Thursday, February 18, 2010

To Arouse Secrets: The Visceral Magic of Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg's exuberant, quiet, sloppy, painstaking, organic, sensual, spiritual Combines entered my life during my now-somewhat-infamous days living in the East Village in New York. They perfectly captured and enhanced the major alchemical powers I needed to (barely) get through those challenging years. Shamanic totems, they channeled me through simplicity in the midst of sophistication. I have gotten a visceral charge of joy and power from my encounters with them ever since—most recently in 2005, touring the Met's retrospective of the Combines in the company of Charles Altieri, delightful friend and brilliant literary critic.

The letter above is posted by way of thanks to Rauschenberg—and as a reminder that I aim to "not feel shame in my joy nor regret or fright in history."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Valentine's Ball: Where The Goddess and Poetry Mate

I have been decorating the house like mad, since tonight Glen and I are hosting a Valentine's Ball. The decor involves silky sari cloth in rich colors, little silken nooks out of pre-Raphealite paintings, sparkling lights and votives, big sparkly red hearts. There is something extremely liberating about all this, sobering in light of the fact that in some places in the world, one could be jailed for wearing red on Valentine's Day.

This is probably the first mega-party we've ever thrown that wasn't for Halloween/Samhain/my birthday. It's very different kind of fun, and it fits the season—the whiteness of the snow suddenly seeming dramatic, somehow indulgent, more sensuous than stark, the murmurings among the birds hinting at matings to come, the thaw of Imbolc, just two weeks ago now, almost imperceptibly spreading further along. . .