Category Archives: Collections of Artifacts

essays and collections of photos with a theme or intent behind the assortment –more a dossier or exhibit – not to be confused with snaps and notes

Books: Shelf and Shrine at Tsuchida cottage (Winter 2019)

Books are my pals, even since a kid  – and sometimes books (by circumstance or convenience) are stashed at mysterious locales around the world.

Sometimes, i snap pics of the cache for future reference, sometimes they go to little /free libraries, sometimes into my “Liberated Literature” program. 

Regardless, sometimes, the bookcases and/or contents are captured for memory of spending time with friends in a still-life of sorts. As such, this dossier of evidence.

In this case, the growing bookcase at Tsuchida Cottage in Okayama, Japan with a stash of new treats obtained by mail order, special delivery by folks coming to wedding or by kind gift, ergo: 

Robbie Robertson’s auto-bio, Testimony (thanks Naoki), Aaron Chapman x 2, Eve Lazarus BC crimes, Grant Lawrence’s hilarious tour diary, David Wills’ riffs about Ginsberg’s travels, Lookout records’ honcho’s rise and meltdown, Neruda’s romantic poetry, the usual Kerouac, a few Lafcadio Hearn, Ed Abbey’s postcards, Jerry Kruz’s Afterthought poster collection, Brian Hassett’s JK riffs, a few more punk rock (Please Kill Me and Our Band Could be your Life, Kim Gordon’s memoirs), various Japanese classics (Tanizaki esp) and more more – oh and Shiv’s renegade Woodstock>Nepal-made poetry. 

Displayed here with a stash of a scrapbooks and diaries, a few of my publications, and with our household shrine on the top. 

Books: Canoe Bookshelf in Nusa Ceningan (Summer 2019)

Books are my pals, even since a kid  – and sometimes books (by circumstance or convenience) are stashed at mysterious locales around the world.

Sometimes, i snap pics of the cache for future reference, sometimes they go to little /free libraries, sometimes into my “Liberated Literature” program. 

Regardless, sometimes, the bookcases and/or contents are captured for memory of spending time with friends in a still-life of sorts. As such, this dossier of evidence.

In this case, a case from Nusa Ceningan (made from an old canoe) from Summer 2019 reading, including usual assortment of Tolstoy Kerouac, plus an assortment of Vancouver-centric treats by Eve Lazarus, George Garrett and Grant Lawrence, a few Bali-specifics, Rumi’s romantic poetry, Ginsberg’s India Journal (1st edition, 1970) etc.

Note the canoe bookshelf is decorated with various insta-photos and travel / hotel luggage tags and a few paintings.

Books: Variety stack of gems / atop a piano

Another stack brought in from the kura barn to spark some goodness / Gary Snyder, Poets on Peaks, field guide to Cascadian trees, Douglas Coupland, David Byrne, Wes Anderson, Dr Suess, and Hergé (including some rare Tintin) / + snippets of paintings on our self-made wooden wall > all atop a piano on handmade cloth from island of Yap.

Books: War and Peace / original and erstwhile “fan fiction”

Have you read “War and Peace”? Now is a pretty good time.

It’s rather enjoyable, but if you find Tolstoy’s original *too long*, both Lenin and I did “remix” or maybe “fanfiction” of the classic.

It’s one of the only things we have in common.

PS May I interest you in my “Letters from Russia” mixed media project? It was inspired by Tolstoy and written in the form of letters from someone in Napoleon’s army going into Russia in 1812 back home to his lady friend – All associated artifacts are within this archive.

Items: Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Some years ago (1996 maybe), poet Gary Snyder was doing a reading at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. Folks are lined up with stacks of books for him to sign, including, books not by him but my other  “associated“ writers. Thought this was very cheesy.

Anyhow, I only took a ragged copy of “Passage through India”. He gave a big chuckle and says “I don’t see many of these anymore” as he signed. Told him how i’d rambled with his books tucked in my rucksack through and arriving in Japan and reading Backcountry in Kyoto waiting for a bus to make me to Mochigase and start work on a mushroom farm.

Also, I had mailed him a documentary film I made (Hempenroad), and he recognized me from that and talked for a while about hemp and ecology while others waited impatiently to have him sign some Burroughs book or something. Felt so incredibly proud that he was aware of my existence.

Continue reading Items: Gary Snyder signed “Passage Through India”

Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Along a ramble…

Along the wanders, I found myself in San Francisco, really mostly in Pacifica, one of my favourite hideaways and just south of the city… but anyway, ventured into SF proper to (finally) get some time at the Beat Museum and wow, what a great job these folks are doing. As such, a few notes and artifacts from the museum and history dripping neighbourhood for your amusement and my memory.

Inadequate backgrounder…

Now I could go on and on about the importance of *the Beats* connecting literary traditions, sparking countercultures leading to the revolutionary “pranksters“ to the *hippies* (for lack of a better term), punks (no I’m not talking mohawks here), indie-making artists of all medium, everything… while also looking back to Whitman, cummings (sic), WCW, Wolfe, Twain, Thoreau, Dostoevsky… you get the general gist.  Or what I’m trying to see is wide-thinking, free-roaming, do it yourself souls sharing empathy for others, breaking conventions to find out who you really are and then manifesting the distilled results t into one’s own life which infuses your own soul, then effectuates inspiration in others – also (critically) this ain’t always pretty, rarely is. That’s not the point.

Work in progress…

Anyhow, the Beat Museum was (maybe is) undergoing some construction as the building needs an earthquake-resistant upgrade, – I’ve shared some various fundraising campaigns and podcast riffs about their history over the years in this archive maybe you’ve come across and supported their noble efforts… but anyway, the building was surrounded by scaffolding in a bit of commotion and for a guy like me has easily sensory overload it, it could easily be intense but I stepped in and disappeared for an afternoon amongst the curated exhibits.

This is not some fancy-pants museum, this is a grassroots effort with everything done by intention and in an attentive spirit. I took some crappy snapshots along the way just to remember for my own memory as i wander far and wide and sometimes the twist and turns get a little too quick for me to process real time in my noggin.

Artifacts and abstractions…

note: There is a little mini-theatre room looping a film (was it “Pull My Daisy? It’s all a bit hazy now a few countries later), which pleased me for the visual abstraction of Beat life as well as regrouping in a small / dark / cozy room.

Notable artifacts include:

“referee shirt” Neal Cassady famously wore while driving Furthur, the Merry Prankster bus

a plaid wool jacket Kerouac wore (I’ve had one just like it)

Continue reading Exhibit: Beat Museum & environs / SF, 2018 / feat. Allen’s Organ, Jack’s Jacket, Gary’s Japa-cap and Beat Typewriters

Artifact: Camera, large format with bellows (Okayama, Japan)

Artifact: Camera, large format with bellows (Okayama, Japan)

Collection: Payphones (vol. 7) – assorted / Japan, Whidbey island

Hello to the people in the future,

What follows are public telephones created in a time when phones did not roam freely and in pockets.

To make a call, one would either enter a specially-created booth (or box), or simply stand close by as the receivers were tethered to the phone unit by a short cord, then insert a variety of coins depending on the location called (local, domestic or international) or in some cases, use a purpose-made phone card, or even a credit card (though doing so often exposed one to fraudulent actors).

Perhaps you have already imagined the unsanitary nature of sharing a phone handset (placed next/close to ear and mouth of course) with strangers – though perhaps this increased “herd immunity” despite being rather unpleasant. Continue reading Collection: Payphones (vol. 7) – assorted / Japan, Whidbey island

Artifact: Camera, Polaroid Land (Okayama, Japan) seen with sandals and suitcase

Artifact: Camera, Polaroid Land (Okayama, Japan) seen with sandals and suitcase

Artifacts: Cameras / and Radio (at Amandya Café, Higashi Okayama, Japan, 2020)

Artifact: Cameras and Radio at Amandya Café (Higashi Okayama, Japan, 2020)

Visit Amandya Café

Artifact: Camera, Minolta Autocord (at Amandya Café, Higashi Okayama, Japan, 2020)