Saturday, April 29, 2006

Lempert's

Where do you go at 4 in the AM when all the other bars fold up for the night? That's easy. You head on down to Lempert's Embalming Saloon.
Old man Lempert himself greets you as you walk in. You recoil from his frozen handshake; still, you manage a feeble, twisted smile. He motions to the bartender and before you know it, a cocktail is shaken and poured into a chilled long-stemmed glass and placed before you. It's the house specialty, made with gin, vermouth, TripleSec and formaldehyde. As you raise the glass to your lips you notice that the rest of the patrons are sitting stiffly and at odd angles. Their faces are blue. You drink.
Along about dusk the next day you regain a consciousness you'd rather not and manage to will yourself back into lethargy. You'll be there awhile longer. No matter. Lempert's help can sweep up around you.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Marble 2

Two Italian marbles. God's own surreal art.

The recipe for breccia is shatter / flow / meld. This is Breccia Pontificia. It stands apart from all other breccias.

God depicts here the Fairy King with twin Moses and assorted spirits channeling the Insect Prince.

This is the harder Diasporo. Agate, in fact.

Here God gives root to the exaltation of the knock-kneed bishop while pigs and nipples fly.

These images are from Samson Marble.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Me

My lawyer thought it would be a good idea if I came clean and admitted that my real name is not Al E.Yus after all. You may have surmised that already.
My real name is Jay King and this a photograph of me.
I might add that it was my lawyer's idea in the first place to disguise my identity. He thought my professional reputation could be jeopardized by the pablum I put down here. In fact, he convinced me that if I were to take down all the j-pegs and gifs of my subjects and substitute them with silly models, we might avoid libel and slander suits. Naturally, I protested, being the hard-hitting journalist I am. But to placate his fears, I acquiesced.
Now, he wants me to stand up for myself. And so I shall, your honor. From this point on, I shall be representing myself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Phantom of Boggy Hollow

Parents knew better than to allow their children to go anywhere near the old Simms place. Not that they easily could, it being overrun with briars and stinging nettle and being home to countless snakes and spiders and bats and bees. Far worse, however, behind and below the collapsed cabin were the brackish waters of Boggy Hollow. In those inky black depths lived a most foul and awful creature, a creature known to swallow swimmers whole only to spit them out and chew them up again. A creature that could crawl out of the swamp on any moonless night and keep the entire county awake with its mournful caterwauling. A creature seen only by a few but heard by many and known to all. To be feared and avoided at all costs was the Phantom of Boggy Hollow.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Life Caused By Virus

Scientists from Stanford University have released the results of a decade long study on a virus they believe to be the cause of all life on planet Earth. The virus, shown above, has scientists the world over perplexed as to how a living organism can precede life and they wonder as to its origin.
At a hastily arranged press conference at the School of Medicine in Palo Alto, the team of researchers, headed by Dr. Samson Schlagel, met Monday with reporters and physicians to answer some of their key concerns.
Dr. Schlagel explained that "Virulence is tricky. Often inorganic elements combine in such a way as to create neo-organic matter. Nefarious forces affect these neo-organics and enzymes become viral. It happens rarely, but when it does, watch out."
According to the Stanford research team, this happened in the early stages of our planet's development. Volcanism and ultra-violet rays played a role, and the team hasn't ruled out the idea of a fully developed virus arriving from outside of our solar system.
"Wherever the virus came from," said Dr. Schlagel, "we are convinced that life is viral. This might explain its persistent ability to adapt and evolve to a more and more challenging environment. It also might explain mankinds willingness to destroy the planet, to kill our host, so to speak, in order to move on to broader vistas and new challenges."
Dr. Schlagel added that further research is needed.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day

The felling of the wildwood, your jewel in the crown,
You brought it off in multiple swoops.
Returned in the spring, we laid it to waste,
Then chewed on the deadwood to bring it to life.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Diary Entry 2

I am so perturbed, I mimed to my co-worker, Natalie. She was doing her nails while waiting for her My Space page to update. That phone just keeps ringing and ringing. I've a mind to answer it. So I did. It was one more jerkwad asking for a product brochure. I gestured gagging to Natalie, who rolled her eyes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Great Decider

Enter, Mystery Guests, and sign in, please.

I am the Great Decider. I decide who is right and who is wrong. Not you. Not Congress. Me. I decide much as the Electoral College decided. Like the Supreme Court decided. Like the American people.... I am the Great Decider. I was elected to decide. It was mandated in a landslide that I do the deciding for the country. Nowhere is there a more Solomon-esque figurehead to make the hard decisions, the tough decisions. It is me. The Great Decider.

I am the Great Decider. I decide who is good and who is evil. I have studied the dispatches. I have funneled funds through the proper channels. I have lobbied my lessers and backed winners, I have earned political capital and I intend to use it. My decisions carry weight. I am greeted as a liberator wherever I go. It is I who decides what's best.

No, I am the Great Decider. I decide to promote the incompetent and remove the knowlegable. I decide which corporations will reap millions. I decide who is to be imprisoned indefinitely without trial or review, for any reason or no reason at all. I decide the scenarios that fit the situations, the logic behind the absurd, the cocksuredness of pipedreams. How can anyone doubt that it is I who is the Great Decider?

Whoever is the Great Decider, he's doing a fine job. A hell of a job.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Leon and Effie


Since his retirement from the State Department, Uncle Leon's health hasn't been too good. It might have something to do with those three years he spent in Chernobyl. The kids are afraid of him. They say he crackles.
We're all scared of Aunt Effie. She worked thirty two years for the Department of Motor Vehicles and grew a tough hide and a barbed tongue. She knows how to throw her ample girth around.
I hope their Airstream Conestoga doesn't stay parked in our driveway all summer long again like it did in '02.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

TexasFlagQuilt

Detail of TexasFlagQuilt, a stained glass window I built in 1985 for the Texas Sesquicentennial. It has 150 Texas flags bound together with etched barbed wire. Remember the Alamo.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Exodus


So, as is known, Moses said unto Pharoah, "Let my people go."
And Pharaoh spoke to Moses, saying "Whoa, slow down, Moses. Take it easy. Surely we could work something out. I mean, work with me Moses. See where I'm coming from. It's not like we've only had locusts and lice and frogs to deal with here. We're talking about boils and darkness and sickness unto death. I've seen rivers turn to blood and then I lost my firstborn son. We've all lost firstborn sons. Let me tell you, it's not been a good week."
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, "It is the Way of the Lord. We will go out into the desert."
And Pharaoh spoke again unto Moses, saying "Moses, Moses, Moses. Think about what you're saying. That desert will eat you alive. It's hot in the day and cold at night. Why, you're liable to get lost and spend thirty, forty years out there. And that's assuming you get there. You'd have to cross the Red Sea first. How are you going to do that? Just wave your arms - or that staff of yours - and part the waves? I mean, get real."
And Moses said unto Pharaoh, "We shall live. We shall be fruitful and multiply."
And Pharaoh spoke once more unto Moses, saying "Fruitful? In that Ra-foresaken no man's land? Ain't gonna happen, Moses. Listen. Listen to me, Moses. Stay here. I need you. I mean, who's going to clean up this mess?"
So it came to pass that Moses turned his back on Pharaoh and went forth.
And Pharaoh called out to Moses. saying "Go, then. See what I care. You'll be sorry." But Moses heard not the words of Pharoah, for Moses and his people were outa there.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Ford Mini Van Man

Scene: A dweeby dude in a cheap suit stands astride the top of of a Ford Aerostar, guitar strapped to his neck. He strums and sings:

I'm a Ford Mini-Van Man,
Givin' it all that I can...
Huhhn!
FordMiniVanTOUGH!

Harmonica drone intones the open road way out west. The dude drops the geetar and picks up the kids at soccer practice. I mean picks them up by the waist and swings 'em aboard. Just as soon as they're strapped in, FordMiniVanMan peels gravel and is On Down The Road. Switch to FordMiniVanMan loading groceries, closing hatch with mighty shove.

Huhhn!
FordMiniVanTOUGH!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Pachalafacles

Pachalafacles, the eminent Turkish philosopher, sold a soupish gruel to his students he called Abstainetics. They lapped it up like kittens and were grateful for it, never having furrowed a winnowing fold. They returned to him his worth, or what he supposed was his worth, but what might have been an echo of a whispered bleat. Anyway, he took it for approval.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Tactical Prayer




Our burden for which it stands,
Hollowest be thine intentions.
Grim is this day our daily news.
Forget the Strake and the collateral damage
As we forget the Shah and the Mujahadin.
Leap not into battle without adequate backup.
Deliver tactical nukes just for show.
For the banner yet waved,
For the Oil,
For the Glory,
War Without End,
Oh man.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Gallery of Icons 2

Now, over here we find the likeness, meticulously sculpted in petrified rat turd by convicted Guatamalan drug smugglers, of Qetzlmergatroid, the Mayan god of mudwalking. Living in cities and walking around in shoes and on concrete as we do, it is hard for us civilized folks to envision a need for a god whose duty it was to oversee the act of walking through mud, but back in the proverbial day, Qetzlmergatroid was a busy god and one justly revered. Fever victims, of which there were many, were made to slog back and forth through mudholes in order to lower their body temperatures and at the same time appease Qetzlmergatroid's demand that they walk through mudpuddles. If they faltered or passed out, they were summarily sucked into whirling mud spirals, never to be seen again until archeologists puzzled and pondered over their bones. Tiny effigies of Qetzlmergatroid, carved out of similarly petrified rodent droppings, were often recovered from these same alluvial deposits and provide us with conclusive proof that Mayans were a bunch of superstitious loonies.

Meanwhile, across the ocean and through the jungles of equatorial Africa, this imposing idol loomed large in the lives of Congolesians. He was Mthulu Mbembe and he meant business. In his day, though only a clay effigy, Mthulu garnered a clean ten percent tithe from all villagers from Kisangani to Kinshasa. For he was proported to be the god of shame. It was one thing to be dying from malaria or diptheria, quite another to be the victim of rumor and innuendo. As long as you actually died from the shame, it was no big deal. Your children inherited your surplus, but you took most of it with you. However, if you were unfortunate enough to survive the initial ill repute that resulted from a low crop yield, the birth of a girl, or bad hair, the ignominy would grow daily, eventually choking you, your wife and your first born to death or worse. And that would be a huge blot on the rest of your family. They'd have to move to another village until the shame reached them there, then on to another and another ad infinitum. Best just to pay Mthulu Mbembe his ten percent and be done with it.

It's said the manufacturer of the hundreds of thousands of clay Mthulus lived quite well and never had a thing to be ashamed about.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Gallery of Icons 1

And so we've arrived at the heart of the thing, the pulsating center of gravity. Command central for the site.
~~door creaks open~~
After you. Don't worry, I'm right behind you.
~~door slams shut~~
Never mind that.
We are in the Gallery of Icons. This is home for all our forgotten lesser gods and goddesses, demi, semi and pseudo gods, our archangels and saints of yesteryore. There's even a few rare mortals of presumed note here.

You'll notice to the left of you the most disagreeable countenance of Kalamackannoy, ruler of paper cups and charm bracelets. He, she or it was once a mortal of not much more intelligence than you, if you can imagine. Some simple deed along the way exalted him, her or it in the eyes of some third level bureaucrat god, and whammo! Instant deification of the lowest order. Not thrilled to be put in charge of picayunity, Kalamackannoy rebelled and attempted to form a demigod union. Naturally, this didn't go over too well upstairs, so before you could say keistermeister, Kalamackannoy was demoted to the charge of slug gloves, not a lucrative appointment, if you catch my drift.

A better fate was in store for the fellow on the right. Yoda Grumpelion was born into semigodular nobility, but he never let it go to his head. Just one of the guys he was, back home. His humility won him praises from his higher-ups and he, too, learned one day he was to become a made god. Summoned to Asgard, (or was it Olympus?) he fell down in supplication before the agency what summoned him forth. That protoplasmic entity floated and glowed and pronounced "Yoda: God." To which Yoda answered "No. Yoda God." The blob proclaimed "No, no. Yoda....GOD!" And Yoda replied "YODA God!" It went on like that for several minutes and might have gone on for several eons had not the ball of light suddenly exploded in hysterical gaffawery. So greatly amused was he that Yoda was named Jedi Master and banished to Dagobah.

That's it for today's graven images. Come back tomorrow. Bring cash.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Stone Window


A window of sorts I made from stone gathered mainly from the banks of the Arkansas River and southeastern Arkansas. They're strung together with lead and solder and interspersed with clear crackle glass.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

You Are Here

We are here at the westernmost boundary to prove a point: That the new's not the be all end all. Something's to be said for the go down, something that leads back around. I mean to point out the flat rocks. When the last rays hit them, they turn red. It's the blood of the sacrificed, you know. Not to be missed. Or denied.

When we first reached this point we didn't know it. Were you here today? Did you arrive expecting something? Was it good? Was it an arrival? We expected arrival. A finality and a summing up. It never came. Instead came the long look back at cost and payment, payment and cost. The total rendered transaction. Hardly worth it.

Shall we turn and watch the sun go down?