An installation by Marshall James Kavanaugh, with assistance by Willow Zef, Andrew Galati, Scott Bickmore, Rachel Mueller, Megan Whalen, Courtney Blue, Eric Clark, Eileen Lillian Doyle, and a few more.
I have to say, there is nothing greater than gathering a group of close friends together and watching TV in the woods. Like moths to the fire the entire neighborhood was turned on by this spectacle of foreign delight. All had to stop and wonder as they passed this pop up tent of mystical light and alien technology in an abandoned lot two blocks from my house.
It’s a mad, mad world and we sat right in the thick of it watching our favorite shows.
“Last night marshall moved his living room into an abandoned lot creating a psychedelic city fire. galleria ex-terra. kind of like a march hare & mad hatter’s tea party. with bowls and beers and a tv stack simmering embers of static & ash. the police rolled by (twice) with curiosity. they left feeling stunned saying “oh shit christ.” neighbors and friends joined the soirée giving their compliments. strangers stopped to have a look. and a crackhead came thru whoring herself for a quick few minutes of smack. she left when she got a cigarette. stretching and gnawing her jaw though. made her look like a skull bone. so many worlds colliding, intensifying. a hodgepodge of humans in a powwow. a modern day hooverville, obamatown. artists and bums experiencing the shit & grit of kensington. having a good ol’ time transcending the norm via art. making ash of the veil revealing what’s realer than real. i think i heard ginsberg snapping.“
To all the beavers swimming past The water snakes shedding skin Fish big and small hopping into the wind The bald eagles flapping heavily The mournful loon echoing through the trees The geese gliding gallantly The icy water that is everywhere The fog rising up thick like outstretched arms The mountains in and out of consciousness The water bugs The floating flowers The dog sleeping in the cabin The crickets The daddy long legs The bat with a broken wing To all of you and everything else To every single one of you I want to say Good morning Good morning, Maine Good morning and hurrah! hooray!
We went to Maine and all we found was the American Dream.
Camped out on a lake in the mountains Swam and canoed in the clouds in the morning Felt the stillness, the subtelty, the cool-breeze warmth of this raw American dreamland and then rested a little till early afternoon. There is where there were trees floating in fog that swayed like men And men standing nearby that settled down like the trees on the horizon With leaves changing all the shades of red and orange. Islands only approachable during low tide. Whole areas of land rustic and uncivilized Small hill tops Water like glass Heaven’s playground Hop to and fro Gallop like a goose In the honky tonk air This is how simple life could be Fashion yourself a rich pilgrim And climb into the ease of the earth Don’t think too deeply Just imagine you are there And there you will be The American Dream Opening up wide at the seams.
To the person who left their four-leaf clover in a book of Wordsworth I found in the thrift store, First of all, thank you. You have reminded me that today I am very lucky To be able to breath In and out Intentionally For to be alive is such a wonderful mystery And so much a journey
I wonder if it was your intention to have the clover found By me, a stranger On page 254, In the section of miscellaneous sonnets Next to a poem to the poet John Dyer “The Bard of the Fleece” Or if you placed it there randomly And let go of the book absent-mindedly.
I wonder who you were and where you were from And how came you upon this noble treasure. Was it during a hike up in the Appalachia? Or a gift from a sweetheart in the city? Currently the clover appears old And the book appears much older. Come to think of it I can’t quite remember how long it is I who has owned it Or where exactly I first acquired it Without opening it to this very page until now. I’m uncertain if I’ve ever even read from this volume Or if I just carried it around for the aesthetic pleasure Its leather-bound form placed upon my bookshelf.
You see, it was Thoreau, and then Whitman as well Who just now made me think recently of retracing my own studies To this master wordsmith that is Wordsworth Their words and experiences so dictated by the romance of his language Also his playful tongue in cheek And this pleasant synchronicity Only adds to my current enlightened state of mind Transcendental and flowy Like a breeze through tall grass And summer dandelions I thought I must write a poem immediately And try to reach out to you somehow
And yet where are you now? Or where have you been? Are you old and withered like the clover Worn and water-stained like these paginated musings Or have you gone underground To join Wordsworth in his romanticized heaven?
Oh, to be alive in this great fantasy I can count the times I’ve found a four leaf clover On a single hand Having not searched for them outright Since a young boy But this is the first time I’ve found Such a thing In a book of poetry And I can’t even begin to express how lucky This must be A joyful reminder from serendipity It is a gift to be alive and awake in this dream!
“COLLAGE HELP WANTED!” a performance by Ma Ja Ka at Baltimore’s Artscape. vine shot by Lee Tusman
This has to be the most celebrated experience I’ve had thus far with Ma Ja Ka. He has gone from a sad unicorn born into this reality to a truly jubilant dream body dancing to his own inner rhythm. To have these kids dancing with me was so incredibly fun. They kept saying things like, “Yo, is he real?” and “Yo! There’s a man inside that mask!!”. I took the one kid’s attempts to whack my nose as really having a hard time believing there was a real unicorn dancing in front of him. Unicorns, man. Far out stuff.
My newsfeed this morning is full of war, death, and homeland attrocities. Friends, the power for revolution is within us all. Awareness and accountability are only the first step to change. We must move forward in our own private revolutions if we would ever like to see this world a better place.
Step outside, take a moment to feel the warmth of this beautiful morning sun, breathe in the fresh warm air of a new day rising, and learn to live lucidly.
via Humans of New York “Life is a miracle. It’s not a mystery to me. It’s simple. Humans can shape their environment, but they can’t create anything. All we can do is put together what is here. But I challenge any man to try to make some life. Actually, forget life. I challenge any man to try to conjure up some dirt.”
In the end, I think my funeral will resemble that Truffaut film That one where the playboy dies And all of his past loves appear to see him off Then the film retraces his life through their stories
In the end, all the women of my life will be there Some will be crying in misery Others won’t be able to hold back the urge to spit on my grave They will be unsure of exactly why they even came But something pulled them all together in this precious ballet My mother will be there too And she’ll be proud of how many friends I made While I lived Sharing a handkerchief with the one’s who I loved the most As far as friends, I guess she is right We were all friends at some point before I died.
Iin the end, they will all be surprised to see me go They will all be surprised about who else is there Their stories will reflect upon both my positive and negative attributes But mostly how I left them wanting Some will have wished to marry me While others will have wished to watch me die A thousand times. And in the end, I don’t think any of them will feel satisfied.
In the end, I don’t think I will have really died Instead, I think this will have been just a new beginning All ties freshly cut and new horizons possible With everything I have learned up until this point Stuffed into my pockets I think, in the end, I will be able to finally rebuild my life The way I should have lived it all along.
This one goes out to my main man, Walt Whitman! But also Ben Frank and Betsy Ross who keep equal watch over this resourceful river front in Philadelphia. And to Marian McLaughlin and Ethan Foote for sharing this awe-inspiring adventure with me today. And my buddy Matt Bennett for first putting the terminology of how a forest first finds it’s roots onto my periphery. Peace and love. Peace and love. Peace and love, my friends!
Where The Water Meets The Wind
Hold fast, my dear Hang on for dear life. The breeze that pushes against the sails of your soul And gives you flight Is also what stirs the butterflies Fluttering their little hopeful hearts Careening down the stream A warm vibration Across the river top Making eddies and waves against this abandoned pier
Hold fast, my dear. Hang on for dear life. In the abandoned land of industry Lies a quiet revolution Slowly growing Making waves of its own As well as peaceful eddies For us to find our balance in.
There one can spread out fully In a meadow Surrounded by sunflowers Slowly growing In the cracks of urban decay Replacing destructive habits With a new reality.
It was the muse who first brought me here When I was still finding my way Now that I am back again I see what I have been missing all along Even in a city, There are places where things still lie still Where flocks of gold finches Fly neon yellow wings in the summer sun And crickets sing their tribal chorus In tall grass made to lie upon Where local herbal remedies Slowly grow naturally Repopulating what was once arid With a truly holistic scene.
See, let it be still. Let the earth take root. Let it gain some energy. And soon enough, Along the side of the long eroded jetty You can find the magnificent color Of purple thistle Hanging on to the wind Where it meets with the water.
Long golden locks Collecting the sunlight in their amber Curls I could get lost in With my fingertips Interweaving my life force with yours Soft relaxed breath Salutations of my heart Beating against your backside We drift to sleep Complimenting each other’s personalities Being impressed by what the other has done with their life I dream the compliments continue empathetically And through our skin so close we vibrate fondness From the way your body rests wrapped up in mine You say, Thank you for being the being that you want to be Your freshness emanates hope for the rest of us And I hold you tighter to me saying, Thank you for being the being that you are Without you and all that you do Things would fall apart There being no hope to muse upon We drift further into REM Our bodies final ode A simple chorus Thank you for being.
Today I am all poetry. Some days, not so much. But today everything I do is poetry. Everything I feel is poetry. Everything I write is poetry. Today I am all poetry. And these are the kinds of days I look forward too. The morning starts with pleasant dreams And a humble dance with bedside literature. When I finally venture out, the warm sun is there to greet me. Blue skies and playful clouds Turning from one recognizable shape into the next The birds chatter and without anything better to do I hike in a park and climb a mountain The city rolls away from me Along with its depression Instead there is only the earth and me And today I am all poetry These are the days I look forward to.