Saturday, March 24, 2012

Art From Found Objects

Many thanks to Downey resident Roy Shabla, who curated a show called "Contraptions: electrified, mechanized, digitized, funk-junk art show." The show featured assembled whimsical gadgets, "useless" machines and art constructed from the discarded objects of our materialistic world. As you can see from the photos, the show took place in the evening, in the parking lots at Number 34 on Florence Avenue. Thanks Ronnie, the proprietor at Number 34!

An Art-Making Machine
(My apologies: I don't remember the name of the artist)

For a brief introduction to the found objects art form, here is a link to the works of Ruben Acosta. His three- dimensional painting-like constructions displayed on easels at the Contraptions show inspired my poem "Art From Found Objects"

 A Piece by Ruben Acosta

Finally, here is a link to the world of Roy Shabla.


Art From Found Objects

on an easel
in a parking lot
scenes from life
are pieced together
layer upon layer
bits of paper and plaster
some wire and some paste

some color from an old paint can
a diagonal swath of gauzy mesh
family    friends    and kindred folks
tangled up with mending tape
to form a map of the wandering path
and the years I stumbled through

my vision is my vision
but found pieces that I pick
and those that somehow
come to me and stick
are green if they are green
no matter that my vision
calls for blue

and then my canvas too
reveals itself
as fragments held with glue
that gradually dissolve
to shed foundation pieces
a brother here
a city there
until the air flows
gently through

scraps of colored paper
and fellow wandering souls
swirl in the dusty wind
some come to rest
against the back
to find some daubs
of still-wet paste
that bond the paper
to the place
and form perhaps
the image of a face

the sun slants
through the parking lot
and lights the easel
part by part
the rhythm
and the shadows
spring alive
to become art

Copyright © 2012 Francis Kearns

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mt. Katahdin

Mount Katahdin is the highest mountain in Maine. It was named Katahdin (The Greatest Mountain) by the Penobscot Indians. Like the Sierras, Katahdin is a granitic mountain, unlike most of the mountains in the East.

Mt. Katahdin

mountain name
that floats West
from central Maine
to the slopes of the Sierras
where I walk today       and feel
this Eastern mountain’s pull

a young boy’s Mount Katahdin day
drifts from the East and crosses time
a walk that leads above tree line
to glories of a granite dome
where 60 miles of fir topped hills
stretch below us to the sun

a lean-to on a narrow trail
half way up an open slope
where little legs and tired feet
give up short of father’s plan
and mother gathers us around
to sit and rest and eat

below a steep pitch to a creek
the sound of water barely heard
above the ever changing wind
and here an adult’s minor pique
at the limits of young feet
is surely not a matter of concern

yet fifty years ago today
I still see father standing there
hands on hips       perhaps a smile
just before he turns away
to hike way back to get the car

miles to see
a day in the sun
salt in the memory
mixes with the chocolate
that mother digs out from her bag
to sooth our tired spirits
while we wait

Copyright © 2012 Francis Kearns

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Seven A.M. Bus

The 111 bus runs from the Los Angeles Airport transportation center East along Florence Avenue . Crossing the 110 Freeway, it slices through some of the toughest neighborhoods of South L.A. Continuing East, it passes through the densely populated Latin American working class neighborhoods of Huntington Park, Bell and Bell Gardens before coming to a somewhat upscale section of Downey, where lush lawns and palm trees surround large newly constructed houses.

The Seven A.M. Bus

you’re in front of me
at the stop light
orange aluminum
dull windows
your high rubber tires
roll along through the morning damp
on your swaying journey
along Florence venue

roll your black tires
pump your pistons
sweep up the women
from the morning dark
they hold your cold seat rail
and stare out the window
drop them off
on the wide streets
of green lawns and palm trees

they wakened their daughters and sons
in the apartments of Huntington Park
and the little Bell Gardens houses
and packed a sandwich and piece of fruit
for their husbands

come back for them tonight
they look down the road
past the lines of cars
and strain to see you in the dark

roll your tires
spew your smoke
work your swaying orange magic
change them back
to laugh freely
tuck their children into bed
and hold their husbands’ hands
set them free tonight
these women
of the seven A.M. bus

Frank Kearns
February 12, 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012

So Cal Yankee Feedback

Dear Readers,

Thank you all for the kind comments that I have received. It is appreciated and encouraging!

Several friends have indicated that it was difficult to leave comments on the blog. By default Google required a  reader to register on one of the Google platforms in order to leave a comment. I have changed this setting. Now when asked to CHOOSE AN IDENTITY you can select NAME/URL and entering your name, or more simply select ANONYMOUS.

You still have to "prove you are not a robot" by re-typing the twisted distorted words that are displayed. I don't know what to do about that yet ...

So feel free to leave all the comments you want, in any form that works for you, including here on the blog.