The Dreamers Up Close and Personal

Last night, two dear and thoughtful friends braved torrential downpours and milky fog to pick me up and take me to a charming and intimate Mexican restaurant in a nearby town. One friend drove along unfamiliar, dark and winding rural roads (with a smile), so that two of us could drink some hard cider with our meal. After an appetizer of extremely hot chili pepper poppers and a warm and easy dinner—they ordered a crispy and flaky ice cream-filled dessert with a candle on top that we split. Our waiters and restaurant staff dimmed the lights and joined in a heartfelt rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

My gracious companions are well known for showing up and supporting for their friends this way and more. What made it extra special for all of us, was that the restaurant staff unexpectedly and enthusiastically joined in, enjoyed and shared in the celebration. They were born in Mexico and may very well be part of the 200,000 Dreamers in our country whose fate is yet to be determined by DACA legislation. This local restaurant is popular, a great value and a tremendous asset to our or any community. Last night they were our friends.

yet another candle yet another wish for peace

© ag ~ 2018


Lady Sings Soup

One of my favorite things to do on a dreary grey day with rain-snow in the forecast is to cook soup or stew while listening to music that literally and mentally moves me. Sometimes it’s the blues, sometime rock or oldies-but-goodies. Sometimes Pandora plays just the right mix and my dancing feet simmer with the aromas of mushrooms, shallots and rosemary. Excuse me—they’re playing my song…


carrot as a mic
I channel Rhianna’s
lips and hips


garlic parsley lemon zest
mix with Stevie Nicks

© ag ~ 2018


The Bus Station Of Life

From Wikipedia:

Found poetry is a type of poetry created by taking words, phrases, and sometimes whole passages from other sources and reframing them as poetry (a literary equivalent of a collage) by making changes in spacing and lines, or by adding or deleting text, thus imparting new meaning.

This found poem was distilled (and collaged) from an article in the New York Times, Sunday, December 31, 2017 titled: “A Watering Hole for the Bus Station of Life” by Alex Vadukul

No words were added—only omitted and all words appear in the order they were originally written in the article.


The Bus Station of Life

On the second floor
a lone Irish bar has no bathroom
and its regulars
drink in 1945.

Bartenders stash beer
into brown paper bags.
Known for its steamtable lunch
and corned beef
it appears briefly in “Taxi Driver.”

It has cracked black and white
checkered floors
and green vinyl couches
bandaged with tape.

Its regulars include
crumpled shirts and loose ties.
A wedding once happened
near the dartboard
and a tryst between two commuters.

“I met my wife at this seat…
we’re still together.”
84 year-old Manny Muniz
rests his cane and ordered
Johnnie Walker Red with soda.

As evening approached
A trio of women—
The Ladies of McAnn’s
took their seats.

Teresa Brewer, 50
ordered a vodka soda.
“We’re all going through
life while we wait
for our bus.”

© ag ~ 2018

Cowgirl Art

My back to sort-of-normalcy in the new year begins today–a week into January already. The temperature outdoors is moderating–a balmy 20 degrees and rising after a long and gripping windchill in the minus column. Last week also featured a “bomb cyclone” that galloped through like cowboys on wild ponies and a whirlwind of weekend birthday celebrations. I’m actually looking forward to vacuuming, making soup and painting–routines and chores a  little lost in all the commotion of the past couple of weeks. It will be just fine to settle into Winter’s subdued pace and beauty and back to sustained creative practice.

spicy-colored gift paper collages into a new palette

© ag ~ 2018


The Conversation Of Creativity – 1

“Paint from your vagina,” she directed us. I was in a life-drawing session with other visual artists and a nude female model. We were not really there for instruction — just to practice hand-eye coordination with some creative adaptation.This was the only advice our seasoned (often brilliant) and proficient fellow artist and art instructor, who brought us together in her classroom, would bellow.

“WHAT? Paint from where? What the h_ _ _  is she talking about?” Instead of the often stated and equally important “paint from your heart” – this time it was about painting from your sensuality and passion: a different animal for a different outcome. And fun!

Artistry, be it visual, musical or movement is hard work. It requires patience, persistence and practice. Hopefully, the artist can let go just enough to tap into our body and intuitive wisdom leaving the linear brain behind for real creation. And sometimes, it helps to shake things up by using words we don’t expect. In this case “Vagina” — has its own heart.

how then to paint my feral self along her curves

© ag ~ 2018


Storm Energy

Thankfully, yesterday’s storm day was enjoyable for me. I had heat and electricity, fun food and the company of out-of-town relatives. There wasn’t too much snow to shovel and enough time to cook, bake, watch the news to see what others were doing in the storm and imbibe cocktails with dinner seated on the couch around the television — otherwise a big no-no in my home. Storm energy, under the right circumstances, can be an excuse to be a big kid again. Take that day off to goof around a bit. I do understand and appreciate the pain and circumstances for those less fortunate as well as those called out to plow and keep civilization running. They were in my prayers and thoughts. However, whenever there is the opportunity to engage in child’s play — like chin up catching snowflakes on your tongue — I’m in. Because there’s always the next day or moment when we are called back into being the adult who doesn’t have enough time to play in the snow.

hot cocoa with cayenne
cranberries and ginger
this old house remembers

© ag ~ 2018