Photos

Photography

Is photography art? If so, when does a photograph become art? And who decides?

Is it when we want a photograph framed and hanging in our homes that it becomes art?

I’m considering adding some of my photography to this blog. But I’m undecided on whether to add it under my Art heading or give it its own heading.

I’m not a professional photographer. I take snapshots of things I like. I don’t define my photographs as art, but many friends and family members do.

I believe skilled craftsmanship is the defining element of art. Art turns the ordinary into something extraordinary… something people want framed and hanging in their homes. I don’t consider any of my photographs extraordinary. The elements in my photography are timing and good luck.

If my photographs are to be called anything, I think the right word is “interesting.” Nothing more.

But friends and family disagree and tell me I’m too hard on myself. So with that in mind, photography as art, I suppose, dwells with all things art: in the eye of the beholder. Which returns us to my dilemma: What do I list it as? Art? Photography? Or just plain Pics?.

The photograph above of an American Bald Eagle sitting in a tree in my backyard is a “right place, right time” lucky snapshot that I really like looking at. So much, in fact, that I’m thinking about framing it for my office. Maybe when I do, I’ll have figured out where it belongs here.


Update, 9/15/2017:

My photography will be under the heading Photos.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Advertisements
Poems

Dream Voyeur

When I sleep
you hide paralyzed in the shadows of my bed
where your courage to live vanished long ago

In your world of mocking corpses
you rub against me
in wingless dreams and knitted walls
and empty stares
that run from the drum of my heart

You bleed broken knuckles
against your hidden door to empty stairs
that led you once to a girl like me

You bring me fists of her dead flowers
and promise me a future of your past faded worlds

You wear her memory around your neck—
the noose of every man hanged by rejection
to bleed broken
among all the eggs of the future
dead

But you live your death
in these halls of feeble footsteps
outside my room
where your twitching fingers bleed to open empty cameras
and nail me to the windows of your eyes

Photo Credit:
 Alex Boyd

Save

Save

Artwork, Writing

The Blogger Me

It feels good to blog again about my poems and art. Although I have been blogging since 1996, I feel like a stranger blogging again and reaching out and meeting new bloggers here at WordPress.

I pen mostly free verse poetry—poems written in open forms sometimes called “Naked Poetry,” a term coined from the anthology books Naked Poetry: Recent American Poetry in Open Forms (1969) and The New Naked Poetry (1976) by Stephen Berg and Robert Mezey. My maternal grandmother had them and other books about poetry in her library. Robert Frost was my favorite poet when I was old enough to read, but I soon favored the “naked poets” and their open form styles and began creating my own free form poems at nine years old. I won a few awards when I was a teenager and at college, but winning accolades and gaining fame was never my motivation for writing poetry. And honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever been motivated by anything more than a calling to write down the words that fill my mind day and night and to structure them into forms that please my sight, tongue and hearing.

I write fiction, too, but not often. Storytelling involves rules of structure that restrict me from developing anything comparable to the sight and sound of open poetry. In that sense, I’m probably more of an artist than a writer. And I do enjoy making art, whether I’m drawing or painting.

Like every kid growing up in North America during the 1980s, music surrounded me, whether it was on the radio, TV, or thumping from my dad’s stereo with speakers as large as our refrigerator. My dad taught me how to play guitar, so I turned some of my poems into songs. That’s when I created my nom de plume Colleen Ackerman from my middle name and my mom’s maiden name. I liked it better than my real name. I went through a phase when I despised the name Lola because of (1) the song Lola by The Kinks, and (2) the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow. The Kinks’ song is about a man falling for a transvestite named Lola. The Manilow song is about a showgirl named Lola with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there. She danced at the Copacabana north of Havana where she and Tony the bartender were lovers until some guy named Rico came along, killed Tony and sent Lola on a 30-year downward spiral into depression and alcoholism. People still make comparisons of those songs and me. If I had a nickel for all those times someone asked me “Are you a dude?” and then laughed, I’d be a millionaire. And I’m still a little irked at my cousins who set me up on two blind dates on the same night when I was 16. The one date’s name was Tony. The other date was a boy named Rico (if that was his real name—I have my doubts). Anyway, when two boys show up at your house at the same time to take you to the local dance, it’s painfully awkward and embarrassing and not very funny.

I began blogging my poems and art when I was a girl in California so I could stay connected with my relatives and friends around the country. (Anyone from the old Geocities’ Paris neighborhood? If so, Lola Fae/Colleen Ackerman says hi.) I met many people in many guises whom I termed the friendliest ones as “blog pals” and spent countless hours reading their writing and looking at their art and photography. That’s when I fell in love with the Internet. And that’s why I’m here twenty-one years later—I’m still in love with it!

As I mentioned, it feels good to publish my poems and art again. I hope to do so for a long time.

Love and peace to all.

Poems

Dreaming Fear

I dream fear in radical light
shape and shadow—
our night sun
and day moon know
the blood sky
the bone wind
the muscle and flesh rain
the earth-weight traps and prisons
where our slippery slopes are built too high
on circles of madness
which I journey to often
aching
needing companionship
when I’m alone
and feeling suddenly small
and weak
caught in snares and detentions
frightened to an undesirable conclusion when I sink too low
to awaken and shift quickly into high
pushing fear behind me
if only for a moment
if not for a day or more

Photo Credit:
 Dmitry Ratushny

Save

Save

Save

Save

Artwork, Writing

On Writing Poetry

Poems

Good Books Are Dreams Come True

I journey often to faraway places
many anew
others revisited
spent with treasured friends
rare and unique—
life is clever with good friends around us

First-run journeys take me like a child
perhaps across rustic bridges
perhaps beyond orchard ways
likely to places to be seen with new eyes

Favorite books are second homes
built from the beauty of artists’ souls
of colorful worlds for us to live in when we choose to

Good books stir me like lovers in the night
with their generous foreplay
tickling me to roller-coaster climaxes
and breathless denouements

Love me with a good book’s
romance
passion
thoughtfulness
and soft caresses of purpose
or not at all

Photo Credit:
 Pj Accetturo

Save

Save

Poems

War (Eleventh Hour Ebullience Revisited)

Late in the valley at a house with her name on the door
I writhe upstairs at the hall’s very end
beating my pillow and lowing her name

It does not matter—
her departure haunts me with the ghosts of our past
and the angels that rode her for the devil she became

I dream of love while she burns hot in the hate zone
drawing lines across my name
shutting herself in the ruins of the last war she fought
for followers of solitude
in the flickering light of their new Precision Tower

She breaks promises and scatters their bones across internet headlines
where rich and powerful seductresses stroke her ego
like a harem of baboons picking lice from her hair

She strives to stand tall
but her paraplegia is the nearest thing to being dead

Her maestro composes wartime symphonies like a hero at Olympus
to silence my lullabies of love and peace between us

Her war bends and warps my stance by the weight of her macabre dance
that extends the fuse to the bomb in her brain

She is a proud soldier whose enemy hides behind the mask she wears

She rides hard to be my villain
galloping over her war-torn ruins
in the valley at a house empty of its past

Photo Credit:
 Paul Volkmer

Save

Save

Save