Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Mother Eats her Son




"My darling monkeyboy, Momma loves you so much I could just eat you all up."
12" x 15" x 2", Enameled, foiled cardstock  June 2016


Lyrics from a traditional Traditional Sephardic song after the Lamentations of Jerimiah, translated by Hamete Benengeli

Una Madre Comio Asado (a Mother Roasted Her Child):

And a mother roasted
and ate her cherished son

“Look at my eyes, mother.
I learned the law with them

Look at my forehead, mother
I wore the phylacteries there

Look at my mouth, mother:
I learned the law with it.”

Lyrics from a traditional Traditional Sephardic song after the Lamentations of Jerimiah, translated by Hamete Benengeli

From an interview with the composer, Osvaldo Golijov :
“That’s another incredible thing.  I said,  “What is this?”  How can one come up with a lyric like this?  “A mother roasted her cherished son, and then the son says:  ‘Look at my eyes, mother, I learned the Torah with them.  Look at my mouth I learned the law with it.”
”It alludes to the Lamentations of Jeremiah, which basically says:   Look at the city that stood so proud, and now mothers are eating their children.  That’s what happens when war ravages a region.  To me the marriage of these words and the beautiful melody are tremendous.” 

Here are links to two versions of this song, the first, w/Dawn Upshaw singing Golijov's adaption, the second of Sephardic origin by The Renaissance Singers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGQmJkvmSPE

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Kitchen of Words



A Poem

is a recipe
a list
 of ingredients
some savory
some sweet
a spicy twist of ideas
to pause the heart
ignite the mind
breathe air, rise and fall

baked, fried
raw or wrapped
stir quickly
 slow cooked
to enhance, enrich
sustain
the wholeness
the reasons
of Life



3 August 2017  jmf-w

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Invention of Time


A Poem written, lost, and found again, seemed to belong to these works which I'd done during the spring & summer of 2015:


A Feather on the Breath

Time, discovered, devised
To understand the circle of day and night
The hours
The motions
The minutes
We created
watching the movements
of seasons
of stars, of planets
time to reap, time to sow
To fit our life, our time

Creating gods in our image
And his time in ours

Time
Is not hours, is not minutes, days, weeks years
It steps far beyond our meager span
God we found immeasurable
But still he is ours

Time we name it
Expands far beyond
God
Far beyond where our mortal selves
Can fit

To have that
Knowledge
For a minute or 144 hours
24 of rest
The mind lingers in wonder
or runs in fear
Is to have eternity
In the palm of the hand
In the breath of a moment
In the
Blink
Of
An eye

April 2016 - July 2017

Work 2:  Seeking the Red Dwarf



Sketch:  Blue Tape blocking for two paintings above Spring 2015

Monday, July 24, 2017

Enemy, A Memory Poem, Spring/Summer 1974

Theseus and the Minotaur.  from Pompeii, Museum of Italy, Naples

Kyle

We gauge ourselves by ideals
Beholding our noble nature as a guide
For us and all humankind

Then came you

Then the lawful turned lawless
passion resorts to pain
Love to lust
no regard to reason, to wisdom
To evil or to good
just the desire for the taste of blood

Such were you, a specter
I do not recall how or when we met
At the 7’s maybe, the Gardens, Stone Soup
But the attraction was there

Magnetic, hypnotic
I don’t think we ever spoke
I know not the sound of your voice
Yet, I’d know you
In a crowd, I’d know
50 years later

It was primal, like sex
But it was not
We both wanted to do
Harm
Instinctive opposite
You the dark, eyes and hair
I, blonde, blue eyed, fair
Not good  not bad
It
caused us to chase each other
In the black midnight
Down the alleys of Beacon Hill
And there between Brimmer & Charles
Below the towering Advent steeple
silent cop car, spotlight
enclosed in our lethal
just as we’d caught each other
the police slammed us against their car
i can still feel their sexual frisk
one
Grilled us with questions, accusations
yet
Commanded, sternly, kindly, strangely
to go
Go
One south, one north
And not, not to meet again
I walked in the lone blacken streets
not one mortal soul about
Far far into the quiet night
Circling beyond Mass General
To return to my Russell Street home

Months later, in the heat of summer
we did meet again
In a distant seaside town
Our radar detecting blocks away
switched sides to avoid that
Journey
Eyes locked, vulpine
until we could see no more
the passion a pinhole in our eyes

                                                                         j.m. frase-white,  July 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

At the VA Hospital, White River Junction

Visions of Warriors, 5th of July 2017
Overheard in the Eye Clinic
Veterans Hospital, White River Junction

Three today, with attentive companions
The first came in with a demonstrative blond
Like a wife, maybe too young, as old as I, a daughter?
”I’m going to the bathroom, don’t do anything,” she commanded.
He remained mute, nodding, his mind
Like his one eye, behind a patch, elsewhere
Away from her loud pecking voice
Upon returning she snatched
The newspaper from his hands
Glares at the headlines and bellows
“That Trump is just out looking for a fight!”

A bit later handsome white haired man is wheeled in
Wearing shorts, sporting a baseball hat
The same color as his smooth sun-tanned skin
He begins chatting with this nursemaid, a lovely lady,
Raven hair, pulled back in a neat tail
Reminding him, teasing him gently, about his service
Joking, “That was the First World War?”

He laughs, says “No, they are all gone now.”
His story unfolds in their chatter
18 years old sent off to Belgium, then Germany, on the front line
Defeat soon follows
A visit, 100 miles from Berlin, the Camp
The concentration camp, bodies piled up
“You don’t know what I’ve seen.”
His voice hushes, an audible tremble, unveiling a dark secret,
“There piles of bodies, and living skeletons, women, little children, shriveled men.”
He hung his head, all were quiet . . .

The nurse asks if he misses New York
He tells her tales of civilian life, a policeman
On the horse patrol in Manhattan
He takes his vacations in February
With his ski-loving wife, to Stowe
now his retirement home

Another man is wheeled in,
He is smaller than the tanned veteran
His skin marble white, as are his polo shirt
His shorts, ironed air-force blue
His legs linen white, almost the color of
His white sporty shoes
his daughter says
He too was in the Great War, in the Pacific
Flying in scientists to assess the effects
biological, and chemical, the bounty
Of flattened Hiroshima
But he is silent, wearing dark eyeglasses
 as she describes his life
ascertaining that both solders
are 91, both Leo
Born in August

The man with the patch, we find is 92
A veteran of Korea, the blonde daughter tells us
“And that’s where is is all going to start again,
That crazy war.  Daddy, your ready to go back?” She brays
 the room, again
Momentarily
Goes
Quiet.
She slides in front of the two in wheelchairs
 perches on a bench
Directly between the two, says to the tanned tall man
“did you fight Hitler’s soldiers?”
Incredulity and challenge in her voice

oblivious to the stories he’s told
obscured from her ears
Tho’ she’d been sitting on the side
Much nearer than I, across the room

Listening as if to a play on stage
He repeated his tale, “18, Belgium, Berlin . . . concentration camps.”
“Did you know Hitler was Jewish?” she belts out accusingly
“I heard that too.” The nurse confirms.
A med tech comes, calls the name of the Horse soldier
He is rolled out, down the hall
Moments later, another calls the Korean one-eyed vet
Daughter commandeers steering him, by arm, down the hall

The silent Airman, perks up, laughs
Announces to the room, talking to himself
“It was beginning to sound like the barroom at the VFW.”


Months earlier
In the same room
I listened to two other vets
 from the conscripted  war of my era
the one on the right, dressed in sporty clothes
bearing the sunshine health of one who has
spent hours on the green
taking the lead in the conversation
he ascertains their brotherhood in
 the Tet offensive
The other vet, two seats away
After initial contact
 kept his head down
As if studying the floor
Anything below the level of eyes
He wears well-worn clothes, like him
Deprived of sleep, wakeful, worrisome
His skin colored by closed doors
From florescent overheads, and dim barrooms

The successful man, begins his tale
A radar tech, enclosed upon an isle
Identifying, directing the bombing mission
upon enemy lines
and incoming from over there
his fear the natives on the island would
his fortification find

the other man, looks up briefly
and says “I know I was on the line,
on the river, soaked in sweat and mud
 bombs raining down on us.”
In his voice gravel, the terror still there
We could feel it in the room
The mud, the green explosive land
The water soaking, the smell of Sulphur and of blood
Gritted in his voice
He cast his eyes back down and listened
The enclosed soldier
Went on, defining danger from afar
In the living room of war
But having heard the combat voice
The visions burst our ears
In this room we know
This embattled soldier
Relives combat daemons each day
Hell is Manmade here on earth
A heroic death the godly lie
of happy-ever-after daze
the plot the master weaves
it is he who has the power upon this earth
his name in history to  lie

7/5-11/2017

The warrior who has been in battle knows where Jesus lies: there ain’t no land of glory.

Friday, June 23, 2017

My New Exhibit, beginning Today in South Berwick, Maine -- during the Strawberry Festival: an appropriate day, for my name in French is Fraise = (Wild) Strawberry!
Current Exhibit
The Cut Paper World of J. M. Frase-White will run June 23 through September 8, 2017 at Emporium Framing & Gallery in South Berwick, Maine. James Frase-White's cut paper pieces depict a range of imagery from ApiAriadane, goddess of Honeyflies and Butterbees to his dog and former students flying a kite on the beach. The exhibit also includes two of his stainglass pieces.
James Frase-White working in his studio in Concord, Vermont states, “My art has evolved out of necessity. As a child I was fascinated by drawing, but had no knowledge of art until high school, with an amazing teacher, Mrs. Lorraine Warwick as instructor, who took our class on trips to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and taught the rudiments of art.
I went on to Duquesne University for a degree in Existential Philosophical Psychology, where I learned that my altruistic desire to help others did not reside in mental health, but in creating art.  The creative desire has relentlessly underpinned my studies and all work that I did subsequently.  Drifting from the fascination with stone carving, I studied stained glass, which became my major art/craft for many years.  I always had the release of a creative medium no matter what I did to make a living.
ApiAriadnae is Goddess of Honeyflies and Butterbees, who protects the tiny creates we habitually salvage in our wanton destruction of the habitats we share with them.

ApiAriadnae (above), James M. Frase-White, enameled hand made paper and card stock
Gallery Page for additional images and artist information
Current Exhibit
The Cut Paper World of J. M. Frase-White will run June 23 through September 8, 2017 at Emporium Framing & Gallery in South Berwick, Maine. James Frase-White's cut paper pieces depict a range of imagery from ApiAriadane, goddess of Honeyflies and Butterbees to his dog and former students flying a kite on the beach.
James Frase-White working in his studio in Concord, Vermont states, “My art has evolved out of necessity. As a child I was fascinated by drawing, but had no knowledge of art until high school, with an amazing teacher, Mrs. Lorraine Warwick as instructor, who took our class on trips to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and taught the rudiments of art.
I went on to Duquesne University for a degree in Existential Philosophical Psychology, where I learned that my altruistic desire to help others did not reside in mental health, but in creating art.  The creative desire has relentlessly underpinned my studies and all work that I did subsequently.  Drifting from the fascination with stone carving, I studied stained glass, which became my major art/craft for many years.  I always had the release of a creative medium no matter what I did to make a living.
My partner and I ran a restaurant for a decade, followed by a variety of labors, at long last working a branch of art, picture framing (at Emporium Framing and Art Gallery back in the Dover, NH days). 
I’ve now begun to merge the two practices together creating a synergy between the digital and the traditional while also incorporating my background as a commercial printer. Painting traditional i.e. Oils, Acrylic, Charcoal alongside the digital, helps add a vital, tactile element to the work while also challenging the viewer to sight the differences within the work if any can be detected. Overall this body of work represents a period of transition and adaptation that is sure to echo throughout many works to come. From there my curiosity led me to work for a marvelous Scholastic testing firm, which got me interested in teaching.  For almost 15 years I was a Title 1 Reading Tutor for children from grades 1 – 3 and it was there that I learned the joy of cutting paper.  Working with paper evolved from a fun way to amuse and educate children to a genuine art form that would facilitate inspirations and ideas that seem natural, to me and the medium.  A random form may usurp an idea and spawn a different creation, with the slice of a scissor blade. In the past years I have begun again to attempt to navigate the sea of watercolor, and have recently began mixing acrylic and canvas to the papercutting techniques.
I’ve now begun to merge the two practices together You can check out a full history of my artwork, and current paper and stained glass works, including videos and links with friends and influences at my website:  www.frasewhitepaperglass.com”   
Green Man, Lord of Spring (top right), James M. Frase-White, Papercut

A Day in the Life (upper middle right), James Frase White, Papercut is part of a quartet. The beauty of earth, depicted in this halcyon scene, portrays my dog and two former students flying a kite on the beach, a great island city across the waters, all unaware of the approaching Vengeance of the almighty.
Lord Finbarr the Holy (lower middle), James Frase White, Papercut, An update of an older work, raising Uncle Finbarr to the status of Lost Deities: He is now Lord Finbarr the Holy of Gotaway Fish tales and Dampened Dreams.

Previous Exhibits Information on previous exhibits and gallery artist


Thursday, February 23, 2017

1972: A painting from, a story of




























Our Lady of the Tender Mercies
Watercolor 12 x 16
1972-73

Love Flight 1972

She looked me directly in the eyes
Sharply folding clothes with military edges
“You don’t love me anymore,”
Her eyes bowed back to the laundry
I fled out the door
Heart and head burning
Into the chill of Charles Street
knowing refusing she was right

Running from this laundromat
Past the very Florist that beaconed me
To this city, striking my soul
Like a bow from Cupid’s arrow

But today, this Valentine’s day
Memory running flaming cold
in this city I love
Angry at truth and derision
of socially prescribed desire
The romance of child/teenage fluff
Slapped by the angry mother
Across my rude mouth

A week later, in our hotel room
In Manhattan, making violent love
The evil desire to smother
Strangle the breath from her
flee into dark Gotham
From there across the land
Of desperadoes and bonnies and clydes
Disguised from all I knew and who
Running far, from our desire
To be who and what we were not
Running from the sin of being ourselves

Le bohéme n’ était plus
Zoltan and Meg play no more

one last glittering fling
in the Appleland of Oz
Singings song of Weill’s broadway
and the pillared halls of Art
Kissing the lips of Nefertiti
Hiding in the forest as Joan spoke with angels
Howling with the horse in Guernica
Rubes in the big city
Rubes in the rules of love

Back home too the rules had changed
The homogeneous neighborhood
Blackened overnight, 
torched businesses
after harmonous decades
bullets through the window
Our landlord asking us to leave
For the safety of their home
Their black and our white asses
Boston bussing madness, catholic
ugly as baptist blood flood our southern roots
the liberal north a lie
on my freedom trail

The ideal of romance
Safe haven
Dashed in the light of day
We said goodbye with sorrows
That had no central home
Sorrows that float
a lifetime
For the prize of seeing me
running from her
running from me to me
not who I pretended to be

Our love incinerated, leaving
the stripe of sorrow,
on the gravestone of romance
thank you for finding me

Remembering 1972
on
Valentine’s Day 2017