Have I EVER listened to YOU woosy Good Angel?
Oh for a Muse of Fire that Would Ascend the Highest Heaven of Invention!
More strange than true: I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these fairy toys.
Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.
The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy;
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
-A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Ah the merry month of May approach-eth
To Farkitecture or Not to Farkitecture?
Verily I may spontaneous combust if I do
Cursing the 8%$# developers who’ve put up all these &^%$### ugly metal minimicropods for the young…
Thinking twice about returning an overdue library book…thinking of chucking the book on the train tracks…
No scary monolith parking ramp…not you…
And then I heard…the voice…the usual voice…HEY YOU!!! HEY YOU!!!
OLD HOUSE NUTTER!!! LOOK AT ME!! I AM HERE!! I AM STILL HERE!!!
I looked. Sigh. Shit. It’s stunning. Gorgeous absolutely….
House: HEY OLD HOUSE NUTTER…I KNOW YOU CAN SEE ME…STOP AND TAKE A LOOK…
I KNOW YOU WANT TO…
All those kids on their way to class, all those folks on their way to the hospital…they don’t see me…they don’t look at me…those that do…look once then look away and run away…They only want to do with life…loss and death are known to you…you will make a fuss about me…even though no one will listen…
Me: SHUT UP HOUSE!!!!
House: HELP ME!!!
I’M COLD DARK AND EMPTY
Any day now the tyrannosaurus with the steel teeth and the yellow skin and the devouring roar will come to tear me apart and haul whats left of me to the Old House burial grounds in Becker…
The car found a place. I got out…I looked…I thought about what this house once was… now empty, dark and doomed…and there they were all clustered round the windows looking sadly out at me…
I thought of the architect/builder that imagined…the hands that designed…the laborers that built…the professors? that moved in and planted flowers every Spring…they all whispered to me…
The mailbox held letters from…perhaps some entity coveting the land addressed to some owner who’d returned to Tzeflyajuana, he and the wife who own a dozen houses…all empty…with revoked rental licenses burdened with city citations, expecting directors orders, tax forfeiture or foreclosure…and definitely developer “acquisition.”
House: HELP ME!!!
Me: I can’t help you beautiful noble neglected abandoned old house.
The power you think I have is power I want but don’t have.
House: THEN..TAKE MY PICTURE…CAPTURE MY SOUL SO WHEN THE YELLOW DEATH MACHINES COME AN IMAGE OF ME WILL SURVIVE…AND YOU WILL TELL MY STORY!
And so I did. And so I will. Though I wish I could fight and defeat those who will destroy you, they will win.
Old houses and old buildings and eccentric forgotten folks
I am your humble servant. Use me as you will.
Such a magic day as I by chance read of a lecture on your work… and immediately thought I must go to the temple of your most profoundly spiritual expression, Our Lady of Victory Chapel. So I did.
There was sunlight that illuminated the carvings and the peacocks and the stations of the cross and the doorways with the leaves and grapes and the lacy choir loft with its little guardian angels. Music of all kinds, flutes, piano, reverberant organ. Young faces, young voices.
Was I ever as they are? Never.
I looked for more, some different aspect of you. I imagined a room with wooden tables and tubs of clay. You spoke to a group of young students and rolled up your sleeves. There were old scars on your arms. What from?
They tied their aprons on, then plunged their hands into the cool thick earthy clay and pressed the clay into plaster molds. They gathered round you as you carved ancient designs into your slab of clay with strong yet fluent movements.
Outside the chapel, I looked up at the carved stone, populated with saints and creatures and angels, like a medieval German or French Cathedral..
Each saint had a name carved at his or her feet except two…one on the right side of the door held a board clustered with…tiles…I imagined this was an avatar of you.
Directly opposite on the left side of the door, there was another unidentified angel, with shield and sword, one whose power exists only in scriptural dreams.
A warrior whose power I wished were real….
I thought that one who has discovered me should undiscover me for his own good.
At the edge of the highway on 5th Ave South near Franklin Avenue South. I’ve seen these three houses for many years and thought of them as the “Three Sisters.” Probably all built around the same time possibly by the same architects or builders. Once they did not overlook a highway, although Franklin and nearby Portland must always have been busy streets. Reports said 8 then 20 people were misplaced by the fire on December 11, 2015. The usual practice of opening up the roof to sacrifice a house to save neighboring houses applied. That acrid aroma that always reminds me of…
The one that of the three (at least its exterior)was the most original and least altered experienced the fire.
Will it be saved or demolished?
Looking at it the next day, I saw an older fellow who was likely the owner probably living far from the home his family may once have owned, probably unable or unwilling to repair it. Still he and a helper worked to clean up the pieces of burnt wood, shingles and broken glass from the sidewalks and grass. And the men from the Latino families that lived there in each side of the duplex, stood on the sidewalk in silence waiting to be allowed in to save what items they could, two weeks before Christmas.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: 2001 5th Avenue South, 2005 5th Avenue South, Fire near 2000 Franklin Avenue, Fire on 5th Avenue South, Fire on Franklin, Peter Elliasen, Ventura Village | Leave a comment »
Late October, the sign atop the red tile mill was restored. The enormous letters were lifted aloft by a crane. It was so exciting that I forgot to press the record button as the Pillsbury “P” flew from the ground to the crew on the roof of the mill waiting to place it on its iron structure.
That hovering critter near the E iz a Drone! Boyz n Toyz!
So here’s a compendium of stuff about the event of restoring the Pillsbury’s Best Flour Sign atop the red tile mill, part of the Pillsbury A Mill complex.
If anyone has more, let me know.
Yes, I’ve included images I did not make, if anyone needs a more formal acknowledgement or credit, e me.
I have some videos which I will post eventually.