kat

My late friend kat kosiancic and I shared a devotion to the art of Andy Warhol. (I remember how angry she was when I attended a Warhol exhibit in North Van without finding her and taking her along.)

I found these self-portraits on my computer this morning. She made them in the summer of 2013 – kat was living in my apartment while I had a temporary spot in Olympia, Washington for the season. You can imagine how moved I was to see these for the first time, my friend’s charisma and beauty so fully there. I miss her every day.

These days I am working on adding some of kat’s correspondence to katsvox.com. It is a delightful and important project, though it’s been slow-going. My friend’s letters and emails and cards are enthralling, and I can’t read them without great & halting emotion.

Simpleness: A Sequel

Last week before I headed off to teach back-to-back classes at my university, I stopped off at a McDonalds for a breakfast sandwich so that I wouldn’t faint in front of my students; it was gross but I was starved and I gobbled it down. I sat on a stool that faced the sidewalk on Davie Street; a bedraggled fellow was fiddling with his bike in front of me.

When I was done with my sandwich I walked to the bus stop. The fellow was on his bike riding toward me in the lowest gear. He was laughing but in a growling timbre.

As he passed by, he said this to me: “Look at how fat you are – and now look at me! Eat a salad, motherfucker!”

I had stuffed my face in front of a homeless man.

Simpleness

My recipe for making people happy:

  • Tell parents that their infant is beautiful.
  • Tell neighbours that their dog is beautiful.
  • Tell children that their bikes are fantastic.

Facebook friends append some ingredients to my recipe:

  • Little kids also like to know that you love their sneakers.” (thanks to S.M.)
  • Also, tell them their lemonade is good. Buy a second cup.” (thanks to @bfwriter)

Portrait of an artist

Solidarity

A Labour Day Test from Clarissa: “If you have 3-4 days off for Labor Day, it’s probably not a holiday aimed at you.”

My favourite ‘mindfulness’ activity …

… Counting the container ships in English Bay while walking along the seawall. They hide behind other ships, emerge, recede into a faraway haze, disappear behind Stanley Park or UBC. In one walk there were eight at the start, by the Cactus Club, then thirteen right before I got to the pool on Second Beach. The counting discipline makes me feel strangely great, as my patient friends will attest.

Thanks to John Glionna for the photo.

“One to a customer.”

At Mercer Street Books and Records in lower Manhattan yesterday, I found this pamphlet Black Sparrow Press published way back when. It filled me with joy. Knowing Robert Creeley was a terrific blessing.

If I could just create the kind of world I’d really like to live in … *I* wouldn’t be there. “I” is an experience of creation, which puts up with it no matter. There’s a lot to get done. You’ve been born and that’s the first and last ticket. Already he changes his mind, makes the necessary adjustments, picks up his suitcase and getting into his car, drives slowly home. He lives with people whom he has the experience of loving. It all works out. He says. It has to. One to a customer. It’s late. But they’ll be there. He relaxes. He has an active mind.