David L White

Velveteen Frankensteen

Here’s a Sunday rough cover of another forty-plus poems available fast as it can happen.

If there was an introduction it might go like this:

Critics and Historians: Process, Product and Perfection
I treasured the Bob Dylan Basement Tapes perhaps because I was spending time with my brother. We shared a few albums together. As young adults we shared a house together. Special.

I thought the album a very unpolished musical production. That might have been some of the attraction.

Decades later, culled from the six-disc bootleg compilation, the two-disc set Basement Tapes – Raw was released. It fulfills the promise – it’s raw. I listened to it again just yesterday. It holds promise for me.

Sometimes we get stuck on the first version of anything we’ve seen or heard and that seems to set the lifelong bar of acceptability.
In early 2018 my wife and I purchased an annual membership to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The featured exhibit at the time was titled: Degas to Picasso. In my opinion there was plenty of Degas and not a lot of Picasso.

Degas owned his own print shop and could release stages, stone litho prints, showing the development of a painting, or graphic idea.

Printing? Litho stone? My eyes and ears perked right up.

This from: catherinechristiano.com/understanding-stone-lithography

Stone lithography, developed around 1798 in Germany, is based on the hydrophobic (water repelling) property of grease. To create a lithograph the image is drawn on a smooth, level limestone plate using oil-based lithographic drawing materials that, as solids, come in the form of crayons, pencils, or rubbing sticks and, as liquids, come in the form of tusche and autographic ink. Once the drawing is complete a series of chemical processes are used to bond the hydrophobic (oil attracting and water repelling), grease based, image to the stone and make it ready to be inked for printing. During printing, the stone is kept continuously wet with water as the image is inked, a process that requires numerous passes with an inking roller. After the image is loaded with printing ink, the stone and paper are run through a press that applies uniform pressure to transfer the ink onto the paper.

Create, Consume, and Counterbalance

In Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert insists on enlarging the idea that we are all creative beings for the simple reason that we make things. We, in these days, might make fewer things than our parents, but we make things.
Mind you the culture has driven us hard us toward consumption. We may more easily see that our parents or grandparents were maker of things because they simply had to be. And that many times they would add a flourish to their work simply because they could, not necessarily because it would add commercial value. There was simply less commerce in those days. That, she writes, is creativity – plain and simple.

The critics and historians in our very own heartmind often keep us from producing, or going in to process. It may simply be a fear of judgement.

While I am not trying to write A Theory of Everything (Ken Wilber did that), I have begun to enlarge my working definitions of ‘unique’ and ‘perfection’.

We insist that unique means one-of-a-kind. Have you looked around lately? Unique is not special. Unique is fundamental. Everything is one-of-a-kind. Yes, there are similarities, but the thing stands alone. Unique is the basis on which everything is built. It is the soil from which all of it grows.

How do we judge the value of one snowflake, fingerprint, grain of sand or galaxy over another?

Ah … judging. Here come the critics and historians.

Perfection? We’ve been told that perfection cannot be attained in the relative world. I say we turn that upside down and see how it feels. Since everything is unique it is perfect. Judgement introduces imperfection. Therefore imperfection is merely a subset of perfection.

As a last note: I do know that Frankenstein does not rhyme with Velveteen. I invoke poetic license. For a brief moment I thought to spell Velvetine. Couldn’t do it.

Ahh … late breaking idea – HERE is where we break the expectation: Frankensteen. Ha!