Thursday, December 28, 2006

From a Distance

I saw you today. You don't who I am and I don't know your name but you moved me...

I learned your name today. I went out of my way to walk into your office, using some poor excuse as an explanation of business...your eyes were enchanting...they pulled me deep into you, and called me further.

I sat and talked to you today. Your voice was sweet as a summer breeze and I forgot who I was.

I walked with you today. We talked and laughed...about nothing...and everything. Just to hear your voice say my name...that would have been enough.

I took you out today. My mind raced with hope...

I kissed you today. Your lips were soft. I don't remember much after that...I awoke in my bed late that blood burned...

I fell into you today. I haven't walked past the gates of heaven as yet...but if I did, I'd swear I'd be back inside you...I kissed you down your spine...felt your skin, and you took me away...I still burn for you...

I fell in love with you today. It wasn't our friends, our laughing, your smile, or the way you feel when you're wrapped around me. It was the way the sun ran across your face as you closed your eyes while bathing in its rays...

I married you today. Your dress was flowing and your hair caught the breeze. You purified me and made me anew...

I stood in confusion. You walked away from me and in flash I am back on Earth...your skin no longer touching mine. You didn't mean too; you were standing next to me.

I am watching you walk away...I will follow.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Finger Tips So Gently...

My friend was shot today. The entire Area Command was in chaos. Our commander was stressed...

Good news is that my friend lived and the suspect's in custody...I'm dissapointed he's alive.

It was a pointed reminder that life can be short. And it was a point that my wife made a connection with...

My wife...what she does to me. I remember the first time I saw her in her entirety...a purple shirt and black skirt...her skin drove me crazy even before I felt it. I just knew.

I arrived home from a day of complete emotional turmoil...if my friend had died, he would have been the forth officer to die in our city in less than eight months. We waited on edge...

She saw it on me...felt it...and as she always does she took me from a place far away, to a place far away with her...a place only she can take me.

With a soft devilish smile, and few words, she kissed me deep and passionately. She brought me to her and bared my skin so it could touch hers.

I fell into her, as I did six years ago, and swam in her passion. Her love purified me. The fear and anger faded from me and all that existed was her.

With her finger tips on my skin and our bodies fused she spent me like only she can...her soft breath and gentle kisses lulled me even further into her as I lay next to her...her fingers still caressing my skin.

She made today ok...and she made me able to face tomorrow...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A portrait of the Self-Claimed Poet. The last trials.

Welcome friends,
for the last time. My story has finally come to an end. The inspiration which fed for years the home-keeping creation of The Self-Claim Poet (as I called my previous self), begun to expire much much earlier. I still don't know why, what to do... Did the volcano died out, or is it just sleeping? I still have general plans of new projects, which some seem very exciting to me... But I cannot push them through my emotional up to the hands... I think that the problem might be the lack of adecuate education, creative techniques... Maybe bad karma...?

Below I present you last two poems from the group of four, which have been last four pieces I have ever written... I think it was about 2002, but they lack dates...

„The poems are hiding”

The poems are hiding
Inside closets like rats
The poems are hiding
In wardrobes
Like stocks of clothing
They quail in fear
Down cope in the bedroom
The poems
Reek maggots in the corners
And blow off the candles of new poems
Like death

Tłum, Rafał Gadomski, 03-11-2006

“The aspects of defeat”

Mines of uncertainity under the walls of your city
Bombs of uncertainity droped all over your city
Automobiles full of dodgy prisoners,
Taken on uncertain warfares,
Your city full of prisoners…
And candour
Picked over in the wardrobe
In fugacious colours
Frigid, possesive, unmannered…

Mines of uncertainty under the ruins of Your city
Bombs of uncertainty on the ruins of Your city
No left prisoners – uncertain
From Your city – into the captive…
Will tremble Earth – Your city will tremble

Tłum. Rafał Gadomski 03-22-2006

Those pieces talk for themselfs. Were is war and death, and defeat, there is no space for poetry.. I guess I wasn't to strong but, I have to admit one thing... This writing has changed my life for good, and in positive sence. Only take into consideration the fact that today I'm sharing all those with you, which I wouldn't consider a few weeks ago. One never knows what the future will bring...

I have one advice for all fellas who feel the inspiration. Never be afraid of writing, and write as much as you are able to... Improve you're technique, and sensitivity.

Big thanks to CSOMETIMES... Your invitation was for me a chance to dig into my memory, and revive some old feelings which I thought had felt asleep forever... Thanks C...

And I still don't say the last goodbye... I still owe some stuff!!! While studying economy (have had to change to cultural studies because of statistics and math which kicked me off), I've been spending most of my time in the Warsaw's School of Economics cafeteria, writing short stories. I have four of them, still not translated, and it seems really a huge project to rewrite them into english. But I'm thinking, I'm thinking about it...

So friends, no goodbyes...


Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Fires of Conservation

We are the bane of your existence...

The keepers of great lies...

The bringers of great destruction,

The harbinger of pestilence and misery...

We pray to thee God...

We pray for your soul

We pray for inspired wisdom on your behalf

We pray for your eyes opened

We pray for ours, shut...

We pray for your containment

We pray for your judgement

We pray for your pain

We pray for your death...

So saith the Lord...

From my forked tongue I will lash at thee

For you shed light on my "truth"

From the tip of my sword I will bleed thee,

For your wisdom weakens me...

My rifle is ready...through my scope I can see thee...

I will be God's hand...


"Dreams and Expactance". Another chapter.

Hello there.

The story of The Self-Claimed Poet is slowly comming to an end. For unknown reasons the source of inspiration within, which have fed his expierience thtoughout the past few years is slowly expiering. Within the two years time, he doesn't write anything. Yet in the 2001 surges another project of his. It is called "Dreams and Expactance", and its clue is to describe some of the dreams he have had and he had considered important throughout his live. The dreams are about nothing, but many people still consider them important, or even being the roadsings for the living. So did The Self-Claimed Poet, and this is the way in which he tells goodbye to some of the major roadsings of his. Not all the poems from this output are translated. This is, again, a selection:


The child of Yours (?)
Have rushed to me this one more time
From the chamber of Yours,
Through the lobby,
That may this one more time get ensured:
“Tu mama
tiene los ojos mas bellos del mundo”*

*”The mom of Yours
has the most beautiful eyes in the world”

trans., Rafał Gadomski, 03-11-2006


I will stand and await
For You on the crossing,

Hopeful that you will come
And hold out both your hands to me

And we will freeze like this one more moment

May once again
Look straight into each others eyes


Therefore will arrive one day,
When I’ll be there, in
With my own work for my money.
You'll arrive,
You travel around for your own money.
You'll stand
And you will stay.

Trans. Rafał Gadomski,

Note, that the violent tone of the expieriences written down in the first collection, has vanished completely. This looks very positive to me... And it still looks kinda trivial. Just like the dreams use to be... ;)

I'll be with you the next Saturday, to finally enclose that adventure, with one last article about my past expieriences. See you then, friends...


For continuation see:

A portrait of the Self-Claimed Poet. The last trials.

Friday, December 01, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Here is a few more pictures from my natures wallpaper site.

Here is the movie An Inconvenient Truth. Watch it while it lasts they have already pulled it from google video once. Please let me know what you think...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I Feel Christmas

A poem by a fellow member of the Wole Soyinka Society - Folu Agoi.


I feel Christmas in whispering winds
Thirsty winds bathing homeland with gold powder;
I feel Christmas in gold-washed homeland.

I feel Christmas in chilly breeze
Freezing breeze breathing fresh mist
Mint mist venting piquant scents
Spicy scents stifling stale sweat-stained scents.

I feel Christmas in heat haze
Hot haze scorching spent beings
Bent beings bowing slowly
Slowly yielding life to virginal seeds.

I feel Christmas in furious gales
Fuming storms fanning forest fires
Irate fires swallowing squalid lodgings
Sleazy lodgings shielding feral creatures.

I feel Christmas in trustful toddlers
Trusting toddlers stalking sauntering Santas
Strolling Santas sowing hope of bounteous banquets
High hope heightened by blank carols
Bare carols blazing round famished Santas.

I feel Christmas in treasured homeland
Forested homeland of immortal hope.

– Folu Agoi

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"On the road to...". High times and beyond.

Good morning.

Althought it is already midday. Today, just like promissed last week, I will continue the story of The Self-Claimed Poet enclosed on the pages of his self-issued book with poems named "On the road to...". As far as the first part of it was self-depicting, the second one is rather disturbant... Why? It is not hard to guess, that even The Young Guy has gone through what our (western) culture has got to offer to young people. And what it has got to offer, then? Drinks, drugs and dame... Fuck that. Eventually, the strong will not get cought.

I will release my objection today, and show you how The Self-Claimed Poet struggled to not to get nailed into the trap of three dimensional living (existence), to be strong...

This first poem that I wanted to quote today has no title, and it talks straight about this struggle of the self-claimed poet to escape from a world, in which he is submerged since his return from Caracas, which is the world of emerging vogue for consumptionism, and even relishing with consumption of a western kind, consumption of everything, which of course in most cases affects mostly that of a lower kind.

* * * (07-02-1998)

I run away
I run away from my Morrison

He overtakes me
He overtakes cuddles lets go

And he sings
He sings “Moon of Alabama”

Look left lonely sexy mama

Eat it
Eat it
Eat and smoke
Eat and try

Ignite yourself

“..I tell you we must die…”

trans. Rafał Gadomski, 01-11-2006

And if you have had any doubts about, if american way of live affects the lifes of the citizens of newly westernized states of the old communist block in the worst way, you don't have to burden. The dissease spreads easily, along with McDonalds restaurants and shoping malls...

The second piece is something a bit more personal. It is, I guess, a picture of some mental sickness or degenaration, caused by this style of living; parting, smoking, drinking, clubbing, chaos... But today I feel that this was not only my sickness, but the social one, which of course has got to be cured, and I consider this piece very rewarding. I wouldn't remember those states of mind today, I would forget...

* * * (17-03-1998)

i revive only while i’m transforming
from fluent state into liquid
and liquid to wash and conversely
it’s too much of this
not dream
dream wakefulness
it’s to much to dimly

i revive only when i’m befalling
not myself maybe her or else neither
and conversely
very not different then yesterday
not appointed not wanted
most often inside a bus
once in tube, in state of vigil

i revive only while considering
that it’s now it’s time it came it will be
i revive like right about now
and conversely…

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 01-11-2006

And the third tune for today is a little bit more intense, but it talks about the same problems, just seen from a different angle, from the point of view of a witness... Have you ever killed a mosquito, or a spider, a fly, whatever? Everybody kills mosquitos but, are you aware that you kill while you do this? For some people killin' a mosquito is something like checking the hour on their wrist-whatch...

* * * (19-02-1998)

i’ve waited for the bus today
i’ve waited…
i’ve waited…
and i came by at least
they arrived two at the time
they will go different routes, but they will stop were they are supposed to
in the place where i’m living
i don’t mind…
i don’t mind…
i have taken place
i see, a gnat flutters somnolent
at this season he is a spinaker
the mob gathered round
why does he fly so slow? maybe he is drunk?
(yes, he was drunk a little)
is he drunk? maybe a junkie?
(yes, he was bit stoned)
and bechanced the execution
bang death
five rifles on one soldier have become
what has been done?
what has been done?
it has resorbed and that’s what has been done
it’s become

just maybe
just maybe
just maybe he was herold of the fall
whispered the innocence
in fine it’s the end of february
no…likely a drunkard
no…likely a junkie

laugh though o laughers
the spring will come anyway
and fulfill its obligation
will increase the rats
will increase the cocroaches
will increase the mosquitos
will increase the expectance
laugh though o laughers

trans. Rafał Gadomski, 02-10-2006

Well, was I the witness, or maybe it was me, the mosquito? I still bethink this one today...

And the last one for today, is something which goes beyond that chaos. I think that, for this collection it is a kind of a road sign... It has no date, suprisingly, and it was the penultimate piece in the album.

* * *

I’m coming back to home
Where the sky is navy blue
And the grass dulls during spring
The oranges grow at the Christmas tree
And they astride with the orange all the other sweets
Where every television set is in colour
And the songs are sculptured in the vinyl
Like the smile of Beethoven to the dimension of rustle
Wind is singing the moods
And the sun delights at autumn the pastel coloured leafs
Every wander is
The wood
The wall of Citadel
Or a wondering puppy
Where our settlement is round and it rotates around the sun
And all around it rotate the galaxies
Where candies sweeten
And the sea is salty and it licks our heels
Where I am a sphere
And where we are all rotating round the Sunday dining table

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 03-11-2006

And that is how this chapter of the story is closing. The self-claimed poet finally is on the road... He have set, left his friends, and beauty quenns from his area, empacked his papers and gone. Where will his road lead to? Hell? Home? Maybe some other area? Who knows...

I will be back next week, but this time I want to tell you a different story... See you next saturday then... Bye.


For continuation see:

"Dreams and Expactance". Another chapter.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Here are a couple pictures I have posted recently at Natures Wallpaper. I also started a group for Photoholics Anonymous for anyone you would like to join.

My recommended viewing, please take some time out and watch the video, it is amazing that these scientists will put their face on camera...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Tainted One

I will do something very unusual and turn away from the topics I normally address and post some of my writings...

This psalm called "Tainted One" is one I wrote when trying to gain insight to my own life...I was in a state of anger at the time...enjoy...

With the anger of my life I have tainted my soul. It is the impurity of anger that weighs heavily, and to again breath, the weight must be lifted. I turned to the Sun, the father of sight, to show me the path. The Sun became brighter than my eyes could stand and an image of me was burned on the ground. I sought mother Moon and asked her to hide my anger, but my anger blacked out the stars and I could no longer find my way. I turned to the Mountain, the silent guardian, for the answer. But my anger was so heavy, the rocks beneath me crumbled even as I climbed to the answer. I stood in the rain, hoping that its pure waters would cleanse my spirit. The rain could not wash me, my anger was too dry to accept the water. I went home defeated. I stood in front of the mirror and confronted anger. I complained to anger that he was too heavy, and commanded that he leave. Anger then responded: "Release me".

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"On the road to...". The beginning.

Welcome friends.

The series about the life and inspiration of The Self-Claimed Poet continues, as I promised last week, it enters today a new stage...Within the scattered and loose pieces that he composes, many still are dull and of no value (at least for himself), but then there are more and more pieces among them, which he begins to consider important for him. And there are enough of them to make a selection. Today I don't remember, where this idea of gathering the few poems into a compilation came from. But I still remember the keynote of this book. It was, of course, describing myself. Released (xero-copied) in "very limited edition", it was eventually given as present to a very limited group of friends and familiars...It contains 14 poems, which are ordered in a way that best fits its goal.

I don't want to present all of them, (and I've translated only some of them), but I still have to divide those into two tematic groups. This first one I called it "The beginning". It describes well the principles of the self-claimed poet...Today I see them as the routs of a beautiful tree which is growing until today, and eventually bares fruits...

The first piece with no title, is the one which opens the collection:

* * * (01-02-1998)

Write out all your letters today
Dispatch the heart
And all the kisses
Tommorow is hiding past the moon
And the moon behind your window
When you have had the morning shower
Another of the good men
Took his pill for the eternal
Enternal is a dread fever…
Weep out all your tears today
Only Earth goes crying…
Have an ample supper
Drink some good vinous…
And if you will wake up tommorow
Write out all your letters today
Dispatch the heart
And all the kisses

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 29-10-2006

The second piece is very self-depicting:

* * * (07-02-1998)

it’s so few that i possess

a few words
some sounds
some of the colours
insidious flavour
and the dewy morning
wind blow on my cheeks
comfortable longs
with two trouser pockets

it ain’t many, just this one world as demesne

my own stars
the moon
streets full of nightmares
on the private fall
the rose that I’m loaning
my own three side-tracks
and my own fires
between the two temples
in me

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 30-10-2006

And it continues with this third piece:

* * * (01-03-1998)

the clouds
my ambassador nowhere nil
the uniquely…
a straw helmet
a steely sombrero
cap with feather
the play
in two acts of infiltration
a classified message about a childbirth
coder of each moment
for several
all museums of everything
for every
overhead and around
beside the speech
and beside…
the barnacles of the clever eye
my ambassador nowhere nil
and beside…

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 31-10-2006

The piece below is very beautiful (at least I stil consider it so). It is called "The letter", and it talks about something which is common to every man, which is the quest for love, the one and only...

„The letter” (25-01-1997)

I seek you…
I seek in an opened book
And in the aureate droplets of cofee gamboling on the table.
I seek in the intense notes,
Putting out to the air idely with a stream of azure tinted satin
From the exhausted trumpet of an old gramophone
And in hand,
Stretched out at night-time for the welcoming of the brand new day.
I see everyday into the heart of an old wall clock,
Which murmurs low voice in the corner with unbroken bas.
Maybe you sit there,
And you row with the cuckoo that the time does not live.
I once have waken up a lamp, which slept in the corner,
Looking for you one at a time
In tones of the cigarette smoke,
Which sauntered around below the lampshade philosophizing in silence,
Tightely wraped in the starry robe of the
I’ve quested on and on…
And I got so tired with the seeking,
That it was sufficient that the dream have pulled me softly
And I rolled into his warm opened-arms.
But I’ll start to seek again tomorrow,
As soon as I will wake up…

I do promise…

Trans., Rafał Gadomski, 01-11-2006

And the last one, indicates something which is common to our modern societies...Sites full of passersby...And it has no date. Pobably something about 1997-1998.

* * *

people people

in me

to me

seer off me

beside me

good morning

or then less likely

do i meet them

or maybe i only omit them?

and well what for…


Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 31-10-2006

Within those pieces, I still find today elements which are characteristic of my personality today. Is that because there was some of the truth in them, or I just long to be somene like him...? I can't say...Of course almost everything changed since, but not everything. And, of course, that is not yet the end of the portrait...Expect continuation of "On the road to..." next saturday...See you then...Bye.


For continuation see:

"On the road to...". High times and beyond.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Chasing Coyotes

I stare at the map almost in a mindless haze...I do it every day. I know instinctively that the dots represent, not just a crime, but a victim. But there's something else...

The dots...are you agitating my dots? No, actually I'm attempting to understand the dots. The dots talk...

I come to realize that the dots are more than dots...each one is its own life...coming together with all the others to form a single large life. It grows, it changes, it begins, and it ends. It is ever evolving...

What is it? I don't know exactly...maybe I'm catching the face of insanity. But it has no face, it has no name, so what is it?

In our world where the sun beats down the weak and is survived by the durable and the intrepid, there is a creature that fits such a description...he is a paradox...he is a coyote.

The Native Americans call the coyote the trickster...he is the bringer of chaos and fault in man. The trickster plays with my mind...I know it is the coyote in the great map but I cannot see his form...

I hear the coyote crying in the wind...but the tears that flow come from the victims of chaos and disorder.

The coyote, he moves...I can see his tracks but I cannot find him...

Ultimately, I can only beat the coyote by playing his game...I play tricks back...and take little pieces of him away. I will beat him at the great game, one piece at a time...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A portrait of the Self-Claimed Poet. The emerging beauty.

Dear Friends.

I did promise to continue the story of the Self-Claimed Poet, the story of my own inspiration for the poetical trials, of a path which I followed in the search for my own self, which eventually led me to... And here I am though.

I called this second chapter of the story "The emerging beauty". It regards to this part of the process of forming conscieusness of the self-claimed poet, in which he begins to develope certain aesthetical skills. I guess every man owns this kind of sensibility, some fully discovered, some waiting for a revival... Just recall the primitive paintings from cages in southern France, or the Venus from Milo sculpture... The man is an artist, you just need to give him a chance...
Thus the self-claimed poet improves his techniques through the process of purgation and, at the same time, his sensibility is improving... Still he writes many pieces, to cover and archive his impressions about the being, but among them some are more interesting, then the others...

This first piece that I wanted to recall today, tells about a misterious adventure with the being, expierienced by a young man, which is something that I don't ever go through today with all my schedules, duties and faked promptness... But still recalling this expierience pervades me with a sense of something more than just "life sucks"... Nothing happens twice, Guys...
And take notice, from the technical point of view, at the changes in the tempo of this little piece.

* * * (03-03-1999)

the city runs
i run faster then the city
i dive into the flood of sidewalks
i spread involuntary pidgeons
i curse the red light
and invoke the God of double-deckers

but the bus is not coming
it disinforms with voices
of the risk of fancy

the world swells and bursts at seams
and time blows up the narrow cage
point B zooms out from point A
and dissapears far beyond
horizon of my daily schedule

and again
i observe well known places in search
of the unknown
(i mix with it descretely)
and apparently by accident
i come across people admitted defunct

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 28-10-2006

This second piece talks about the rising sensitivity for beauty of the self-claimed poet... The beauty, the national culture which he begins to aknowledge, through reading, listening... Just enough for a sensitive student...

* * * (11-06-1998)

between Chopin and Szymborska
i light
the first cigarette of tomorrow
jamed into a backlash
and wraped
i copulate with a fresh piece of paper
teared into half-tones
i’m sinking
i begin and i end
smoky i adore
half a second away

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 27-10-2006

Copulating with a piece of paper... I guess it is the quintestence of all this adventure of the self-claimed poet... :)

And the last example for today. There is something else about the Self-Claimed Poet, which I still didn't mention which, of course, is very important... The writing is rarely enough for him... The fire which burns within him is just to big... Writing isn't the only bull that he takes by the horns... He tries to draw, paint, but most importantly, he is fascinating with the music... He studies music, and he spents hours practicing on his favourite instrument... And he listens...

There comes this piece, entitled (!!!) "MILES"... Don't have to explain this title, cause the piece talks for itself... I don't know how will this translation, but I still consider this one of the most beautiful pieces I have ever written during that period...

„MILES” (27-08-1997)

the trumpet
penetrates with a dream
into unscent
and it propagates silkily
a cold metal
but it burns
and it gilds pearly
like a drop of honey
on a spoon of crockery
it’s that motive
from air foundry the bull
from the spanish circus
served on tray
like spinnaker
steals air from the breath
and it wants
that the sound does never die
and the day it never comes

Trans. Rafał Gadomski, 27-10-2006

The beauty which begins to emerge from within those pieces of paper which the self-claimed poet encovers with his writing, is transforming the world around him into a better, and more beautiful place to live... But here is when the problems begins. Well guys, don't be to hypocritique, the world is not the perfect place to live... And here starts the challenge which I want to tell you about next week... The challenge of a young man, conscious and sensitive, in search of love and his own space within the corrupted society... And this is the one which does not sieze until today...

See you next Saturday friends,

For coninuation see:

"On the road to...". The beginning.

Friday, November 10, 2006

A stain of honor

My brother and I stood silent vigil as life slipped from his body...With tears flowing down, I stood at attention. My father had to leave the room.

It was a cloudy, stormy day when our boys...his friends...landed in France to face the Great Evil of Our Time. He was lucky, he arrived three days later. Still, under one George S. Patton Jr., General of the Third Army, life would not be blissful for long. For they were tasked with entering the lions den, and pushing the bloody sword back in its sheath...

With a 70% casualty rate the Third Army boldly attended to its duty, smiting the enemy with cruel steel and small points of lead. Outside of Germany on the French boarder my Grandfather was wounded doing his duty when his friend stepped on a land mine...I keep his Purple Heart. He didn't know it at the time, but his grandson would be serving in the Third Army 50 years later.

My father and I followed proudly in his foot steps, giving three generation of love for our country through the United States Army. There are many paths of patriotism and national pride, but we chose this is in our blood. Every morning when I checked my uniform, my Father and Grandfather would greet me in the mirror, I would feel their strength, and their love and pride for yet another generation standing on the alter of freedom.

I was 19 and in the last week of Basic Training when the Gulf War began...I trembled to my bones and called to spirits of my father and grandfather that have remained in the Army (every soldier leaves his spirit, its why we are strong), to give me courage that I should not falter in face of my enemy...I was lucky, I was never called upon to perform my duty, but I would have...I would have...

I love you Grandpa and I miss you...thank you for your service...
I love you Dad, you have been an inspiration...thank you for your service...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A portrait of the Self-Claimed Poet. Awakening consciousness.

Hello Everybody!

Finally I managed, to translate those poems I've been promising earlier into English. There are about two dozens and only chosen ones, so I must publish in footage, though they form a certain story, that I wanted to tell you. It is a story of an inspiration of unknown source, and of insatiable desire for creation. It is a story of the Self-Claimed Poet. But first, who is a self-claimed poet? Lets define the frames of this idea. It is a person who without any plan or outside persuasion, starts a long-going process of creation of an artistic (ideological) kind, making progress and aknowledging self, who's unique fuel is the fire that burns within, the unknown source of inspiration. Being this a talent, a gift, an alien radiation from outa space? Whatever...

It has all begun at 08-03-1996, with a philosophical motto, and a poem named "The Rose". Was that march or august? I don't remember today... Then it was dozens of poems. I still have them all stored but, they are not too interesting. First one which riveted my attention, while revising the notebook in search of candidates for the translation, was the one below. It is interesting. Althought a cripple from the technical point of view, it contains those germs of awakening self-consciousness, which is one of the most important features in telling a self-claimed poet from a versemonger. Suprisingly, this one has a title (most of the later poems does not).

"A Fairtale about an old man", 22-12-1996

on one sunny day
i came along a little stream
and i glanced at my reflection
carried with the lively current
in milions o copies
like a warrant of caption
which the live has sent after me

painted with watercolour
on a lacklustre canvas
an old grey-haired man wearing rags looked at me
you could tell he knows about life
but a little’s what he lives
curved around with his own beard
like with chain of past expierience and nightmares
which constrains him
suffocating eyes it steals his breath
he looked just puny

fed two times a day with daily handful of illusions
he have barely had the force to think
therefore the thoughts of his
sailing high like kites on the wind
dirty they were and exhausted
like himself he was
and their weight didn’t ever let any of them climb high enough
to flash in the sun for the solace of an old heart

i took out a small copper box
and i scarfed the old man straight in his face

perfect rings have spread effulgent on the surface of the water
tearing it to hundred pieces
and the current duplicated in milions of copies
the message about the birth of a new man

trans. Rafał Gadomski, 25.11.2006

If you wonder what was inside the small cooper box, it was the one in which i stored my weed. And of course it was pathetic, but i still think it is pretty Buddhist like. Don't you think?

This other one tells a little bit about the way that this strange poetical inspiration worked. That's why I consider it important. And, of course, it has no title.

* * * (18-12-1996)

it usully acts at night
when i lay quietly
and think
and the words flutter around like little birds
sometimes one of them knuckles down
and begins to peck his name
with white syllables
in the navyblue mistness of my mind
they knuckle down a few
and then emerges a poem

trans. Rafał Gadomski, 26-10-2006

This one that I present below, is a characteristic piece of something that I would call a separate stream in this early output. It was connected with some psychological expieriences concerning females. None of flash, just the hadache. This one is, I think, the most elaborated.

* * * (30-12-1996)

prostrated in half
and the strenght sets off me
like from a broken bottle
it is berely enough
to write down incrimination
against myself
formerly the owner
today i only rent
this house
set upside down
paying a steep price
in tears
which flow like waterfalls
inside my head
spreading havoc
and tearing out all
priorly planted trees
along with their roots

trans. Rafał Gadomski, 26-10-2006

This one has no date (another exception), and it is preety pathetic too. But it reflects again that element of will and conciousness, which emerges slowly from within the other, not important works, and is so important for a self-claimed poet.

* * *

i am looking straight
my eyes are horizontaly
it is me who burns
it is not the shrubbery
i stand and brace myself
i’ve chosen
certain standpoint
i’ll be whom I want to be
the world is changing
when we are missing

Tłum. Rafał Gadomski, 26-10-2006

In the poem below, we can observe another interesting process in the work of a self-claimed poet. His technique is improving. Nobody is reading his poems, and he barely receives any feedback. But he reads himself. That's how he improves his outcome and, at the same time, he improves himself. He is the writer, but he is also the reader. He can improve what he does not like in what he reads. This influence that he has over his creation makes him improve, and eventually, develope satisfaction.

* * * (11-02-1998)

i’m a drop in the ocean of needs
a drop of insatiable desire
to be
a drop which could appease
somebody’s else desire
a drop of chance
within chance
and by chance
in the chance ocean of another
an ocean which parry
by chance…

trans. Rafał Gadomski,

And the last example. Take notice at the elements of humour.

* * * (27-06-1999)

first star
what am i about to ask you for first star?
first star
don’t fulfill my desires, please
(they tend to be to greedy)
let me know you
point direction south
let me love you
first star
perhaps you’re just a communication satellite
signed with a serial number?
it is so hard to tell you both these days…
first star first satellite
on the road…

trans. Rafał Gadomski,

Awakening consciousness of self, through writing, and reading, and writing again, and reading...
It is a very long process. But it is worth. Eventually, from the mess, a new beauty is about to be born. But this I will tell you about next week...

See you friends


For continuation see:

A portrait of the Self-Claimed Poet. The emerging beauty.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ifa oracle diviner

Have you ever heard about the african oracle Ifa? I find this blog, made by my college from Wole Soyinka Society Toyin Adepoju very interesting from the artistical, philosophical, and poetical point of view...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I met a man who wasn't there...

I remember many things from my time overseas...Great beer, adventure in a foreign land, unusual food, interesting women, the thunderous sounds of our war machine, and some of the best people...

But what would the light be without the dark? Time to turn off the lights...

I stood at the grave in awe. A giant cement slab on the ground whispered the single most punctuated statement of who this man

Amid the quaint cobblestone streets of Kitzingen Germany is a cemetery that holds a secret...Vlad Tepes...Vlad the Impaler...sleeps. Is he hungry? is he tired of sleeping? Is he even in his grave like a good little butcher? We don't know, and we don't dig to ask...

It's truly a fascinating place to be. His grave is sealed with gates that have a skull with bat wings as its crest...

The blood is the life...

My dear Vlad...what have you done to warrant such a response from your fair citizens? Why do they fear you so?

You drank your enemy's butchered your own citizens, put them on stakes, bled them, and dipped your bread in their blood...

You tore at their flesh...burned their skin...pulled out their eyes...

Your enemies feared you...they mistook your killing fields and staked bodies for a forest...they ran when they were close enough to see what you had done...

Then you wouldn't die...they had to burn you, stake you, behead you, and cement you into the ground...tsk, may not come out...forever.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A requiem for unwanted songs

I was about leaving my early times, and submerge into reviving wide-spread fields of my memories of past poetic (or maybe quasi poetic) creation during university studies in Poland. But I can't leave without saying a last good-bye, to those unwanted songs, crippled songs, ugly songs, inept songs, which were not much appreciated by the members of my band, most haven't ever been recorded, and majority didn't even have music composed (which I, at that time, noted as simple bars on six-lines tabulature). Unwanted why? Some where my personal favorites... But this is the life of a song... It is for people, not for it's composer. Here are some of the very losers, but does the good mother love less an inferior child?

First of all, the song which was about to be recorded at the band's unique studio session, but have lost at tip of the nose with the earlier "Edge of the needle" (and because of its musical flatness):


living half of life
cheap days, cheap nights
it's hard to be a man
being a doll on the chain

have some friends
for the rainy days
but i have no freedom
i'm a doll on the chain

you have the sin
of being born
you can't taste sweet, only sour
you're a doll on the chain

he won't ever see
the face of God
dull live dull death
of a doll on the chain

even have no wish
to find a key
prefer be nothing
be a doll on the chain


This one below I consider very beautiful. Don't know why we haven't ever rehearsed it. Guess it wasn't to grungy... Or maybe december and cold weren't a perfect match for a song of a Venezuelan band.


december noon
the cold is cutting through my body
fire went out
alone in empty, empty house

ch. who's gonna light the candle?
who's gonna close my eyes?
who's gonna cover my wasted body?
who's gonna break the ice?

i felt it
her shadow on the avenue
it fed my hope
a fresh felling, but I don't know what to do

ch.could you light the candle?
could you close my eyes?
could you cover my wasted body?
could you brake the ice?

december noon
the cold is cutting through my body
fire went out
still alone in empty house


Well this song is very simple in meaning, but while reading it again, I feel something of a compassion for the sensitive youth. And you know what? I work now in a building wich was named for that planet. A coinsidence, or maybe - fate?


in my dreams i see the sky over Saturn
it is black and full of moons and shiny stars
with my wings i can fly as high as no one
and get back to quite world of fantasy

in my dreams i used to see the planet Earth
she is black with her lust and self-destruction
with my wings i wish to fly as far as i can
and get back when the fate will be white and clean


And this last one, hard core stuff. I wonder what will crime analyst say about it, but I swear that the inspiration for the song came 100% a posteriori.


step by step i get closer to you
my thoughts my dreams are dominated by you

it seems we're both marked with the same sign
it's our destiny, i can read it in your mind

!i need your blood!

that night i saw deep in your eyes a request
you don't know it, but you asked me for this

it won't be easy, but i'm prepared
in spite of sweetnes, i guess i'm scared

!i need your blood!

i step always behind you, you should feel my breath
i'm the deepest shadow, don't show me your back
i'm dreaming with your heart, beating in my hand
i'm your hidden fears, i'm your aching death

it won't be easy, but i'm prepared
in spite of sweetness, i guess i'm scared

!i need your blood!


And there were more but, to say the truth, some seem strange to me even today... Maybe I just need more time to understand myself better, but I have to deny that this digging in my past artistic trials, brings a lot of light on my zerking youth. Thanks, will continue soon...


On A Lighter Note...

The Budding Rose of Sharon (More Pictures)

October Mum's (More Pictures)

My Recommended Viewing (Facing Mass Extinction)
(More Videos)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Philanthropist @ Heart

So a while back

I had this idea to start a multi-gendered personals site and make a whole buncha $$$ :)

So I spent a whole buncha $$$ and created a site...

But since it's not really making any $$$ I've at times considered trashing it...

So I trashed the idea of trashing it and instead decided to let go of any expectations of income through it.

I think it's way more fun of an idea to just offer it as a "gift" to the world.

No advertising, fees or dues.

If it can make even just a few lives happier then I will have achieved a success after-all! :)

So if ya know anyone who may be interested go ahead...

Make my day... :)


Sunday, October 22, 2006

I love You, I'll Kill You

A relationship begins as all do...a look, a smile, and a slow exciting progression to the first touch...and a rush to ecstasy.

All is well for a short time...lover's talk, sweet serene inner beauty, and burning passion. Burning...within one of the pair is a festering pain that burns the heart and will stoke itself to the inevitable glowing, radiating, brand of jealousy and control.

You belong to me...I possess you...I cannot live without you...and I won't let you live without me...

It's a whisper in the dark...a cry into the void. He will be coming...

The female is tired. She can't have friends, can't dress up...she can't go to the store. If she wears make-up she's a whore. One little, two little, three little black eyes...

She's tired of lying, tired of crying, tired of placating the beast with soft words...walking on broken glass...and giving sex to man who has no interest but his will do this for me...

But there's something else...her courage to break this nightmare comes, not from herself, but from the arms of another man. A kind and gentle she knows she deserves.

He pleads, reasons, negotiates, and finally admits his wrong doing. He's sorry...or is he? No, he just wants his control, she won't give it to him...and the fangs begin to drip with saliva generated from the hunger of violence.

After bothering, brooding, analyzing, the obsession takes over...and I'll never hurt you...turns into I love you, I'll kill you...

He enters the cool house that he no longer lives in...but it's mine...Late at night, she hasn't changed the locks...from the heat outside he feels comfort in the familiar cool air in his former domain...

She's asleep...she's mine...he walks up the his-her-room...pushes open the door...he can see her figure in the pale moon god she's lovely, she's mine...he pounces, takes her, but something else is happening...

She felt different, he has no control...over her or himself...the visions of other men inside her rise to the surface...he no longer controls her and he hates her for it...

His hands go to her neck and he begins to choke her...he salivates with hate and satisfaction...he cannot stop...her eyes turn red...and its over...

At the foot of her bed he pulls a gun...places it in his mouth...and pulls the trigger...

In control at last...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Reviving memories

Hi Guys. When CSOMETIMES send to me an invitation to contribute to her blog, I thought that it was a cool idea. Now, I feel really excited. I considered translating some of my old poems written in Polish into English but, when revising my old papers, I found this, covered with a carpet of 10 years old dust. My old songs I've been writing during my college times in the capital of Venezuela, Caracas, for my band "Desnudez Publica". And guess what? What a coincidence, most of them are written in English (most Venezuelans don't speek Polish either). Here are some of my favorites, and I'm sorry that you can't listen to them, but the band was really teririble (althought I still like it's kinda grungy style):

This very first one, which was like a stone, which released the avalanche, was ment as a parody of Nirvana style, which I detested, as a Pearl Jam's newly ignited fan:


i don't like myself and i want to die
i don't like myself so i want to suicide

ch. so you kill me X 4

i'm totally useless, and i don't like to work
i need a woman, but i look like jerk


tommorow i won't exist
you'll see me in my bath, with a razor in my fist
so shake my hand and say good-bye 'cause
i don't like myself and i want to die


This other one was my definite favourite, because I have had to improvise on the guitar while singing, Jimi Hendrix style:


that place so far away
can't even use imagination
i should have known it, but i forgot
forgot the child-dream with butterflies

ch. above my head, before my eyes
the butterflies of the garden of Eden

shallow recollections, like
frail wings of butterfly
can't see, can't feel, can't touch it
i've lost the child-dream with butterflies


The below song, like I've realized many years after writing it, raises that same question as Weiland's (STP) "Where Do the Rivers Go". I can only add, that now I know where they go ;) .


she said, she saw the water, running to the source
she felt the lust, burning like the fire
she've heard me, screaming, through the fields of mud, and

ch. she thought it was the end, but it was the day, she was born again

she stood on the bank of a big red river
she swore, she've tasted it, and it've tasted sweet
she kneeled, and started asking God, 'cause

ch.she thought it was the end, but it was the day, she was born again

rivers X 4

i'd like to send my picture throug the river, for him to touch the fate
i'd like to swim together with the river, to discover
where do the rivers go

she said she saw the river, falling into the see, and

ch. she thought it was the end, but it was the day, she was born again

rivers X 4


And the last but not least, my another favourite. Inspired by my Sugartooth's record, the song have had a hard core extra doom grungy musical wrapper, which I was extremely proud of :)) .


misty sight
i don't wanna know, if the snow is white
i don't gonna go anywhere, world is wild
i'm just livin' on the edge of the needle

on the edge of the needle X 4

i can't see the light
why haven't it lit in the dark of night
when i couldn't see, how the God was like
i'm just livin' on the edge of the needle, the edge!

on the edge of the needle X 4

the edge of the needle now my life is suspended
the edge of the needle now i must surrender

ch. and the edge of the needle enters slowly into me
penetraiting my blood
and goes deeper and deeper to get to the bottom
release her deadly charge

now i have to fight
you can't even breathe, if don't have the might
screaming bullet is your only right
i'm just living on the edge of the needle, the edge!

on the edge of the needle x 4

the edge of the needle now my life is suspended
the edge of the needle now i must surrender


i just release the drug, to fly away, to touch the sky, to speak with God

i release the drug X 4



All above where recorded by "Desnudez Publica" in Estudio Morrocoy, CCS, at 20-01-1995

Raphael G.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Nightmare, Nothing More...

It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Being that this is my first blog on this site I wish to discuss my entries as you will read them. They will be dark, some will be disturbing, however I would hope that they are also enlightening.

I am a crime fighter of sorts. I spend my days analyzing crime through the victimization of others. I see crime through numbers, maps, reports, theories, behaviors, perversions, needs, desires, and finances. I do not receive gratification through the discharge of a weapon and the destruction of vile flesh...nor do I feel a sense of satisfaction for placing handcuffs on a suspect and placing them in confinement. No, I sit in a well-lit the shadows of my mind. I try to understand the why, the when, and the how soon...

You will have to excuse my cynical nature, and my, at times, inappropriate humor. It can be truly out of place. Just know that I can't release what circles in my head in anyway gratifying except for on these pages...and other more private ways...but I don't write about that...usually.

I look forward to your comments...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shift of The Ages

a friend just sent me this link...

i like it and so here i share it with you... :)

Shift of The Ages

Trying to Change the World, I Could Use a Little Help...

Thanks to Csometimes for inviting me to this blog......
You can see more of my work at
Stop by and leave a comment if you wish.

My Recommended Viewing

Zhang Huan- featured artist

By Roselee Goldberg

Pilgrimage to Santiago, 2000

ISBN: 84-453-3162-0 84-607-3005-0

Interview with Zhang Huan

Zhang Huan and I are sitting side by side in my New York office. Mathieu Borysevicz, who will translate from English to Mandarin and from Mandarin to English, sits opposite. At the start, this triangulated interview seems that it will be difficult. It will require work. It will require concentration to cope with the lapses between speakers, to keep a particular train of thought moving steadily from one to the other and back again. I ready myself for the effort. But quickly the sound of Chinese takes over. It is a different Chinese from the one we think we hear in New York. It is soft, seductive. It is mesmerizing. The two men speak at the same pitch, with similar cadences, lots of swish sounds. It's like humming. Now and then Zhang Huan rises from his chair, back straight in the air, head pitched forward so slightly as though the top of his skull is waiting to catch a ball, or as though staring down a Kung Fu partner.

One time, he moves the chair, lifting it gently and putting it down a few feet behind us, creating a space for himself next to the bookshelf. He crouches between our legs, talking all the while. He shapes a small box around himself with his hands. He mimes the action of pulling a lid closed, over his head. He ducks to show how tight was the space. His eyes widen. His voice indicates panic. He rocks frantically. He points at the phone on the desk, trying, impossibly, to propel his body over to it. He grunts. His breath is fast, faster, and then slow. He is exhausted. Then he breaks into a smile. He is rescued.

I am not sure if Mathieu translated the story or if I imagined it. It was about a solo performance in his apartment in Beijing; he made a box just large enough to climb into and sit cross-legged, he became stuck, his friend was out of town for several weeks, he made the biggest noise he could. He was terrified. Luckily, neighbors heard him, or his friend might have come home to a terrible smell.

Zhang Huan has just returned from Japan where he went to look at the site for his next performance, in Yokohama. He opens a manilla file-folder and shuffles through 4x6 photographs, as though through a deck of cards. He points to a photo of a small pagoda- a pavilion.

ZH : The pagoda's blue, in faux marble. The other part is introduced by several men wearing suits, like serious bankers, who will carry a sculpture of myself in the nude, made from polyester resin, which is in the shape of a calligraphy brush. This piece is a quite special for me, because it talks about the things that China and Japan have in common. Japan is newer than China, but they share many things, and I have mixed them together in this work. The pavilion image is from the former Imperial Palace in China- The Palace of Peaceful Longevity- and the carved floor is from the Xishang Pavilion, which is in a city named Shao Xing, where my wife grew up. The city is a famous calligraphy center, because there was a big master who lived there. Every spring, there is a very popular festival in this place, which attracts many calligraphers from around the country, who come to write and read poems. They also clean their brushes in a special ceremony. I have notes that I made from those visits, which describe a cup-floating canal in Xishang Pavilion. Wine cups would be floated along the winding 10 centimetre deep canal, cut into the rock floor during the festival, meant to cleanse away evil influences. This work will be different from my previous performances because I shall leave behind the sculpture of myself. It will hang from the center of the pagoda, after the performance, and will remain for the three month duration of the triennale. The sculpture tableau will have a continuous stream of pink smoke coming from under the canopy. Pink for me represents Japan, while China is red. Pink has less presence, but it is also sexy and more modern.

The original idea, Zhang Huan tells me, was to have two teams of Kung Fu fighters, one Chinese and one Japanese, engage in battle in front of the structure. But then he went to China and met martial arts instructors at the academy, who told him such a flight would be hopeless, because, they said, even the lowest level Chinese martial artists was superior to the highest qualified Japanese fighter.

This would become a pattern in our discussion; all performances have a Plan A and a Plan B. The first, the grand vision, is a fantastical expression of desire, a visual spectacle, reaching for the impossible, no limitations. Plan B is the performance that actually took place. It is the very essence of the original idea, distilled, made literal, made possible. He describes the two as part of a thought process, a series of mental sketches that incorporate physical longing for flashes of colour and countryside, a grandmother's story, an outsider's attempt to harness a heap of sensations, and make them beautiful. In his earliest performances, in China, the choices were entirely his own. Nine bodies on a mountain top, forty people in a body of water, a single seated figure in a latrine. Sometimes, as in the case of a work entitled Rubens (2000) he asked the curator Jan Hoet to choose.

ZH : Jan Hoet invited me to make a piece in Gent, which is not far from Antwerp, the hometown of the painter Rubens, This was very interesting for me since I had a special connection to the artist. When I was a nineteen years old student in He Nan, my art history teacher told us that Rubens had created the most wonderful red in the whole world. Ruben's red, he said is the most powerful red in the history of art. Later, when I became a teacher, I showed my students reproductions and said, "This is Ruben's red; the most powerful red in the history of art". Ruben's red, I told them is layered, it has many dimensions. Chinese red is flat. This is what I was thinking about in Gent.

Plan A was for the piece to take place in a large courtyard attached to a church, to cover the floor with hay, to have chickens and ducks running around, and for me to sit at the base of a large column, with a newborn calf on top of the column. Plan B was the Ruben's story. This was Jan Hoet's choice. It involved 60 people, all wearing 17th century clothes. Ten horses, ten riders. It took place in a huge barn adjacent to the church. In the beginning, all these people were behind the scenes. Then 20 people dressed as monks entered, each person holding an empty red clay pot, their heads bowed. They were accompanied by Tibetan folk music, which almost sounds like speaking.

In the background you see two couples being married by a priest, and at the same time ten horses gallop through the space, disrupting the ceremony. Two horsemen take off with the brides on horseback. In my mind was Ruben's painting The Rape of the Daughters of Leucippus, 1618. The performance was based on my impressions of Rubens and his many assistants. Everyone wanted to wear grand clothes from the period, but I wanted to turn Rubens into a pauper, to tear off his clothes. I also wanted to present a feminist reading of Rubens. For his wife, the models, to pull off his clothes and take revenge on him for all the rapes depicted in his paintings.

The hour-long work ended with Zhang Huan dropping from a central beam, onto the stage, wearing clothes from the period, which he removes. On a backdrop of white canvas, he drew an horizon line, and wrote in red and black, Chinese and Roman characters, the words from Tang Dynasty poet, Li Shang Yin: "Sunset is so beautiful, but it is close to dusk. A very famous poem in China", Zhang says. "It's about getting older, about beautiful things ending. It's very sad".

Zhang Huan's recent performance are visually stunning and rich in content. They are filled with his past, in China, and with his present, in New York or Gent, or wherever he may be. What does it mean to have grown up in a communal society in rural China? "Twenty years in the countryside", he said, " are inscribed in my bones". Born in An' Yang City, He Nan Province, in 1965, Zhang Huan spent his first eight years living with his paternal grandmother in the countryside, as did his three brothers. His grandmother had a small parcel of her own land, about a half hour from the house. At eight years old he re-joined his parents in An' Yang City, a teeming metropolis of almost five million people with a history of 3,000 years. An' Yang used to be one of the seven ancient capitals of China. "I was a wild child in the classroom", Zhang Huan says of school in An' Yang. "I couldn't stay indoors. I wasn't interested in the subjects, I was always asked to leave the room. I drew all the time". His father had an elementary school education, as did his mother. "At the time, if you could write a letter, or read the newspaper, that was considered respectable", Zhang Huan said. His father became an accountant at a factory. His mother taught elementary school and later became a guard at a factory gate.

ZH : My America (1999), initially entitled Hard to Acclimatize, was based on a small Indian sculpture (a twelfth century Jain Relief from Rajputana) at the Seattle Museum, which I wanted to reconstruct in some way. A three-tiered scaffold to resemble the three rows of figures in the sculpture was built. Then fifty six naked Americas of various ages and backgrounds were invited to participate. They were given twelve instructions, such as Lie Face Down on the Floor and Do Not Move, Act and Sound like Animals, or Climb the Scaffold. There were many references in this piece- to Tibetan Buddhism, to Tai Chi- and the work was about the contrast between ancient spiritual practices and the spiritual poverty of modern American society. The daily monotony of going to work, making bread, and the pointless of it all at the end of the day.

Spirituality in China? Wasn't it outruled by Mao during the cultural revolution?

ZH : During the cultural revolution, you could not engage in religious ceremonies publicly, but such activities continues inside the house. Spiritualism was acted out in various Chinese festivals and ceremonies. Every year for example, we would make an altar in the home to honor the New Year. We would light incense, paste prayers in the form of posters on the walls of the house, take a meal to the graves of our ancestors. Most small towns had spirits which were worshiped. You might go to the mountain to pray for a son to be born. Actually, I come from one of the highest areas of Buddhist concentration and my biggest spiritual influence was Tibetan Buddhism.

My America was Zhang Huan's second live performance in America. The first was included in an exhibition of New Chinese Art at P.S.1 in Long Island City, New York in 1998, just two months after he arrived in the United States. A solo work, it took place outdoors in a courtyard. Pilgrimage- Wind and Water in New York was, in many ways, "very Chinese", An ornate throne- like bed was its center- piece, the sound of Tibetan gongs was its musical accompaniment, and Zhang Huan's hands, pressed together, his flowing orange trousers and his shaved head, gave the work a Buddhistic air. Except for the dogs of course. Ten different breeds were tied to the bed where Zhang Huan lay prostrate, on blocks of ice. The imagery, Zhang Huan Said, was about coming to America. The dogs were a way of acknowledging his new situation.

My America was Zhang Huan's first piece made entirely in America, and its confident title, given to the work by the dealer Jeffrey Deitch, belied its more disturbing aspects which dealt with the difficulty of integration. Hard to Acclimatize, the original title, was a more accurate description of how the artist felt about his status in America. It was also considered too American by some critics, no doubt because of the implied criticism of the artist's host country. In this aspect only, it resembled Joseph Beuys Coyote; I love America and America loves me (1974) in which the German artist and a wild coyote shared a room in a New York gallery for one week, as a symbolic protest against the treatment of native American-Indians by early settlers on the continent, and the continuing disregard for this group. How differently Zhang Huan's work might have been received if all participants were Chinese; it would have appeared as an exotic important, an elegant tableau of entirely foreign bodies. By using Americans, as with Beuys indigenous coyote, both artists created a superior vantage point from which to condemn certain moral and cultural practices in the United States. Both live performances were radical in the way that they expressed the artist's disapproval of a range of behaviours in this country. Each work instantly raised the artist above their "outsider" status.

Without saying so exactly, My America was Zhang Huan's way of protesting the racism that was frequently directed at him in the States. He told a somewhat oblique story as to how he decided on the final scene of the performance (but which made his feelings perfectly clear), which involved all 56 participants hurling loaves of bread at his head.

ZH : Up until the day of the performance, I hadn't really figured out the end. But I recalled an incident in New York when I first arrived. I was walking near Penn Station. I remember my wife was pregnant at the time and a perfect stranger offered me some bread. I suppose the person thought I looked hungry. I was really shocked.

My America and subsequently My Australia (2000) and My Japan (2001), show an artist on the move, far from his own culture, his homeland, his mother tongue. Marco Polo in reverse. The artist as outsider, attempting always to find a way in. But Zhang Huan says he was always an outsider: as a country boy in a city school, as an applicant for college, when his "backward" background made it difficult for him to pass the required entry exams, and, in 1991, at age 26, when he moved to Beijing, abandoned traditional painting and began solo performances that were executed in the nude and frequently involved extreme endurance and danger. Before he moved to Beijing he says, he was quite a conservative artist. Once there, he changed completely. He met artists who had lived abroad, he read articles and books on avant-garde art in New York and London. Chris Burden- I loved the extreme risk of his work; Laurie Anderson, I love her work because it is so intellectual, and because she always dreams of the future. Marina Abramovic and Ti-hching Hsieh, with their extreme acts of endurance and self inflicted wounds (in the case of Abramovic) were also important models. He learned about New York's East Village art scene, so that when he joined a group of artists who lived in a run-down area in West Beijing, they changed the sign on the road-way to East Village, and, in 1993, he met Gilbert & George at a museum opening of their retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery in Beijing. The British artists would later visit Zhang Huan in his apartment studio. Suffice it to say these things together electrified him and inspired him to confront his world from an entirely new perspective, in performances where his body was prime material, and where the social and political environment of China was the very matrix of his work.

Zhang Huan's early performances such as Angel (1993) , in which he emptied an urn filled with red paint and doll's body parts over his head (a reference to the frequent abortions of many young women of his generation, who were forced to take such measures), 12 Square Meters (1994) in which he sat in a filthy latrine for an hour, in silent protest against the fly infested public toilets in Beijing, and 65 Kilograms (1994), in which he suspended himself from the ceiling in his apartment, and slowly dripped his own blood into a metal bowl to concentrate the blood and spread the stench, were shocking for their masochism and for the harrowing daily experiences which they implicitly critiqued. No one can escape cruelty, neither myself, nor the audience, Zhang Huan says. Once the audience members step into the site of the performance, they become involved in the reality before their eyes. They have nowhere to escape, just as they have no way to escape reality. To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain (1995) or To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond (1997), on the other hand, were quite pastoral, even literary. Executed in the countryside where he was most comfortable, they would be his final performances before he left China for good.

ZH : The early works- from conception to execution- were so simple. They didn't involve any people beside the participants, and the feeling was one of great freedom- to be able to make such pieces in a situation where there was so much pressure from all around. The body performances were a necessity for me. The mountain and the pond pieces were also a necessity- they came from my need to be in the countryside. Making the Anonymous Mountain One Meter Higher was inspired by an old saying Beyond the mountain, there are more mountains, which is about humility. Climb this mountain, and you will find an even bigger mountain in front of you. Raising the Water Level of a Fishpond was an extension of this idea. It's about changing the natural state of things, about the notion of possibilities.

Since coming West, Zhang Huan's performances have become far more layered, and are composed of several parts. He says that in the early days, a performance would be a single action, whereas now he is more likely to combine seven or eight such actions, so that his most recent performances are a sum of several parts.

ZH : In China, I was doing things for myself. Now people invite me to perform, to become a cultural event. I have a job to do. I try to understand each new situation. I combine impressions of China, with local culture, what people call glocal. It's about going from one place to another, and bringing what you have to offer to each new place. Sometimes I understand the experience, sometimes not.

Zhang Huan's recently commissioned performances are each a vehicle for him to become engaged in any given geographical location. He is the consummate traveler. As soon as he is invited to present a work, he begins his research and visits the new site armed with information. He then starts to make plans. On his visit to Santiago de Compostela last fall, he video taped the medieval pilgrimage town, with its 40 churches, which he would take back to New York.

ZH : When I visited a church there, a very formal and serious ceremony was taking place. I had never seen anything like it before. I was struck especially by the incense balls carried by the priests, which flashed by so beautifully. I became obsessed by the idea of incense burners, and decided to immerse myself in a giant one, made of bones. It would be a way to cleanse myself of all iniquities, and to attain a new body and soul. It will appear as though a Buddha is sitting inside the incense ball of Christianity.

Zhang Huan describes a work that will be both awesome and interesting, and imagines a totally new experience awaiting him, when he performs it amongst hundreds of pilgrims. My responses are instinctual, everything emerges intuitively Zhang says of his creative process. Sometimes I think I was born into the wrong era. Making art is a primitive act for me, Zhang adds, suggesting that his is an unfiltered, visceral response to places and situations. It is not the primitive act of a Paul McCarthy, whom Zhang Huan finds too American and too obsessed with seeing humanity at its most abject and dejected, but a primitive born of responses to physical and emotional settings that he translates into visual tableau, relying on his background as a traditional painter for compositional and aesthetic direction.

Zhang Huan' s solo exhibition in New York in 1999 comprised colour photographs of performances he had made in China over the previous five years. Boldly framed, larger than life, head shaven and naked, he appeared front-center in most of them. The blues (of water, of sky) were a powdery turquoise; the pinks (of flesh), peach pink. Also available for viewing were cleanly edited, straight-forward video tapes of each performance. The stories behind the photographs. They were devoid of spectacle or any particular grace. They were documentary back-ups, background information, to the moment captured in the seductive surface of each finely produced image. The photographs on the other hand were instantly iconic. Indeed, Zhang Huan's pictures- especially the image of forty men and a baby To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond which appeared on posters and catalogue covers for the Inside Out exhibition in New York- became visual headliners for Chinese art of the late nineties; they declared the emergence of a new, globally savvy and socially aware generation. They were also original and potent calling-cards for the artist. Zhang Huan's large photographs are objects unto themselves, carefully designed containers for huge amounts of information, on China, on the biography of the artist, on humanistic and universal value systems. Any suggestion of time passing, of process, of the ephemerality of an event, has been completely edited out. Instead, these photographs are the objects of performance, and as such are evidence of the artist's visual strengths, of his background as a classically trained painter with a passion for Jean-Francois Millet and Rembrandt, and of his desire to compose emotionally evocative pictures that echo thematically and visually, the impact of such masters of form and content.

That Zhang Huan's art straddles several worlds at once is an indication of his talent as an image maker, and the intensity of his character. In conversation, he is deeply focused, lyrical and buoyant. He exhibits a fierce awareness of the moment, yet seems always to be measuring it against an under-current that connects him to his past, other pasts. There is an acute awareness of the dailiness of life, which he examines within a larger Buddhist like mindfulness. His dream, he says, is to take humanity's problems and clean them up. Such is the inspiration for his most recent performance in Santiago de Compastela. The poignancy of communal ceremony- people arriving from across the world, bearing incense and wishes, to gather in a mountain city of 40 churches- really moves him.

For today, Zhang Huan has one last story. It's an old Chinese story- How Yukong Moved the Mountain- which was used by Mao to explain his land-ownership policy. It's about an old man, and how every time he wants to go anywhere, he has to go around the mountain. He decides to get rid of the mountain, no matter how long it takes. This story is the grain of a Plan A project; Zhang Huan would like to move a mountain from his home town in China, to somewhere near the water, to Europe or the United States.

ZH : I'd like to take it apart, piece by piece, and reconstruct it elsewhere, in a different material, like steel. I would write the story of How Yukong Moved the Mountain, on its surface. It's about the spirit of conquering the unconquerable. I want to make work so people can be moved by a sense of the possible.

interview found at:

a little painting

this is a painting i produced in college as a part of their annual "minumental exhibit" - prerequisite being that nothing submitted can be larger than 2x2x2 (that's inches, folks!) i sometimes use it as a logo.


Saturday, October 14, 2006



Spilling my heart into the sand.

Baring my chest to the passion,
And pain…

Like a ship aflame, in the wind of my soul.

Wind cutting through,
Cuts through,
Like ice through my flesh.

Spilling my heart into the sand.


            s   a   n   d



Written 12/12/2005
© 2005 Mirror (All rights reserved)