I don't wanna give too much away, but I gotta say it: I been working on the package design for what is gonna be - no shit - the best record of the year.

It's Fred Friction's "Jesus Drank Wine" and, yes, it's that good. And I don't just mean good for a local, St. Louis record (though that's what it is). I mean great on a national level - best record of the year - better than any other record in the world! And, you know, this sorta music, the rootsy-slack-twang-blues-reformed-gospel-alt-americana typa thing, is not even really my bag, but the dude writes and performs with such utter abandon and unselfconscious wit and vim that there's just no way not to get charmed by it. And he speaks my language, singing shit that rings so right. Ideologically, it's in the pocket.

Look, it'll come out in a month or two and then you'll know what I'm talking about. Seriously. Grease up for this one cause it's gonna touch you where you squeal.

More than that I cannot say.




A Friendly Salutation


Frequently, with this set of designs, the principle subject will be someone you can identify; a celebrity or something. But even more often it'll just be a face I found in an old advertisement or from something unexpected. That's the case here. I wish i knew who she was 'cause, look! She seems like a lotta fun, huh?

Alas, our star is an anonymous beacon of affability. I don't even remember where I found her. I probably should've made a note on my sources but, well, I didn't. I'm just that lazy.

But that's not to say I love her less.

Previous Post: "Not Haiku"

Here is something I posted on the gustaveblack blog back on April 11, 2007.
I think it's still amusing and educational and hope you do too, even if for the second time.

I once had a friend (scholar and martinet, Allison Trombley) who would write haiku for her friends as gifts. She wrote a few for me on my birthday a couple years or so ago which I really enjoyed and which reignited my interest in them. So, I wrote a few for her when her birthday rolled around, and then I wrote a few more for my own amusement... and then a few more.

I've long said that nothing inspires like restriction, so when confronted with the 5/7/5 syllable format, I kind of went crazy.

Allison, however, soon pointed out that what I was making wasn't haiku at all, but rather senryu, which I'd never heard of. The distinction between the two poetic forms is pretty slight, I think, so I'll go ahead and let Kathy Lippard Cobb explain it for you. (I copied this off a poetry website without her permission, so nobody say anything, okay?)

"The primary difference between haiku and senryu is the tone. A haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment. Nature is combined with human nature. Senryu is much more concerned with human nature, political issues, and satiric humor (making fun of things)."

"There is a big debate over what is or is not senryu. You will see many haiku in the senryu section of many journals or vice versa. Many poets just submit their haiku/senryu, and let the editor decide where it needs to be placed in their magazine, the haiku section or the senryu section."

"There are views that all nature is haiku and all human nature is senryu. Many journals consider some all human nature poems "haiku." However, the majority of haiku combine both human nature and nature."

"The major difference between haiku and senryu is the tone. They are similar in construction."

Alright. Thanks, Kathy.

Here are some of the senryu I came up with...

The house lights go down
The crowd whispers, then hushes
What should I do now?

Hope may yet emerge
A faint light breaks through black clouds
Back in five minutes

Evil awakens
Heaven has forsaken us
Drives me up the wall

Men with erections
Women hungry with passion
Don't answer the door

People say you're dumb
Dull and without character
They might just be right

Put your finger in
Watch your last meal emerge
Now you're losing weight!

Plenty of bedrest
Now I have a job to do
Oh, go back to bed

It's Super Sunday!
There is no Super Sunday
Just go back to bed

Hounded by Martians
Plagued by monsters from Venus
Maybe we should move

Where are you going?
Get back in the ambulance
That is an order!

Have children quick!
Winter is in it's onset
And women are scarce

Penis enlargement
Natural male enhancement
I'll think about it

To hell with healthy
Have another candy-bar
We may all die soon

Eternal grudge-match
Cowboys vs. Indians
(there is no third line)

Sunshine, peace and ease
Things are looking up somewhere
But we live here , so...

I'm not around now
Maybe I was never here
And no one wrote this

You know the story:
"Sucker born every minute"
And I'm one of them

One day I notice
There's a rip in my shadow
Try to ignore it

There is a hum of
Possibility, or it
Might be time to quit

Take your vacation
When and where they tell you to
It's the only way

Quick! I need help
Murdered over and over
And you there laughing

I have a dream of
Being killed by the police
So I don't sleep much

Never known such peace
Your cares are melting away
Now get back to work

Sexy girls beware!
Athletes and businessmen
Are now being bred

Why women like men...
I can't think of anything
Except... perhaps... no

Autumn approaches
Time for renewal and joy
Let's give up and die

Goody, goody! (stop)
Broccoli is a nice touch
And so is your butt

Time's just about up
You better be beautiful
Oops! Oh well, too late

Nature metaphors?
I got yer fuckin' nature
Metaphors right here!

You think it's okay
I realize between stabs
For you to kill me

Some folks got it rough
Others become movie stars
Me? I write this crap

Allison Trombley
That's five syllables used up
Not much room left for

Infernal Vortex


Wednesday morning and still sick. Shallow breathing, coughing, sneezing, and lots and lots of snot. It just won't stop. This is the one that may kill me. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll never die. I don't have that kind of luck.

Oh, boo-hoo. Enough with the personal information. Here's a second square composition. One that, for me at least, is pretty funny. It's an obvious one-liner, this juxtaposition of two elements and, as such, is perhaps the simplest image from the series. It's, of course, also a little telling of my attitude toward (as a result of my many experiences with) the fairer sex. Are you familiar with the phrase, "Pretty girls make graves?"

White Cross on Beale House


Sometimes it's fun, late on Tuesday, to visit Beale on Broadway and hear Kim Massey sing. She's pretty amazing.
Here are 12 successive frames of the yard under the Beale building with a white cross on top, a talisman.

Part of a Quote I heard on TV

"Not by happiness, not by progeny, not by wealth, but by sacrifice alone can (unintelligible) be achieved."

"Oasis can provide the money for bills..."

"Wanton destruction (unintelligible) like a moral beacon for all to see!"

"The giants of the cheerleading world, California's answer to nuclear power..."

"They're talking about you on TV now! They say you kill people! (other things) I'll take care of you!"

"... for a discovery that could add so many healthy years to our lives. Thank you very much!"

Anna Falchi Over Tokyo


Been working most lately on a series of graphics from which this is taken.
No theme, per se. In fact, they're all over the place in terms of subject.
Parameters, though: each is a 12"x12" Illustrator design (like an album cover - I miss those).

So, I guess it doesn't too much matter, but I need to call the series something and I can't think what.
"Square Compositions" (as opposed to my previous, "Round Compositions") makes sense.
I'd had 'em as "Non-Objective Graphic Illustrations" for a little bit but that's kind of a mouthful, isn't it?
Over at the gustaveblack Myspace page, they're called, "The Pictures We Love, 2008" with a wink, of course.
Before that they were the, "Ambien Challenges" 'cause, um... maybe I'll talk about that some other time.

Anyhow, here's, "Anna Falchi Over Tokyo".
Is that to say this is a picture of Italian sweetie Anna Falchi and that that skyline there is a silhouette of Tokyo?
Yes, it is.

Bits Of Sky


Learning to work a proper blog.
Terribly exciting.
I see here there's a button over the posting window for "Add Video".
Turns out I, just the other week, messed with some footage in iMovie.
I shot this with my 'lil didgie' on the way home from an all-nighter at Lori's apartment with her and friends Lawrence and Jim (and Vodka and an old record of South Pacific).
True to its title, it's just bits of sky shot through the windscreen of her car, from the Southside to Downtown, here in St. Louis, just a little while after the rain on Sunday, September 13th, 2008.
The music is just something I made up using that program, Garageband.

Where To Begin

At home now,
With flu,
Figured I'd start a blog.

Fact is, though,
I been blogging for a spell, now.

Hell, I go back,
50 or 60 posts on,
The ol' Myspace blog,

So, really,
I don't have to make a big thing,
Over starting,
Some brand, new thing,
Or having this be the,
First entry on,
My new thing...

'Cause really,
You've been here all along and,
You're already bored.

- Anonymous (trad. Lithuanian folk ref.)