Posts Tagged ‘color


it’s for you (ocean-speak)

nothing tells today’s story better than the two images i am sharing with you.


if you listen closely, you can hear the color


i cannot begin to tell you how pink it is today at our house.


acid gr[qu]een (you have a funny way of showing it)

acid queen–tina turner (aside: saw tina when she was making her comeback tour “private dancer” in chicago at the park west theater on armitage in 198_. had a table in the front row with a group of friends, got showered with sweat from her and her sax player who was also smokin’ hot. best ever concert.)

acid green is one of those colors that i find particularly inspiring. it just kicks you in the ass and screams, “get the hell out there and do something!”

ran into a bridge railing riding my bike one sunny afternoon in moorhead, minnesota, after a kegger in a park down by the red river during my sophomore year at good ole msu. there may have been other contributing factors to my accident. didn’t hurt myself, but the front wheel of my bike was bent to shit. (lots of swearing in this post, but acid — green, queen, or otherwise — does that to a person.)


yellow, pink, blue over you

we talked about having children,

but assigning colors by gender confused us, so we didn’t. (the reasons we didn’t are more complex than that and are, frankly, none of your business, but the whole “pink is for girls”, “blue is for boys”, and “yellow is for ‘we don’t care as long as the baby is healthy'” tropes — or have they slid into the cliché category? idk — continue to disturb us, at least when we think about it, which isn’t that often & in the case of this post is what first came to mind as i looked at the photographs displayed here.)

we do continue to think about having had children, having made that decision years ago when we were younger–and every-now-and-then, a little pang of regret may catch at our side–somewhere near our kidneys–and a wistful sigh may escape our lips when we see the joy they bring to our friends who have children — grown or otherwise — but we know we made the right decision for us and as a result we can look at pink, blue, and yellow without the slightest thought of gender assignment.


your pinkness

isn’t it time that pink lost its gender specificity?

whose idea was that anyway? what makes pink feminine except that someone said it was and it got embedded into the cultural weave? (yes, it may have taken a few years, but in a few years it could be undone, could it not?)

you may think i’m on my high horse again about something that, realistically speaking, cannot be undone easily, the culture wars being what they are these days (or any day for that matter, for truly, what hetero man could/would let his son wear pink?)  oh, the day may come when a man can wear a pink oxford button-down shirt with the appropriate tie–not a bow-tie, of course, because that is suspect as well, indicating academe or the artistically-inclined–god forbid, but before then what’s the beef with pink, men?


your tuesday morning wake-up call (synesthesia)

is the sound from these colors keeping you awake?

what do they smell like? have you ever felt anything as soft? it’s okay if you need a few minutes to gather your wits about you (that phrase has always brought to my mind a victorian woman gathering her children to her skirt).


summer ale (and other mishaps)

happenstance.  chance. 6 mb. summer ale.

flipped from one branch to the other.  shrug your shoulders. green blue green blue green.

tone poems.  so ‘6os.  hippies and indian cotton.  madras without the plaid.  saturated.

what the fuck.  (sorry, it should be wtf.)  or not.  caring, compassionate, concerned, bullshit.  magenta.  brick red.

a mixture of feminine and masculine.  gender denier.  muscle.  sin.  sinew. syncopated.  and on and on and on.

my hand in yours.  flesh touching flesh.  the spark, a thorn, a sip of summer ale and the fog rolls in.


the other side of town


when do you admit that beauty is all around you?

that even in the most mundane juxtaposition of color and form there is beauty?

beauty is not always gay.

and the choices we make when we decide beauty is in front of us are often difficult.

acceptance is perhaps the most difficult when you are reminded that you are out of your comfort zone.

but then you see that others have decided that their mean life is beautiful and you succumb to their choices, their decisions.

even when you are constantly reminded of the differences that still exist between your world and theirs.


camellia alley

most of the year, when you walk down camellia alley, all you notice is how deeply green the leaves are (a rich, luxurious green) & then, sometime in february, a flash of color, perhaps white, catches your eye as you traverse the narrow sidewalk, head down (it twists here & turns there & you may be carrying a dachshund, or some other bundle–perhaps the trash held in front of you–it’s a narrow passageway with stucco on one side & painted brick on the other,) but with enough room between each structure (house & retaining wall) to host a dozen or so camellia bushes.

the sun shines here for just a few minutes each day, the alley situated as it is between the west side of steep hill & the east side of house (when i hold my arms out my fingertips nearly touch the opposing sides,) & if you’re lucky enough to pass through camellia alley when the sun, dappled & warm, picks out the blooms, & if you’re paying attention, then a little bit of magic happens.

even the hottest colors have a coolness to them, which the heat of the sun does nothing to dispel, but only enhances their chilling beauty (so ravishing & seductive.)

they call out to you, clear bell-like tones, promising love & devotion.  will you collapse into their charm?


random notes on nothing

i will admit, in print, that i am not a fan of j.d. salinger’s work.  that little red book of post-pubescent anxiety & revolt (the mao book of quotations for teenagers since 1951.) it seems sacrilegious, doesn’t it?  & yes, of course i read it when i was a teenager, it may have been entertaining then (i liked their names, i remember that; esme, franny, zooey, holden, for god’s sake, they all sounded so connecticut & i guess that was aspirational, you know, to have a name that indicated you were of a class, one that was not yours.)  but i can not tell you a thing about any of the books, not the essence or the  ‘take-away’ feeling; i couldn’t  even lay out a cliff notes version were i forced too (teenagers suffer, there are tears, there is revolt, there is hugging & maybe smoking on the sly, was there sex?  i don’t know & it seems never cared enough to remember.)

there is much to be said for the solitary day spent gardening (in spite of the ache-y muscles the following day.)  there are so many moments, vignettes, words of encouragement (& words of wonder & awe) that are like the little death (la petite mort for you francophiles); it may account for the melancholy that sloshes around your ankles, a broken pipe carrying flora dreams away, that sadness that that moment may not be repeated (or ever feel as sublime.)

i really like the traveler’s insurance tv commercial with the dog & the bone, you may watch it by clicking here.   they’ve come out with a second one that i feel is also very good (& if i were in the market for insurance, i would definitely consider them, kudos to the advertising company that developed these commercials.)  they’re terrific visceral advertising (& beautiful to boot.)

favorite color:  i’ve always said green, but of course that was when i wasn’t saying red or blue or yellow (not to mention all of the million or so variations on those themes.)  i loathe gender-specific responses & the pigeon-holing parents do to make sure their daughters love pink/purple & their boys do not.   & don’t even get me started on all of the companies that insist that those are the colors little girls, but not little boys, should love, love, love (i reserve my deepest disrespect, disregard, disgust for their ignorance & promotion of what is right & what is wrong for little children, for criminy’s sake.)

when i first learned that i could make lavendar by mixing red, blue & white paint together (i believe i was 8 or 9 at the time)  & it was in the basement playroom of my grandmother patrick’s house in springfield, illinois, i was, without hyperbole, ecstatic.    the world turned lavender for me that day (no schadenfreude here, but my god, what a sign, & in retrospect if you’d been reading those kind of signs then, that one would have been a cold splash of water in your sleepy face.)

don’t you miss john denver?  i know, i know what you’re thinking, “robert, you’ve gone too far now, i can’t support you on this, i just can’t, he’s too sweet a singer, too saccharine, just too too too.”  but in his defense, & particularly if you ever grew up in the country, the wide open plains, or those majestic rocky mountains, or the hills & dales of any other landscape sparsely populated, grandly innocent, virgin & unspoiled (& even if you lived in a large metropolis & dreamed of those places,) then you know what i mean when i say his voice captured all of that, a clear brook, the sweet sound of the dinner bell, the fresh air.   the innocence & the heartbreak, the love of life flowed so easily from his blond, blue-eyed-ness (those round wire-framed glasses say it all.)

last night when i was walking the dogs i tried to remember what i’d been reading in the new issue of the atlantic & couldn’t.  oh, i did dig around in the dark cobwebby interiors & dusty corners where neurons & atoms & micro, micro synapses of information are doing whatever it is they do, but nothing.  i even tried to not think about it, hoping by turning my mind to other things (anything) what i wanted to remember would float to the top of my consciousness & “ping,” just like that, what i wanted to retrieve would be at the forefront of the carousel (the lending library carousel, you know) & i would pluck it out & say, “ah, yes, that weighty matter.”  but alas, it was not to be & until i laid my head on my three stacked pillows to read again before drifting off to sleep, & turned to the dog-eared page where i had left off, did i then know why i couldn’t remember:  i had been reading about justin bieber.

<insert deep sigh here>  it’s why sweets are so bad for you; all taste, no nutrition.

there is nothing, particularly in the southern california garden, that for me represents the advent of spring more than the sudden explosion of new rose leaves, fleshy, leathery and bloody, that cordovan red, as perfect as a piece of hand-dipped dark chocolate.

to be continued…



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© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2022. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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