The design you made on the bay window, with the blue tape we reserve for emergencies only, rivaled the contemporary art we saw last time you and I drove into the city. I couldn’t see the tire swing in the edgeless darkness. And that’s how I understand the velocity of a storm, in how desperately the swing whips back and forth, the rope twisting and separating itself.
I asked you if Mondrian was strong enough to shelter us from a hurricane and you walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door for the third time, finding it dark, unexpectedly. You said we should eat the camembert. The sandwich meats. You said the red curry would be fine cold and I told you to eat it yourself then. I stayed by the window, the dark shaped into a single wide rhombus and an unsteady scalene triangle within the window frame.
The patterned Mexican plate handed to me - pimento olives, mozzarella cheese, marbled cheesecake, tuna salad. You gave me a serving of things prone to rot, incongruous along one another. In your other hand was a tumbler of failing milk, mixed clumsily with heavy cream, thick and clotted and slippery.
A horn, a whistle, a bell, a tune played through speakers mounted atop a white truck. The milkman, the fish monger, the Helm’s bakery man, the ice cream vendor. The occasional peddler walking, knocking, door to door. Waving neighbors, shouting friends, parents arriving - “I’m home” - after a day’s work. The front yard was engaging, and social - defined by action and sound.
The back porch was quieter, a place for review; a place to consider mistakes made, small victories gained, to silently confer with the neighbor’s cat. It was a place to imagine and reflect, a place to dream, a place for time alone. The only thing that interrupted the reverie was being called inside…being called by someone who loved you. The back porch was home to magic.
The bungalows made a sort of neighborhood within a neighborhood…a neighborhood of muted dreams. Hot summer evenings were spent outside, sitting on the steps, leaning on the railing, rocking in a swing. They sat in an aura of unwelcome intimacy. There was a uniform for the men - sleeveless undershirts and dress pants, worn shiny, held up by suspenders. The barefoot women wore thin cotton dresses, jazzy, loud, brightly colored. There was the contradiction of overdressed and shabby at the same time. They drank beer or whiskey and smoked Lucky Strikes. Only the kids wandered away from the porches…perhaps to escape the voices from inside….
About Bruce Dean: Bruce Dean received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Otis Art Institute in 1974 with a major in painting and a minor in drawing.
Bruce has worked as an exhibiting abstract artist; editorial, corporate and advertising illustrator and international poster artist for over thirty years. As an illustrator he received a silver medal from The Society of Illustrators and numerous awards of merit from national and international publications. His fine art posters and illustrations have been featured in numerous books and magazines. He has participated in over thirty solo and group gallery exhibitions nation-wide. His work includes projects funded by grants from the Department of Education and the Foundation for Global Community. Dean’s work was most recently featured in an exhibition entitled “Searching for Clarity,” at the Art Rental & Sales Gallery of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Bruce teaches advanced painting at Mount St Mary’s college and is a founding partner of MetaFour Productions, a non-profit corporation that produces visually creative instruction for educator’s and students.
See more of his work here: www.brucedeanart.com
MINUTELOVESTORIES had a contest this past week, asking readers to submit their own five-word love stories. A winner would be picked at random, but here are my favorites from the entries! Thanks to all who participated and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. xx - Rebecca
“Let’s end while it’s good.”
"…then boundaries ceased to exist."
“Little breaths, on my chest.”
“Boy marries girl, lives forever.”
“You came and you stayed.”
“Pompeii…she quivered and erupted.”
"Dreamt Mom was with me."
"Not a word between us."
“I love you now leave.”
"It was never like this."
“Lick sweet love on me.”
(Brunette with Cat, drawing, 2011)
(Gad/Madonna/Pin-up with Cat drawing, collage, 2011)
About Simone Gad: Born in Brussels, Belgium. Lives and works in Los Angeles and Brussels. Represented by L2kontemporary Gallery in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Collectors include Elton John, Madonna, Cher, and Diana Ross. Actress, performance artist, visual artist.
Eric Minh Swenson shot a wonderful short with Gad earlier this year. It’s on the Huffington Post site and will give you lots of insight into the mind of Gad. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-minh-swenson/simone-gads-personal-holo_b_4505121.html
You can see more of her provocative work here: http://santamonica.bgartdealings.com/
Self-portrait with Sam, 2001. Brandy Eve Allen.
About Brandy Eve Allen: I grew up in NYC and LA while also having spent time in Torino, Italy. All of these cities have played a part in my photography, whether it be aesthetics, the relationships I experience or my own personal exploration. I like to shoot what I know and what I’m trying to figure out whether it be with others or with myself. There’s a focus on intimacy, authenticity and a sense of isolation… along with a glimmer of hope from time to time. I shoot with film and process everything in my kitchen.
See more of her work here: http://brandyevephotography.com/
About Ed Valfre: Ed Valfre is a photographer / musician and the author of two children’s books, Backseat Buckaroo and Vacationers From Outer Space. He has exhibited his photographs in Los Angeles, Bologna and Rome. He currently resides in Los Angeles, or possibly in an alternate dimension.
Find more of his stories and photography and music here: http://www.edvalfresdreamland.com/
Or follow him on Facebook here: http://on.fb.me/1frMs66
Her Name (by Guy Capecelatro III)
Elise is afraid of the sound of her own name. She’s only been here two months and this morning, on the bus, she thought she heard it called from a car passing. When she turned, a man’s head, black scraggily hair, darted back inside. Of course it wasn’t him but maybe it was someone they once knew. Or were they calling some other name. Lisa perhaps.
“Elise,” she says under her breath, “Lisa, Elise. Lisa.” Could they even see into the bus with the morning sun all glaring across the glass?
She has moved three times this past year. Elise fears the phone and mail. Friendly faces, routine. She thinks of all the things that frighten her as she sweeps the recently shorn red hair into a pile. The peroxide starts to tingle then burn at her scalp. Elise carefully lines the ends up on the bathroom floor then gathers it all in her hand and ties a thin, brown thread around the end. She tapes it to the mirror then steps into the shower.
“Elise,” she says. “Elise.”
— William S. Burroughs
— Anne Carson