to him my patterns of stealing food and leftovers and the places where I slept.
“Well, damn- can’t remember the last time I had this strange of a conversation- in a bathroom no less! What are you doing now, you just going to stay here?”
“Well, actually, before you opened the door I was convincing myself that I was going to go to Paris.”
“You don’t have money to eat, but you have money to go to Paris? That don’t make sense.”
“I don’t have money for either. But it’s free to walk and there’s a road.”
“In this weather? Now it really makes no sense. – Tell you what, why don’t you, well, when I get off my shift- why don’t you come over and meet my wife. She could cook you a meal and we could figure out what to do with you. We don’t have an extra bed, but we got blankets and a pillow or two.”
I hesitated for a moment before diving completely into his offer, confused entirely as to why a man named Frank, a janitor in the Frankfurt airport all the way from Texas and South Carolina was offering me a place to stay at his home in Germany. Nothing made sense and it was beautiful.
We talked for a few more minutes while he cleaned sections of the bathroom and I mopped, every now and then pretending not to when people came inside to use the facilities.

I waited a few hours for him outside the terminal in baggage claim- the first time I’d stepped outside the secured area of the airport. He came down the escalator, dressed in normal clothes, waving at me and smiling that smile of his.
We got into his car, a small vehicle, and drove what must have been a fifteen minute drive to get to his apartment. The whole time in the car I was so surprised at the amount of speech I was spewing- I couldn’t stop talking.

Inside the house:
“My wife ain’t home yet, but you can go into that room, use that shower there or whatever you need, just let me know.”
I was astonished at his hospitality. I thanked him over and over again, using the shower and laying down on the floor, a thin blanket covering me while the heat from the furnace whispered and coughed out its warmth.

I woke up to the closing of a door. Frank was laughing and I could hear him murmuring with someone else. I put my jacket on and walked over to the main hallway, seeing Frank and his wife talking with their backs faced to me. When she turned around her features immediately started to speak to me. She looked like a doll, with eyes and a facial structure that resembled Lillian Gish. Tall and blonde, she put her bags down in the kitchen and came over with Frank to greet me. We talked briefly while Frank filled her in, myself suddenly becoming quiet.
Frank was one of those persons that, when they’re telling a story, all you want to do is sit back, lean in and listen. He had an old voice that carried throughout the apartment and a laugh that echoed down every hallway.
Dinner was prepared rather quickly, a meal I remember eating like soup although it was a plate of vegetables and a strange sausage. I was so hungry then and if I think about it now I want to reach for something outside of this and eat. I just ate.

Night came and I shuffled back to my room after thanking them immensely. Each day felt like this- calm and with little worry. It began to get too comfortable and after four days I began to question whether or not I had fallen back into another pattern like at the airport, albeit one that was much more comfortable.

I sat down with Frank in his study. He had hundreds of books lying around, the majority of them on medicine. He saw me looking at all the books and pointed at their spines before elaborating:
“She grew up out here, but wanted to do medicine in the States. Family illnesses and other things brought her back and at the moment she was to leave the country to come back to the one she grew up in, we were inseparable. That’s the short of it, not the whole of it.”
I smiled. There’s nothing more beautiful to me than a simple love story. Just then, Karin called out from down the hall- dinner was ready.

We walked around in conversation while eating, the two of them holding each other’s hand on top of the table throughout the entirety of our conversation. I took a piece of bread, a roll, and bit a small piece off of it, extending a question as to how they ended up deciding to stay here after coming back instead of returning to the States.
“Well,” he said, “this isn’t that much of a happy story, but if you want to know I’ll tell you, you’ve shared what seems like everything with us.”
I told him I didn’t want to make him say anything that he didn’t want to, that it was alright. I tried to change the subject to another topic, but he kept returning to it.
“One must always face what ails him, lest it kill him. Read that somewhere, didn’t make sense then, hate those old words- lest, whence, thus and thou, but it makes sense now, that phrase. It makes sense for me to tell this story too.”
He looked at Karin and she gripped his hand. They held eye contact for a few seconds before turning back to me, the lamp above us lighting everything in a calm and golden glow.
“Haven’t told anyone this that wasn’t there for it,” he paused, “feels like you should know though.” He inhaled and exhaled deeply, his face attempting to smile that smile of his but doing so unsuccessfully. He began:
“I’m twenty years older than my father, just about, maybe a year or two less. Never was good with numbers. I bet it don’t make sense in the beginning to hear that, but it does. See, my father died when I was about eight or so. Was still a child. My mother, she ran out, didn’t really know what to do or how to handle the situation, how to handle me. I have more memories with him than her. Never saw her after a week after he left us, left this. She ran out and on, her mom came around though, came over and helped me out. My sister died with my father. Three years older than me back then. Car accident. A drunk I would later find out. I don’t know his birthday, my father. Never asked when it was.”
His voice was beginning to grow deeper, inflections and cadence changing from something tragic, to angry, to hopeful.
“After all that, after I grew up, don’t know how I ended up working there, but I started working at a funeral parlor. Seems funny now, arranging the chairs, taking people to their seats and closing the casket after the services were through. Sometimes, after seeing the bodies, I would go to the service even if I wasn’t scheduled to work that day. Seemed like the right thing to do to give someone who has no more time a bit of yours.
It was there that I met Karin. South Carolina. Her brother moved down there to be a musician and his wife, someone that everyone says was a great woman- she passed. Seems everyone at some point is dying.
Karin had come over from El Paso where she was studying, and the first moment I saw her I knew I loved her. She reminded me of no one and I think that’s why I fell for her.” He rubbed his thumb on her hand, eyes looking over, a pot of food steaming in the background.
“We’re children, I know it. Stay that way for a long time, the whole time and the whole while. Someone like you who wants to be older or get somewhere farther away from themself- you need to know that there are people out there that care for you, that love you. Know that they think about you even when there’s so much to think about and even when there’s nothing to think about. Know them, the people who’ll stay with you no matter what, and you’ll know what it is that everyone around here or there is trying to figure out. We just want to be happy.” A drop fell from his face. “We just want to be happy and knowing someone’s out there is all it really takes.”
A deep inhalation.
“Well, after awhile, Karin’s mother got sick and so she came out here to help her out. I never thought that I was one that wouldn’t be able to be apart from someone he loved, but as soon as she left, it was like she took everything about everything that I loved. More than missing her, I missed us, I missed myself and all that I had given her.
So I left, went to go see her, kind of crazy, but that’s how it is when you’re seeing stars. We got married here, in that hallway. Her mother was nervous at first, the race thing came up about once or twice, but after she saw how happy we were it didn’t matter none. You come across things right when you need them and we met each other right when we needed to. Like how you met me- us. No one knows what’s going on, but it’s going, just have to go along with it, can’t fight it.”
I said nothing, just put out my hand to join theirs- our thoughts mingling and wandering like the steam in the background, the lamplight still yellow and their faces still covered in a golden azure.

A few more days pass, a few more nights. Every night, before going to sleep I see myself out on the road, have dreams of it. Frank tells me it’s getting colder, he’s helping me out, giving me tools and teaching me small slivers of German, easy phrases and questions that will go a long way in finding food, shelter and work along my path.
“You really don’t have to do this,” he tells me, “it’s a bit ridiculous. You can just stay here?”
He poses his last statement as a question. I tell him that I have to do this. I tell him how thankful I am for everything he’s done for me and I tell him that I’ll never forget him.
He’s trying not to think of me leaving while all I can do is contemplate and ruminate over the journey that is coming to me. I look at his calendar and pick a date to leave. I mark it down, Frank and Karin agreeing quietly.

The day is here- morning.
A large billowing cloud of fog is hanging over the entirety of the city. Frank drives me out as far as he can while still having time to get back for work. We drive along the freeway while talking quietly to one another as Karin is sleeping in the backseat. A few miles out and he pulls over to the side, turning on his hazard lights. He looks at me and leans in:
“I want you to know that you don’t have to do this although I know that you will. Karin and I, we care about you. You remember that. If it starts to get bad or if it becomes unbearable, know that you have a home here. You don’t have to die for this journey.”
I tell him I wont.
I’m not good at saying goodbye, normally I just leave with a letter or a smile saying everything that I need to say. Attachments are some of the most blinding and uplifting things that we encounter in this life. Relationships with ourselves and with others are similar. It feels as if I’m always leaving- felt it back then, still feel it now. I’m looking at Frank look at me in this memory I have of this moment and all I can think of is how I should have stayed a bit longer with him and Karin. They loved each other more than most couples I’ve met, yet they were somehow lonely together. I can see it, I can see him. She’s snoring in the backseat and we don’t wake her up. I tell Frank to tell her that I say goodbye. I say goodbye to him and attempt to leave. He reaches out his hands and pulls me back into the car.
“You know I wasn’t gonna just let you leave without a hug. Come here-” we hold each other for a few moments, the draft coming into his car and his hazard lights continuing to flash around, a haze rising and receding; red waves on an asphalt shore.
“Remember what I told you now. Be careful, you hear? Be safe.”
My arms are on his shoulders and his are on mine. We are looking at and away from each other, attempting to say everything that we can, relaying everything and every emotion that we feel while using no words at all. I look at him, eyes tearing up and lips trembling. He smiles that smile of his, recalls how we met in the bathroom. I tell him that I was trying to take a shower, clean myself up in the sink. We share in the saddest laughter together, though somehow happier than anyone else in this city, in this country, on this continent or sphere or anywhere. I tell him to give my best to Karin. After a moment, his smile shrinks quietly, as does mine. There is no moment that is too long when saying goodbye to someone you do not want to leave.

We let go,

look away,

and I step out onto the path and start walking.

(Frank and Karin, whose real names have been changed for this text, were and are some of the most blindly giving and loving persons I’ve ever met. This text and many others is dedicated to them, what they did for me and their memory. I would not be alive today were it not for them.)

– Jason Jaworski

Las Vegas, NV – 2011

www.sprinklessparklesandkankles.com

Posted By The Citrus Report

Jean Genet Centennial

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Initially I was going to write about him. Just him- Jean Genet.

I was going to go into details about how he was the son of a prostitute, that he was abandoned at the age of one, how he was a thief, a criminal, a whore, how he’s considered by many to be one of the world’s greatest 20th-century writers, how he spent half his youth in a prison, how he roamed Europe as a vagrant, a vagabond, how his work went from being banned around the world to revered or how, through the aid of a petition drafted by Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre and signed and endorsed by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and a multitude of others, his sentence for being a long-time criminal went from being a life-sentence to a full and irrevocable pardon in France, how he inspired millions of strangers and persons familiar, from the aforementioned Cocteau, Picasso, Sartre and Giacometti, to David Bowie, Chris Marker, Patti Smith, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Bukowski, Jackson Pollock, Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, André Gide, Jonas Mekas, Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith, Warhol, Mapplethorpe, Morrissey, Antony Hegarty, Foucault, Derrida, Stravinsky, Anselm Kiefer, etc.-

I could have talked about his writing, his films, his poetry, his plays, his literature or drawings, how he has been described as everything from a revolutionary, a criminal, a poet, an activist, a thief, a whore, a hero. But I didn’t, I couldn’t. Facts are boring- the truth relating to oneself around a person and his creations is always infinitely more entertaining. This then, is that.

The beginning of this story is for something else, a different time and a different place.
I can only give the setting and a few fragments of my former self at the moment that these events took place, when they took place- and they did take place.


I was young, younger than I am now. A few months had passed since I landed in Frankfurt, since I had walked from there to Paris, since I was close to being raped, since I had starved, since I nearly starved, since I found the true definitions to words I’d only known fragments of (hunger, cold, etc.), since I was living in the street, since I had managed to survive the winter, since I had broken into those homes, since I had lied, cheated and stolen my way out of starvation, since I had found that woman, since she had found me and since I was living in her house, going from being on the street and under the bridge to an apartment in the 1st Arrondissement overlooking the Seine with rent being several pages of writing a day. A few months had passed-

I was at the age where nothing was more terrifying and beautiful than a beautiful woman. She was a beautiful woman. Older, half-Italian / half-French, with voluptuous hair, and eyes, nose and lips perfect in their formation and feature. We talked for awhile in the falling light, her body framed by the architecture of the city in back of her. After awhile, she looked at her wrist, saying how she had to get going, “and what way are you headed back, perhaps you’d like to walk with me?”
I looked at her and smiled, saying that I had nowhere to be really, and that I was headed wherever she was. We walked down Rue Saint-Honoré, the buildings and everything around seeming to be so much clearer; my mind emptied of everything I had been thinking of earlier.
I walked her to her apartment. We sat on the staircase which led to her door and as night fell around us, she gradually began to get up, heading towards her door.
She asked me where I was staying and I was so mesmerized with the conversation, not that the content was anything spectacular, but just the fact that it was a conversation- I looked at her and realized that she was the first person I had talked to in months since my arrival in the city. It shocked me.
She asked her question again- where was I staying.
I looked down, taking my hands out of my pockets, the grain of the denim / jeans being imprinted on the surfaces of my wrists. I told her that I wasn’t staying anywhere. I began to elaborate, saying how tonight it would probably be under the tree or the bridge or, if it got colder, I knew of a bakery near the river I could break into where they don’t come inside until after eleven. She came down a few steps, coming closer to me.
“You really have no place to stay tonight?”
I shook my head.
“Well, you seem harmless and I have the space..if you’d like to come up for the night you can. It’s an invitation.”
I don’t know why, but I declined at first, saying that she was being too kind. She grabbed me by the hand however, shook off whatever feeling I was feeling, and together we walked up the spiraling set of steps, past the third floor and onto the fourth, entering her house and sitting on the couch together. She got up, my eyes following her figure and its curvatures of silhouette in the moonlight. She turned on the lamp and came back to the couch with two glasses of water.
“So,” she said, “tell me about yourself. I know so little.”
I talked for a moment but was interrupted by her weight which she had begun to place the majority of on top of the lower portion of my legs and eventually my thighs. She asked me a question, one whose algorithm I cannot remember for at the exact moment that I was to answer her, she brought her lips to mine. And just as one thing leads to another, one thing led to another- our actions and movements taking up the majority of our memory, the two of us waking later in the morning without remembering we had fallen asleep.

When I woke she was still sleeping. I looked at the window from where I was sitting, over the edge of the couch, watching the curtain slowly move in a recurring pattern resembling water on an evening shore. I unraveled my limbs from hers, shaking the blood back into them and hobbled over to the bathroom where I washed the sleep out from my face.
She was in a different position by the time I came back to her, having turned over the other way from the couch, a sheet covering her body though its outline still very much visible. She mumbled something that I didn’t understand and I grabbed my typewriter from my pile of things and went into the other room to write so as not to disturb her.
For every ten pages written in the morning, there’s only ever one that’s worth keeping. I wrote vigorously, madly- throwing out papers and crossing out lines. As I began to edit the text, she came in and sat down next to me. We talked briefly and she handed me a cup of tea while I watched the trails of steam from each cup spiral their way in a Fibonacci pattern toward the ceiling. She put her arm across the back of my neck, looking at me warmly. There are moments and fragments of a person’s face that you will never forget and this moment will never escape me. It seemed that just as she looked at me, the light from the spaces of the city outside aligned and made their way into the room in the only way that they could- perfectly outlining everything there was that was beautiful about her and amplifying it to different degrees.
“Stay here,” she said, “I’ll be right back.”
And just as she said, she came back, each hand filled with a plate of food.
“I’m guessing you’re hungry after all the moving around last night,” she smiled.
We ate together and as I was so young, new thoughts occurred to me that seem so common now but were a revelation then- just how strange this world is that it is and how it is that people can come together and share something, a piece or a part of themselves just through the strands of communication.

We must have fucked after that night for every night that she was there. She came up with a rental agreement for me to stay there in which she would keep all the writing that I was throwing out during the day. I would wake up every morning, some days she would be gone, a plate of cold food on the table by my head and a note, the same note all the time written in her small handwriting and small letters. She was one of those persons who used three exclamation points to accentuate a sentence instead of one. It seemed sweet to me. I would eat the food, every other day taking a shower, long and warm, after which I would come out and sprawl out on the floor, air-drying myself with the cold April breeze coming through the window.
Sometimes she would come back a few hours after I woke, other times it would be a few days, all the while while I was writing and working on my work.
Sometimes I would sit on the balcony, stare out at the city and its nothing for hours, my eyes following nothing and my vision perceiving no real depth- I just stared at the mass of the city in front of me, digested its aura and would go back in the room to write, taking in those quiet thoughts that occupy the spaces of one’s mind that can never be quieted down when they start and can never be started on contact whence quieted.
It seemed perfect, this time, but time can never be perfect for it is continually and constantly evolving, moving and changing. There is never a now, now is always behind you and you are the only thing that is forever.

One day, she came home. I was writing in the study and she came in, asking me what it was that I was reading and I realized that I hadn’t had a good book in awhile, not since I had been traveling in between Germany and France.
She told me to go through her library and pick through it- “any book you want,” is what she said. I scoured the shelves, a floor-to-ceiling full of books, each spine either drawing me in or repelling me. I looked around and out the corner of my periphery saw the word “thief” and reached my hand for the book. It was a used, second-hand copy of The Thief’s Journal, by Jean Genet.
I took it from down the shelf, read the first sentence and had to sit down- unable to put the book down, finding myself drawn in immediately. The library room had no windows and when I finished the book I came out into daylight, stunted by the sun and walking in that dreamlike state that a person has after they have experienced something that they know has changed them.
I reread the book over the span of the next several days, never noticing a curious inscription on the inner flap of the front cover until about a week later.
The book was inscribed to the woman I was staying with and signed with “Your Loving Husband, Georges”.
I was sort of dumbfounded. When she came back the next day I asked her about it and in the most nonchalant way, as if I asked her the most simple question, she answered with one breath and one word whether or not she had a husband- yes.
It felled me. I sort of collapsed within myself, not yet knowing, unfortunately, how common the acts of infidelity are within people. She sort of breathed off the matter, and when I asked her whether or not it ever occurred to her to tell me, she said that “it’s unfortunate that you found out.”
The whole thing was fascinating to me in its simplicity to her and its intricacy to me, something I assume can be attributed to our large age gap- her 41 and myself 17 at the time.

She gave me the book and after the book nothing seemed to matter, the city didn’t matter, my hunger didn’t matter, the fact that I had to leave Paris in order to help a struggling sibling didn’t matter- nothing mattered at all. Just the book. I devoured that book as though it were my last meal on death row and everything that Genet wrote it seemed that I was seeing around me, bearing witness to and living or experiencing in an offset way.

And that was my introduction to the work of Jean Genet.

– Jason Jaworski

Las Vegas, NV – 12/19/2010
www.sprinklessparklesandkankles.com

Posted By The Citrus Report

Journey to the End of the World: Continued Adventures with the Infinite Wanderlust Crew

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I have been to the end of the world and back.

Not to be mistaken for Venice Beach, CA, Venice, Louisiana is the last community down the Mississippi River that is accessible by auto. For this reason, it has been nicknamed “the end of the world.” Driving through Lousiana’s backroads, the scene is speckled with enclaves of petro strongholds, with familiar names including BP, Chevron, and Halliburton. The road itself is nondescript; aside from giant American trucks crawling alongside us and rows upon rows of mobile homes, the landscape was lush with foliage but otherwise uneventful.

The two-hour drive was finally rewarded by an almost untouched estuary complete with wildlife and birds. One can only imagine what it may have looked like after the oil spill, but as far as I can tell it was nature reminding me of her splendor and beauty. A quiet fishing town, the very end of the road led to a dock where fishermen gathered for their daily bids.

After a brief moment with the landscape, the Infinite Wanderlust team and I made our way back towards New Orleans, where, after a brief dinner of a crawdaddy boil and other creole delectables, we journeyed into the night with Houston as our destination. Jason and Saelee came up with a new game, whereby Sherry would need to guess what city she is in upon waking up in the car. Not that hard of a game when you’re traveling through Texas, where there are a handful of cities one may end up in. But if you’re on a road trip where the end of the world is in your itinerary, the game may prove a tad more difficult.

– Arnold Coludy

End of the World, Mississippi Delta

Directory of Businesses

Mississippi Delta

Train tracks, Colorado River in Austin, TX

In Memory Of

Posted By The Citrus Report

Journey to the End of the World: Continued Adventures with the Infinite Wanderlust Crew

Posted from The Citrus Report

I have been to the end of the world and back.

Not to be mistaken for Venice Beach, CA, Venice, Louisiana is the last community down the Mississippi River that is accessible by auto. For this reason, it has been nicknamed “the end of the world.” Driving through Lousiana’s backroads, the scene is speckled with enclaves of petro strongholds, with familiar names including BP, Chevron, and Halliburton. The road itself is nondescript; aside from giant American trucks crawling alongside us and rows upon rows of mobile homes, the landscape was lush with foliage but otherwise uneventful.

The two-hour drive was finally rewarded by an almost untouched estuary complete with wildlife and birds. One can only imagine what it may have looked like after the oil spill, but as far as I can tell it was nature reminding me of her splendor and beauty. A quiet fishing town, the very end of the road led to a dock where fishermen gathered for their daily bids.

After a brief moment with the landscape, the Infinite Wanderlust team and I made our way back towards New Orleans, where, after a brief dinner of a crawdaddy boil and other creole delectables, we journeyed into the night with Houston as our destination. Jason and Saelee came up with a new game, whereby Sherry would need to guess what city she is in upon waking up in the car. Not that hard of a game when you’re traveling through Texas, where there are a handful of cities one may end up in. But if you’re on a road trip where the end of the world is in your itinerary, the game may prove a tad more difficult.

– Arnold Coludy

End of the World, Mississippi Delta

Directory of Businesses

Mississippi Delta

Train tracks, Colorado River in Austin, TX

In Memory Of

Posted By The Citrus Report

Devin Troy Strother @ Richard Heller Gallery opens September 11

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We think big things are going to happen to Devin Troy Strother. The LA-based artist has a show opening at Richard Heller Gallery this September 11, Please Don’t Act A Fool In The Club: A Memory Of The Sugar Shack, which will be his first solo show.

According to Richard Heller Gallery, “The exhibition is partly inspired by Strother’s childhood memories of Ernie Barnes’ iconic painting, Sugar Shack (reproductions of which hang in many middle-class African-American homes).  Strother has a certain obsession with the painting and the idea of the nightclub as a meeting place where people gather and do a type of ritual dance.”

Read more here.

Posted By The Citrus Report