The June Issues of the Poetic Express

July 28, 2021

For now, I’ll keep posting the POETIC EXPRESS on this blog. Eventually, I hope to stop sharing them here. It’s always been something that I pass out to friends and strangers as I travel around Detroit and the Detroit area, but I’ve been traveling less. I just went to a museum for the first time in over 15 months! I was still masked and being cautious, even though I’m fully vaccinated. These days and these times are no joke. I also used to do a lot of postal mailings. I hope to get back to that. I love to send out letters but it can take up a lot of my time.

Two of these poems are inspired by recent global floods, storms, fires and droughts. Detroit had some serious floods. I only had to spend 10 or 12 hours dealing with my flooded basement. Many others on my circle have had it much worse. Some lost their cars due to street flooding. Some had two to four feet of water in their basements. The threat of climate change is already starting to play out. It isn’t in some abstract future any more.

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Here’s a separate version of the June 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

The puppet shows continue. Jennifer Gariepy and I have been recording new puppet shows in my home for a year now. The first one was from July 19, 2020. We took a little time off in the early Summer but we’re back at it. We just taped two more new ones a minute ago.

It looks like we have 70 puppet shows ready to view on our Youtube channel. We have 14 unpublished ones, in the hole. Many of them are closed captioned. We’ve stopped doing this, for now, but we hope to get back to it. This one’s from earlier this month on July 3, 2021.

Around 70 performances are available to view here:

The May Issues of the Poetic Express

June 21, 2021

Here are last month’s issues of the Poetic Express. That’s May, in the year 2021. I’m still quite the recluse but I’ll get around more in the Summertime. I have been going into work, for a day or two every week. I still work from home as well. I finally started going to stores again. For 15 months I got my groceries in other ways, mainly through the kindness of people in my inner circle. I still wear my mask when I shop. Some cultural venues are open, with restrictions. I’m hoping that this opening up process will continue and that I’ll start to get around more again.

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Here’s a separate version of the May 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

The puppet shows continue. This one’s also from April 24th, 2021.

Over 50 performances are available to view here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

The April Issues of the Poetic Express

May 26, 2021

Here’s last month’s issues of the Poetic Express. I’m still quite the recluse but I hope to get out more in the Summer. Things look fairly hopeful at the moment but we’ll see what the pandemic brings. I haven’t been to a store, restaurant or theatre in over a year! I have been going into work, usually for one day a week. I’m still not used to wearing a mask for eight hours. Lately, I’m seeing a lot more naked faces again. Some of them are totally and absolutely unhidden.

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Here’s a separate version of the April 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

The puppet shows continue. This one’s from April 24th, 2021. It includes a bit from Jennifer Gariepy’s new puppet in the very beginning of the performance.

Over 40 performances are available to view here:

The March Issues of the Poetic Express

April 28, 2021

Here’s last month’s POETIC EXPRESS. Also in March, I went through every month’s issue from 1985 to 2021.

The count:

2,098 poems

3,436 drawings

392 SURREAL THEATRE comic strips

That’s the grand total, to date.

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Here’s a separate version of the March 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

We’ve been recording more puppet performances in 2021.  I do the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work and end credits are by Jennifer Gariepy.  I’m still working on a new blog post going into detail about my approaches to puppetry and getting back into it again in 2020 and 2021.

Over 40 performances are available to view here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

This show’s from March 20th. The beginning of it features Jennifer’s new bird puppet. She worked hard on it and did a great job. We still have to think of a name for it. The show also features regulars like the Purple Nightmare, the rattlesnake and Mr. Horrible Awful Man.

The February Issues of the Poetic Express

March 27, 2021

Here’s last month’s POETIC EXPRESS. I started a new project. I’m going through every month’s issue from 1985 to 2021. I’m counting the poems and the incidental drawings in each issue and noting a total count for each year. When I’m done with that, I’ll add them up for a total count of all drawings and poems that I’ve done in the POETIC EXPRESS to date!

I’ve also started to scan back issues of the SURREAL THEATRE, hoping to eventually have them published in a book or in a series of comic books. I keep starting new projects before I can finish all of the new ones. Such is the life of the artist and poet.

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Here’s a separate version of the February 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

We taped more new puppet performances in January.  I did the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work, end credits and closed-captioning are by Jennifer Gariepy.  I’m starting to put up some shows without closed captioning. It’s a lot of work to do that. Eventually, we’ll try to get back to putting the captions on the ones that we missed.

I’m working on a new blog post going into detail about my approaches to puppetry and getting back into it in 2020 and 2021.

Over 40 performances are available to view here:

This show’s from early January of this year:

The January Issues of the Poetic Express

February 25, 2021

I probably won’t continue to publish the Poetic Express here for the entire year. We’ll see how everything plays out. Here are the first two issues for 2021. I’ll take it month by month. As I noted last time, the year’s off to a wild start. In early January, there was a bloody and murderous riot in Washington D.C. This week we reached the horrible milestone of 500,000 dead from COVID-19 in the United States. It’s overwhelming. I’ll continue to face reality and to deal with it as best I can. I’ll keep on making art, writing and performing: always being creative.

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Here’s a separate version of the January 2021 SURREAL THEATRE:

 

We taped more new puppet performances in January.  I did the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work, end credits and closed-captioning are by Jennifer Gariepy.  I’ll do a new blog post going into detail about my approach to puppetry soon.

Over 30 performances are available to view here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

Plus a “changing of the year show” from late 2020, diving into 2021:

The December Issues of the Poetic Express

January 11, 2021

What can one say about 2020?  It was the of the worst years of my life.  I’m sure that I’m not alone in this.  I’m glad that it’s over, but 2021 is off to a cruel start.  Violent people who live in worlds rooted in lies and delusions can cause a lot of trouble.  So much for “Happy New Year.”  January 6, 2021 will go down in history along with days such as September 11, 2001 and December 7, 1941.  We can only hope that we’re all in a better place a year from now but at the moment, it’s very difficult.  Well, best for 2021 anyway, to you and yours.  Be careful out there.  Embrace total reality and try to have fun as well.  Art will triumph!

This was the 34th year in a row that I’ve done this series.  Normally, I dedicate this set of poems to heroes and heroines, mainly in the arts.   Instead, for the 2020 issues, I dedicated poems to the anonymous, to the workers, to the artists and to my friends.  There’s also one titled Dedicated to you.

In my closest circle, I lost my Aunt Pat and both of my parents, among others.  Other deaths that hit me included those of John Lewis and C.T. Vivian.  We lost many in the arts including Jimmy Heath, Gene Deitch, Terry Jones, Bill Withers. Max Van Sydow, Olivia de Havilland, Little Richard, Toots Hibbert, Stanley Cowell, Ennio Morricone and “Blue” Gene Tyranny.  Those who died from the coronavirus included Wallace Roney, Manu Dibango, John Prine, Lee Konitz, Giuseppi Logan, Henry Grimes, Adam Schlesinger, Kim Ki-duk and Nelly Kaplan.

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Here’s a separate version of the December 2020 SURREAL THEATRE:

Here’s a separate version of the December 2020 “extra” The Pandemic Gazette:

Here’s a link to the special edition of The Pandemic Gazette.  I did this for the series Detroit SEQUENTIAL for the Detroit Novelty Press:

http://rotlandpress.com/detroit-sequential-sunday

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We taped eight new puppet performances in December.  I did the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work, end credits and closed-captioning are by Jennifer Gariepy.  I’ll do a new blog post going into detail about my approach to puppetry soon.

Over 30 performances are available to view here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

From December 13th, 2020:  Here’s some strange year end holiday fun with a cast including a fly, a singing whale and the Purple Nightmare:

Recent Work, Take Two

December 31, 2020

 

 

These drawings are mostly from November and December of 2020.  Since the pandemic hit, in mid-March, I’ve done over 1000 drawings, averaging over 100 drawings per month.  Usually, I do a few when I get up.  If I’m working my day job I wait until I get off of work and do a few more drawings after dinner.  I had to change my routine and my discipline in major ways.  For years, I’ve drawn on the run while on the bus, in restaurants or while waiting in line to get into a show.  I don’t do any of those things anymore.  Someday I will, I hope.

Winged Creature

 

From March through August 23, I did 500 drawings, numbering each of them on the verso.  On August 24th, I started a second series of 500 drawings.  I just crossed the mark of the second grouping of 500 yesterday, on December 30th.

 

 

 

 

My sketchbooks are primarily in these three sizes 6 by 6 inches, 4 by 6 inches, then too 3.5 by 5 inches and 2.5 by 4 inches.  On October 23rd I started a new series of drawings in some slightly larger drawing pads.  These are 6 by 8 inches.  I’ve done a lot of larger work but it’s harder to store.  It takes up too much space, unless it’s done as street art.  Then you don’t have to store it at home.  The four horizontal drawings directly above and the first vertical drawing directly below are all from the 6 by 8 inch sketchbooks.

 

 

From July, my first grouping of selections from my sketchbooks:

https://artremedy20.wordpress.com/2020/07/27/recent-work-take-one/

 

 

 

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The November Issues of the Poetic Express

December 13, 2020

 

November was another strange month.  I was glad that 45 is on his way out. Generally, the election results weren’t too bad. The pandemic is still seriously on the attack and I’m still attempting to hide from the virus. It’s a difficult life but some have had it far worse than I have. I’m still being an artist.  I keep busy and am writing, drawing and performing.  I’m still working my day job too, mostly at home but sometimes at the library.

 

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Here’s a separate version of the November 2020 SURREAL THEATRE:

We taped around ten new puppet performances in November.  We’ll keep at it.  I did the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work, end credits and closed-captioning are by Jennifer Gariepy.  I’ll do a new blog post going into detail about my approach to puppetry in the next few weeks.

Over 20 performances are available to view:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

From November 22, 2020, a meeting of a secret society, recorded and revealed:

 

The October Issues of the Poetic Express

November 22, 2020

October was not as difficult as much of the year was.  It was bad enough though.  The coronavirus and the November elections hung over everything like a hurricane storm cloud.  I celebrated another birthday, October 20 and I did ten more puppet shows including a Halloween special.  We did the second of two cautious, outdoor jam sessions with the Spaceband.

My siblings and I finished emptying out my parent’s house and getting it ready to sell.  I started to clean up my backyard.  It reminds me of an abandoned amusement park.  I recall and imagine its former beauty and eccentric glories.  It was the domain of my late upstairs neighbor, Mr. Jim Inglehart.  I kept making art, mainly drawing.   Then too, look: it’s the Poetic Express, continued.

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Here’s a separate version of the October 2020 SURREAL THEATRE:

I taped new puppet performances in October.  We’ll keep at it.  I did the puppets, music, voices and staging.  The camera work, end credits and closed-captioning are by Jennifer Gariepy.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEqEgPjHDG-C5459riAH1Fw

Here are many back issues of The Poetic Express from 1985 to 2016:

https://tinyurl.com/y2db6jja