Thursday, October 4, 2012

THAT'S A POEM, from napkin to printed page . . .

I was invited to Shiprock at the Navajo Community College to talk to Robert Hurley's journalism class and read my poetry to a very responsive audience of mostly Diné . . . in the morning I had breakfast at the THATSABURGER and while sitting there entered the dreamy world of paradise (it seemed) and wrote this poem on napkins . . . (the typed text follows the napkins) . . . 

                       THAT'S A POEM

How do you write a poem. Poem on a napkin.
Think about the size of the paper you're writing on.
If you're doing it in your brain only, there's no limit to
     the length of the line you're going for
But on this here napkin they gave me at the Thatsaburger
I've got about 5 inches from left to right.
5 inches to write what my brain thinks &
      translates from brain language into American English
         and if my brain thots keep going in a long
            sentence I've got to wrap the writing of it
                back to the left margin, indenting
                   each time so I have a stepped
                      stack of words, diagonal
                         in until I've just
                            about run out of

So I've got to wonder if this is a poem or not
What would any other language have for the word poem
or would there be no word at all in some tongues
for poem!
And then how would you write one: I guess you
     wdnt bother.
So why write a whatever it is.
I've got this napkin and I've got this Bic Micro Metal 
      ballpoint pen
And I've been called a poet for so damn long
I don't know what else to do in a situation like this.
I've finished my ham, egg, cheese on whole wheat toast

2nd napkin!
By the way if you write on a napkin, put another napkin
      under it because the ink bleeds through the one
      you're writing on.
And I've finished a couple cups of coffee, refills free!
Got a little container of milk so I can have that in my coffee
instead of that damned non-dairy creamer. 
And I must say two-thirds the way through my breakfast sandwich
it was so good and the light was so clear
and the place seemed so open & spacious with its
      blue & white tile floors
      and the Navajo guys & gals & that little baby
      were all so enjoying their breakfast
      the infant was just sleeping
that somehow I felt like I was in heaven.
How could there be any more in life than
sitting here in perfect contentment.
But what is perfect
and is there any such thing as heaven & can it be attained
right here in this corner booth at the Thatsaburger
in Shiprock New Mexico.
If you want to know the truth the astounding presence
      of that gigantic volcanic core spectacular rock
      Shiprock, rock-with-wings,
      is so present in my thots tho I can't see it directly
      from where I sit
That I must get up: it is so overwhelmingly there.
I want to see it.
Is there perfection, is there any kind of heaven.
There is a kind of perfection, there is a kind of heaven.
I just experienced it.

3rd & final napkin!
But is there a poem. What is this thing.
Why did I write it.
maybe it's just a letter
like my Grandma Goodell used to write
to all her brothers & sisters
maybe it's just a way to bridge
the gap from me to you.

larry goodell / Shiprock, New Mexico 3Feb94

People really did laugh at my wordplay poems
and especially my poets reading spoofs . . . 

& nature & gardening . . . audience 
almost entirely Native American.
TumbleWords brought writers/poets to local communities in  Southwest states . . . this is University of Nevada Press, 1995 and "Thatsapoem" is included . . . 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Traveling the University of New Mexico Department of Art Faculty Show 1980 by Gaston La Plum

A floating shield shape, or shovel head. Decorative art, progressing toward the edge 
with relentless uninterestingness.

Dated duality  (2 canvases side by side).

"Butterfly Chair."  Illustration for Ms. Magazine done by the wrong sex.
"Kimono Series."  Illustration for Vogue Magazine with unfinished head.

"Triad III & I."  Children's woodblock collage painting, but less spontaneous.

Paper swallows the uninteresting flat rectangles that hover below in idea-less squalor.

A master craftsman of other people's decorative ideas.

Pretentious useless plates, in a beautifully functional display case.

The token aspens painter.

Stodgy, ill-painted pseudo realism– the worst painting in the show. 

Landscape lithographs with hairy skies—looking rather dirty, overdone & cloyingly ugly. An insult to Placitas.

"Interior spaces."  Lacks the large Bernard Buffet signature.

S & M bondage images so popular now among jaded males. Picture area cluttered & totally contrived– except for Wedding Dance Fetish I– should have stopped there. Sequels even more artificial .

Decorative womanhood, at least lower keyed, some color sophistication but top heavy.

"Blowing Sand, White Sands." Some sense of the old mystery in photographs.

Energetic pencil landscapes perhaps overdone –  dancing V's set on the ground like restless lawn sprinklers.
"Corrido Blanco." Backpacking assemblage/ collages in chained & strapped cases. The medium is the interest.

As usual,  artists taking on words as if they've just discovered them. The words irrelevant to the images, or at least dissipating possible image strengths. Drawings/words poorly done.

Again the mix of photo and drawing/lettering in unbalanced juxtaposition, but in this case, with no strength on either side. 

Decorative sculpture at its pseudo art-deco worst.

Could be a nice child's boat except for the pretentiousness of its "art" — which turns it into a cumbersome expensive object to maintain in a gallery.

Lithographs of Bresdin forest floors.

"Marsh Romance." A photo script into some strip of world where humor didnt die and art takes on some wings.

"Inscapes." Mondrian/Cubist notecard series for a new Hallmark line.

"Nightfish in the Garden." Exquisitely done wall-art appropriate for high level dining rooms.

Gaston La Plum

Gaston La Plum, International Roving Critic, left me this critical piece back in 1980 when he was in Albuquerque and viewed this faculty show. Since I just ran across it I'm making it available for the first time . . . I've run into La Plum several times in my life but I'm presently out of touch with him although Dr. Elmo Acadork has recently heard from him in Paris . . . I have no way of telling who "Bad Art" is but I include the drawing since it was clipped to La Plum's piece . . . All of the above artists were on the faculty at the time of this show. larry goodell

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Family Portrait

drawing by Lenore Goodell


in that Valley        a different colored string from each finger     
so that one of another      each knew the other      in Love's Dream  S 
stablished     higher lower firey icey headed     empty headed in 
come come the Serpent round the Sun the S’s       from seen Heaven 
Spillway Rainbow
Joel Ai Rainbow     Son Bird     holding Brewster Feline watching 
Clem Moonrider      the Pointer      still pup    
Full Hill landless Lord over Laughter       he saw him tricking the Sun     
the Father    Bird.    Yoked     Poet       holding     hidden Bowl of Ometéotl     
& Other times the Staff     or Book    or ME
under Whirl around the Sun in vacuum-headed       icey     quest     
Search out       find in leg of the Valley      the dip in Care for 
Fam i ly       Family  portion spread out from Her touch strung hair     
Fishless    Hair
Pisces      morning      sewing      drawing      whirl in birth of swimming
headdress      wood on wood birds flying to the star under many circles
serpents      all tied to the ends of rainbow strings from his fingers
passing as I say to her voice      passing thru his     wood on wood
knocking       the country is blind       & the land he needs for a house
to grow up on for the son    & all them her hand constant voices interrupted
tied together going out in seen thru eras    
March, June, November, & Soon     Seeing it it is all too sugary 
let them have Sight

a little bag of sugar     a   larger one of salt       
one of Chile & all earth's pleasures
one of bones to bang against each other & prayer 
one of winds, the thumb almighty 
one of little mudheads trying to emerge 
one of a stick pointing direction 
one of fertility red leaf lettuce 
one of awkward hesitation     an empty cradle
& the last the little finger from the rainbow string 
the center of the ear      & hearing what you see       

I  see my hands & the garbage on the wall 
owning the spaces    where the eyes can behold      her wonder & his there
where it is directed      & coming back in dreams     we oughtnt to cling to    
who knows?       "prefer the Unknown" where the colors come down in the Spring
December      burning & burning on the head      over the head    
into full light.

larry goodell / placitas, new mexico / 9Dec73

This was printed as a duende press broadside at the end of 1973, for a holiday hand out to friends . . . attaching strings with little objects hanging from my fingers proved to be impractical, although I made the 10 little charm-objects, but the strings tangled up immediately . . . but the poem remains as a further testament to 3 Dimensional Poetry in my life . . . things hanging on strings from my fingers appeared in my thoughts along with the poem . . .this wonderful pencil portrait of lenore as fish, me as sparrow hawk, our son as a younger bird . . . in a way generated the poem and was natural as the main part of it . . . love to all and to all depiction of families . . . larry