Often, a poem comes out fully-formed, fiddling and remixing only dulls the knife, sometimes however, variations are eager to come out to shine light in another corner: Lonely, Joyful, Melancholy, Mysterious.
In this case, (my) familiar themes of un-confidential love letters on postcards mailed from foreign places and glanced by – or maybe sadly not glanced – by personnel along the way who (may) add their pathos to the journey.
One version of this (do you care to guess which?) will go on the reverse of the post box at Farmer Mac’s goat farm – Perhaps another painting will follow… and then a postcard a photograph of the painting mailed to the post box and so on. Always be remixing.
No pardons for redundancies, variations on a theme require riffs on the same blues.
+ Provincial Poetry, Wine and Goats in Shibuya, Tokyo +
Very proud to see my haiku postbox painting supporting sempei Mac Kobayashi’s display. If you are in Tokyo area, please consider stopping by to dig it all and tell yer pals (and maybe i’ll send you a postcard print of it #hint).
* Session: Friday, September 18, 2020-Monday, November 30, 2020 * Time: 12: 00-20: 00 (Last Admission 19:30) / Closed on Wednesday * Place: d47 MUSEUM (03-6427-2301) 渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510 * Fee: Free admission + Advance application: Unnecessary
As part of Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm exhibit at “d Design Travel Okayama Exhibition” in Shibuya, Tokyo (right near the famous scramble intersection), visitors can see my painting “Postbox Haiku (blue)”.
Hope folks can see the display for inspiration to visit the goats (and see more of my paintings).
Details: 会 期 2020年9月18日（金） – 2020年11月30日（月） 時 間 12:00〜20:00（最終入館／Last Admission19:30）／水曜休 Closed on Wednesday 場 所 d47 MUSEUM（03-6427-2301） 料 金 入場無料／Free Admission 事前申込 不要 渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510
+ Tour the Farm (with Postbox and Paintings +
Take a tour of Rural Caprine Farm in Okayama in this video by d design travel 編集部 / starting at 5:34. See the “actual postbox” which goes with the painting of the postbox (which came first?) and hear Mac Kobayashi’s friendly voice at my favourite place.
The exhibit book is really nice and my postbox appears 4 times! You can purchase the catalog at Mac’s farm or by emailing dDesign folks (note to self: add email address here).
History: The painting was “just the postbox”, then i found a matching mailbox and installed at the farm, wrote the haiku onto the postbox, and then added to the painting to complete the meta circle. oh then made postcard prints and a book and mailed to the postbox…
haiku on a postbox, and a painting of a postbox with a haiku / which came first?
the original is unfaithful to the translation.
Today – a Letter! Written as you ate a peach In last weekend’s SUN
My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo:
My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.
Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.
I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)
Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.
Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.
Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.
Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk. My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).
Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.
Artifacts from the Okayama design and travel exhibition in Shibuya featuring Mac Kobayashi’s magical goat farm & my postbox haiku / painting.
In this case: first snapshots (by the farmer himself) of the exhibit’s catalog (or is it a “mook = magazine/book?) with pictures of the aforementioned farmer (shockingly) wearing a black sabbath rather than usual Grateful Dead T-shirt.
Nevertheless, the haiku post box looks splendid and, I am working on the right words for the opposite side. Stay aware.
Photos by Mac the goat farmer.
Update: now have the words for the other side of the post box… follow along for amusement
After arriving in Japan for the first time, i began exploring Japanese poetic forms – realizing that the didactic 5-7-5 structure *wasn’t the point* / Then combining with impressionist colours seen on a recent ramble in Europe, Read it a series combining, in a fashion, Japanese forms with European colours and “new-world” themes.
Then with brother Bob’s upcoming wedding, compiled a bunch of these creations into a little book and read (with translation) at his wedding (mostly to blank stares of bewilderment.
A few years later in Guam, did a proper layout and production run (maybe 50?) and mailed the chapbooks out around the world. Used hemp/cereal straw paper from China (ordered from Paul Stanford in Oregon) which was rough going through copy machines of the day –especially my complicated double-sided / zigzag layout with topstitch binding – of course sewn with hemp twine.
I don’t have one of the “finished ones” in my archive, but do have the original layout production master / will eventually dig out > in the meantime, here is the cover (not hemp paper) + Pay special attention to my proto-Creative-Commons non-copyright on the erstwhile colophon and the pseudonym (do you know the origins?)
While I have few delusions about my poetry chapbooks being “popular” this one especially seems to have disappeared into the wind with nary a sound (despite it being one of the projects of which i am most proud).
Note: a few of these poems were used/re-mixed in a collection from 2004 (assembled in Olympia) called “Hotspring and Stubbed Toe” which was distributed digitally and will be available shortly in this archive as part of #daveo50 series.
Somehow, somewhere between my first couple trips to Japan (frankly it’s a little bit foggy after a plan to go to Mexico and live on the beach didn’t materialize, hemp fests, Dead concerts, flower sticks & hemp bag selling), I was in Logan, Utah (where i had spruced-up my Volkswagen bus “the Earthship” only to abandon it) where my Mom rented a rambling old polygamist house in the shadow of the LDS temple which she rented as a boarding house for various students plus a few randoms living in the backyard in a sort of tent/van village.
Logan isn’t my favourite place (so many cops and rules!) but, here I was and as such, I put together a party to reunite with old friends, share stories, collect lent items, play some music and hit up hot springs.
I designed this “aerogramme-inspired” invitation (meaning the paper was both an envelope and a letter), including various snippets of haiku art, doodles, maps and intentions, and floated them out into the world. The party was called “Far Far West” in homage to a Gary Snyder poem about going to Japan and my westward facing, Pacific centric geographic mindset.
Wasn’t sure what to make of it all as addresses were stale, friends were transient, memory scare, but, as it goes, worked out just wonderful as dozens of people came throughout a few days with folks camping out in the backyard to the chagrin of the neighbours who tried to poison the dogs (seriously!) as well as called the police who stealthed into our backyard campfire while we were singing along to Larry’s autoharp and Marty Kendall’s ceramic drums and, surprisingly, the police were rather chill about everything / they asked us to play a song, we did, they told us to have a good night, they left, we laughed and we sparked up another one and kept on going.
As it goes, there was a *loaves and fishes* vibes as my wonderful Mother put on big pots of curry and different stews with ingredients folks brought along, and we kept pots of coffee and exotic teas going in a truly freeform fun for all couple of days.
I recall the 2nd day included a trip out to a derelict hot spring on the side of a forgotten highway which had sort of been roughed in by a dangerous assortment of bricks. Nevertheless, we soaked, we played banjo music… and I have a photo of me and Sensei Larry to prove it (somewhere in the boxes there might be a few more snapshots).
I will say that I was surprised to see this invitation – both the original layout as well as a production copy printed on 50% post consumer recycled “redrock” paper and dutifully printed with some copywriting that somehow makes me smile still. (Note: included the layout and production versions for posterity and archiving).
Wearing a smoking jacket at Tsuchida Cottage, Dave riffs on recent activities including: planting vegetable garden, playing piano, buying baby clothes, and sort-ganizing archives including digging out loads of books. As such, shows books by Douglas Coupland, Nick Bantock, Gary Snyder, Ethan Hubbard, and reads from Jack Kerouac’s American Haikus, plus riffs about Tintin, fire lookouts and mailing postcards.
Recently my entire life archive of projects, scrap books, journals, paintings, various art, artifacts, scarves and hats and of course records and books books books arrived to my barn in Japan after a transpacific journey from Canada.
Spending a few hours a day opening up boxes to sort out all the treasures and, came across a nice stash of old friends today.
Besides all the Jack, and there are more than this, plenty of Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Brautigan, JD Salinger, Leo Tolstoy, the complete collection of Tintin and well… So much so much so much.￼￼
Anyway, the Jack collection will make for a good show and tell at my “On the Road” sc/roll workshop in Kobe on April 29 #FingersCrossed￼ [update: cancelled]
Note: the little Japanese bound one on top right is the treasure of American Haikus… preview:
So much more to share but noting tis a challenge keeping up sort-ganizing momentum whilst also documenting and savouring.