Before we speak Truth to Power, we must first learn to speak Truth to each other. THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A DIGITAL RECONTEUR. googlefc7c6bdff29a502f.html

Header image courtesy and copyright of Wendy Farrow

The Stories, Accounts and Adventures of Igor Goldkind, Poet, Author, Techno Trouble Maker, regarding the binary language of images. The computational narrative, neuro-phenomenology, mindful computation and the tales our data will tell us once we slow down and listen to their hum.

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The Diamond Rain



imagesCaught in the Diamond Rain
Caught unawares in a diamond downpour.
When did Karma get so immediate and so personal ?
So judgment-like and familial?

When did I last escape from my room
And begin to orbit outside of time?
That vantage point that surrounds me,
Is not just this moment,
download-1But every moment you or I have ever lived.

A handful of jewels lie scattered at my feet.
Each crystal catching and tricking the light into
Reflecting each and every possible face of existence that there is,
All at once.

Each stone weighs down heavily on my stomach.
Forced downward by the sheer gravity of events.
When did I last step outside of myself again?th

I am no longer there.
Or rather I am here, just not in this world.
Instead, I’m living in a different world
built on longing, solitude, and reflection.

Two mirrors face each other
One rag wipes the dust and the sweat from both our dirty faces,
Go on, reach out with your finger tips to
Caress every surface of this jewel
We call living.

Can you see over there, that distant surface we exist on?
That reflects the face of every other face.
On all the falling jewels that surround us.
THIS is what it is to be caught in the Diamond Rain.

 

 

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It’s Alive!!!!!


It’s official, I’m back on line with my periodic musings about life in the computational age.

Kind of a stone’s soup of insight, speculation, and anecdote all wrapped up in a bright ribboned visual package for you to peruse.

The long hiatus was largely due to a Singapore based company highjacking my domain name igorgoldkind.com.  Please go to that page and defecate your discontent with corporations stealing the identity of artists, just because we’ve gained some popularity.

What kind of on line world are we constructing here that permits commercial interests to pose as real people, even steal their names and profit from their hard work building their brand reputation?  Some people live shameful lives on the backs of the labour of others.   Tell them what you think before they steal your identity too!

Tales of Sedition and SUBVERSION welcomes your comments, opinions, condemnations, outrage and commiserations.  Don’t be shy, I like to have my feelings hurt!

This publishing platform also offers me the chance to post drafts of on going work which eventually see publication either online or on the backs of trees; sometimes both.

Here is the most recent draft of the most recent poem I’ve written this week:

images-10

There is No Escape

None of us gets paroled
From the prisons we locked ourselves into.
Just so we all fit together inside
These jigsaw lives that we lead
That eventually of course, blow apart,
We are the fragments awaiting reassembly.

Each moment of thought is a small drop in time.
Each piece fits the next piece.
Though we may try to live without
The murmurs of our own thoughts,
It is our hearts that yawn and awaken slowly
From their long winter night’s sleep.

You and I are mere mortals,
Who dreamt up life without end.
We are the ones who made up immortality.
For the sake of comforting sad joys.
This is now just the story we tell ourselves while
Slumping back to our death beds.

images-9downloadimages-11 Read the rest of this page »

I Could Use Your Help….


THERE IS NO SUCCESS LIKE FAILURE AND FAILURE IS NO SUCCESS AT ALL.

The American Poet Bob Dylan had a terse style of delivering phrases that could sting like a yellow jacket.  His vagabond words penetrated the skin, past blood and sinew all the way to the bone, scraping the deepest sentiments.  Dylan woke me up to the breath of this cold morning’s truth when I was 14.   I didn’t Look Back.

Now his words return to frame my present.

And I’m thinking to myself, there are so many things that can be done in this world; most of them bad but some of them good.

Apart from my daughter, the one accomplishment that I’m proudest of, that I believe brings real value into this increasingly commodified existence, is my book IS SHE AVAILABLE?  a fusion of Poetry, Comics, Art, Jazz and animation.  There’s even two short stores, 3 full comic strips and two original sculptures.  All extraordinary media interpretations of 52 original works of poetry and fiction by me.

The book formation follows the story of Stone Soup, the Grimms fairy tale of the traveling vagabond who knocked on a door in times of scarcity, carrying nothing but a stone wrapped in a kerchief at the end of a stick he bore across his shoulder.  The vagabond asked for hospice from the cold and upon being told directly that there was no nourishment to be found within, the hobo replied that he had brought his own:  a stone for making stone soup.  His benefactor was intrigued by the idea that a meal could be made from no more than a cauldron of boiling water and the stone the traveller carried.

stone-soup-blog1

IS SHE AVAILABLE? is a book of Stone Soup

But she let him in and once the water in cauldron  began to boil, it made perfect sense to add a few carrots, a couple of onions, some turnips and leeks to what was already going to be a nourishing feast.   The additions enriched the broth and their collaboration is what made the meal.  This is no cautionary tale of distrusting travellers but instead point out the real value of any meal, of any endeavour between anyone, not just artists.  Which is how we can enrich our lives by bringing what we have to the same pot that others bring their best to.

Nature is cruelly competitive; but as humans our forte is cooperation and collaboration.  That is how we have survived.

So I am asking you to join our collaboration in bringing the substance of art and literature to the screen.

Come to the IS SHE AVAILABLE? website and have a look at the contents of this unusual work.  160 fully  illustrated pages intensely designed by Rian Hughes.  15 original jazz compositions, musical interpretations of poetry by the jazz composer Gilad Atzmon.  Feast your senses on a unique, deeply personal but also universal, work of both print and electronic arts.Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_58

You can see the inside as well as the outside.

And yes, please support our project by purchasing a download of the eBook for only $9.99 and/or a copy of the sumptuous hardcover for $24.95.  

I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like IS SHE AVAILABLE? before, in print or on screen.

“Is She Available? has the feel of an artifact from the near future – a seminal work of a new genre fusing poetry, graphic art, music, and animation.” Paul Mirick for Broken Frontiers

Thankyou for keeping a poet from roaming the streets, knocking on doors with a stone book tied  to the end of a stick. 

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Igor Goldkind 

San Diego Comic Con 2015: And Here We are!


Press Release

PR

Dolls


1886_lWomen that like to dress their men

Liked to play with dolls

As little girls.mZ4DECgEKf0KaeeQ_bwk71Q-1

As little girls will.

But boys who do not know how to dress

Themselves as dolls

Will be dressed by little girls grown

Who know exactly how to dress their dolls.50722-L -font-b-Doll-b-font-accessories-girl-toys-Chiristmas-gifts-font-b-black-b-font

Confetti


There’s an emptiness at the heart of any compressed space.

The air that fills a dome; an unanswered echo.

There’s an emptiness in my heart

That reminds me

All of my ideas are empty.

The floating leaves from a fumbled folder

Flying papers littering the sky.

This emptiness must remind you

How light and flimsy your desires really are,

How gently they fall from the sky to the floor

A confetti of mercy and good intentions.

Shredded emotions that fall at your feet.

They are, in the end, compared to Nothing,

Merely the fleeting litter of this mind.

Confetti (1)

dscn2640__pink_confetti_by_

Breathing Time


I am not a connection.

I am a conjugation of every verb you have ever uttered,
Before the action you took, just now.

Hidden and mistaken
Slipping between your shadows,
Your ideas,

And a Reality that long ago,
Left you way behind:

The moment you thought you were in.

I am not your connection,
I am your conjugation, So
Stop spitting out your words

And start breathing in time.

46fc84fcf9e45dafffb0ea2b92376a36

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

INSOMNIAC AWARENESS by Igor Goldkind


We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,

Licking the silver from the backs of our screen,

Are living in a differently timed zone

Of insomniac awareness.

Sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes 4 or more

Lives are lived and lost each night.

In our rooms, by ourselves

Sitting too close to the edge of our beds.

 

This is our legacy 

The lasting  perpetuity of our sensory species:

The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,

Right up to the razor’s edge of our understanding of

What is not yet known.

The un-utterable.

What can barely be thought , much less said and

Yet still dances these words so merrily across this page.

In the ballet of silence that surrounds them.

 

Who are you reading this?

What perturbs your eternal sleep-walk into the night?

Are there questions you are pondering?

Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull through for you?

Into your own quiet, private world,

Where  things that count never change.

And no one is dreaming you, but your mother

Who has left you now for another child.

© Alex Grey: Insomniac Awareness by Igor Goldkind

Pillow Thought

Who has left you now for another child.

THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE: IS SHE AVAILABLE? AVAILABLE NOW ON iTUNES.


Date: March 31, 2015 at 21:38:22 PDT

Subject: To my friends: THIS is What We Have Done – Is SHE Available?

From: Amy Sterling Casil , Chameleon Publishers

I can honestly say, this is like no other book we have ever seen before; we think perhaps – like no other you may have seen as well.uc

31 March 2015

For Immediate Release

IS SHE AVAILABLE? PUSHES BOOKS AND PUBLISHING FORWARD THROUGH POETRY, ART, AND MUSIC

Southern-California based publisher Chameleon Publishing releases its first major publication: Is SHE Available? by Igor Goldkind April 1 via the iBooks store.

What We DoIs SHE Available? pushes the edge of what is possible with present EPUB3 technology and how books are created and made. It is not an App, it is a true book that marries pop art, comics, avant-garde, jazz, spoken word poetry, video and animations, and type design. Its creative journey was more than a year in the making, growing from the collaborative work of artists, musicians, editors, and designers on two continents.

The poet, Igor Goldkind, is a San Diego native who lived in France and the UK for two decades while promoting the work of today’s most notable comic and graphic novel authors and artists. As a teen, he was one of the co-founders of San Diego’s legendary Comic-Con.

According to Bleeding Cool, “It was Goldkind who popularized the phrase ‘graphic novel’ with the media and found that gave them permission to cover the previously-considered childish medium of comic books . . . . Now, Goldkind’s vision of what graphic novels could be, is returning.”

Is SHE Available? was produced using an international collaborative model, but the book is one man’s voice and one man’s story.  Goldkind’s words and voice inspired the art of over 26 internationally-known artists, including cover art and interior illustrations by Eisner-winner Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra Assassin, Daredevil and more), additional interior Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_76illustrations from other graphic novel illustrators and award-winners including Glenn Fabry (Hellblazer, Preacher), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta and many others), Liam Sharp (Judge Dredd/2000 AD/Madefire), fine artists and illustrators Lars Henkel, Mario Cavalli, Mario Torero, Wendy Farrow, and many more.

Music and spoken word were recorded in New York with UK Jazz Album of the Year winner, author and ex-Israeli Gilad Atzmon. A US-based jazz and spoken word tour is scheduled for July 2015.

The type design and hardcover book are created by the eminent London-based designer Rian Hughes (2000 AD, Vertigo, Dan Dare), who includes an afterward about the collaborative design process. E-book production, incorporating Madefire animations, audio and additional animation, were provided by Chameleon Publishing in Southern California.

Due to the inclusion of video, audio and animations, and fine type design, it is playable only on Apple devices, and available only through the iBooks store. The hardcover (without music, spoken word or animationAdvance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_20s) will be published July 15, 2015.

Other “enhanced e-books” have been produced with budgets of $100,000 or more, and few have sold well. The “wisdom” is: poetry doesn’t sell. Enhanced e-books don’t sell. Most jazz doesn’t sell, either. Comic and graphic novel artists struggle to show their fine art to the public. And what publisher would take on a completely unknown poet whose claim to fame was selling fancy comic books to grown-ups and co-founding a big comic/media/scantily-clad women-fest like Comic-Con?Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_39

Twenty percent of North Americans regularly buy and read books. Nearly a hundred percent can read. Chameleon’s mission is to make books for everyone, not just a selected few.

Is SHE Available? Yes.

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes   ©2014

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

Published April 1, 2015, in honor of National Poetry Month.

 

-END-

For more information and to obtain a copy of Is SHE Available? eBook for review (EPUB3 only on iOS devices – iPad, iPhone and Apple computers) or an advance reading copy of the hardcover edition contact the publisher:

Amy Sterling Casil

Chameleon Publishing Inc

YES, I AM AVAILABLE . . . . . . for a price . . . .


OK, you can buy it now.

My book that is, the one I have been going on and on about on these pages for the past 9 months.

It took awhile, a little longer than I planned on.

Igor Goldkind

Author/Poet/Producer   Igor Goldkind

But it’s here now: SHE IS NOW AVAILABLE!

My apologies to everyone I have kept waiting, but I think you’ll find that the end result was well worth it.

You really haven’t seen anything like this before.

Somewhat in recompense, my publisher is offering a SPECIAL INTERNET OFFER to my FB and blog followers:

As of tomorrow, you’ll be invited to pre-order the 164, fully illustrated Hard Cover Edition designed by Rian Hughes featuring an original cover by Bill Sienkiewicz for the regular price of $24.99 and

Get the eBook Download RIGHT NOW FOR FREE.

This offer starts tomorrow for a limited time only. The hardcover edition ships this month and will be available in May. This is your chance to get a copy before your friends can steal theirs from the library, for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

This is a book of Poetry and a book handcrafted by love, tears and the visions of 27 artists, musicians and animators.

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

Poems are a way to talk to a side of ourselves we cannot talk to and a way to take pictures of things that we cannot take pictures of. But like a picture, it also holds moments in time. It works in the space between words, where connections are made, meaning is formed and the poem is ultimately owned by the reader.

And still, for so many of us, you only notice poetry when you need it.

Read poetry.

Because while all the poetry in the world might not be worth as much as one good doctor, if there is a reason we are alive, if there is a reason we’re here, it can be found in poetry. It is the barest bones of the human experience and it captures the soul in flight.

Kind Regards, and please may I ask that you share my words with your Friends.

http://is-she-available.com

BUY IT NOW! Even the Truth is For Sale

BUY IT NOW!
Even the Truth is For Sale

THE FOOL’S LAUNCH PAD


The book is finally ready.the-foolI’ve seen it, played it, read it, listened to it so many times it’s near driven me mad.

The act of creation is an explosion, a maelstrom of emotional energies seeking form, vying with their own legacy of fragile structures, to Break Through to Something New.

That is the goal.

But the monotony of honing the perfection; wherein the hot metals cool and adhere to the cast,  is the labour that seems unending compared to that first ejaculate of inspiration.

So we toil as we complain.

But there never really ever was any turning back

And now there’s no looking back, because the book is uploaded and now for sale on in iTunes, the Books Online Directory and the publisher’s own site: Is She Available?

If you’re reading this, you can get a special discount offer on the website; a kind of 2-4-1 deal.  The kind of incentive that is supposed to get you to read my stuff.

The official release is Wednesday,  APRIL FOOL’S DAY, which I consider entirely appropriate.  A day like any other day, displaced by a change in calendar; a recalibration of our instruments that measure time makes fools of us all when we forget what the calendar really measures:theFoolDetail

our own steep descent  in running out of time.

So like you, I am a Fool

I took the  opportunity to be published and turned it into something more; something different, something that I felt should have been tried by now.  But it hadn’t been.

So I did.

Try.

Doing something new.

Whilst the  machinations of publishing both print and online, grind into gear, releasing steam and a rumbling thunder, I prepare for my flight from the north to the south.

I will be in the air when this book lifts off from its pad.

I hope it flies.

I hope it flies high enough to break this orbit.tarot___the_fool_by_marmot_art

With your help, it very well may.

Thanks, Igor

p=m√


This moment is dead.Momentum
But your life is momentum.
It’s the only life you know:
Everywhere you look
Is exactly where you’ll go.

(Paying attention like a fine,
Sniffing out the muddied footprints of the divine.)

This ticket that you’re riding,
Fare-less and Free,
Is merely the impetus of your Desire
Conserved, unaffectedly
By any other force or swayconservation_of_momentum_7
Upon your singular trajectory through time.

For Tatiana Iosifovna Doubro  who is ejected from planes and recites Pushkin by heart as she is flies through space.

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YES, SHE IS AVAILABLE! OUT NOW !!!!! How Exciting.


I am posting this to announce the official publishing of my book IS SHE AVAILABLE? On April 1st, 2015.  the ebook will be available for download on a variety of commercial websites; not least of which is the official website http://is-she-available.com where you will be able to both download the book and pre-order the hardcover edition. 

Cover Illustrations by Bill Sienkiewicz; Design by Rian Hughes

Cover Illustrations by Bill Sienkiewicz; Design by Rian Hughes

Please, tell your Friends.

“Friends”: how strange that word now seems to me given the dilation of its meaning over the past what 5, 10 years?   I recall using the word in reference to a small circle of familiar intimacies; varied in nature and personality but common in values and how we choose to pass our time.

Of course now my Facebook tally shows that I have somewhere near 2,000 such Friends, comprised mainly of people I have never met, with whom I have exchanged a few words at best; and yet in that exchange of Words, have widened the circle of that meaning: Friendship.

Which is why I have come to not so much to write poetry (I started when I was 13), as to publish it. In a form that suits it’s purpose: to reach out to as many people as I can, the Friends of my Friends (and their Friends too), through the channels that will reach them across this sea of data, signs and meanings our attention now spans.

But even the word ‘book’ now seems to have acquired a fluidity of meaning that transcends its original reference. My work is a tangible, page-turning book designed by maestro Rian Hughes; an electronic book with music and animation, a CD of 15 music tracks by the musical enfant adorable Gilad Atzmon; a portfolio of art prints and a selection of Poet-T-Shirts, bearing a selection of fine art images and illustrations from my dozen collaborators on this book.

The Revolution in Only 2 Digits by Jeff Christensen  © 2014

The Revolution in Only 2 Digits by Jeff Christensen © 2014

This ‘Book’ is also a live spoken word/jazz music tour in the US this coming this early summer and a UK tour this Autumn.

I apologise to my Friends who have been hanging on, hearing fragments of news, awaiting the date they can hear less about it and more what it says.                   I confess, like many things,

it was all my fault.

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_42

The Birth of Fire by Margarita Zuniga © 1959

The inception of this project dates back nearly a year to March 2014, when the author/publisher Amy Sterling, after a long dialogue about writing on Facebook, suggested that her nascent publishing company CHAMELEON Publishing Inc. would be interested in publishing my work. Chameleon Publishing Inc. was a new, next-generation publishing company based in Southern California that’s opening new market channels for books with new readers, mainly for and about women. When I first mentioned my sole discrepancy in this area, Amy replied casually with the second greatest compliment a woman has ever paid me: “But your sensibility fits”.

And I’m thankful that it has, because without the efforts of the women who have supported this project, it would not have come to be. From Eleanor Brooks my firm, caring editor, to my daughter Olivia Goldkind-Brooks, to Addie Kaplan my business manager, this vehicle is powered by a uniquely feminine drive. Since the start gun fired, I have been on an unimaginable roller coaster ride of magical serendipity, dazzling disappointments and a severe lack of funds. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the career of a writer or any artist is easy; sure you have more freedom, but freedom costs what money can’t buy: time, effort and persistence.

PETER SAID TO WENDY by Wendy Farrow

WHAT PETER SAID TO WENDY by Wendy Farrow ©2014

I had hoped to announce the publication before Christmas, then the New Year. But the practical demands and hurdles involved in this kind of innovation and creation (thank you, Adobe!), persists with its own priorities, own issues to resolve. I also encumbered myself with the urgency of my mother’s impending demise late last year. I had to unburden myself of the notion that I needed to place a copy of my book in her hand before she passed. It wasn’t practical it wasn’t possible and in the end, it wasn’t necessary.

The personal is always constrained by the impersonal.

Now we are resolved.

First Page of THE FARMER AND THE SOLDIER comci strip by David Lloyd  © 2014

THE FARMER AND THE SOLDIER by David Lloyd © 2014

My persistence on this project, (some would add, against all reason), is about to see fruit. Whether the fruit is sweet or bitter (or both) will soon be for others to determine.   What I can tell you is that I have put all of myself into this this deeply confessional, personal work. All of my sweat, all of my anger, all of my love, all of my hatred, all of my blood, sinew and bone into the making of this creation.   My intent is to connect with you, with your emotions, your experiences and your sense of your self by sharing the most personal in the most universal way I can. I believe, at the depth of our selves, in our own most solitary, private existences is where we find each other gathered, maybe huddled, in the same exact corner.

It will not be to everyone’s tastes, I’m sure.  But if you care to take a look you will find a work that endeavors not to entertain, nor offer safe refuge from harsh truths; but rather to be that truth in Word, in Image, in  Music and in Movement.

Because . . .

When you stare into the Abyss long enough,

the abyss will stare back at you;

and if your gaze remains unflinching,

the Abyss will speak to you

And this is what it says . . .

THE DARK CLOUD  Typographic layout by Rian Hughes

THE DARK CLOUD Typographic layout by Rian Hughes

Bubbles


Life goes on without you
and within you:
shiney-wet-pebbles-bubblesRound pink pebbles
Polished by the constant flow of
Bubbles that burst like dreams
Just above the stream.
All I am is the movement in between:
The pebbles and the burst-bubble dreams.

bubbles-119-1

Rainbow Bridge


You know I owe it you my friends, those of you who have been generous in your thoughts for the loss of my mother to tell you something: Although it has been a long, arduous road from my mother’s first diagnosis of dementia 4 years ago to her leaving my world 2 weeks ago and in spite of the struggle (not least with the authorities), to see her way clear to a happy death; it has been an extraordinary, indeed enlightening experience.

I’ve been distracted so much of my life by shiny, trivial things and this last year certainly, has brought me into a focus and permitted me insights into things I had never known. The most pedestrian insight being the sorry regard our institutions have for the aged, the infirm and the demented. We don’t treat our weakest very well and I’m afraid that is because

we really don’t treat ourselves very well either.

The insight that I do want to share or at least attempt to convey is what I did feel this past month observing my mother’s diminishing capacity to engage with her surroundings first socially then practically. I had a tactile, visceral sense of an arc of a life; a universal trajectory from birth to death, as something that comes and then goes.

(The Rainbow in Norse mythology Yggdrasilis the bridge to Asgard and Valhalla, the hall of fallen warriors.) I have no experience of the supernatural.

It’s all natural to me. But I did feel a deep and distinct tone, like the pealing of a bell resonating beneath my feet in her passing.

Between the last evening that I saw her, held her hand and spoke to the steady light in her eyes and the morning I visited her room from where life had been so recently evicted, I knew I had seen a life depart and the place in the world that it had left. I did not catch a glimpse of death.

I saw life very clearly as it fled my mother’s corpse.

That thing, that is everything, that same thing that still animates us all. Until our clocks wind down as well or are tragically, shockingly shut down. I saw life leaving me behind as it disappeared  around some bend and I saw the life that was me, within it’s own place, on its own trajectory of escape.

I saw the light in the eyes that created me, that cherished me; fight, fade and extinguish.

I know that I will go there too, following her footsteps and those of my father’s before her and my sister’s before him.  A  death parade towards an unknown horizon.   I don’t know where they went, I just know that they are no longer here; nor any where I will ever be again.

No ‘where’ to go to. Just end. Just stop. Just no longer being.

And these fingers tapping on my keyboard are tapping out time too.

Igor

THE BORDER IS YOUR MIND


Yes, Available. 1267915_10152977966392755_3846847922395520293_oMicrosoft Word - New Poem-THE BORDER IS YOUR MIND.docx

LOVE IS AN ANGEL DISGUISED AS LUST by Igor Goldkind


LOVE IS AN ANGEL DISGUISED AS LUST 

Love is an Angel.medusa-on-the-sofa_for-Evan copy What is this thing that you can’t speak of?

This flirtation that will not hold its tongue but would rather hold yours between its teeth

And bite the thwarted anticipation of your mad fear’s confusion.

for fuck’s sake, what’s to choose?

Your body has already chosen for you

I hear it calling me on the telephone it anticipates my touch

it intakes your breath

it recalls my lips onto yours this tongue wets a damp crevice and summons the river

and it flows like no other desire from phone to train to bedroom

a churning current that carves out cliffs on the shoreline on the way plowing across the months and years exposing the bone and sinew of yes,

pure lust  

DESIRE!

Pure Beautiful Carnal Longing

that is the truthful stench of black damp earth pregnant with all of life;  pregnant with who you and I will become

when One again.

 When turning and churning, unraveling and raveling the bed sheets again.

The furious spinning of uplift resisting all gravity.

There’s a vertigo to our desire but no, I will not let you fall.

Recall, hear my cries of consummation in your arms, rising and falling, dancing between your upturned thighs

Recall your gasps of surprised delight

As the wings of a fallen angel unfurl to take in the return to paradise. You can feel this all again with me, baby.

There ever, ever was anotherLove is an Angel copy.                I’m just waiting to take you again.

Paintings of Medusa by Nancy Farmer © 2014  for the Poem in the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE?   (Chameleon)

PLATO’S RETREAT by Igor Goldkind; Illustration by Rian Hughes


Plato’s RetreatPLATO'S RETREAT IGOR'S BOOK FLAT

I want to be just like Socrates,


Grow a long beard and

Do what I please.


And be asking you allot of questions….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

And not know for sure
 If I’m really real

or merely an altar In Plato’s temple.

I want to be just like Socrates,


And stand in the forum all day.


In the blazing sun that surrounds us,

Under the azure Athenian skies.

And philosophize,

To anyone who bothers to listen….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates

Corrupting my own youth in a hemlock cocktail

Every Friday night,
 2, 4 1 before 7 ….

For a living.

I want to be just like Socrates,

On a Saturday night
…

Asking, “hey you, at the bar”:

What is justice?

And where can I score some tonight?

After hours
..

Long after the widening sliver

Of your mind’s eternal dawn.

Image

IS SHE AVAILABLE..? by Igor Goldkind A Collection of Poetry, Art, Music and Motion in eBook, Hardcover and CD Spoken Word Editions COMING FOR THIS XMAS!!!


THIS IS THE HOLDING PAGE FOR THE OFFICIAL IS-SHE-AVAILABLE.COM WEB-HUB LAUNCHING DECEMBER 6, 2014

On this page you will be able to order the book directly in time for Xmas; Download the eBook; pre-order the Wall Print Portfolio and the Music CD IS SHE?  

BOOK MARK THIS PAGE AND GET SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR BLOG-FOLLOWERS AND FACEBOOK FANS

CHECK OUT SAMPLE FROM THE EBOOK AT MADEFIRE.COM   HERE

THIS IS THE COVER ILLUSTRATION FOR THE BOOK AND THE POEM THE DARK CLOUD

by BILL SIENKIEWICZ  © 2014Copyright Bill Sienkiewicz 2014 for the collection IS SHE AVAILABLE? by Igor GoldkindI

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

Oblivion.

I

am

the

MeaningDK4

of

Meaning,

Which

is

Nothing!

I

am

contempt

incarnate

I

am

the

self-loathing,

the

wriggling,

The

squirming

of

your

soul

I

am

the

reason

you

are

suffering

Because

IDK1

enjoy

the

show.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

the

Darkness.

I

am

Oblivion.

I

am

the

Meaning

of

Meaning,

Which

is

Nothing!

I

am

the

dropped

eyes

and

fallen

smile

of

your

mother

When

she

realizes

what

a

little,

masturbating

shit

you

really

are!DK2

I

am

sickness.

I

am

despair.

I

am

the

hope

you

hide

behind,

Strangled in thin air.

am

the

Darkness.

am

the Darkness.

am 

Oblivion.

am

the Meaning

of

Meaning,

Which is

Nothing!

You

are

the

particle,

I

am

the physics

You think

you matter?

Am the Matter,

Dark Matter!

I

am

where

all

energy

goes.

Entropy is my mistress

and

fuck her every day!

DK4

I

am

Where

you

come

from

Where

everything

comes

from…

am what comes to you all.

I

am

where

you

go

when

you

don’t

really

know,

When

you

can’t

recall

Who you are anymore.

am the Darkness.

am the Darkness.

am Oblivion.

am the Meaning of meaning,

Which is Nothing!

Stop

talking

now.

Stop

thinking

now.

Stop loving and living and dying.

Come with me now.

Come with me now.Raven and Woman Branch

Come with me now.

There’s

no

denying

what

you

already

know,

What you’ve known all along.

I am the Darkness.

I am the Darkness.

I am Oblivion.

I am the Meaning of Meaning,

Which is Nothing!

There’s

no

You.

There never was.

It was always

Me.

YouMan pulls cloud are just trick of the

lights that

own.

You are nothing,

You are the 

                                                                 Nothing

You are me

You belong to

ME.

Now come quietly now,

Come take my hand, now.

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Out of the darkness,

Where you belonged.

Out of oblivion,

Out of the Meaning of Meaning,

Out of the darkness,

into your Light

And come

Home.

FLASH BACK ’78


Basking in the Broken Down Casino of Americana the grated dead reside in.scan0015

Reading the Bones of old contentions…looking up at primary  school-lights; the ones that never change…looking down at the floor tiles; an endless sea of wrinkled faces….too many people to breathe in…

where’s the Exit Jean mentioned?…

Sound…check…test…test1…test2…test3…

Now!

Go You Sun of a Gun!

Locomotive train thunders through your head…groping… stumbling…tripping forwards into that warm glowing rush of the great unknown.  There’s a tunnel!… there’s a tunnel…there’s a tunnel up ahead.  We’re goin’in…we’re goin’in…we’re goin’in.watch your head!

Watch: Your Head.

 Gone!   Washed away under the Lowest Bridge:

The consummation of illusion onto the lockjaw of your reality.

Still falling forwards…forwards with time…moving…with no body…no mass…no mind…beating…truckin’…making that Bend-On-the-Road…past the Dooh-Dah man….Right turn….left turn…back turn…back-where-you-started-from turn…It’s happening man…all around you…all the time…with you…without you…no-you..no- more…no-you-no-more….KNOW-MORE-YOU!..Don’t look left…don’t look right…don’t get scared…

Dawn follows the Night…head straight into the Light… up ahead…right where you came from…another train comin’ down your track…Head On Tight!grateful_dead_skeleton__pencil_by_frozenpinky-d2ek9j0

One More Stop….

Farther Down the Road.

Just keep on truckin’… don’t fall ahead and do not fail…one…two…onetwo…want-to… want-to …onetwothree..….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew…One-Two Three….chugga-chugga-chugga-chew-chew

One-Two-Three….

One-Two-Three….chew-chew:

you’re dead.

For shaky kane,  you better watch your head…

SHE’S COMING . . . HE’S WAITING . . .


IS SHE AVAILABLE?…………………………………………………………………………………Even the Truth is For Salecropped-10689672_732000606836698_9129833884739632966_n-1.jpg

405706_294992087204221_1568855981_n

HE’S WAITING . . .

340428_314648051905291_1879620096_o

461169_345102268859869_704018313_oIS SHE AVAILABLE?  

Chameleon Business Plan May 1 2014_Page_01The New Debut Collection of Poetry, Illustration, Music and Animation

by Igor Goldkind and 20 other Artists461511_335891136447649_1992636895_o

COMING THIS XMAS TO AN AMAZON TAB NEAR YOU

 This Christmas Make Your Gift Poetry.

IS SHE AVAILABLE ?  1601138_732002420169850_8147971876015536004_nEven the Truth is For Sale

Quote

NOTHING TO DO


We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future.

We have no present.

Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation.

mindfulness callifgraphy~ Alan Watts

LIAM SHARP: MAN, GOD or GOAT?


LIAM SHARP: MAN, GOD or GOAT?

I first met Liam Sharp in the editorial offices of 2000AD when he was a young jobbing artist. He had hair back then. He also had a journeyman’s attitude that stood out and distinguished him from the parade of amateur portfolio-ed artists who regularly hung out in the 3 floor reception of Greater London House, in the Camden of early 1990’s North London, where comics were being published.495

(We all worked in the neighborhood that Amy Winehouse grew up, sang and died in.)

Liam made his debut in the late 1980s drawing Judge Dredd for 2000AD, where I was working as the marketing manager in order to promote 2000AD and launch 3 new comics titles onto the newsstand market.   These were the days that a comic like 2000 AD sold 100,000 copies A WEEK. (80% newsstand sales!) I met many of the young guns at the time like Liam who later, established a deservedly high reputation in US comics.     At the time, I had the fortunate vantage point of being a “suit” that actually valued the artistry and narrative of the work being produced for a mass-market audience.

When Liam came to Greater London House, both Richard Burton, the then editor of 200AD and Alan Mackenzie, his deputy would meet him at reception, usher him in and introduce Liam to others and myself. This was, I observed at the time, special treatment I only saw on display for Grant Morrison on his frequent visits and Alan Moore on his less frequent ones.   So I knew that editorially, Liam was a VIP and it was when Richard gloated to me about Liam’s apprenticeship with the British comics industry version of Jack Kirby: Don Lawrence that immediately drew my attention to Liam.

Liam copyWhen I met and had a pint with him, (an essential communications tool in Britain: the pint), I discovered a young, working class man with a gift for art who had won both placement and scholarship in a reputable middle class school; and who had then chosen to askew an equally merited University placement in order to work instead, as an apprentice to Don Lawrence.

Don Lawrence was admittedly considered the finest British comics artist of the time, but still! This was not so much radically different as radically traditional. Liam chose his own path as a student and as an artist.   Regardless, one thing was crystal clear to me: Liam Sharp had balls.Old_Dredd_pin_up_by_LiamSharp

Liam later moved to Marvel UK, where he drew the best-selling Marvel UK title ever, Death’s Head II. Liam then was at the crest of the wave of British artists and writers invading the offices and comic book shelves of the US comics industry with books as diverse as the X-Men, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Venom, Man-Thing (for Marvel Comics), Superman, Batman, and The Possessed (for DC Comics and Wildstorm), Spawn: The Dark Ages (for Todd McFarlane and Image) and Red Sonja for Dynamite comics.

The pre-comics-fame Liam I met was a young, muscular Northerner from Derbyshire with a broader-voweled accent than his southern, countrymen. Liam and his ilk (English people from anywhere north of Birmingham; or as we used to call, the rest of the country) had a different style, a different way about them. More plain spoken, self-modest and more eager to share a laugh, than their southern counterparts, the Northern British seemed to have crossed a border from another country, sitting in the reception area of Greater London House on Euston Road.

It was a different time:

Alan Moore was still talking to people; Neil Gaiman was in perpetual leather-jacketed, Lou Reed mode,  Grant Morrison was shy and Warren Ellis actually seemed scary to me. And everybody seemed to be on the same side: you were either publishing comics or you were writing or drawing (or both) comics.

Hard to describe to comics fans these days. Comics writing, drawing, publishing, selling, collecting has always been about

LiamSharp1 money. But in London, because of it’s New York-density, spread out over the land area of an LA; everything wound up affecting everything else. Comics did become the new rock and roll. Comics’ design and styles infiltrated the print media. Comics characters costumes, the street fashion scene, comics stories (Halo Jones, Watchmen, Judge Dredd) were injecting the music scene and this was 10 year before the comic book movies.

I first met Liam in the wake of what seemed, to all of us at the time, a unique cultural explosion. Comics had infiltrated every corner of popular fashion. Just as in the 60’s, London record companies were overwhelmed by young English songwriters and bands; the office of British comics companies in the at least the first long train journeys from Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and of course Derby hoping for a commission.   It was in the middle of this flurry of excitement, 3 new weekly and monthly comics being launched and work was on offer. It was the comics equivalent of a gold rush.   The impact was also felt in the aesthetic migration of artists from all media to the sequential, to the narrative textures of images.

Painters like Simon Bisley and mixed media artists such as Dave McKean were pushing the envelope on what was considered acceptable art for comics. I remember pages of artwork that were so densely painted or mixed up with objects that the printer could literally not bend the page around the drum needed to shoot the film. Layers of film had to be shot to turn these new, thickly, painted canvasses into comics pages. Experiments were being tried and barriers were being broken.

But 20 odd years later, Liam is still a working artist. More importantly, he has mutated into that essential modern mold, that survivalist camouflage, of entrepreneur. The smart businessman/artist/producer, all artists working in the popular arts, (not just comics), need to be in order to earn a living with their craft.

Liam Sharp is again at the crest of a new wave of artists who understand the entire cycle of creation, production and dissemination of a creative product to a market.

With the founding of Madefire.com in Berkeley, California, in 2011, Liam took his Northern English, working class creative drive to the edge of the medium again. Motion books are moving narratives, in both senses of the term and Liam continues to further his artistry both visually as an artist and producer, but also as a writer in his current ground-breaking Motion Book for Madefire.com “Captain Stone is Missing” written with his wife Christina McCormack.Capt. Stone and the Tyrany of the Ant Women (color)

Liam’s critically acclaimed first novel GOD KILLERS: MACHIVARIUS POINT & OTHER TALES was published in 2008 with a second edition in 2009.

Liam Aliens graphic novella Aliens: Fast Track to Heaven for Dark Horse, which he both wrote and illustrated, has been critically acclaimed.

Liam Sharp is not just a successful artist, producer and now publisher, he uses his expertise and now sizeable experience to not just accumulate money (and rare bourbons), but to generate new work, to create value that engages; which is after all, the duty of an artist, is it not?

If it is an artist’s duty to advance the medium they craft in, then Ladies and Gentleman I present Liam with my imaginary, CGI Medal of Valor beyond the call of duty in the field of creative endeavor.

“For Chrissakes, Liam! Keep your helmet on; that’s live ammo they’re using out there!”

LiamSharp2

Image

I Once Knew A Woman Thrice; in Santa Cruz, Paris and Philadelphia


recently returned some poems I had sent her from far, far ago when we ere young and in lust and barely able to bare the sight or scent of each other without fainting into reverie and floating together; clouds that had long since let go of their rain.

It is a gift to visit ancient ports and distant shores.

Time is as big as the world it passes by.

So it is with words:


mad dog

hiding in the rain.

sharp stone

never show your pain.

some kind of innocence

is nourished in your fears.

you don’t know how much

I’ve tried just to hold you near.

(there is no way out-

-there is no way out).

the poet earns his keep

from reading the pain in others eyes

while his eyes are fountains

of tear drops and shattered sunlight.

Igor Goldkind 1983


You love me, I know with your own hands

For I am faithful to your fingertips.

When you pierce me with your wide-eyed glances,

I am stilled.

The earth grows roots around my calves,

And my body is made of branches.

Your gaze shivers their leaves like an Autumn breeze.

Igor Goldkind  1977



Zen

you are

the vessal

made usefull

by the emptiness

within

Igor Goldkind late 70’s


And then Paris,  1986:

10013981_10152778885237755_3592292321445791211_n

CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY


My work in the late 80’sand 90’s in the British publishing industry led to the engineering and successful marketing  of the Graphic Novel genre; a new format of  hardcover and trade paperbacks of graphic fiction that bookstores would stack on their shelves.  It was my job at Titan Books to do so, for which I was paid some £7,500 a year by my employer Nick Landau, to do.

After I was given a raise by Titan Books to £8K per annum , I learnt solely by chance, that my work had increased the revenue for my employer by some 7 figure sums and that the rest of the publishing industry were all cashing in on the work I was doing in promoting 9-5, the new publishing category.   Cashing in, but not adhering to  to the implicit quality standards the likes of Moore, Gaiman, Morrison, Speigelman and other auteurs were actively pursuing.

The Medium, as we used to call it back then, had failed to live up to its own promise.

So I got out; for that and personal reasons.

Now when I read the interviews with my former partners in CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY crime in the press complaining that the industry had failed and that the term Graphic Novel  was just a manipulative tool wielded by the Moloch of Comics Publishing932f83ea7108237da3f82c1b8ec82261

(Batman in MOLOCH!  Wonderwoman in MOLOCH!  The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galazy, Superman and the Xmen are all drowning in the vomit of MOLOCH!)   

Which I believe, the premise of the new cross over series written for DC by Grant Morrison.Tree-Man-A-1000x1000

The most admired (and crafted), writer in comics ever, in particular; (someone I worked with closely with on the presentation of his seminal forensic crucification of the American superhero genre to a mainstream audience, refrains from even addressing me by name in print when he lambasts the CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY that still pays him a living), has repeatedly condemned the  publishing category Graphci Novel, as  effectively, just another  CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY from the publishign industry.

I have news for the revered scribe:  you may have relegated me to the dark side, but take a look in the mirror, man: you’ve been here with me all along.

[Added 9.18 for context], I realise now that the above might be interpreted as some kind of opening volley against the distinguished author.  Far be it.  I will always both  personally  and publically assert that Mr. Moore was the change in comics back in the late 80’s.  No single other artist in the medium at the time was so intelligently treating the medium like a literary and artistic platform for expression.  Most craftsmen (and women), I met at the time were desperaely trying to hustle their next wok commission.  Not Mr. Moore.  His posture was different:  he related to editors, collaborators and others  as an auteur sans pretension.  Intelligent, articulate and demanding of  ones wit and focus.   And from I observed, never intimidated or swayed  by the money or more often, the promise of money from publishers.

Just to make absolutely clear about my statements regarding this author:  I learned everything I know about comics by just listening to him, during interviews, casual conversations and direct discussions.  A the time, this man was a walking sandwich board for the the new comics,  the Graphic Novels, chiefly because it was only his writing (and that of a handful of there), that even came close to qualifyng as a novel or even literature.   I never was nor have ever been a Comics Fan (Senator and members of the committee), but I have always been a fan of literature, drawn or undrawn.    Which is why I cntinue to read, enjoy and learn from Mr. Moore’s work.

Although I do take exception (mildly, not really that seriously), to his most recent public damnations of the Graphic Novel, and it’s origins; it’s not that I object to his opinion as much as I question the accuracy of his recollection of events and of the times that he was actually there.    I don’t take issue either with Mr. Moore’s take on the industry  and publishing in general; in fact the more experience I gain the more my views align with his.

But regardless of the vocabulary used (or the fact that I was being paid a paltry wage at the time), I accomplished my task to his and his collaborator’s direct professional and financial benefit.  Not to mention the real world benefits: the successfull dissemination of the term Graphic Novel into the mainstream brought to literally thousands of other free lances in the form of royalty checks for the graphic novel edition of their work; a  now standard of the comics industry throughout the world.

I do not benefit from the use of the term of from the money generated by its use.

Bird-With-Letter-A1-1000x1000But I do not regret not hiring that CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY lawyer that would have secured my trademark on the use of the term and perhaps a penny off of every new Graphic Novel sale; which is what the business side of the industry tells me I shoudl have done.

I did not “create” the term graphic novel; as an outsider to the industry, I found the term on the back of a Will Eisner book and used it as the keystone of a campaign to bring new comics, well written, adventuerously drawn comics.    But yes, I coined the term Graphic Novel; having borrowed it from the back of a low print-run Will Eisner compilation of The Spirit.  His clever NYC publisher was struggling to get Eisner’s work into the bookshops too and had tried the term connotating Literary fiction: a novel.   My use of the term was different as messieurs Gaiman and Moore can both attest to; Grant got it about the same time but more remotely, in Glasgow.  Graphic Novel  was meant to mean  NEW Graphics, new graphic literature, new comics.

Coining, (in the sense of creating common usefulness; IOW: monetizing a vocabulary term into the common currency of language of transactional communication).  It derives from the coining of money by stamping metal with a die. Coins (also variously spelled coynes, coigns, coignes or quoins), were the blank, usually circular, disks from which money was minted. This usage derived from an earlier 14th century meaning of coin, which meant wedge. The wedge-shaped dies which were used to stamp the blanks were called coins and the metal blanks and the subsequent ‘coined’ money took their name from them.

{Coining later began to be associated with inventiveness in language. In the 16th century the ‘coining’ of words and phrases was often referred to. By that time the monetary coinage was often debased or counterfeit and the coining of words was often associated with spurious linguistic inventions; for example, in George Puttenham’s The arte of English poesie, 1589:

“Young schollers not halfe well studied… will seeme to coigne fine wordes out of the Latin.”

Shakespeare, the greatest coiner of them all, also referred to the coining of language in Coriolanus, 1607:

“So shall my Lungs Coine words till their decay.”}coin a phrase

Tree-Man-A-1000x1000

The NEW comics of the late 80’s and early 90’s that derived from Moore’s early work for DC, Spielgelman’s dabbling at biography in NYC, Miller’s pushing the edges out on Dare Devil and most of all (for me), Bill Sienkiewicz’s explosive rendering of ELEKTRA ASSASIN!  I had never seen anyone take the convnetions of comcis illustration like Faugere Egg and take a sledge hammer to it the way Siekiewicz did, literally splattering the edges of the pages and frames with the remnants of comics conventions.  Sienkiewicz brought commercial  art and later fine art sensibilities to Graphic Novels, something his admirer and pioneer in his own right Dave McKean would further in his career just like in a real popular arts medium.

These were the Makers of New Works.  I’ve forgotten everyone:  Brendan McCarthy, Jamie Delano, Pete Milligan, Frank Miller, Joe Sacco, Harvey Peckar, Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez . . . .  they all were making, new different work outside the stulpifying conventions aesthetic conventions.  So like superheros, they need a new name and Guardians of the Galaxy was taken, so instead you got Graphic Novelists.

I resent nothing.

It was my own fault for being more naive and less carnivorous than my employers.

So instead I have to work for a living; for which I have no complaint as at least I have work to do.

I did learn something valuable (whenever someone fails, they  always say that they learnt something valuble),  and that is to sell a product whatever it might be, you have to create a place in people’s minds and desires where they want that product.  The most intimate and subjective of products: the books we read, the music we listen to , the films we watch: you must give people a reason for looking an understanding for what they may see.

That is why a coded term like Graphic Novel works; it’s a cut through, short cut signifier that puts anyone who wants to know or needs to know in the picture immediately: you know what you know and now you know what it is.

In the case of Poetry, we have a different problem.

Everyone knows what  Poetry is, right ? It’s that stuff you had to memorize in school and  analyze with Mrs. Humphries who always crossed the naughty words out like ‘sweat’ and ‘blood’ and ‘toil’ with a thick, black, fascist marker pen.38_image_v2

Or it’s what you penned to your wife when you were courting her; or received form your husband, your boyfriend, you lover.  Anyone one of those people in your life who felt such passion, such ardour for you that they could not tell you, they had to find words from some magic place to convince you, to persuade you, to seduce you into the beauty of the passion they could see in you.

Perhaps a Poem was the only form your shattered thoughts could take at the loss of someone so precious to you that you would choose the pian of being hewn by swords than endure the truth of their permanent absence from this world.

Perhaps you have nearly gone mad and found Poems, like steps out of the abyss of self-loathing into the stark light of realisation and hope for your self.

There is no greater hope to lose than the Hope for Yourself.

So Poetry has a signifier, a pretty universal one; unfortunately it doesn’t point towards anything like what Poetry actually is.

Poetry is an art form, not a craft.

Poetry an aspiration to derive music and pattern from our deepest thoughts, the language of our dreams and the whispering, the lamenting, the singing, the moaning and the laughter of our souls.

Poetry is Liberation.  The words will set you free.

I am a Poet and to sell my ware  (my GRAPHIC POEMS ;~),   I must show people what it is that I do, that others do that is so far removed from the common currency of the term Poetry.   So this is not only a CYNICAL-MARKETING-PLOY, but a sinister sales strategy as well!   To get you to read my words, I must first who you what they are ouside the barriers of  your preconceptions.

So, come to a picnic and hear what Poetry is and the vital importance it has always played in our social and political lives.

*Poster for Marathon Rimbaud-100-THOUSAND-POETS-4-CHANGE-by-Henrik-Aeshna

September 27th, 1 pm Balboa Park, World Beat Centre/ El Centro Cultural de la Raza

Come One and All, Come All in One, Come to the 100,000 Poets-for-Change Marathon!  (Picnic & Reading)

79-penseefasciste-mauriziocattelan-fotopedia

It’s your duty ;~)

I Am Not Spock chosen and read by J Underhill for his Poetry Podcast


download

 

Nobody Talks to Me Anymore   


Has been entered int the Realistic Poetry Contest and thus is no longer available on my blog as it is defined as non-exclusive or previous publication by the contest rules.

Who knows, I may even win.

Either way, it returns once the contest is over in February
Tune In.

DLKBRPMWkAIXppy

Speculative Realism: What It Means, What It Is and Why You Need to Know


Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror is really the best TV on your screen. It quite literally holds up a black mirror not just onto our society but to each one of us as components, now data-cogs, of the society we can no longer see anymore without the aid of mirrors.  We are like goldfish in a goldfish bowl kept rotating by the shortness of our attention spans and never even realising the wetness of our environments.

Charlie Brooker, his cast, co-writers and the producers at Netflix are doing us the moral service of reminding us of the remnants of own moral outrage and how our own ethical boundaries have long since been trespassed by the dark consequences of convenience and more efficient processing.

The machines haven’t taken over yet; we just surrendered first.

blackmirror_s4_callister_00658_v1-1_wide-7d816b8e4d78b477f15b7cdfc7f64930e9508285-s1600-c85We are like commuters stuck in traffic complaining about the traffic that we are actually both part of and complicit in. Even though from our subjective vehicles, we cannot see it. Traffic controllers retain the power however it is a remote distributed, bureaucratic, systemised power that is no longer subject to one human’s judgement. Who do you alert when the traffic lights stop working? You don’t have to, they already know.

I have as of late, paraded the term Speculative Realism, borrowed from the French post-idealists. Who understand that the only way to view ourselves clearly is no longer as mere individuals but as components of a larger neuro-ecology that contains, constraints and ultimately defines us. We are the furniture that a system beyond our own subjectivity keeps rearranging “on our behalf”, “for our own safety”. “for your security”.images-1

I have only slightly re-engineered the term in the context of a literary genre, of storytelling, perhaps the sole remaining respite of human freedom. A story is a purely human phenomenon untainted by machine efficiency as machines don’t need to tell each other stories. But we do, and in doing so we may be flexing the last quiescent muscle of our humanity. A story is comprised up 3 interlocked elements: The storyteller, the story and the audience (or to whom the story is told). At least two of these components are human, subject and object; the rest is merely synaptic grammar.   images

When a story is told and heard, a condensed complex of information, human knowledge and near spiritual wisdom is transmitted in a compact instant well beyond the speed or circuitry of a microchip. Remember, we are the minds that created and defined data. It is that creative mind that is both alert and receptive to the information that is vital to our survival, as a species and as sane human beings. Storytelling is our salvation and Poetry is better than prayer because you don’t have to pretend that someone is listening.

Speculative Realism is just my tag for vital, survival information being conveyed by storytellers. As essential as where the next herd of buffalo might be. Speculative Fiction has here to provided the luxurious canvas for our imaginations to ponder possibilities. But Speculative Realism is not what you might do ‘if…’ but what you will have to do ‘when…’ To survive, to retain your own identity and perhaps even your sanity. Speculative Realism is an imperative, it carries the mental equipment we need to survive.

imagesBlack Mirror is a series of short cameos of Speculative Realism. The term is beginning to gain traction since I first observed the emergence of this genre in film, fiction and screen entertainment. I have since read a reference to Neil Gaiman‘s work described as Speculative Realist in his use of double vision, (the seeing of two apparent contractions as one), in his characterisations. I don’t know if he thinks that, you’d have to ask him.

Cyberpunk auteur Bruce Sterling, in Wired, refers to Speculative Realism as Philosophy Fiction, which is as good a handle as any because Speculative Realism defends the autonomy of the world from human access in a spirit of imaginative audacity.

In his recent Edinburgh University Press publication Speculative Realism and Science Fiction, Brian Willemsuses a range of science fiction literature that questions anthropomorphism to develop the Speculative Realist position. He looks at how nonsense and sense exist together in science fiction, the way in which language is not a guarantee of personhood, the role of vision in identity formation and the differences between metamorphosis and modulation.

hqdefaultThese are useful critical and academic insights. But the real meat is in the eating and Black Mirror takes you to the centre of the Speculative Realist banquet, piling your plate high with outrage, moral panic and cautionary tales of horror. I suggest tasting a sample as we’re all going to be eating from this same table for the very foreseeable future,
the future that has already arrived.

© Igor Goldkind 2016images-2

A Drinking Song: The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present


 

Last night was kind of my XXXmas eve, being a Saturday night, with no ghosts to placate until Monday morning. So I took my Victory out for a long ride, 46 miles down to Chula Vista to drop in on my drunken-angel-poet-brothers Alex Bosworth and Chris Vannoy. As I told them, I’ve never stopped in Chula Vista before,  only passed through it; well on my way to crossing the border between Mexico and Madness.

Back in the Beatnik Days, when America was still a Great Shining Beacon of Golden Intentions and jail-breaking freedoms, going south of the border was a euphemism for leaving the straight rational world and exploring the psychedelic corridors and hallways of the unconscious mind, where the muses played poker to the sound of Gabriel’s saxophone under a streetlamp, playing for spare  change, playing for the end of time. Kesey, Cassidy, Timothy Leary had all spent time south of the border, hiding from the authority.

But I wasn’t going all the way south or crossing any borders. Instead, like a Boddhisatva practising the discipline of worldly compassion, I was riding south on the great American highway stopping just short of going over the edge. Stopping long enough for the rest of my sentient species to hop on board and cross over with me.   How long I gotta wait?   The blur of the wind in my eyes transforms Inter-state 5 into a two-lane river of white headlight diamonds on one end heading towards but past me and on the other end,  a torrent of glistening rubies speeding with me, flowing around me,  carrying me forwards in one high speed direction.

I was carried on a slipstream of glistening rubies last night.  Chilled legs wrapped around my angel in flight, carrying me aloft above all thought, beyond all hesitation, in that dangerous living moment when every half second of thought is solid and real with consequence; and any distraction is a trap door thumping open under the hangman’s rope.

That is the fury of mediation. That is my arrival in this moment that we all share. The calm at the center of chaos.  Join me, dear reader, at the centre of chaos.

So I’m heading south armed with an unopened bottle of rye, the spirit of the season travels with me. Good whisky is about as spiritual as I get these days.  It is my usual Xmas tradition to grab a bottle of good booze and head down to the Greyhound station, or the street corner, outside a homeless shelter or an alleyway or anywhere I can find and join a cluster of the disaffected, the homeless, the pointless, the ones left out of family portraits. Just to share a drink, a joke and the dregs of our mutual humanity.

But this year, not particularly in contrast,  I’ve chosen the company of Deadbeat poets, failed self-construction workers, mental hospital misfits, suicide skippers and gravel-voiced prophets capable of predicting the present with uncanny accuracy. Cassandra’s children muttering under their condensed breaths, scratching their prophecies from the oracle down for the benefit of anyone who still remembers how to read; or how to listen. Tonight these are my brothers (and sisters), in arms. Raging against a sea of struggles, believing that by opposing them, we will end them and wrap our soiled blankets of peace around this cold, shivering world’s shoulders.

Chris Vannoy & Alex Bosworth

Dead Beat Poets

I make it to Main Street much too early and agree to meet my comrades in a bar called Sanctum. I have no currency apart from my still untried bottle of rye so I stand outside on the pavement near but not too near two young women smoking butts and laughing. ‘Merry Xmas’, I venture.

‘Merry fucking Xmas to you too’, is their reply.  So I listen. A skill I am still mastering.   The raven-haired beauty of the pair is recounting her love life to her friend. Telling her how she had met her intended’s eyes at work, a burning penetration in time and how happy she was that at least she knew, that she knew that she knew that there was an unstated passion, thrilling at the unstated, as yet unenacted attraction between them.
The bittersweet anticipation of passions yearned for but still yet to come.

I wanted to tell the dark-haired young woman how lucky she was to be free to express such yearning to another woman. Jealously,  I wanted her to pity my poor lame masculinity and the political mindfield I had to traverse to even come close to sharing such a pure moment of true emotion and affection.   But I didn’t. Who wants to hear another pitiful man’s story anyways? This was the year of raised female voices. Voices raised in anger, in righteous retribution for all the wrongs accrued., in demand of recognition. Voices of freedom insisting on justice, insisting on equal treatment without unwanted trespass.

Poor me, poor me, pour me another drink. . . .

So instead I pulled out my weapon of virtue, my great equalizer of man and woman, my bottle of rye from my bag and asked if ‘You ladies would like a drink”. “Hell yes”. And for a brief instant, I felt just like St. Peter patrolling the earth and giving comfort to lost souls.

This murdered the time until my wordly brothers finally arrived. We poured from the bottle into bright red dixie cups, swigging them down in the parking lot before entering the warmth of Sanctum Ale House to talk poetry, performance, and what we were going to do with the rest of our lives.  This was beginning to feel a lot like a rendezvous of fallen angels pausing for a drink and brief reflection before hitting Hell.

Beatnik Approved!

Beatnik Approved!

There was no reason to take a picture or a selfie or even take note of the time. We drank, we talked, we tried to make each other laugh and we indulged in our common humanity; a focus on what we shared more than what we didn’t.

My mind spun back in time to the many drinking conversations I had with my late great friend, the writer David Halliwell.   The only man I had ever met who had got drunk with Sam Beckett.   So David told this story of buying a bottle of good Irish whisky and taking the train to London, from Yorkshire. Easily a 4-hour journey.  On the trip, David got nervous opened the bottle and drank half the contents on the way down arriving completely cut up the King’s Road party where San Beckett would be.  He did find Beckett apparently and immediately sat down to finish the rest of the bottle he’d brought.  David got so drunk he couldn’t remember a word that Sam Beckett had said to him.

Last night, I told Chris and Alex about the year that David called me up to join him for a Xmas drink and The Bull Tavern in the little North East Oxfordshire village of Charlbury, whose village council insisted on calling it a town because it had 4 pubs, a pharmacy and a post office.

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_50

I walked down the unpaved bumpy road to the tavern, past the Egyptian cottage with the papyrus reeds of Isis, the Goddess, not the terrorists.  I reached The Bull pub and Inn, Opened the heavy oak door and walked into a movie. The pub was nearly empty save for the bar that featured David on his bar stool holding court with his mates. Only his mates were images burnt on my retinas since childhood: John Hurt, Ben Kingsley, David Warner, Freddie Jones and his son, then unknown now better known than him, Toby Jones. I remember blinking in disbelief. I might as well have walked in on Lewis Carrol, Tolkien and CS Lewis downing pints all who had also frequented this pub some hundred years previously.

I remember David smiling, laughing his phlegmatic cough and motioning me over to introduce me to these faces from the screen. “This is Igor, he’s another writer; he’s a Yank but he’s alright”. I was just another writer in the company of actors, everyday workers taking a break from toiling in the star-maker factories behind the popular film. I was handed a bulbous goblet of glowing ruby wine and the rest is hard to remember. But I do recall making them laugh and David Warner towering over me and reminiscing about his one appearance in a two-part Star Trek opposite Patrick Stewart that had earned him enough to comfortably return to the stage for 7 continuous years. Apart from young Toby, these were board strutting actors; indifferent and virtually contemptuous of their movie work save for the vast sums Hollywood paid them for peddling their trade of packaged emotions.

The next year most of them would be dead, David Halliwell included. I would empty his cottage with a Scottish actor of his while his Yorkshire sister wept inconsolably on his stairwell. In England, people let you weep and leave you to the dignity of your grief out of respect for the exceptional display of emotion. If you openly weep in England its because the pain is so hard that you really can’t hold it in.

Back in the Sanctuum, I explained to my companions how David had taught me the true meaning and value of the literary arts, which for David included actors who tell stories with their faces.    Storytelling’s  place in the human universe, keeping the stars locked in their firmament and the cosmic spheres in perfectly balanced and meaningful rotation. David Halliwell wasn’t famous. He died a virtual pauper, alone, estranged from his sister, a Yorkshire man with an RSC accent from wanting to be an actor, who wrote every day of his life before heading down to the pub to argue with me.

But he was a great success, albeit not by any kind of American Calvinist standard. Rather he succeeded in staying true to his art. He never sold out to better-paid mediocrity.  He stayed true to his art, to himself and he survived with the respect and admiration of his fellow artists. When he died, I wrote and read this eulogy at his memorial, after Harold Pinter came up from Hampstead to say a few words about his departed friend. As did Stephen Frears and Scott Hampton (author of Les Liaisons Dangereuses).

I read this poem to David to my friends Alex Bosworth and Chris Vannoylast night. And in my mind, I went hunting and visiting my own xmas ghosts to remind me of the true joys of this season.

Daedalus Afraid to Fly.jpg

 

Daedalus Afraid to Fly

David, you bastard, you’ve left me
Understanding here alone,
With only these words falling out of my hands
When it is yours I want to hear again.

Words of your mastery, not mine.
So what was all the swearing about then, David?
What were all those Northern fumes really burning from?
I told you the songs of Yorkshire would never play in LA

Or London for that matter):
Two cities equidistant from your Yorkshire mother.
Tell me, David, why didn’t you just sell out?
You could have bought yourself a much better pint of beer

With all that money for old knotted ropes and
Still, have coughed up the phlegm to laugh at us all.
Is death your idea of some kind of joke?
Did you finally track down the film rights to Malcolm, David
And cash them in?

Are you really, secretly living in Barbados,
Making beautiful women miserable?
To think of all this wasted sorrow and
Empty glasses of beer.

You did say that you always wanted to visit other places.
But Daedalus, you were afraid to fly.
If you had been born upside down in America
You would have been a southern writer living in some Northern town.

Spilling your southern drawl over a rum and coke in a New York City bar.
Sitting elbow to arm with Williams, O’Neill, Baldwin and them all.
Your America was always an America of the mind.
So why fear the flight?

Your America David was where Charlie Parker
was forever sharp shooting pool with Humphrey Bogart
in some room behind a neon-splattered bar
Where Chet Baker never jumped or fell but flew, man!

He just flew away.

Just like you.

So you’re off then, David?
Back up the bumpy road,
Turning the corner around the Little Egyptian cottage
Navigating the reeds of Isis, Long past the close of time.

A brown duffle coat ship, bobbing on an unpaved surface,
Weaving a few well-spoken thoughts into your
Captain’s cap.
Can you tell me, David:
Were you X-Centric, or
Merely Eggs Essential?

How about this time I tell you, David:

The spark was always there.
But not like Daedalus, like Prometheus.
The living punishment of Truth,
Chained to your bar stool,
That eternal pint of Carlsberg lager gnawing at your liver.

Like Prometheus David,
The spark is always here.

 

For the late, great David Halliwell; poet, playwright,

author of Malcolm’s Struggle Against the Eunuchs.

I can only miss you when you’re gone.

 

David Halliwell (replacement).jpg

 

 

Mysticism: The Phenomenology of Truth


 

Science makes no philosophical claim to ‘Truth’ but rather provides useful approximations based on its ongoing peer-review methodology. What is reliable images-6information by way of science is the result of similar enough results from replicated experiments that are strictly controlled and abide by the parameters established by a long succession of scientists.  Their hand-me-down story is called epistemology.

In the end, all it tells us is that under such and such of circumstances, it is most likely that these results will be achieved regardless of who you are or where you are as long as you abide by the parameters of the experiment. This consistency of results is what allows us to make engineering choices based on scientific ‘truths’.

When people say they believe in scientific ‘fact’, they usually mean engineering applications of the science. No one bothers to question the science behind the combustion engine as long as their car runs reliably.

But the key phrase here is useful ‘approximations of truth’. More absolute truths, the understanding of ourselves and the objects in themselves requires a different kind of perspective outside of the scientific framework; one that takes the observer and the point of observation into account in the observation.

This involves a separate methodology as structured as scientific methods but with different aims and thus different kinds of conclusions. The overlooked discipline is that of Phenomenology, coined by the mathematical genius turned philosopher and teacher of the great Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl.
M-spockA
Husserl believed that our understanding of phenomena was completely based on our disposition towards the apperception (or the incorporation of our perceptions into our existing body of knowledge i.e. our understanding of the perception). Although a mathematician, this view of truth being determined by the perception of the observer as much as the thing-in-itself which can never be truly perceived apart from its set of traits and characteristics is a natural extension of Kant’s Idealism, for which Time and Space are far from objective physical phenomena and more akin to categories of perception. In effect, shared psychological states of awareness.

This is precisely where Phenomenology collides with post-Modernism, Einsteinian physics (Relativity) and Freudian mapping of the unconscious (everything that we don’t know or did know but forgot).
basicconcepts
This post-modern relativism owes a great deal to the mystical and alchemic traditions to which it shares a common ancestry with science. Science, after all, derived from mystical and alchemic experimentations by mainly monks who upon separating from the spiritualism of the Church, (thanks to that first and great secular martyr, Giordano Bruno), continued their quest for god’s Truth.

Mysticism (unlike Spiritualism), is not superstitious; rather it engages with the world in pursuit of solving mysteries unknown and unsolvable by science. Mysticism poses questions science would never bother to ask and then attempts to answer them. Metaphysical questions such as ‘Who am I’ outside of my name and a social construct?  Why am I here and who really lies behind the many masks upon mask that I wear and why do I wear them in the first place?

Psychoanalysis and Psychology at their best are not sciences at all, they are merely enquiries into the nature of the mind (although the current bias towards quantifiable conclusions might make one think otherwise). They are a result of mystical enquiries into the nature of the mind and how it shapes our most intimate and fundamental perceptions of the world we live in; the space in time we briefly occupy before dying.   Medicine is yet another example of a supposed science that in fact is based on a field of knowledge that predates scientific methodology.220px-Oresme_Spheres_crop

Nor is mathematics strictly speaking a science and yet it is by far more predictive of the unknown and inexperienced than science could ever hope to be.

I feel that this is a very relevant issue in the face of the data-fication of human experience and the current bias of valuing quantifiable truths qualifiable ones. Just because you can count something accurately doesn’t mean you understand it better. The truth is not in the data, it’s in the interpretation of the data, as long as you’re smart enough to factor in the interpreter.

I’ll take a breath now;
And recall who I am.

3 New Poems: Your Soul; Mysterious Hands; Pray for Money


 

 

mystical-experience-1

Your Soul

So who is this Soul that you sing of?
The silent, invisible witness
Who counts the leaves off of trees
instead of gathering them?
Then raking them into a funerary circle,
Into a giant pile, your better self can fall from,
Or jump into?
Up to your eyeballs,
Up to your own little crown of thorns.559235_429780530417814_1780624763_n

Mysterious Hands

The world is not a mystery, children.
It is an enigma waiting to solved
Or a safe that awaits its own combination.
A puzzle patiently poised for its pieces to coincide
With your hands.
The question is not who made the world we exist in
The question is who made your hands?

 

 

Prayer

I can no longer afford my own vices.5718636537_f504c250b9_b
Is this g/d’s way of saving me?
Mysteriously?
If so, then more salvation and
Less mystery is all I can say.
Lead me to more fortune and less poverty, g/d.
So that I can pave my own way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh what a beautiful morning,
Oh what a glorious day,
I’ve got a wonderful fee-ling,
That Donald is going away!

Insomniac Awareness


Read this next & Comment Insomniac Awareness

Death and His Brothers in My Garden Again.


Read:  Death and His Brothers in My Garden Again.

Paris is the City of Light


 

 

Paris is the City of Light

paris-night-1_custom-093394f9c79365e6e0da878a24a6e6f39fa64a94-s1600-c85Spotted by puddles of darkness &
Forever burning lights.
Who at first, allured us,
Then wouldn’t allow us to leave her side.
Though she may be so much older than you or I,
She was, after all my life is recalled,
My greatest lover, ever.
Please remember Paris with fond tenderness
And fire.

Essay on Everyday Zen


Essay on Everyday Zen
 
The only way to explain Zen is by describing the sleepy mind. The sleepy mind describes a tree in terms of attributes and data: the number of leaves, the leaf shape, the number of branches, thickness of the trunk, the colour of bark. Which birds make use of the tree etc.
 
All these observable and measurable attributes are assembled as data by the sleepy mind and voila! the sleepy mind thinks it knows what a tree is. The sleepy mind can give arguments with citations about the validity of its data. The sleepy mind works well with other sleepy minds.
 
And the sleepy mind isn’t totally wrong, the data it compiles in reference to ‘tree’ are all real and quantifiable features of the tree. But no matter how exact or comprehensive, the data is not the tree nor even the experience of the tree.
 
The awoken mind merely says “Look, a tree”, and points. Because there is no data that conveys the experience of that tree in the moment of your apprehension. The awoken mind, sees the leaves, the branches, the colour of the bark, the thickness of the trunk, which birds fly in and out of the tree as much and as well as the sleepy mind does.
 
But the awoken mind also sees that the spaces between the leaves are part of the tree. The negative space surrounding the tree. The unseen roots spread beneath the ground are part of the tree. The sunlight reflecting off the green of the leaves are part of the tree. The seat waiting to rest your back against the trunk is part of the tree. The awoken mind ‘see’s the tree; the form of the tree; the tree itself in all its ‘tree-ness’, the tree as a child sees a tree; and then quite simply sees the tree for a tree, not what the sleepy mind contrives to substitute as its surrogate.
 
First, there is a tree.
Then there is no tree.
Then there is a tree. (With apologies to Donavon)
 
Zen TreeI think this is the closest I can come to describing the Zen disposition. I say disposition because too much is made of practice and the philosophy of Zen when all are merely aids to assist in the unravelling of illusion and self-deception. Zen is not an acquisition of skills, rituals, garments or ideology; instead, Zen is relinquishment. It’s a reminder to keep paying attention. Not acquiring but letting go: unravelling, stripping away layers of calloused skin, leaving your baggage behind and not looking back over your shoulder. In the words of the bard:
 
“My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step”.
 
Buddhists will talk about the Buddha-nature as universal, the same as our original nature. Don’t listen to them. The face that first looked up at your mother’s face is still there, submerged and (sometimes suppressed), within you. All that Zen suggests is that we are encumbered by needless worry, anxiety, expectations, daydreams and nostalgias that have buried your true self under the rubble of your crumbling castle and keeps you from seeing the world and your place in it, with any clarity.
 
We are all distracted by anxieties and worries about money, about jobs, about partners and children. We fear that we don’t have enough or that someone might take away what we do have.   This persisting distraction is manufactured by the powerful in the society we live in to keep us consuming, acquiescent and very sleepy! It doesn’t matter if you meditate or not; if you read poetry or not; if you drink tea or practice martial arts or not. It doesn’t matter how you get there or what you wear; just that you wake up and experience the miracle of persistent and unwavering creation.
 
The truth of your life lies outside the boundaries of your identity, your concerns, your preferences, your joys and your sorrows.  To step outside is merely to leave those things that amount to nothing behind.  Enlightenment is a perpetual relinquishment of obstructing of layers not an acquiring of a state of mind.

Awareness is larger than the body.

The universe is created, then destroyed then resurrected millions of times a second, faster than you can blink; an ongoing vibration of creation.
So try to keep your eyes wide open.
 
I’ll leave you with the words of the Nobel Prize laureate:
 
“Then take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
 
– With ultimate Compassion, Igor Goldkind, 2017
 
Please feel free to share and copy this.
I’m just trying to reach anyone who might need to understand this. 

Insomniac Awareness


Recent rewrite. When I first wrote and posted it, no one seemed to know what I meant by it. But now it’s becoming a favoured read aloud piece:

 

Insomniac Awareness

We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,Image may contain: plant
Licking the silver from the backs of our screens,
Are living in a different time zone
Of Insomniac Awareness.

Sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes four or more
Lives are lived and lost each night.
In our rooms, by ourselves
Sitting precariously on the edge of our beds.

This is our legacy
The lasting perpetuity of our sensory species:
The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,
Right up to the surface of our understanding.

What is not yet known.
Or what was known and long since forgotten.
Dances across the screen you stare into.
Tripping over your coded memories; in Real Time.

Who are you reading this?No automatic alt text available.Do you know
What perturbs your sleep-walk into the night?
Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull you through?

Into your own quiet world,
Where things that count never change.
And no one is dreaming you but your mother,
Who has left you now for another child.

©Igor Goldkind 2017

Death is in My Garden Again.


 

 

the-garden-of-the-dead-1896.jpg!Large

Death and his brothers are in my garden again.
Moving my plants around.
They tend to the growth quite delicately
Careful to not reap the harvest until the plants mature
And begin to lose their hair.

Death and his brother are in my garden again,
Whispering to each other as they pull away the weeds.
Poting and repotting each plant as it grows
Making sure the roots are clear of regrets and debris
So that in the end, it’s life can be cut short more easily.

Does death have a sweetheart? I wonder.
A woman whom he woes with words of love?
As much as death can love any living thing, at all.
He gathers my plants into a beautiful bouquet
Of lost souls and freshly cut lives.
To gift to she who holds him near;  squeezing his dead heart in one hand,

My faltering flowers in the other.

Image

For Devin Kelley: Who finally escaped his madness & his pain.


 

There is No Escape

None of us gets paroled
From the prison cells, we lock ourselves into.
So that we all can fit together inside
This jigsaw life that we lead.
Which of course, eventually blows apart.   images-10                         We are merely the fragments of ourselves awaiting reassembly.

Each moment of thought is but a small drop in time.
Every piece fits the next piece.
Although we may try to avoid
The murmurs of our own thoughts. 
It is our hearts that yawn and awaken slowly
From their long winter night’s sleep.

You and I are mere mortals, download

Who dreamt of a life without end.
We are the ones who made up immortality and notoriety. 
For the sake of seeking sweet comforts and sad joys.
And this is the story we tell ourselves

Whilst slumping back to our cells.

Quote

Mirror, Mirror


 

 

infinity

The Infinite

 

 

What I see is the reflection of my eyes

 

In every direction that I gaze.

 

Two mirrors face each other

 

Only the dust can tell the difference.

 

 

 

images

Ying Wu


Great Poem!

Source: Ying Wu

The New Rules of the Game


heart
 
Harvey Weinstein is a relatively insignificant porcine individual. What is significant both historically and otherwise, is that the tipping point has been reached from a time when male abuse and harassment of women as acts of dominant power was acceptable social behavior (at least behind closed doors), and the new world of Now: when people (especially in power), have had enough of sitting in silence on the other side of that door.
 
It looks to me like enough men finally said enough is enough visavis the behaviour of other men to express their disapproval. Couple with the facts that enough women are now in positions of leverage and power now to censure inappropriate professional behaviour as well as report assault as a crime. No one should ever be forcing anyone else to have sex or anything approaching it, regardless of circumstance. There really, simply is no excuse. We all know that, don’t we?
 
This is a small triumph for feminism when unwanted sexual advances are de-normalised. Calling something the ‘new normal’ indicates a change and progression in the zeitgeist. This turning point has ‘No Return’ stamped on its ticket. We won’t be going back anytime soon on this new normal in which men keep tabs and check each other and women assert their social space, no longer afraid to speak out when it is compromised.
 
‘But where does that leave us horny men?’
I can hear someone muttering under his trenchcoat from the back row.
Will men no longer be permitted to express attraction, much less physical affection towards a woman without incurring the wrath of the new PC-Puritan sex police?
 
Of course not, that is unless you don’t subscribe to something we call
Common Sense.
 
No matter the testosterone level, a man knows when a woman isn’t interested in him. Common Sense dictates that you move along and stop bothering her; because that’s exactly what you will be doing if you keep garnering attention on a woman who is clearly uninterested in you. Bothering her. Move along son, there’s nothing more to do here.
 
For those for whom rejection is a challenge, or at least not an obstacle that can’t be overcome, things get a lot trickier.
 
My advice is to learn how to flirt.
 
Flirtation is where sexual negotiation really takes place. I admit that it’s much more common in European environments (even Britain) than in the US. There, flirtation (or banter), plays on wit. You’re going to need to charm your way forwards; which means most of all, consideration and respect for her and her wishes. Is romance really dead in America? Usurped by the hook-up apps? Or is it just common courtesy that’s expired? Why wouldn’t you treat a woman (or man) with whom you wish to share an intimate moment like gold (or a shooting star or a rainbow or even a delicate but fragrant pink rose)?
 
But those to whom I really want to address my remarks and who may very well be reading this, are those young (or old) men who are confused about a woman’s reactions, detect so-called mixed signals or just really can’t figure out what she’s about or where she’s at. I have the universal answer for you in just two words: Ask Her.
 
‘Is it ok’? Is it ok for me to get your number? Is it ok if we hangout sometime? Is it ok if I put my arm around you? Is it ok if I kiss you? Is it ok if we go somewhere else? If the response to any of those questions is ‘No’ that’s exactly what it means. You stop. You don’t ask again. You either move on or change the nature of your relationship. I’ve made great friends with women who have initially shot down my romantic gestures. There’s always more to a woman than your attraction to her. Let her express her wants and her desires to you. How?
 
J.A.H.: Just ask her. I guarantee no matter who she is, she will appreciate the respect of your consideration. Which is really what you want to both give and receive. Respect, consideration, politeness, gallantry are never going out of fashion, guys. It is astounding how many men really don’t know how to treat women, especially beautiful women with any gentility, much less respect.
 
If you can’t treat a woman as well as your best friend, you have no business trying to go to bed with her. Any attempt to do so outside of mutual respect and genuine affection (be that as mad or passionate as it might be), is an abuse of some kind. If not simply self-abuse of one’s own sexuality. On the other hand, many seem to thrive on self-abuse in one form or another.
 
That’s it guys, lecture over. Now let’s go out there and win our selves a Football Game!!!

Ode to Victory!


Ode to Victory

Steel and rain-splattered chrome

Shield the gyroscopic Dharma Wheels

That just keep on spinning,

Keeping me Upright,

Flying through the air.

I am Sonic

My dominion is the horizon

Between desire, destination and the rumbling between my thighs.

Your engine is as powerful as my mind.

As strong as 80 Horses that pull me over this curve of Earth.

Victory, you succumb to my hands,

And the shift of my weight on your saddle

We are living gravity together:

Whitman’s body-electric,

Just beneath the lusty aroma of engine oil and gasoline.

Riding on the back of the California black striped serpent

From San Diego to Santa Rosa

To the very edge of madness

And back again,

Victory, you deliver me from myself,

You growl when I awaken you in the morning

Nearly choking on your petrol cough.

Occasionally, you sputter complaints at me when I ride you up that hill

But your joy at reaching the summit

Is the sweet surrender to a gravity we both crave.

Victory, your piercing gaze illuminates the night.

All fog of air & mind flee desperate before your flight.

You are the clear sky after the rain: the clarity before thought or rhyme

Our momentum keeps us running ahead,

Out of reach, of God and death and time.

©Igor Goldkind 2017

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Get My Book and FIND OUT.


NOTHING has prepared you for This.  Nothing ever will.

Because whatever is happening Now has never happened before.

This is  a web-nurtured collaboration with 27 artists, sculptors and musicians from the world of Comics, Fantasy, Fine Art and Jazz, including Bill Sienkiewicz, David Lloyd, Liam Sharp, Glenn Fabry, Shaky Kane, Lars Henkel and the cutting edge sculptural typography of the highly acclaimed book designer Rian Hughes.

IS SHE AVAILABLE?  Cover

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

This illuminated book is a contemporary Dante’s Divine Comedy; a journey through the confessional landscape of a masculine identity. It uses poetry to construct a narrative that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love, and the modern American and Jewish identity design: by the UK’s eminent graphic designer, typographer, illustrator Rian Hughes.

The music is composed and produced by iconoclast, ex-Israeli, Middle-Eastern jazz virtuoso Gilad Atzmon, along with five other jazz artists.

Written by San Diego native Igor Goldkind, this illuminated book will revolutionize the way you view poetry by meshing comics, art, music and animation in a truly unique way. It uses poetry to construct a narrative that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love, and the modern American and Jewish identity. The book is available for download on the iTunes Store and Google Play, as well as in a 166 page,  fully illustrated in colour hardbound edition available  ORDER HERE.10689672_732000606836698_9129833884739632966_n-1Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_29

The eBook edition pushes the edge of what is possible with present EPUB3 technology. It is not an App, it is a true book that marries pop art, comics, avant-garde, jazz, spoken word poetry, video and animations, and type design in a manner that we have not seen before IS SHE AVAILABLE? has the feel of an artefact from the near future – a seminal work of a new genre-fusing poetry, graphic art, music, and animation.

Sample interior pages:

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_08

What We Do

IS SHE AVAILABLE? RRP is $34.95, SHIPPING INCLUDED
Educational Discount for Students and Teachers: $29.95

Both deluxe hardcover edition PLUS  animated and musically scored eBook App edition of Is She Available? bundle:  $39.95

Go to http://Paypal.com/issheavailable/ and place your order directly through PayPal with all Pay Pal assurances and protection.

Shipping included in orders within the US and its territories.

If you are in Britain and/or Europe, please contact my European wholesaler Fanfare Productions who will take your order and dispatch to your address the same day:  stephen@fanfareuk.demon.co.uk

Reviews ?  Sure We Got Reviews.  Why You Wanna See Them?  Be my guest.

“Igor’s “Illuminated Book” is like a new genre.  It is a wonderful ekphrastic expression; a fusion of the arts.” — Poet Mel Takahara

“His collection Is She Available? has the feel of an artefact from the near future – a seminal work of a new genre-fusing poetry, graphic art, music, and animation.”             —(San Diego’s) City Beat

“Is SHE Available?” is an experiment, and reading it feels more like an act of discovery… nonetheless there’s a thrill to scrolling through its pages. It’s an ambitious step toward what digital media can (and will) be.”—The Chicago Tribune

You Tube samples:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRnmT_aE0acoowdNBvFtK_VW2OkNN2wWp

SoundCloud samples : https://soundcloud.com/igor-goldkind/sets/is-she-available-spoken-word

The  166 full colour, fully illustrated hard cover deluxe  edition is available in discerning and eclectic independent bookstores everywhere.  Including Fahrenheit 451 in Carlsbad, Soulscape Bookstore in Encinitas, the Upstart Crow in San Diego, Verbatim Books  and Mysterious Galaxy also in San Diego, City Lights and the Cooperfields chain in Marin County and Sonoma County, amongst a growing number of independent book stores.

Order direct from PayPal and shipping is included!

https://www.paypal.me/issheavailable

PAYPAL

Https://paypal.me/issheavailable

images-4

 

Sleepy Mind; Awake Mind


And Zen-some!

The only way to explain Zen is by describing the sleepy mind. The sleepy mind describes a tree in terms of attributes and data: the number of leaves, the leaf shape, the number of branches, thickness of the trunk, the colour of bark. Which birds make use of the tree etc.il_570xN.270252441

All these observable and measurable attributes are assembled as data by the sleepy mind and voila! the sleepy mind thinks it knows what a tree is. The sleepy mind can give arguments with citations about the validity of its data. The sleepy mind works well with other sleepy minds.

And the sleepy mind isn’t totally wrong, the data it compiles in reference to ‘tree’ are all real and quantifiable features of the tree. But no matter how exact or comprehensive, the data is not the tree nor even the experience of the tree.

The awoken mind merely says “Look, a tree”, and points.
Because there is no data that conveys the experience of that tree in the moment of your apprehension. The awoken mind, sees the leaves, the branches, the colour of the bark, the thickness of the trunk, which birds fly in and out of the tree as much and as well as the sleepy mind does.

But the awoken mind also sees that the spaces between the leaves are part of the tree. The negative space surrounding the tree. The unseen roots spread beneath the ground are part of the tree. The sunlight reflecting off the green of the leaves are part of the tree. 4518466f7d0a7be63357a972e6f5fca6The seat waiting to rest your back against the trunk is part of the tree. The awoken mind ‘see’s the tree; the form of the tree; the tree itself in all its ‘tree-ness’, the tree as a child sees a tree; not what the sleepy mind contrives to substitute as its surrogate.

I think this is the closest I can come to describing the Zen disposition. I say disposition because too much is made of practice and the philosophy of Zen when all are merely aids to assist in the unravelling of illusion and self-deception. Zen is not an acquisition of skills, rituals, garments or ideology; instead, Zen is relinquishment. It is a reminder to keep paying attention.  Not acquiring but letting go: unravelling, stripping away layers of calloused skin, leaving your baggage behind and not looking back over your shoulder. In the words of the bard:

“My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step”.

Zen TreeBuddhists will talk about the Buddha-nature as universal, the same as our original nature. Don’t listen to them. The face that first looked up at your mother’s face is still there, submerged and (sometimes suppressed), within you. All that Zen suggests is that we are encumbered by needless worry, anxiety, expectations, daydreams and nostalgias that have buried your true self under the rubble of your crumbling castle and keeps you from seeing the world and your place in it, with any clarity.

We are all distracted by anxieties and worries about money, about jobs, about partners and children. That distraction is manufactured by the powerful in the society we live in to keep us consuming, acquiescent and very sleepy! It doesn’t matter if you meditate or not; if you read poetry or not; if you drink tea or practice martial arts or not. It doesn’t matter how you get there or what you wear; just that you wake up and experience the miracle of persistent and unwavering creation. The universe is created, then destroyed then resurrected millions of times a second, faster than you can blink; so try and keep your eyes open!
I leave you once again with the immortal words of the Nobel Prize laureate:

“Then take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind

Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves

The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach

Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow.

Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free

Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands

With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves

Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”

– With Compassion, Igor Goldkind, 2017

Please feel free to share and copy this.

I’m just trying to help anyone who’s read this far.f4a36a1a7f69fa29bbd2d7bf3f66cdaa

Burt & Astrid


 

 

 

Burt and Astrid had sat down at one of the outdoor tables outside the  Encinitas Cafe along the Pacific Coast Highway.

I sat down at the single table next to theirs

Burt, from his wheelchair, had noticed the bundle of books

I had dumped from my shoulder onto my breakfast table,

Startling some spoons and a left behind saucer, and remarked:

“You’re an author, aren’t you?”

“Why would you think?”  was my reply.

“I don’t think, I know”.

Astrid tucked Burt’s napkin under his chin.

She was his nurse and his wife.

“Because nobody but an author would carry so many copies of the same book around”, Burt said.

“Burt used to write before he got sick”, Astrid explained.

Burt coughed long into his napkin.

“I’m sorry’, I said, just because I meant it.

Burt finished coughing and reached with his hand gesturing

To pass him my book.

 

I did and Burt leafed through the pages,

Feeling the clay surface of the paper with his fingers.

“You’re a poet!  Very brave.”, Burt pronounced.

And then we talked about poets ancient and new.

We compared reading Rilke, Neruda, Pushkin,

and others both living and dead

I felt like I was visiting my old college roommate

Who had studied the exact same subject as me.

We spent nearly 2 hours over breakfast

Until Burt began to speak Yiddish to Astrid.

Astrid replied in kind.

The moment we shared peeled like a bell across time.

Awaking the ghosts of my ancestors.

Astrid  rose from her chair to roll back Burt’s wheels

And then they just  left

With my book on Burt’s lap in his chair.

 

Hi Igor

This is Astrid we had the pleasure to meet you my husband and I in Encinitas this summer and had a most pleasant conversation.  You gifted us a copy of your book I just wanted to let you know Burt passed away August 23 We really enjoyed meeting you especially Burt….

God bless.

Astrid

The Third Act of Creation


 

 

 

The Third Act of Creation

When I sit at my desk in the barely blinking dawn,
I sit at the helm of a Starship.
Each dimension of time or space is available to me
To go anywhere I want to.

With the flick of a switch and a weird background sound
The course can be faithfully plotted,
At just the right warp speed to be there, be heroic and be back before dinner.
As safe as the hum of my engines.

When I sit at my desk in the mid-morning blue light that pierces
My east facing windows.
I pray that I can write something today,

Igor GoldkindI pray that I still have something to say.

My eyes are drawn to the street just beneath me,
That winds around the standing tree,
Just outside my window.
There is a spoonful of sunshine in my coffee.

When I sit at my desk in the midday sun
At the zenith of all of Creation,
I know that the bright light that now floods my room,
Will wash the shadows of doubt from these walls.

I  still hear that first sound,
The Bang! that expands the spaces around.

I can feel how the act of creation was never just one moment long gone ago.

But a circus of new sensations, an ongoing show.    images-3
Will too soon leave us behind sleeping eternity away.

When I sit at my desk in the mid-afternoon sun
And the light of creation slowly dwindles,
I can reflect on all the things that I’ve done
While counting the tasks that remain to lie in the sun.

When I sit at my desk at dusk’s twilight time
When light and darkness are twined,
Each wrestles the other to the ground.
I know that darkness will eventually swallow,

The fading strength of the light.
The time for my bed is just insight
And the twin brothers have given up their fight.

When I sit at my desk in the heart of the darkness      images-5

I know that death is hiding in my closet.
I know that the covers I wrap so tightly around me
Offer no protection from what time has brought (me):
The drowning of the light by the darkness.

I bury my head in the night and dream of the return of tomorrow.

© Igor Goldkind, September 25th, 2017

In a Diamond Rain


 

images

Caught unawares in a diamond downpour.
When did fate get so quick and immediate?
So judgment-like and familial?
When did I last step out of my room
And begin to orbit time?
That vantage point that surrounds us,
Is not just this moment,
But every moment you or I have ever or will ever live.

A handful of jewels lie scattered at my feet.
Each crystal catching and tricking the light into reflecting each and every possible face of existence  that there is,
All at once.

Each stone weighs down heavy on my stomach.
Forced downward by the sheer gravity of events.
When did I step out of myself, again?
I am no longer there.

download-1Or rather I am here, just not in this world.
Instead, I’m living in a different world
Built from longing, solitude, and reflection.

Two mirrors face each other.
One rag wipes dust and sweat off both our dirty faces,
Go on, reach out with your fingertips to see and feel,
Every surface of this jewel,
We named Being.
Can you see over there, the sole distant surface we inhabit?
Reflecting in all the faces of every other surface,
Of all the other jewels that are falling around us?
THIS is what it’s like, to be caught in the Diamond Rain

Diamond Rain


 

 

images.jpg

 

Caught unawares in a diamond rain shaking with cold

How did fate suddenly get so quick and immediate?

When  did I step off into myself,

And begin to orbit time?

The vantage point that surrounds us

Is not just this moment,

But every moment you and I have ever or will ever live.


A  handful of gems lie scattered like dust at my feet.

Each crystal reflecting every other facet of being.

Each stone weighs down heavy on my stomach.

Forced downward by the sheer gravity of events.

When I step out of myself,

I am no longer there.

Or rather I am here,

Just not in this world

In another that is merely reflection.

2 mirrors facing each other

A rag collects the dust between dirty faces.

This masquerade of illusions; bodies blocking light.

Will yield in the end to a more acute awareness
That is, once the eclipse we call our self has finally moved away,

I Feel Pretty, Oh, So Pretty, I Feel Pretty and Witty and Bright!


Here’s your chance to come and hear me read from my collection of Graphic Poetry IS SHE AVAILABLE?  and some new poems and a short story at ComicKhazi Comics Shop at Liberty Station, San Diego on September 1st starting at 6.00 pm.

I’ll be reading, signing and dedicated hard cover copies and generally corrupting youth.

Come and have a gander!

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

https://www.facebook.com/Comickaze2/

Advance Review pdf of IS SHE AVAILABLE_Page_58

The Women Inside of Me Are Always Available to Me


Had a good night last night drinking cask barrel wine with Anneke Doty at Solterra Wine Bar in Leucadia, California.  We were trying to recall how and when we knew each other 40 years ago at John J Pershing Junior High. We knew all of the same people, some still alive and obviously were on the same general childhood network but for the life of me, I can’t recall any specific interaction with her.

Is that because I didn’t pay much attention to girls in junior high?

Am I gay?Solterra-Outside.jpg
Who knows?  Better late than never, I suppose.  
Passion is always a matter of imperfect timing.  
I’ve always preferred the company of women, on a spectrum quantum levels from physical to mental.   I don’t really think that I’m gay (not like there’s anything wrong with that!), because I’ve never appreciated the scent of a man the way a woman might.  Instead,  I’m stuck in a blind Al Pacino movie.
Nonetheless, Anneke Doty does seem familiar to me as if we’d been friends for years. I think rather than having a submerged feminine nature, my feminine characteristics have alway been in the foreground, especially around other women.  Don’t get me wrong, women can be just as troublesome as men but usually in a slightly kinder way.
 
5718636537_f504c250b9_b.jpgI am nurturing in the sense that I get a kick out of helping my friends, or even those I don’t know, sometimes just with honest conversation.
I’ve always appreciated the aesthetic of something even before knowing what it was for.
I love to cook and serve a superb meal to the people that I love.
I suppose this is the way I’ve always expressed love to others, alongside my sardonic sarcasms.
I like plants and flowers and those things that grow, peak and then die.
Like me.
Perhaps it is decay and entropy that universalizes us all with common purposelessness.
For what else could this absurdist’s moment be but the peak of experience; the very pinnacle of existence? The infinite in a nutshell in an easy to swallow form.
Never bought into the notion of degrading a man by calling him a woman, even when I was young and being overlooked for sports team choices. To me being called a woman meant being called someone who could birth to a man. And endure the pain of doing so.
What could be more worthy of aspiration?
 
My feminine side has always been front and center, especially in interaction with other women. It just seems like the human place to go is female. Women define the best of humanity in my mind.
If aliens landed here they’d really only want to talk to our women; don’t you think?
download.jpg
My uncle used to cast bronzes of mountainous women holding a small child to her breast. A universal archetype and the symbol of our species nurturing the relationship to our Earth.
We are merely our planet’s child, no better, no worse than any offspring.
 
I miss my mother; she taught me so much about the divine experience of our senses reflected in the colours and sounds that curl over us like a crashing wave. I guess I’ll have to cling to her planet, the one she taught me to love, for just a little while longer.  All I need is one breast bloated with milk to keep me subsisting . . .
 
Long enough to see the most beautiful fount of my being reach the sky above me.
 
goodnight.

THERE IS NO ESCAPE!


 

There is No Escape

images-10

None of us gets paroled
From the prison cells we lock ourselves into.

So that we all can fit together inside
These jigsaw lives that we lead

Which  of course, eventually all blow apart.
We are merely the fragments waiting to be reassembled.

Every moment of thought is but a small drop in time.
Each piece fits the next piece.

Although we may try to avoid,
The murmurs of our own thoughts.

It is our hearts that yawn and awaken slowlyhearttbd
From their long winter night’s sleep.

You and I are mere mortals,
Who dreamt of a life without end.

We are the ones who make up immortality.
For the sake of seeking sweet comforts and sad joys.

This is the story we tell ourselves,

Whilst slumping back to our cells.neuron

How Did a Nazi Sympathiser Get Into the Whitehouse ?


You know what I miss?  I miss inebriated conversation as practiced to the point of an art form by the British, the French, the Italians, the Greeks, the Russians and certainly the Spanish, if no one else.

Americans are weird.  They all seem to follow the same cycle from excess to abstinence, rarely pausing in-between.  So it really depends on when in time you encounter them along their cycle from either one extreme or the other.

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder;  for every thing, you’re abstaining from!

I’ve been drinking most of my life many times to excess but more lately in not so much moderation as mindful enjoyment.  I’m muted more attended to certain aspects of my mind when getting drunk, which these days only takes 3 classes of wine or 2 beers.  I am happy to say that I am having turned the corner on 50, a light weight.  Proud? 

Yes, because I’ve not had to give up drinking.  Binging is over, yes.  Being too far from a safe place, guilty.  But sometimes enjoy the adventure of being lost and trying to detect your way home?  It’s much more exciting than simply leaving point A and arriving at point B.  Nothing wrong putting some adventure in your life is there?

As Chet Baker and Bob Dylan told us with the name of their corresponding album and film:

Get Lost!

It’s such a great feeling when you find your way again.

Well worth the anguish, the anxiety, the tears and the embarrassment of begging strangers to give you some indication of where you might be and how to get home from here.  It’s like channeling Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.images.jpg

How did a Nazi sympathizer and puppet of a foreign dictator get into the White House?

I don’t know and I don’t care; I’m more focussed on how to get him out.

A sex pervert, a racist and a traitor walk into a Manhatten bar.

“And what can I get you to drink, Mr. President?”,

Says the barman.

Did You Also Know?

That you can also ORDER a signed and dedicated copy of my book directly from PayPal, shipping included in price!

IS SHE AVAILABLE?

IS SHE AVAILABLE?  Cover

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=68PMYKAGDEJUG

Do It Now!

Before it’s too late!

IS SHE AVAILABLE?  is now no longer available on Amazon due to their prohibitive business practices.

 

 

MEET MIKE RYAN


This is Mike Ryan.

Let me introduce you: Mike Ryan startled me outside of Albertsons from a dark shadowed corner when he asked me for a cigarette. I had stopped to roll myself an American Spirit cigarette and hadn’t noticed Mike sitting in the dark, in the alcove on the sidewalk outside the Albertsons supermarket in the East Village of San Diego. He was wearing a camouflage canvas jacket, combat trousers and sandals on his feet. I nodded affirmatively, finished rolling and handed him the cigarette.

I had returned to San Diego after half a lifetime at sea, sailing past foreign shores, exploring jagged islands and visiting shining cities. I returned to San Diego because my mother could no longer care for herself and her needs were such, (fluctuating, altering day by day), that I had to be on hand to administer to her wants while protecting her from the medical authorities and the police.

I had first learned of her condition 2 years previously attending my father’s funeral and had been on call since, day and night. Tonight was supposed to be my respite, a meal with friends, one old, and two new. I was looking forward to wine and food and laughter. But most of all the comfort of familial conversation. Instead, I was pursuing this conversation.

‘Thank you, brother’ Mike said reminding me of my poet-friend Gerald Arthur Moore (Art) who called everyone he met or passed on the street either brother or sister which used to bug the hell out of me until I began to realize he wasn’t a Jesus freak or a hippie.

He was worse than that: he was sincere.

So I lingered in this moment, having set my meagre groceries down. I asked Mike how he was doing and his name.

‘Up and down’, was Mile’s reply ‘could be better, could be worse’.

‘Mike, my name’s Mike Ryan”.

We shook hands.

I took a closer look at Mike and saw under the street grime, a clear gaze. I took in his craggy Irish features and asked:

‘Has anyone ever told you you look like Chet Baker?’ Mike looked quizzical.

‘Well, I did play the trumpet, long time ago’.

‘You do remind me of him’.

‘Everybody reminds everybody of somebody else,’

Mike replied.

So it was this Bodhisattva-like wisdom that pulled me in Mike’s direction. He’s 64 and served in Vietnam having seen action as a Corporal with a tank division, he told me. Mike Ryan acquired a slight stutter when he talked about his time in Vietnam. Near the border with Laos, driving through and over villages, flattening them, hoping there were no families or children left inside the flattened shacks.

‘Action!’ Mike snorted. ‘They call it action now like it was some John Wayne movie we were all watching.’

I saw Mike Ryan stand up even though he was still sitting. His clear eyes flashed anger and focus ‘You know what we called it? Us boys shooting other boys in the jungle? We called it living hell.” Mike Ryan said the two words with no exclamation; as though he was just naming a town or a state: living hell.

My father had been in Europe during the great war hating the war and the military with a passion. He told me some mornings he woke up in his foxhole and didn’t know whether to point his rifle at the German line or his own officers. He never let me be a patrol boy in grade school or a boy scout. “No son of mine is ever going to wear a Goddamn uniform”!

My father hated the brutality, the cruelty of the military training but mainly he hated their senseless bureaucracy, their SNAFU rules and how their system in spite of the lip service, never cared for the average GI. Like Mike Ryan.

I asked Mike where he was staying and he told me under the bridge near the onramp to 5, heading from the north all the way to the Mexican border. I asked Mike about his Veteran benefits and he gave me some convoluted, fading answer about extradition of forms as he lost his focus and slipped back into his comforting slump. He was vigorously scratching his scabbed legs.

‘Man. You got to get yourself to a clinic and have that seen to! And ask to see the social worker too; they should be helping you with those forms.’

‘I know, I know. I will, brother, I will’. He said those words so they sounded just like he meant them; meaning he wouldn’t. Just another plan for tomorrow that never comes. Later, meaning never. I tried one more time. And this time I heard my father’s voice speaking through my lips:

“You’re entitled, you know. You served your country, you’re entitled to what’s yours. I pay my taxes.” In my mind, I paused on that word ‘entitled’ . . . ‘entitlement’. What the mean and petty of this nation had succeeded in reframing as a handout, against the very grain of the meaning of the term. ‘Entitled’ means you earned it; no question of deserving it.

My father continued speaking through and to me. “To say otherwise is an insult to soldiers, to Veterans, to the disabled and the elderly and to those who are just plain down on their luck, There but for a roll of the dice, go you and me, brother. God Damn those latter day Puritans with their work-to-death ethic and their loaded dice.”

Mike Ryan deserved better than this but he was too distracted by his own confusion to ask for, demand, the help to which he was entitled. Mike had served his country but his country had failed to serve him; for more than half his life. 64 and sleeping under the bridge. God damn it! My father cursed like a soldier.

Mike Ryan looked at me, annoyed.

‘You ever been to war?’

‘Me?’ I shook my head.

‘No, my dad did, WWII. He was a private in the army infantry; Rainbow Division’.

‘Well you don’t know shit then, do you? And I ain’t nobody’s dad, I’ll tell you that for nothing!”

My father was silent. Then I remembered that he had been dead for awhile.

I had no idea what Mike Ryan had seen, or had heard or what had scattered his mind. I just remember my aunt telling me that when my father first came home from his war that he had had screaming nightmares for weeks in the small bedroom he shared with her. She told me about waking up to her mother cradling my father’s head as he wimpered to her lap, repeating over and over in comforting Yiddish “es s olreyt, alts vet zeyn olreyt”

“It’s alright, everything will be alright”. Over and over.

You and I can’t save the world.

However we can save each other; but only when we see ourselves in each other. We can show the Mike Ryans of this world the meaning of the word humanity merely by not ignoring them. Just the acknowledgement and reflection that he or she has an intrinsic value, regardless of circumstance.

One human at a time.

I didn’t give Mike Ryan any money or any of my food or take him home to my living room couch. I don’t know that he would have accepted if I had offered. I had only given him the couple of cigarettes. But in doing so I gave Mike Ryan something we all desperately need, more than money, more than a place to live, more than food, more than medicine. I gave Mike Ryan the one thing in life we are free to give or deny anyone we meet along our path. I gave him acknowledgment, the simple consideration of one human being for another.

“You don’t know shit”, Mike Ryan repeated

And with what I took to be Mike Ryan’s dismissal, I picked up my bag of groceries, traded another rolled up cigarette for these photos, and wandered on my way into the safe, warm San Diego night. There was a roof made of stars above my head. It was the same roof that rests above Mike’s head.

And yours.

© Igor Goldkind 2017

If you enjoyed my story and would like to read more of my work in the genre of Speculative Realism. Please check out my first book of short stories, poetry and comics:

IS SHE AVAILABLE?

As well as my forthcoming collection of short stories entitled THE VILLAGE OF LIGHT.

Contact me on igorgoldkind@me.com if you’re interested in either or both!

“Igor’s “Illuminated Book” is like a new genre. It is a wonderful ekphrastic expression; a fusion of the arts.” ~ Hawaiian Poet Mel Takahara

Order my book directly from PayPal, shipping included in price!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=68PMYKAGDEJUG

IS SHE AVAILABLE? is now no longer available on Amazon due to their prohibitive business practices.

eBook available :

on iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/mmp4g7e

“Is SHE Available?” is an experiment, and reading it feels more like an act of discovery… nonetheless there’s a thrill to scrolling through its pages. It’s an ambitious step toward what digital media can (and will) be.”

The Chicago Tribune

It’s Alive!!!!!


It’s official, I’m back on line with my periodic musings about life in the computational age.

Kind of a stone’s soup of insight, speculation, and anecdote all wrapped up in a bright ribboned visual package for you to peruse.

The long hiatus was largely due to a Singapore based company highjacking my domain name igorgoldkind.com.  Please go to that page and defecate your discontent with corporations stealing the identity of artists, just because we’ve gained some popularity.

What kind of on line world are we constructing here that permits commercial interests to pose as real people, even steal their names and profit from their hard work building their brand reputation?  Some people live shameful lives on the backs of the labour of others.   Tell them what you think before they steal your identity too!

Tales of Sedition and SUBVERSION welcomes your comments, opinions, condemnations, outrage and commiserations.  Don’t be shy, I like to have my feelings hurt!

This publishing platform also offers me the chance to post drafts of on going work which eventually see publication either online or on the backs of trees; sometimes both.

Here is the most recent draft of the most recent poem I’ve written this week:

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There is No Escape

None of us gets paroled
From the prisons we locked ourselves into.
Just so we all fit together inside
These jigsaw lives that we lead
That eventually of course, blow apart,
We are the fragments awaiting reassembly.

Each moment of thought is a small drop in time.
Each piece fits the next piece.
Though we may try to live without
The murmurs of our own thoughts,
It is our hearts that yawn and awaken slowly
From their long winter night’s sleep.

You and I are mere mortals,
Who dreamt up life without end.
We are the ones who made up immortality.
For the sake of comforting sad joys.
This is now just the story we tell ourselves while
Slumping back to our death beds.

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A Great Review of IS SHE? in Printmag


Beyond the Graphic Novel: Is She Available?

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You don’t need Seymour Chwast, Chip Kidd and other designers to tell you that cartoons and comics are vital sources of creative inspiration (although they do that here). So maybe you’re thinking about exploring the graphic novel realm, but you’d like something more exceptional than usual, more out of the ordinary. Well, here’s the first of a series of suggestions that either defy or disregard categorization as comics. And the first, Is She Available?, is an eBook that also challenges conventional book classification in the process.

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As you scroll through, you hear 1950s cool jazz in the background. Then gunfire blasts out of nowhere. A choir sings. Dogs bark. Bombs drop from the sky. And all the while, letterforms unexpectedly appear, tilt, transform, and vanish while spoken words interweave with the music and sound effects. Is She Available? is a trans-media poetry collection, one that pushes at the limits of eBook technology. It’s also comics, kind of.

Its author, Igor Goldkind, is a 2000AD comics sci-fi writer. He describes his 50 or so poems as “a contemporary Dante’s Inferno… that explores themes of death and loss, sex and love.” He’s included a couple of standard, panel-sequenced comic book narratives, including one rendered by V for Vendetta’s David Lloyd. But the bulk of the book is enlivened with music and other effects that enhance the moody illustrations and minimalist animations from a diversity of other skilled artists. The lineup notably includes Judge Dredd’s Liam Sharp and Shaky Kane as well as Bill Sienkiewicz of Daredevil/Elektra fame. Most impressive is the overall design, by accomplished comics illustrator and self-described “commercial artist” Rian Hughes. With graphic flair and acuity, Hughes proves himself to be a worthy digital age successor to Stéphane Mallarmé and Robert Massin.

And for traditional readers, Is She Available? is also available in hardcover.

Is SHE Available?Avail-02_RianHughesAvail-03_ShakyKaneIs SHE Available?Avail-05_RianHughesIs SHE Available?Is SHE Available?Avail-08_RianHughes


S0553 (1)If you’re interested in comic books, chances are you’ve heard the names Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. After all, their partnership paved the way for the Golden Age of comics beginning in the 1940s. With The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio by Mark Evanier, learn more about the duo who invented noteworthy characters like Captain America and Sandman, conceived the idea of romance comics, and created a new standard for the genres of crime, western, and horror comic books. Take a look inside the various aspects of their career, and see some of the works that defined them.

CATEGORIES

http://www.printmag.com/comics-and-animation/is-she-available/

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247166


/ Milkflower petals on the street / like pieces of a girl’s dress. /

Source: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/247166

IS-SHE-AVAILABLE.COM


I’m sorry to say that we’re having some temporary technical difficulties with the is-she-available.com domain.

Normal Service will be restored shortly.

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

I Could Use Your Help….


Worth a second ask: Please buy my book. It’s real values for the money.

Tales of Sedition and SUBVERSION

THERE IS NO SUCCESS LIKE FAILURE AND FAILURE IS NO SUCCESS AT ALL.

The American Poet Bob Dylan had a terse style of delivering phrases that could sting like a yellow jacket.  His vagabond words penetrated the skin, past blood and sinew all the way to the bone, scraping the deepest sentiments.  Dylan woke me up to the breath of this cold morning’s truth when I was 14.   I didn’t Look Back.

Now his words return to frame my present.

And I’m thinking to myself, there are so many things that can be done in this world; most of them bad but some of them good.

Apart from my daughter, the one accomplishment that I’m proudest of, that I believe brings real value into this increasingly commodified existence, is my book IS SHE AVAILABLE?  a fusion of Poetry, Comics, Art, Jazz and animation.  There’s even two short stores, 3 full comic…

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IS SHE AVAILABLE? AN HONEST REVIEW


Chris Browning:

“i follow igor goldkind on facebook. i am not a friend of his, but a friend of mine kept reposting things he’d written and said and i found his way of expressing himself too good to ignore. as is the case with this book. i’ll level with you. i don’t really understand poetry – it’s too opaque and often too personal for me to really understand and i often feel i am missing huge amounts of the impact of even the small amount of poetry i do understand. if i read it aloud i appreciate it more, but even then. but when i saw a goldkind book of poetry was on offer and remembering how much his writing had affected me in the past i thought i would take the risk

i’m glad i did. again, i don’t fully understand or appreciate all of it but goldkind is a beautiful writer. he enjoys the ways a sentence hangs together both on the page and, if you follow me, in the mouth as you read the words. but what makes the book special is the third way he makes the words work – through graphic design. you see the OTHER reason i followed goldkind is because even though his words my friend linked me too resonated, i also liked the fact he’d been involved in all sorts of british comics over the years, especially 2000AD which is a comic i have very, very fond feelings towards….

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes   ©2014

by Bill Sienkiewicz and Rian Hughes ©2014

and it’s on this level that even this man who struggles with poetry found himself adoring the book. because it’s a beautiful thing to hold. a beautiful thing to look at. and in the same way that if i don’t like all the poems,

if there’s a bit of artwork that someone has contributed to the volume that doesn’t work for me there’s often something coming along very soon that does absolutely work. there’s some lovely art here by people i do know of – rian hughes, glenn fabry, david lloyd, shaky kane, bill sienkiewicz – and many i didn’t – i was very taken by the work of dix, lars henkel and jeff christenson particularly. even if i didn’t like a poem or piece of art, something special and wonderful and surprising would be along very soon

and speaking as someone who is very deeply in love with books as a printed medium and could never imagine reading or appreciating an e-book, the fact that the electronic edition has apparently so much more to it – music! moving images! – very much pleases me. this is a book by someone who not only has a glorious way with words but has a very unique vision for what he wants to do. and that’s why i’ll be cherishing this volume… “

Patrick Arnold

THE HEART’S FLESH AWAKENING

@ #SDCC2015


COmicCon Leaflet Front #2 Final

INSOMNIAC AWARENESS by Igor Goldkind


A New poem revised.

Tales of Sedition and SUBVERSION

We who are hiding in our second bedrooms,

Licking the silver from the backs of our screen,

Are living in a differently timed zone

Of insomniac awareness.

Sometimes 2, sometimes 3, sometimes 4 or more

Lives are lived and lost each night.

In our rooms, by ourselves

Sitting too close to the edge of our beds.

 

This is our legacy 

The lasting  perpetuity of our sensory species:

The glow that contests the light that once shone from our eyes,

Right up to the razor’s edge of our understanding of

What is not yet known.

The un-utterable.

What can barely be thought , much less said and

Yet still dances these words so merrily across this page.

In the ballet of silence that surrounds them.

 

Who are you reading this?

What perturbs your eternal sleep-walk into the night?

Are there questions you are pondering?

Or are you merely waiting for the screen to pull…

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The Making of “A Day In The Life”


This turned me on…

The Cruise For Beatles Fans

A Day In The Life

A Day in the Life is one of the Beatles most influential, powerful and impactful songs in the history of popular music. I’ve read many different accounts of this song’s creation and decided that for my website I would compile and consolidate as much of this information that I could find. My sources for this article are numerous but need to be acknowledged. It starts with Geoff Emerick’s book “Here, There and Everywhere- My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles” (one of my favorite books about the Beatles, insightful, humorous and exciting at times…I’ve read it numerous times and find something new each time I do) and then moves onto “Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles (if you want to know what Paul remembers and thinks about every Beatles song, this book is for you), “All You Need is Ears”

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Crime Against Our Own Humanity


People have been asking me why I chose the risk of first publishing a book of poetry before publishing my collection of short stories THE VILLAGE OF LIGHT and my first novel, THE PLAGUE.   Why launch a writing career on the back of such a neglected  and unpopular form of literature?  

My first answer has been that as a keen admirer of the actor William Shatner, I wanted to emulate his career; first as a starship captain (in my mind), and second, as a genius of the Art of Spoken Word.

But the non comedice9f8b2ee6b99179e492b099e5d15cdc9 reason is worth explaining here: throughout every major epoch of human achievement and civilization,

Poetry has maintained a major position in the spectrum of human arts; true across society, cultures, oceans and centuries.

Until now.

This dawning century of technological, scientific and artistic achievement; this era we currently reside in, is the exception to the human rule.

We have exchanged our ability to appreciate Poetry for other more comfortable and lascivious sensations. We have unlearned the sensibility to emerse ourselves in the healing waters of an art that we, as a species have grown like a medicinal herb in the human garden, to salve the pains in our souls and our minds .

By turning our backs on those warm healing waters we have damaged ourselves. We are all in dire need of rehabilitation.

And that is exactly what Poetry mystically, delivers; for free. If you know how to see and listen in the subtler spectrums of your mind’s cognition.

Poetry is a surgery of the soul.

Which is a Poetic thing to say in that it is both metaphoric and literal at the same time. Poems allow the mind to synthesize (reconcile), apparent opposites and to understand the deeper resonances of our human experience, in the simplest of terms, arranging words like pebbles on a dry river bank and in the broadest, to enter the harmonic rhapsody of our humanity and its sense of rhythm in this universe.

That rhythm is the breath, which is true to us all who are living. Poetry is the sound of our breathing in this world. If you want to know who a people strange to you are, read their Poetry; the words they have chosen to express themes, that persist for us all: Birth, Death, Love and the swirl of illusions inbetween.Teimur_Amiry_Candle_Enlightenment

Poetry is a drastic intervention meant to make you better. Not just feel better, but actually see, understand and *be* better than you are, which may feel strange at first.

Only bad poetry is comfortable. Trying to be the best that you are, to overcome ones self, may take more than one lifetime to achieve. But so many Poems offer roadmaps of the soul. Guidebooks from which you can detect what is universal about humanity, about the human subjective experience, and your place in this present.

So that is why I chose to launch my writing career, with my current publisher (Chameleon), with a book of Poetry:

Is She Available?

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

IS SHE AVAILABLE? Hardcover edition

I chose to publish Poetry first specifically because it is the form of literature that has proven to be least popular at the moment, as this marketing study details.

I’ve always stood up for the underdog, be it in life or publishing. I stood up for Comics when they were largely looked down upon as adolescent drivel. I just never thought to myself in all my years on this earth, that I would need to stand up for Poetry, because it had now succumbed to more dominant dogs.

This is a great shame to me, as a reader of great Poets from virtually every culture and time period. I mean with Poetry it really is where all of humanity meets, outside of time and space. The very center of our collective space, where language is. Each one of us is both here and there: at the edge of meaning. The words of the poem are are written by and read by the singular mind that spans all of us to that edge of comprehension.RumiCallig-250x431 Poetry is the very understanding that we seek, in our selves and in others.

It is passive crime against our own humanity to let this art subside, due to laziness, negelect and superficilaity.

So do your soul a favour and read a poem. Not just mine, any poem will do. Any Poem will set you free, for free; or at least at the modest cost of your attention.

In My (always) Humble Opinion, ofcourse.

Igor Goldkind

Author, Igor Goldkind