Towers of Columbia Diptych

Towers of Columbia Diptych
Title: Towers of Columbia Diptych [Twin Towers Manuscript (right); Freedom Tower Manuscript (left)] (left); Freedom Tower Manuscript (right)]

On the Artwork

On the Artwork

The above images are composed of original manuscript art created from the pages on which these writings were first written. The two pieces form a Diptych entitled, “The Towers of Columbia”

Twin Towers Manuscript Art

I am telling a story with this art piece, made of the original manuscripts on which the collection, district.Columbia was written. First off, the emphasis of stream-of-consciousness, spontaneous improvisation in writing as my primary writing practice, is illustrated here with the use of blotter action paint. This style of action paint, where the brush never touches the paper is meaningful, because it further gives importance to the truth of the creator, who is the perceiver and conceiver at once, in relation to the subject.

The destruction of the Twin Towers, was a defining moment in my life as an American youth, however, I only perceived it indirectly, outside of any direct mode of physical inception. The media, through which I experienced the raging disaster, is here given precedence over the content of the subject matter, hence the liberal use of spontaneous action blotter paint using ink. The use of ink is especially significant in that it gives form, in this action painting, to the blood and tears of the victims who were affected by the destruction of the Twin Towers. This includes especially the peoples of the Middle East, and particularly Iraq, whose society was devastated by a flood of violence and misinformation. The blurred writing overlain with blotter ink enunciates the misdirection of media and information with regard to the victims of the aftermath of this tragic debacle in world history. The deep blue sky above is an unnatural blue for the sky, representing an artificial environment with a full solar eclipse, further symbolizing the concealment of knowledge. The dark red underneath the towers stands for the blood of victims seeping underground, out of sight, where the true colors of their suffering continue to pour. The center space is left empty to signify the great abyss or gap which continues at the center of our existence in the West, and indeed all the world, as a result of the catastrophe which ensued in the wake of this infamous event.

Freedom Tower Manuscript Art

In the second manuscript art piece, the ink, once representing the fresh sweat and blood, splattered onto the finely penciled writing, has seeped through the paper. This signifies the fact that even if there is a new tower in the place of the old, the events which have come to pass in the wake of the Twin Towers devastation will appear in the construction of the new tower. Above, the great mystery, a UFO, blinks in a polluted sky, foretelling the haze of conspiracy which will perpetuate misinformation and a misdirection of military technology into the easily distracted, dramatic mind of the American public.

The unpainted manuscript pages beside the tower represent the clarity of judgment foretold and seen by the construction of the tower; that it is supported, in many ways, by the blood of those who have passed while the Death of American Freedom has unfolded after a decade of war, lies, and invasions both personal and public at home and abroad.

Preamble to district.Columbia

Preamble to district.Columbia

Inspired by the pre-colonial and pre-revolutionist metaphor for America, “Columbia,” a Goddess of Freedom, is an archetypal myth, once proudly personifying poetic optimism through feminine form. Through these writings, I personify the process of mythmaking as a dedication to compassionate awe and voiced protest in the historic confrontation with self and nation. The name Columbia was immortalized immediately before the Revolutionary War in 1775 by Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to publish her writing, in her poem, “His Excellency, General Washington.”

Written primarily based on a visit to Washington D.C., this collection is a vocal reclamation. These chronicles present a visitor returning to his home country, where visitation is defined by traversing an international land border. I represent my struggle to reclaim and recognize my unique voice. In these pages, I confront the realization that I am, in certain respects, an inheritor of the American way of life. Regardless, the inheritance is fraught with the psychological complexities of exile.

In this reclamation, I throw off vestigial principles of experience. I attempt to revision a new way of being through the living temperance of the written word, and specifically, my own practice of stream-of-consciousness writing. Such revision includes confronting a natural process of self-awareness, whereby self-expression revolutionizes into an identity with nature as a self-perpetuating source of renewal and life.

Spontaneous word creation, or improvisational writing, is a natural activity of the human mind. There is a power within that endless fount, that when regularly tapped as a spiritual practice, unleashes one’s surroundings with an ever-renewing energy. Such a practice motivates one personally, to interact with one’s immediate environment in dynamic ways. The reason for this effect is because in this practice, which actualizes into a way of being, the present moment becomes central. When the present is cherished with just significance, the mundane begins to breathe with new life.

The practice of improvised writing, in this sense, outlines a processional transformation in throwing off sterile notions of self and environment. district.Columbia begins by defining autonomous interactions between self and environment (as to parallel notions of the “New World” for pre-colonial Europeans and pre-revolutionist Americans) and ends with a declarative pronouncement; to create an openness to uninhibited spontaneity in personal creativity and a diverse awareness in social activity in our public spaces (as to parallel the current fomentation of creative social activity blurring the lines of public and personal art).

An Unknown Pleasure of Respect

“I saw the trunk,”
Her Hindu elephant from outside
Walks coolly from music’s grand Guest

At the public house,
In the window,
A final flicker before traversing the footboard
loosened with railroad age
            Over the national telephone of spiritual callings
            Abused by electrified tradition
            Stunned in the tingled alcoholic flame
                        In isolated, deserted and abandoned bodies
Whose spirits bore a frail passage,
engraved in the air of soundless rhyme,

A knowing
Ever thoughtless to the strength in pure being,
To grasp coldly into the summer’s beaten plea
            To sustain our musical sharing
            In human heaven’s piercing
                        Through the empty eye holes
                        Peering with my mirrored face of light
                                    Radiating, through absolute darkness
                                    as a visible cry
                                                To haunt our sacred sanctuary,
“That inebriated muse!”
Drinking the words of men into her silent womb,
To fixate her fingers into the cross
            Formed over a chest glorified with Catholic warnings
            To relieve one’s self of the world
            and ask divinity to replace human desire

To become one collective struggling
As a unified presence,
Whose heart remained fixedly sanctified
            Before the death of the Mother and the Father’s bared ghost
                        Pictured as a beacon
                        Blended into our animalistic foresight
To create with family an unknown pleasure of respect,
And see each other without warning in Love’s tragic beauty
Showing amid the broad-ended tune

Assailing the spectral peace hidden
       among the leaves of a felled New England tree
Used as fodder for conversation among the fermented denial, and bled
Kissing behind our parent’s backs,

A yearning to prepare heedless ritual and articulate love to friends
Mixing in a vile cavernous frequency
Playing out the stress

In lives of normalcy
Proud to detest the generations of death
Covering their stolen blues

Names, written in bold
On the sleeve and backyard Sunday drive
Through countryside’s aimless war with classicist poverty

Drying up the world’s Southern well,
Holding land for buck skin’s latching and praying to Ares,
For a sprite to rule the benzene sky
            In tears of renounced pain
            Scaling the heights of mind
                                    Ingrained with ore

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