31.3.09

Misery Of The Francis H. Leggett

She left Grays Harbor, WA in 1914 with a belly full of railroad timbers headed on a southern course for San Francisco, and she carried 67 passengers and crew. But some 60 miles southwest of the Columbia River tributary, the Francis H. Leggett caught strong winds and with them, an angry roll of sea. The waves were unprecedented, rising high enough to pitch the steamer wildly in the escalating winds. To the horror of all aboard, the Chief Engineer reported the Leggett was taking on water. Both passengers and crew worked every bilge pump aboard to empty the hull, but nothing could be done. Water rushed in faster than it could be pumped out, and every greyback pushed the steamer lower in the water. Distress calls went out, but no one would answer in time. The captain was at a loss. Horrified with his options, he ordered the steamer abandoned, the crew and passengers lowered in lifeboats a fraction of the Leggett's size into the same waves that continued to pound his command. But before it could be done, another wave washed over the steamer proving more than she could bear. The Leggett went down amidst screams and wailing terror.

Three ships responded to the distress calls, but none found more than wreckage and drifting timber. Two survivors were found clinging hypthermic to hunks of debris and the body of a woman was pulled from the water, but the rest of what was left would be returned to shore with the tides.

Despite the misery of loss, timbers salvaged from the tragedy were used to construct a home in Manzanita, Oregon.

Brush It From Your Shoulder

a full moon and you here.
i check my pulse against your stomach.
your flesh celestial.
it was cosmic and beautiful
and i forgot about the sky
until i saw you brush it
from your shoulder.

In An Hour's Time

Delegate To Them The Duty Of Watching



Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo

- Sometime in 1835 -

If only I were a clever woman, I could describe to you, my gorgeous bird, how you unite in yourself the beauties of form, plumage, and song!

I would tell you that you are the greatest marvel of all ages, and I should only be speaking the simple truth. But to put all this into suitable words, my superb one, I should require a voice far more harmonious than that which is bestowed upon my species - for I am the humble owl that you mocked at only lately, therefore, it cannot be.

I will not tell you to what degree you are dazzling and to the birds of sweet song who, as you know, are none the less beautiful and appreciative.

I am content to delegate to them the duty of watching, listening and admiring, while to myself I reserve the right of loving; this may be less attractive to the ear, but it is sweeter far to the heart.

I love you, I love you. my Victor; I can not reiterate it too often; I can never express it as much as I feel it.

I recognize you in all the beauty that surrounds me: in form, in colour, in perfume, in harmonious sound. All of these mean you to me. You are superior to all I see and admire - you are all!

You are not only the solar spectrum with the seven luminous colours, but the sun himself, that illumines, warms, and revives! This is what you are, and I am the lowly woman that adores you.

~Juliette

(Drouet, a French actress, wrote passionate and lyrical love letters to Hugo for over 50 years.)

Unconditional Surrender

Some things are just bigger than us,
Some times we're bigger than them.

27.3.09

Flavor Went Out When Filters Came In

We Were Desperate Then

Corto Maltese

Hugo Pratt's anti-hero of the 60s -70s, Corto Maltese was the "rogue with a heart of gold". The son of a British sailor and a gypsy Andalusian prostitute, he was born without a fate line and so he carved his own with a razorblade, just as he carved out his own destiny. Yet, despite such an ardent declaration of freedom, Maltese remains "neutral" in most of his adventures, an observer more than a hero. A sailor without a ship.

Guy De Maupassant: The Wreck

26.3.09

Looking Back Upon The Earth

where we had stood on
the water looking back upon
the earth is gone now.
the movement of our bodies
has withdrawn in footsteps.
yet in mid-afternoon
the moon still watches
from behind a climbing airplane.

Shelter From The Storm

We'd get mighty thirsty if we couldn't taste the rain.

So That You Faint And Die


Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet
-- August 15, 1846 --

I will cover you with love when next I see you,
with caresses, with ecstasy.

I want to gorge you with all the joys of the flesh,
so that you faint and die.

I want you to be amazed by me, and to confess to
yourself that you had never dreamed of such
transports...

When you are old, I want you to recall those few
hours, and I want your dry bones to quiver with joy
when you think of them.

Artist: Patrick Nagel

Patrick Nagel. No one did it like him. The neo-classical lines, the sculpted hair and geisha-white skin. The trademark explosive lipstick shades. He even made the worst sunglasses look good on women, and may even for a split second have been responsible for legitimizing Brigitte Nielsen.

He may not be a pinup artist in the classical sense, but if anyone was capable of softening the cocaine lines and colors of the decadent years from the mid-Seventies to the early Eighties, it was him. And he clearly drew from the lineage of painters before him as much as he did from Art Deco. Like many pinup artists, Nagel began with a photograph reducing details and emphasizing the lines that remained, which helps to explain why so many of his models look the same. But it was clear Nagel had a preference for women with pale skin, black hair and full lips, which perhaps made his pieces so attractive to Playboy, who regularly published his work and made him famous. Before Duran Duran's Rio made him more famous. Before he died of a heart attack at age 38.

The Space You Take

i hope someday
i live and die by the size of
my side of the bed.

I Call Your Name But There's No Answer

Tragedy of the Brig Pocahontas

The Brig Pocahontas set sail in the late fall of 1839 from Cadiz, Spain on a return trip to Newburyport, MA. Carrying mostly domestic goods, the 12-13 man crew (the manifest was never found) sailed in good time until being engulfed in the second of three tempests to hit the coast of Massachusetts around that Christmas.

Thinking it better to drop anchor and wait out the storm, Capt. James G. Cook ordered the anchors dropped until daybreak, until the crests had eased themselves and passage to harbor was again possible. But Cook's judgment was not as it should have been, and so close to shore, too much slack was to be had in the shallow waters. The anchors dragged inland in the big waves and the brig was marooned on a sandbar. And there she stayed, beaten for what must have seemed like an eternity until all crew and the ship herself were lost.

By early morning, the news from Plum Island had reached town and citizens had lined the beach to see what, if anything, could be done. But the scene was hopeless. One by one the remaining sailors dropped into the sea and disappeared. "And all that remained were the faces and the names of the wives and the sons and the daughters."

What following account of the tragedy is excerpted from Awful Calamities: The Shipwrecks of December, 1839.

Publish at Scribd or explore others: Research ships massachusetts

24.3.09

How To: Picking Combination Locks



Steve McQueen: Remembering The Cool

There are only three actors I think of as cool, and McQueen was top of the heap. The silent cool, where Newman was a charmer and Grant did it with wit. McQueen's acting was more about drawing attention to what was already there than adding to the script -- a twirl of a gun, a whistle, an eyebrow, a smirk and head nod before looking away...

And there was a boyish arrogance to McQueen - the sports cars and motorcycles, the women, the flippant regard for authority - but he earned the points because that was just him. The racer. The biker. The brawler and playboy. What Thompson did for journalism, McQueen did on screen.

Born March 24, 1930 in Indiana, McQueen was a young roustabout. "Incorrigible" according to the judge that sent him to Chino. Spent some early years in a boys reformatory home up there before heading off for the Marines.

Honorably discharged in 1950 and a Broadway actor by 1955, McQueen had a "take what I can" attitude stealing his first wife from a friend, and he even told the guy he was going to do it. By the early Sixties, he had starred in The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, and by the end of the decade had finished both Bullitt and The Thomas Crowne Affair, making him a full-fledged star and trendsetter.

His personal life was a mythos of strange cultural footholds all its own -- a pallbearer at Bruce Lee's funeral and a potential target of Charlie Manson's (he carried a revolver in public) among other things. McQueen died in 1980 from cancer, the highest paid actor in the world, but his impact on pictures, as well as style and grace remain undeniable. Happy Birthday Papillon. Rest in peace.

Forever And Ever

Hearts break all over the world the night
a woman says 'yes' to a Lucky Strike.

What Time Must Have Been

what time must have been
when i stepped out from the wash
rotting wood left bleached

sprig grasses peak through the dunes
like waiting children from homes

sun held beneath this
horizon beyond my reach,
the moon-cradled sea

how wonder now turns to them.
was i too as scared of spring?
imprints in moist sand

awaken young certainty,
so they fight forward

alone i crossed the street to
gaze at stars from empty lots

encroaching tides changed
folding onto the dry shore,
pulling at the beach

what tore away at old ships
has all it will take of me

alone i learned to
crow and escape the search for
carrion and death

to wander amongst shadows
from the city walls, i fled

to where the mountains
breathed their last full mist breaths down
upon us, i fled

into the dream, to where hung
the hope that she was waiting

Artist: Phil Noto

Pin-ups have been around forever. A remedy to the tortured libidos of engine monkeys on land or at sea. And comic illustrator, Phil Noto does it as well as anyone. His soft-wash aesthetic and delicate minimal body features revive the sultry allure of the old mechanic's calendars, but by introducing the repressed sexuality of contemporary comics, his work manages to find a small window into high art big enough for himself alone.

While the overall technique may tinge on the appeal of Tim Sale, his work doesn't dip so eagerly into the pulp noir Sale steeped from Frank Miller and others. Noto's work maintains a vibrant sensuality, enough so to sell titles he's illustrated on his name alone. Though his subjects remain the trophies of idealized bodywork, they seem to give off a softness of character that despite playing coy draws the audience a step forward even without being caught in the stare of the figures -- this made even more effective by the absence of environment in his work.

23.3.09

Words Our Own Way

we say the words our own way.
hidden within the umbrella is the rain.
it is not our language that understands,
it is our ability to cradle the sadness.

We Go Forward the Only Way We Can

SailorDown! Logo

(illustration by Skye Beach)

Up In the Air

the wind changes with you.
never stops to listen
and you feel invisible
when you are still.
you didn't hear me say
you are everywhere.

Artist: Eva Lake

In a 2008 series of photomontages, Portland, OR artist Eva Lake explores the images of Hollywood starlets and the aim of beauty. While perhaps the delivery is a little reticent of 80s power reactions, the collection is a cohesive statement, revitalizing a form that seems dormant in the age of digital imagery and composition. In fact, Lake's body of work shows a real flare for design: Simple. Caustic. Dramatic. The following come from the Target montage series.

Please Protect Us

The Way It Feels Sometimes

Sometimes this is as close as it gets.

21.3.09

Rescue! Someone...



Something Like a Fire

and now we're broken apart,
she says with her back turned,
the last flame burning out
and the oil in her hair.
this is where we get together.
where we become something
like a fire.

How To: Naval League Knots



20.3.09

Shipwreck

"Tell all the starlets I'll be back to sign autographs"


To Taste the River

to taste the river
you must get between her legs
and drink from her. cup your
hand firmly and draw her to
your mouth letting the sweetness
stain you.

to taste the river
you must press your body
firmly to her shore.
tread your fingers languidly
in her currents. the waters
split cleanly rushing down
all sides of you.

take up great handfuls of her
and let them slip from your grasp.

to taste the river
you must visit her on
foreign soil. see what sand
she touches. taste her there,
taste the endless salt from her
as much as any place from
which you drink her.

the river must swallow
you and accept you in her depths.
she must surround you, ask for
you, silently urge you this way
or that, and you must surrender
to her.


Bathing Under The Eye Of Spring


The rites of spring blossom with our heavenward gaze, as flowers come forth to drink from us. How frightful to think deliberately of our age, that seasons do not renew us thus...

19.3.09

Love Will Keep Us Together




Until Again I Do

let these words find your lips
until again I do. until
i kiss you. slowly,
with the sweetness you like.
nibble lightly at your bottom
lip. cradle your neck, my smallest
finger sneaking beneath the line
of your blouse. and i do it again.
and again. letting these words
find your lips until again I do.

The Raft of the Medusa

















(Le Radeau de la M├ęduse by Theodore Gericault, 1818-19)

Beached some 60 miles off the shore of Africa, the passengers and crew of the Frigate Medusa constructed a raft to be towed by the Medusa's two launches to shore and safety. But fearing that the passengers of the raft may overcome and threaten those in the rescue boats, the raft was cut free, adrift with few supplies and no navigation.

In the first night 20 died or killed themselves. Storms on the sea proved the center of the raft (60ft long x 20ft wide) to be the only stable area, and so men fought to reach it. By the fourth day, only 67 remained of the original 146. Survivors resorted to cannibalism and the weak were thrown overboard and drown. By the eighth day, only 15 remained. Once rescued, only 10 of those 15 survived.

Nearly all in the two rescue boats survived, including the captain, who upon reaching Senegal commissioned an expedition to return to the wreck of the Medusa for the gold aboard.

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