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Issue 29 • July 2020 • Facebook.com/TalkArts

IT’S ALL ABOUT

ARTS

Karen McFeaters


July 2020 In This Issue • Karen McFeaters – a living artist and art friend of Boston by Janice Williams • The Art of Coping with Michele Audet, Stan Eichner, Karen McFeaters • Norwood teens use art to spread BLM message by Mary Ellen Gambon • Bill Mason - A Mind of Sound by Curt Naihersey • The Puzzle Factory by Terry Kitchen • Local Music Corner by Perry Persoff • Tess’s July To Do by Tess McColgan • All About a Name by Stephen Levin • Pictorial Splender by Curt Naihersey featuring Lily Fay Grogan and Jason Getz • The Poetry Page compiled by Curt Naihersey - What is the Plague? by Janna Maria Fröhlich and A Closure to Foreclose by Michael Gallagher • Afterland Part 7 by Edward Morneau More • Centre Cuts Salon and Spa, Roslindale

Support local artists and buy from them whenever you can!

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020

IT’S ALL ABOUT ARTS www.itsallaboutarts.com facebook.com/TalkArts ROSLINDALE ARTS ALLIANCE www.roslindalearts.org facebook.com/Roslindale-Arts-Alliance-129685993761701 ART STUDIO 99 www.artstudio99.com facebook.com/Art-Studio-99-145566388819141 Twitter @artstudio99 Instagram - janice_art_studio_99 Published by It’s All About Arts by Janice Williams, Editor Copyright 2020 - All Rights Reserved Glenn Williams - 617-543-7443 glennsmusic.williams@gmail.com Janice Williams - 617-710-3811 janice@artfulgift.com TO ADVERTISE - REQUEST OUR MEDIA KIT ALL ADVERTISING REVENUE GOES TO THE IT’S ALL ABOUT ARTS YOUTH ART SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. MORE


Karen McFeaters – a living artist and art friend of Boston By Janice Williams

From the Boston Globe story - Boston isn’t Palo Alto – October 15, 2016. “And that’s the point. The bridge is over an alley, Necco Court, and is somewhat secluded and tucked away between the two buildings. Fort Point artist Karen McFeaters, whose website features a painting of the structure, acknowledged that most people may not understand why it’s worth saving. ‘But it’s just sort of a landmark and something I treasure, just like the Citgo sign’, McFeaters said”. This quote by Fort Point artist Karen McFeaters illustrates the importance and intrinsic value of cityscapes in art. While McFeaters can majestically paint anything, she excels at cityscapes and also creates beautiful landscapes and pet images, but she captures Boston scenes in a unique and personal perspective. According to McFeaters: “Much of my work is about preserving landmarks and architectural gems in Boston, especially when they’re in danger of being demolished (even though I didn’t set out to do that, originally). It evolved over time as buildings met with wrecking balls in order to make room for luxury condos, etc.”. A Boston native, McFeaters works and lives at Midway Artist Studios in the Fort Point section of Boston since 2011. She attended Boston University and Maine College of Art. Her preferred medium is slow drying acrylics but also enjoys painting with oil pastels and sometimes uses watercolor or does collage. McFeaters has been making art her whole life but began selling her work in 2000, when she lived in Florida. At the time she did plein air paintings in Winter Park, FL and also started a small dog portrait business. In the past few years, McFeaters has taken on considerable commission work including a piece for a Boston Bruins player. She has (continued)

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Karen McFeaters – a living artist and art friend of Boston by Janice Williams (continued) participated in many exhibits including one at the Boston Convention Center, Fort Point Open Studios, BNN Media Center, Mosesian Center for the Arts, Medicine Wheel, Boston City Hall and Fidelity Investments to name a few. She is a member of Fort Point Arts Community, as well as the South Boston Arts Association. McFeaters told me, “My favorite artist is Childe Hassam but it’s really hard to pick just ONE artist! As far as professors, my favorite was John Wilson who was a brilliant painter, sculptor and lithographer from Roxbury. I was a student of his at Boston University in the ‘80s and he was by far, the most enthusiastic and energetic professor I’ve ever had”. McFeaters sells her work online at her website and welcomes commissions. She says, “Due to the Coronavirus, I honestly have no idea what upcoming events I’ll be participating in. Normally there would be a Fort Point Festival in July or August, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Hoping that there will be a Fort Point Open Studios in October, or some version of one.This has been a difficult time for artists as far as exhibiting their work or performing. Many of my musician friends are hurting”. Contact info: email: karenmcfeaters@gmail.com Website: www.karenmcfeatersgallery.com Facebook art page: https://www.facebook.com/KarenMcFeatersFineArt

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


t G r N A I e P h T CO -19 f d i o v o C

2020 - life quarantined during a panedmic creates emotional tumoil, depression and financial hardship. Add to that an awakening of injustices in the country bringing us by the thousands to the streets and social media to protest.I asked my friends to tell me what they doing to cope. As always creativity bring us a way to realease some of the tension.

Stan Eichner from Somerville, MA uses his photography skills to capture the recent surge in protests around the world after the death of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


The Art of COPING Covid-19 My Quarantine Story -The Garden By Michèle Audet, June 20, 2020 A sad little plot of mossy earth constricted between three brick walls hidden behind the elderly housing apartments left abandoned in need of some transformation and loving care two neighbors anxious, bored while trapped with cabin fever in search of mental sanity and physical activity venture out Energy, physical and mental, pulling weeds, digging dirt, watering, planting begins to transform the small space between the brick walls into a plot of richness Energy directed into productive activity, gifts of “volunteers” from neighbors yields an abundance of plants and herbs and the sweet smell of flowers Food for the body - Food for the soul -Beauty to be enjoyed by all! On this first Summer evening, a little bird sings a happy song Love is a seed – Plant it in the garden of your heart!

“I didn’t capture his likeness exactly, but wanted to sketch #GeorgeFloyd. This shouldn’t have happened in this country and I hope it never does again so his death won’t be in vain. His last words were heartbreaking. #icantbreathe #blacklivesmatter #justiceforgeorgefloyd @midwayartiststudios #fortpoint #southboston #boston — at Karen McFeaters Art”.

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Norwood teens use art to spread BLM message by Mary Ellen Gambon

A trio of Norwood High School alumnae, fueled by their desire to make society more equitable, took their passion to the streets as well as their canvasses. They recently marched in protests in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in response to the death of George Floyd, carrying their paintings that displayed their perspectives on Black culture and the need for systemic societal change. Sawdah McCloud, Chloe Ronco and Madison Evans gathered on a glorious June Saturday at Norwood’s Endean Park. The friends were serving as coordinators at an event called, “At Home in Norwood,” which sought to bring people of all races and generations to some common ground about the state of race relations. A fountain splashed forth from the peaceful pond in the background as the women carefully displayed their pieces in front of the podium before the event. McCloud, 18, a “proud 2020 COVID grad” who lives in South Norwood, said she has always had an interest in art, although she has never taken a class. She also practices videography and photography in her spare time. “Honestly, I draw what I’m feeling and the things around me,” she said. “I try to be really expressive. I always loved to paint, but I never wanted to feel restricted in a class.” (continued) It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Norwood teens use art to spread BLM message by Mary Ellen Gambon (continued) One painting depicts a young Black woman, enveloped by a dark starlit sky. Her eyes appear entranced as she appears to be imagining a brighter world. Butterflies burst from her mind in a soft, swirling cascade of color and clouds. “The second painting I have brought with me to every protest, and I have photographed myself holding it,” McCloud, who is Black, continued. “The Black Lives Matter movement really gets to me, so I wanted to show the beauty of Black girls.” In this painting, McCloud captures the profile of a Black princess, surrounded by the sky. Her bald head is adorned with a crown. Eyes closed, her state is calm and serene, much like the surrounding park where McCloud poses with her works. The words at the top of the painting capture the message of the day and McCloud herself: “More empathy. More hope. More compassion. More love.” McCloud will be attending Bridgewater State University in the fall. She plans on studying public relations and international relations. “Honestly, I just want to make everything around me more beautiful,” she said. “In 2020, there’s so much change, but I think there’s so much room for growth.” She also enjoys event planning, a skill which she has put to use in Norwood. With her friends and local Norwood Police Officer Geoffrey Baguma, she helped organize the event in a group called Norwood United for Peace and Justice. Evans, who is white, had studied at NYU. The 19-year-old is currently applying to other colleges and will be studying political science when she returns to school. Evans had been using her art to promote women and LGBTQ rights. The BLM movement was a natural progression for her journey. “The first thing I turned to was my artwork when it comes to the fight that we’re in right now,” she said. “After I was marching down the streets of Boston and Rhode Island, I was thinking of all the names that we were saying and all the people we were remembering and fighting for. I wrote down the names that I knew and had seen and I had to put that into my work.” (continued) It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Norwood teens use art to spread BLM message by Mary Ellen Gambon (continued)

The names, written in white on black skyscrapers, burst for the from a mosaic of multi-hued shades of brown dots. “We carried that one to two protests,” she said. She added that she would like to sell her work and donate the money to a Black-LGBTQ organization. One of her pieces showed hands of different races holding a sign saying, “Black LGBTQ Lives Matter” before a rainbow backdrop. Ronco, who also is white, will be attending Mass Art in the fall. “I was making art into the first place, but for this event, I went to Sawdah for ideas,” she said. “I wanted to do a piece about Black culture, and she said hair is a big part of culture, so I did that painting with ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on her hair.” “I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember,” she added. “My parents always had me doing it, so it’s always been a thing with me. Now I just want to try to make a living at it.” In addition, Ronco said she wants to spend the rest of the summer creating more works for future BLM forums. She displayed another striking piece capturing the themes of the BLM protest movement. A brown fist burst forth into a smoldering dark sky, as if emerging from fire. Flanking it are the signs of protest with reminders of past incidents. Their messages include: “I CAN’T BREATHE.” “I AM A MAN.” “NO JUSTICE NO PEACE.” The teens said that, with Norwood’s approval, they would like to create a mural on a local building that would promote unity. “It’s 2020, and these things are still happening,” McCloud said. “It’s time to change. This is our way to express ourselves.” (continued)

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Norwood teens use art to spread BLM message by Mary Ellen Gambon (continued)

Mary Ellen Gambon is a native Bostonian. Born in Hyde Park, she attended the Boston Public Schools and graduated near the top of her class at the prestigious Boston Latin School in 1990. Upon graduation, she simultaneously earned two bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science. During her course of study, she interned twice at States News Service in Washington, D.C., a wire agency, covering Congress under the first Bush and Clinton administrations. After BU, Mary Ellen journeyed to Phoenix, AZ, where she as one of 10 college graduates in journalism nationwide selected for the Pulliam Fellowship. She covered entertainment for The Phoenix Gazette. She began her professional journalism career at The Hyde Park Gazette, where she covered local news, politics and education. Later, she worked at The Dedham Times, The Parkway/West Roxbury Transcript and The Daily Transcript. Before returning to journalism, Mary Ellen worked in state and city government as a legislative aide and press secretary for a state senator and as a research assistant, respectively. She also worked for Ethos, a social service agency, and earned a master’s degree in public administration from UMass Boston. Mary Ellen has worked for the Bulletin Newspapers chain as a freelance reporter for three years, mainly covering Hyde Park, Roslindale, Norwood and West Roxbury, where she resides. She also freelances for Gannett, Inc. in the towns of Stoughton, Randolph, Canton, Holbrook, Dedham, Westwood, Walpole and Sharon. She recently began freelancing for The Boston Guardian. An active community volunteer, Mary Ellen was a co-founder of Hyde Park Main Streets. She served on the Promotions/Marketing Committee of Roslindale Village Main Street for 14 years and was on the Board of Directors for four years. Other community organizations include the Hyde Park Healthy Boston Coalition, the Healthy Roslindale Coalition, the Greater Roslindale Medical and Dental Center Board of Directors, and the Friends of the Hyde Park and Roslindale Libraries. A passionate advocate for people with disabilities, Mary Ellen has been involved with the Epilepsy Foundation New England four more than eight years as a volunteer and legislative advocate. She provided guidance on a national marketing campaign. Mary Ellen loves art and music and has found an outlet for her creative writing abilities with “It’s All About Arts.” She always is seeking new writing opportunities. For more information, please contact her at megambon2164@gmail.com. It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


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photo: Ruby Bird

BILL MASON - A Mind of Sound

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by Curt Naihersey

Recording music is such an intimidating process for a lot of people; even people who have been doing it for a long time. Some psyches need to be coaxed. When the studio vibe is on, can we expect electricity? If distracted or inhibited, will artists freeze up when the “red button” gets punched. With many bands, there is no producer to assuage the situation. The hand at the end of the control is usually the studio engineer and it certainly helps to have someone great who can push buttons and interact in a positive manner. Then personal creativity is only a click away!

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I met Bill Mason almost thirty years ago, when I had my boho/folk beat-group, The EXI’s, and we were looking for a local studio to record our second album. But, some intentions can cost big money. We needed it nearby, quick and economical,

and above all, a great sounding room so we could play live (like the big-time places). What we got was Bill’s Second Story Studio - in a second floor apartment one street away in Jamaica Plain, filled with wondrous home equipment and an enthusiastic human. That was the start of our beautiful friendship, which now continues in his enlarged studio in Roslindale.

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Moving on in time, Bill still mans the chair with a variety of clients of all musical styles. The equipment has grown from analog indeck reels through DATs and HI-8 into the computer-based digital age and never once relinquished on sound quality. I am biased because I have taken advantage of all those improvements through the years, as we continued working together.

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The best feature of any engineer when dealing with self-conscious artists is their ability to offer clarity with an intelligent, tempered, listening ability. Or an instinctive

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low-key nature without friction or intrusion. I think of Bill as a musical mechanic who has kept my creative engines running in top form.

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Unfortunately, in these pandemic moments, live music is at a standstill, recording sessions have been postponed or cancelled, most rehearsals are impossible, and many many virtual concerts are popping up on the internet. The economics of the music biz just tilted towards irrelevance. Performers now sit in their home studios and share files with their mates, but isn’t the joy all about vis-à-vis with other creative-minded people and collaborating through music? Everyone is trying to predict the future.

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Before we talk studio-techie-shop, this social distancing has brought a new environment. Stuck in this dilemma with both his studio and Bird Mancini [his band with lovely wife Ruby Bird], Bill Mason [aka = Billy Carl Mancini] has a few thoughts to ponder. Let’s talk:

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1. What do you do now and how can you offer service to your clients? Are they still eager to be remotely creative? If by now you mean, in the age of Covid19, then what I am able to do for clients is mix tracks that they have finished here or from other studios. There were a few clients who had finished, or mostly finished projects that I am able to finish for them on my own. Of course we talk about what they want to accomplish by phone, emails or face to face chat sessions. Some clients are sending me tracks that they have recorded at home so I can mix here. I can also master finished projects for people who are at that stage of recording. Finally, since I'm also a musician I can add guitar, bass or vocals to clients songs. My wife Ruby Bird,

also a musician, can also provide keyboards, accordion, harmonica and vocals if that is required. Beyond recording music I sometimes convert old cassette tapes, DAT tapes, mini disc, etc. to files or CDs for people. >> People are being more creative than ever right now because they have the time. I may be able to help them bring that creativity to a finished song or album. 2. How do you describe the vibe of your studio? Do you enjoy being an engineer or do you envision moving into a producer’s role? Relaxed and low pressure. I try to make my clients feel comfortable and not inhibit the creative process. >> Really I never started out wanting to be an engineer or producer. As I was finding ways to record my own music, it became obvious that I could also do that for others. Most clients ask for my opinions on what they are doing. So in a way I am helping to produce. But I try not to get in the way. Engineering is a task that always involves some production. I try not to be just a button pusher. However, if a client doesn't want my opinions then I keep them to myself. But most do want my participation.

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3. Do you have any particular gear that you always go to or does its usage relate to each project? I usually run vocals lightly through an analog compressor but that's about the only thing I always do. Maybe bass too. But once the mixing starts every song seems to require different things. And with computer "plug ins”, the options are sort of endless.

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4. Upon reflection, apart from being a phenomenal musician, when/where/ how did you decide to become a studio

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owner? Did it start when you were very young and consistently keep building within you? Give us the lowdown. I've been fiddling with recording devices since I was a pre-teen. Used to sneak out my fathers giant, old Wollensak tape deck to record songs I was writing. I wasn't supposed to touch it. So it was really about recording my own songs and bands I was playing with. As technology moved ahead I moved with it. Eventually I bought an 8track tape deck and outboard gear, mics to go with it. I took a crash course in the science of recording. In 1990 I found that I had enough gear to record other people and started doing that in my apartment. Very small operation then but people started calling me. I was able to leave my straight job! 5. What do you think is a critical element in making recordings? Is there a right or wrong way? Try to capture the energy and vibe of an artist. Early takes are often the best. I try to keep the mood light and cater to every whim of the client including getting glasses of water, plugging in their guitars, adjusting mics around them so as not to inhibit them. An artist in the studio shouldn't have to think about anything except his/her art. That's something that is impossible when I record my own band or material. I have to split my creative mind and technical mind. Sometimes they get in the way of each other. >> No. Whatever works is the right way. If it sounds good to the client then it is good.

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6. Your studio wall is festooned with your projects over the years, with a lot of returning clients. Is there an emotional pleasure at this point in time? I love seeing all the projects that I've done with different artists over the years. So yes,

they are displayed for all to see. I do have clients that return year after year for projects and many have become close friends who I see on a social level as well as sometimes a musical level.

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7. What are your plans for the future of Second Story Studio and Bird Mancini?? That's a question I don't quite have an answer for. With the Covid19 thing going on I'm sort of in limbo with the band and with the studio. The Bird Mancini Band and the duo have pretty much lost all gigs for the time being. We do have a show booked in September at The Blue Ocean Music Hall opening for The Stompers. It was postponed from an earlier date. We'll see how that goes. I have been able to start writing songs again with a bit more time. When the studio is super busy I kind of lose the drive to spend more time writing and recording my own stuff. But now, I'm back to it. So maybe a new release one of these days. >> I am still working on clients material remotely but for the time being I can't bring people into the confined space of the studio. I'll just have to wait for the end of the pandemic. When that happens it will be business as usual again.

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8. Extra info? The studio has relied on referral clients for years. I don't advertise. I don't have a studio website. If a band has five members, it's likely they all have their own projects or musician friends who are looking for a studio. So that's how I get new clients: word of mouth.

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Bill & his studio can be reached at: info@birdmancini.com The Bird Mancini Band and duo website is: <www.birdmancini.com>

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…some Second Story client comments:

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Bill cares deeply about music and the people who make it. He is enormously talented as a musician, but those of us lucky enough to record with him know his talents as a musical guide and guru match his musical prowess. With Bill at the board the recording process is easy, inviting, and inventive. He is so encouraging of other players, appreciating their technique, coaching great tones from all who plug in at Second Story, no matter what colors they use to paint. It is a transformational joy to step away from the grind of your day job and spend some hours recording songs with Bill. He makes you feel like an artist, he values your ideas, shares in your jokes, and still tells you the truth. ! ! ! ! - the grateful guys from Electric Standard (Drew, Mark, and Seth)!

I had the pleasure of working with Bill Mason on multiple projects. They required different sounds for my drums. Bill knew and created great drum sounds quickly and easily. The man has great ears. He's a joy to work with, always had great suggestions without ego pressure. I'm lucky to consider Bill a friend. ! ! ! ! - Jim Clements (drummer/teacher)

Over the past 15 or so years I’ve recorded five albums at his studio plus numerous tracks, over 100 songs at least. So we’ve spent a lot of time working together. Bill’s musicality helps me find what I’m looking for when creating the full body of a song from a single idea. He helps me find the heart of the matter and keeps me from getting sidetracked, which is a huge timesaver. His encyclopedic musical reference is vast which comes in handy when trying to get a certain sound. He not only knows what I mean, he knows how to get it. His studio is my home away from home. I hope to get back in there soon. ! ! ! - Steve Gilligan (songwriter/bassist)

Working with Bill is a breeze. We grew up listening to the same AM radio. We love all of the same music. This makes for a completely free and easy dialogue. For instance, if say “I bet you’re a great swimmer.” He’ll say “There you go, hiding behind a smokescreen of bourgeois clichés” and it will go on like that until I’ve used up all my money and time at Second Story Studio. I love that supremely talented man and look forward to making more records with him at the helm.! ! ! ! ! ! - Sal Baglio (songwriter/guitarist)

Working with Bill is always a pleasure. I greatly appreciate his kind and even demeanor in encouraging the best performances from musicians both in studio and live performances as well. ! ! ! ! ! - Clara Kebabian [violinist/guitarist]

Since I do most of my recording at home, I don’t need to go to Bill that often, except when it involves acoustic drum kits or three or more musicians at the same time. Every time I’ve gone, though, I come back with absolutely stellar drum tracks, and I’m very hard to please. Bill also has some kind of “special sauce” for recording electric bass guitars - it really ticks me off! Whenever I do bass at home, it sounds good and I need to work on it to make it fit in the mix. When I get a bass guitar track from Bill’s, it’s already perfect. Arrgggg!! ! !! ! - Tim Casey [Doctor X] (producer/Lowbudget Records head honcho)

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THE PUZZLE FACTORY

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by Terry Kitchen

Spring was late that year. That’s mostly what she remembered. It was supposed to be daffodils and dogwood blossoms, but it never got warm enough, and the slush from the last snowstorm hung around for weeks, backing up the storm drains and making huge puddles at intersections. The cars would plow right through, soaking pedestrians. She was riding her bike as usual, partly for exercise, partly because she agreed with Greenpeace that cars were evil and destined to be temporary, but mostly because it would have taken forever to get there otherwise ‒ two bus rides and a twenty-minute walk. No Red Line to Somerville in those days. And then do it all again coming home. Even when you got there, you had to get in the building. That was the first puzzle. You had to know which door, which stairs, which hall. Now it was mostly artists,

who wanted to be found, at least on Open Studios days, so there was lighting, dependable plumbing, fire alarms. Back then it was industrial, craftspeople, metal shops, piles of scrap everywhere. There was a toilet but never any paper, and half the inhabitants peed in the alley behind the building. She was close to finishing something, she remembered that. She wanted to get it done. Probably a puzzle. They were catching on, order after order. People would pay, too. They weren’t toys, kiddie puzzles. They were more like totems, keepsakes. The wood an inch thick, sanded but not too smooth, so the grain shone through, pieces snug against each other inside the wooden frame. They’d tried different woods, cherry, walnut, even sandalwood, each with their own quality, and, she’d learned the hard way, each with their own personality, how much torque they could handle from the saw, how tight a curve she could pare without splitting the block. Her boss had made puzzles before she got there, but she’d made them her own, and she knew he was charging, and getting, more for hers. She’d asked for a raise, and he’d said she was more than welcome to go back and teach Arts & Crafts to the budding bohos at the Museum School. So she’d stayed, cranking out puzzles and chess boards while her boss was there, and then using the shop’s tools for her own freestyle sculptures the second he walked out the door. She’d shown a few in the Museum School’s annual alumni show, and even sold a couple. That was then. She remembered the puddle, swerving to catch its edge and avoid the drain, where her tire might get caught. Well, she remembered a puddle; she couldn’t be sure it was the puddle. She remembered contact, or at least she

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thought she did, being shoved forward way too fast, and up, up, as her bike disappeared beneath the fender. Then nothing. Not for a long time.

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She was told she actually got up, walked to the curb under her own power. Some pedestrian made her sit down, kept her company until an ambulance came. Her first real memory ‒ Emily Mach 2, as she called herself now ‒ was some two weeks later, in a hospital bed, propped up with pillows, listening to a bird sing outside the window, a narrow ray of sunshine across her ankles. She’d leaned forward to touch the sunlight, and it hurt, and she’d discovered she had a padded bandage wrapped around her ribs. She could also feel a bandage on her head. When she eventually looked in a mirror, she saw two black eyes and a Joan of Arc haircut on what had been a pretty glorious set of Anglo dreadlocks. It wasn’t a real hospital, more of a rehab house. They’d moved her days ago, she just couldn’t remember. She’d apparently been awake the whole time, insisting on a vegetarian diet and asking for Mother Jones instead of the Boston Herald. Her mother had come up from Baltimore, doing crosswords by her bedside and walking her up and down the hallway. She couldn’t recall a second of it. She’d been released a few days later, had gone back to her apartment, gotten re-introduced to her roommate, also a Museum School grad. Her artwork looked strange to her; she couldn’t tell which was hers and which was her roommates’. She never went back to woodshop.

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She eventually had to accept that she was a different person. Liking chocolate ice cream then, before the accident, had no bearing on whether she’d

like it now. She poured herself a cup of rooibos tea, looked around her current apartment at the wood carvings she had no memory of making, and no memory of how to make. Must have been a bitch to twist the wood like that, she thought. Did I plane it first? Steam it? Even the things she could remember, she couldn’t necessarily trust. The picnic where she got stung by the wasp. Her brother says it was him that got stung. All the other details are the same. She could still feel the stinger. Or could she? Not that it matters, but damn, who do you believe if you can’t trust your own brain? It was like that story where the butterfly got crushed. She sighed, checked the tea’s temperature. She’d done pretty well, she thought, all things considered. The Museum School had in fact taken her back. She taught drawing, which she seemed to be better at now, especially human figures. She didn’t remember ever taking anatomy, but she knew what stuff was called. She liked the students, had even gotten to lead some field trips to Barcelona, Mexico City, Havana. She’d learned to live with the mood swings, which didn’t bother her nearly as much as the people around her. Sometimes she thought about Emily Mach 1, that confident young woman who hadn’t had a hole drilled in her head, hadn’t had random memories and talents drain out with the excess fluid. Would EM1 have a steady lover, a husband, a darling daughter, a house on the Cape with a workshop where she made puzzles and chess sets all day and then sold them to tourists? Or would she have decided she was a lesbian, thrown off the yoke of oppression, moved to the Village, been the youngest woman to have a show at the Whitney?

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EM2 sat in her chair, sipping her tea. She took another look around the apartment ‒ aside from the sculptures there was a pastel nude of a pregnant woman she’d saved, and a sunset, from outside this very window. So it hung here instead of at the Whitney. She still liked it, the fading orange backlighting the bare trees of the fens. Best of all, she could remember drawing it. She looked out at her neighborhood. Greening up ‒ spring was on time this year, early even. Too early, the radio said. Confuses the buds and the bees. Fine with her, she thought, as a bicyclist whizzed by. Time to go ‒ she was judging the student show at school. Had she been that pretentious at twenty? They all thought they were geniuses, making multi-media collages when a simple sketch would do. Ah well, one way or another they’d learn. She grabbed her jacket, double-locked the door behind her, and stepped out into the warm evening air.

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[Terry Kitchen is an award-winning Boston contemporary folk singer/songwriter whose music blurs the line between the personal and the political, just like real life does. In addition to his music and songwriting, Terry is also an occasional author. COPING MECHANISMS, his recent first collection of short stories, is now available as an ebook from Amazon. His debut novel, NEXT BIG THING (2013), which received 4 stars from the San Francisco Book Review, is available as a paperback, ebook, and audiobook.]

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Contact: terrykit@aol.com

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It’s All About Arts Magazine

July 2020


THE LOCAL MUSIC CORNER - by Perry Persoff As life starts oh so slowly to open up, I’d like to offer thanks to those musicians who have decided to do a show or two outside on their (or a friend’s) porch. Perhaps you have also been to one of these, as I have in Medford and Roslindale. I guess a few emails go out to people who might be interested, rather than a full-ad campaign. No doubt the theory is that this would keep the crowd numbers reasonable, with the attendees wearing masks and keeping their distance from one another. Obviously we can’t have a full-on Porchfest just yet. The first time I heard live music down the street as I got out of the car, I felt like I was drinking the sounds in after being parched in the desert. It was so goooood to hear live music. You’d wave to actual people, with muffled greetings through your facemasks. Your friend would return your greeting with “what, I couldn’t understand you.” But you wouldn’t care. So, a thank you to those musicians. But also a plea to all who attend this opportunity to please be responsible and keep space between you. And yes of course, wear a mask. Let’s appreciate the progress we’ve made in these COVID days. But let’s also do what we can to not regress. ******************* It’s nice when your previous associations bare fruit into the future, like where the ripples go beyond the point the stone you throw falls into the pond. Boston area drummer/producer Marco Giovino seems to be living an example. You may remember that in 2009, Marco was the drummer for Robert Plant and his Band of

Joy project. Also in that band were Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, and Buddy Miller. Let’s cue the time machine sound effects and fast forward to the present time. Or close to the present time. Let’s actually start with one year ago, as we look at some of Marco’s projects. Marco drummed on the title track of 2019’s Buddy & Julie Miller album Breakdown on 20th Avenue South. Darrell Scott used Marco as the drummer for his Sings The Blues of Hank Williams album, released at the end of last April. And there’s that Robert Plant fellow. According to Marco, there is an upcoming Robert Plant project down the road - no release date as of yet - two tracks on which Marco played drums. He also did some cosongwriting work. You may remember that in April of 2019, Marco was involved in bringing Rodney Crowell, Brandy Clarke, Cody & Luther Dickinson (of the North Mississippi Allstars), and Chuck McDermott to the Folk Americana Roots Music Series at the Schubert Theatre. Luther Dickinson is currently working on a film soundtrack project, with Marco playing drums. Marco is producing the new Chuck McDermott album due in September. Among the guest performers…Luther Dickinson (as well as the McRary Sisters and Allison Russell of both Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters). The North Mississippi Allstars are also helping out on the forthcoming Giovino-produced album by Joe Lilly & The Mystix, expected out in August or September. Marco had a few album releases from February to May, including the new Vance Gilbert (as drummer) and The Danberrys (as producer/drummer) to go with Darrell Scott’s that I’d mentioned earlier. Look for

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an album by producer Crit Harmon to arrive July 1st…with Marco Giovino on drums for the project. Sam Margolis of the band Comanchero is a also a producer in his own right. He did some engineering and editing work for Marco on the Darrell Scott, Mystix, Chuck McDermott, and Danberrys albums. He and Marco are also part of an upcoming solo album by…are you ready…Kip Winger (yes, of the ‘80’s metal band Winger). So perhaps multiple examples of benefitting from “what goes around comes around.”

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How many times have you yelled out a request at a concert, only to have the performer say, “ahhh, no I don’t think so, sorry”? Me neither. But we’ve all heard or seen others do it, either in person or on occasional live recordings. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an album of those requests? Greg Klyma has stepped up to the plate for you. His new release is By Request Vol 1. It is mostly a new album of old favorites, with a couple of new songs dropped in to boot. How were the songs chosen? From requests sent in for Greg’s live stream shows. Look for new versions of songs like "Bean Bag Chair," "Two Degrees in Buffalo," "Novocain" and others. ******************* On the one hand, the pandemic makes things very rough for artists trying to release new music. On the other hand… there are loads of new releases anyway.

Not too long after the latest solo release by Winter Pills lead singer Phillip B. Price, The Winter Pills have a new album. This is the duo version of the Northampton band, being Phillip and Flora Reed. ******************* Twisted Pine are about to unleash a new album, set for proper release on August 14th. Called Right Now, it is available for pre-order RIGHT NOW (I couldn’t resist…). The band has been on a steady course of blurring the lines from Bluegrass and Folk to jazz and pop related sounds. Bassist Chris Sartori gives it the following theoretical description: “neo-folk indie soul avant jazz jam grass-icana.” I like it - even though I must also agree that, as Chris says, this description does not exactly fall trippingly off the tongue. Twisted Pine carry on without a drummer. And they are carrying on in the post-Rachel Sumner era (Rachel left about a year ago to start a solo career) with a flute player. The band welcomes their newest member, flutist Anh Phung. ******************* Congratulations to Russell Chudnofsky. The versatile string-bending guitarist - a veteran member of Tim Gearan’s band and formerly with Amelia White’s band back before she left New Hampshire for Nashville many years ago - has just released a 2-song solo instrumental project under the band name Big Sky Sounds. “Melancholy Dawn” and “Celestial” are both terrific tracks for a drive on a warm summer starry night, or for lying down with the headphones on while your imagination drives. Whatever you pay (you name the price) benefits St. Francis House in Boston, which provides basic, rehabilitative, and

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housing services to five hundred men and women every day. For more details go to RussellChud.com or https:// bigskysounds.bandcamp.com/album/ celestial.

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******************* In the last few weeks, we’ve all gotten to learn more - or just learn at all - about “Juneteenth.” Kudo’s to Bandcamp. In light of the history of Juneteenth and of recent events, on June 19th the streaming/music hosting website donated all of its shares of sales for that full day to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Bandcamp has also been trying to help artists recover from not being able to tour (due to COVID concerns). So for the first Friday of the months of May, June, and July, Bandcamp is forgoing its usual share of online music sales. All proceeds from their #Bandcamp Friday sales go straight to the artists. The last #Bandcamp Friday is July 3 from midnight to midnight Pacific Time - that’s 3am to 3am in Eastern Time. ******************* Thanks for your interest in the local music scene and the performers. There’s always more going on than what comes across my eyes and ears. So whatever community you live in, check into what may be going on there in music. And remember to check on your favorite artists’ and venues’ websites to see some live-streaming shows. Until next time, be safe/sane/smart/kind and wherever possible, humorous. See you next time!

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photo: Ms. Donna

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T

ess’s July To-Do List

The RVMS Grab-and-Go Farmers Market Farmers markets remain essential in Massachusetts to provide access to healthy produce & food items while maximizing social distancing in an “open air” setting. This year, the RVMS Farmers Market continues to operate weekly on Saturdays from 9:00am-1:30pm with a new format and safety guidelines in place. The market will continue to open each week through the end of our season in November, provided we can operate safely and in the best interest of public health, following the City of Boston’s Farmers Market Guide and regulations set by the Boston Public Health Commission. As an essential food access point, the market will continue offering SNAP/HIP for qualified shoppers. In addition to required guidelines for shoppers, we encourage you to order ahead of time from vendors each week using our Vendor Info & Pre-order Document found here: https://roslindale. net/pre-order-for-the-farmers-market/ If you’re unable to leave home to visit the market in person, Good Neighbors is a free, volunteer-based service that connects you with a healthy neighbor who can deliver groceries straight to your doorstep. To submit a request for a volunteer to pick up from the market, simply complete a form on their website, www.nesterlygoodneighbors.com or give them a call at (877) 958-8785. You can learn more about this year’s reformatted farmers market & read FAQs by visiting our website: https://roslindale.net/ rvms-farmers-market/

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Tess’s July To-Do List (continued) Supporting Small Businesses as they start to re-open Some of our local small businesses in Roslindale, around Boston, and throughout the State have started to re-open in different capacities. Restaurants are offering outdoor dining options, salons are open for services with guidelines in place, retailers and other businesses are open with limited customers allowed at a time and other safety restrictions.. it feels great to be phasing towards a “new normal!” It’s so important that we still be mindful and cautious to follow City & State advisories and recommendations by practicing social distancing and wearing our face coverings outside & in any public spaces. To be prepared to support our local businesses safely, check in with a business online or by phone before you visit to learn about the safety precautions they’re taking and their requirements of shoppers.

(image from City of Boston)

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Tess’s July To-Do List (continued) RVMS Design Committee’s Poplar Street Revitalizatoin Project Update Roslindale Village Main Street’s Design Committee raised more than $25,000 from community donations last year. Through a Patronicity fundraising campaign, these funds were matched by a grant from MassDevelopment and then Boston Main Streets Foundation donated an additional $5,000 to the project -- making the total budget of the Poplar Street Revitalization Project $55,000. Over the past year, our Design Committee volunteers have been hard at work coordinating and installing brand new trash/ recycling cans, tree guards, new soil, planters, and recently hired local muralist Laura Dedonato Wiatt to create a sidewalk mural in three sections on the street! Additions yet to come include some improved accent lighting & bistro seating! Installations of the bistro seating will likely be somewhat delayed so as not to interfere with safety precautions around COVID-19 and needs of re-opening businesses. We love watching the street transform and RVMS is so lucky to have dedicated volunteers & such a supportive community!

It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


“Tess’s July To-Do List (continued) Tess McColgan comes from a big family full of artists and has always enjoyed embracing local talent.She’s lived in many places throughout New England including York, ME and Dover, NH, and moved to Boston at age 14. In 2015 she moved to Roslindale where she found a sense of community that resonated with her. She started as the Program Manager for Roslindale Village Main Street in April 2018 and loves being a part of the volunteer-driven organization that works so hard to support local businesses and to make Roslindale Village a destination where everyone wants to eat, shop, play and collaborate. Tess’s background includes customer service, clinical research, volunteer management & recruitment and Human Resources. In her free time, she doodles and plays with acrylic paints on canvases, writes in her journal, attends yoga classes, and gets out in nature as often as possible. Tess is the co-host for It’s All About Arts TV Show. Photo: Bruce Spero Photography at brucespero.smugmug.com

Underwater Enchanted Garden by Janice Williams

9 x 12 watercolor on paper and mixed media collage Follow my art journey on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/janice_art_studio_99 It’s All About Arts Magazine July 2020


ALL ABOUT A NAME by Stephen Levin “I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.”
 - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

! I’d say that my name, Stephen James Levin, is not unusual. Actually I’d say it's an ordinary name. It’s not spelled or pronounced in any peculiar way, there are no accents, no umlauts, nothing that is extraordinary. And yet, from that tiny, simple acorn of a name, for disparate reasons, and on several occasions, a rather large elm of confusion, misunderstandings, and mayhem has grown - and who knows what lies ahead! To begin, my first-name trauma was in Kindergarten. Although sometimes I can’t remember where I’ve just placed my glasses while they’re on top of my head, I clearly remember this long-ago memory truly and accurately. I didn’t know it at the time, but later learned that I was the youngest child in that Kindergarten class, and a boy no less. I was a “Ber-baby” so called for the months following August, SeptemBER, OctoBER, NovemBER, and I was born in DecemBER, the beriest of the bers! In today’s world, “Ber-babies” are often held back from entering their first year of school. Perhaps that fact is relevant, you can judge. That year, suddenly entering the wider world, names became very important. I remember that I did not want to go to kindergarten at first because of my

teacher’s name. Her last name was Melly, and so when I was told my teacher’s name was Mrs. Melly, to my four and a half year old ears, it sounded like Mrs. Smelly and I simply did not want a smelly teacher and I was not going anywhere near there! However, Mrs. Melly was really very sweet, and her sweet smell, her sweet smiles and cashmere hugs were enough to convince me that everything would be okay. And all was OK, until the day a new boy arrived. Mrs. Melly brought him over to sit near me and said, “Here’s a new friend for you to meet, and his name is Stephen too.”
 I think I was supposed to be happy about that, but instead, I insisted “No!, I’m Stephen!” “Yes,” said Mrs. Melly - “and this boy’s name is Stephen also!” Mrs. Melly was excited about this new development, but I was not I didn’t make a fuss right then and there, and Mrs. Melly didn’t start to smell any worse, but I found this totally unacceptable. In my world thus far, there was only one Stephen, and that “Stephen” was ME! Additionally, this new person, this alleged Stephen, was wearing a patch over one eye, which I later learned was to remedy what was known as a “lazy eye.” I did not know about “lazy eyes” but I did know about pirates from watching Peter Pan, how they wore eye patches, and how they stole things. And now, I knew that this kid, on top of everything else, was a pirate! For me, it was simply not acceptable that anyone, pirate or not, should steal my name. Thus began my days as what people in education call, “a Runner.” First, I hid under the piano that the delightfully smelling Mrs.

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Melly had in her room - a baby grand, no less. Then, seeing that the open window was at ground level, and outside was a green lawn, I waited, refusing to come out from under the piano, saw my chance and took it, and I escaped and climbed out the window. “BYE Mrs. Smelly!
 And Bye Fake-Stephen, the Pirate!” What happened next is a blur. I’m probably blocking what took place. However, I do know that everyone, my teacher, the Assistant Principal and my parents were, to say the very least, “dismayed”. Nevertheless, I did go on to graduate from kindergarten. Yes, they had a full blown graduation ceremony with all of us kindergartners walking across the stage, and I still have that diploma! But that was just a start. Almost immediately, and it seems forever more, I am asked, ”Is that Stephen with a ‘ph’ or a ‘v’? Almost every day, I’m asked that eternal and infernal question. However, now I don’t wait and I automatically say, “That’s Stephen with a “ph.” Perhaps this question is understandable, but nonetheless, it is somewhat annoying and endless. Also, add to that, there’s some confusion about my last name as well. Instead of saying Levin, people always want to say Levine - which is Levin with an E at the end. Or La Vine, because for some unknown reason they think I’m French! So now, I always need to also say, “It’s Levin not Levine, nor LeVine - just Levin” - and then they often ask - “Can you spell that?!” Working in a school, I became known as Mr. Lev. As you may know, kids are great at giving nicknames. I was happy with that

one because it didn’t rhyme with any swear or sound like any anatomical part, and it was easy to say. But then, another “Name bandit” arrived, a Mr. Levasseur, and of course, because his name was longer and harder to pronounce the kids called him Mr. Lev also. He became known as “ Mr. Lev the gym teacher” as opposed to me, just plain old Mr. Lev. No, I didn’t climb out a window and run away this time, but as fortune would have it, karma came around. One day, while on recess duty following lunch, I decided to take the kids outside for a quick walk around, just to get some fresh air and to work off some extra energy. There was just a very fine mist, not even a sprinkle, and it was definitely not raining. The kids loved it! Their first grade faces were turned up to the heavens to be misted, their tongues stuck out trying to catch it, as we took a short quick walk outside to the nearest door, not even a hundred feet away. However, unbeknownst to me, later that day, a parent had called, complaining that, “Mr. Lev took the kids outside in the rain!” - and “What if they got all wet? And “What if they caught a cold?” And “What if their little sugar baby had melted?” - on and on. Two days later, my principal called me into his office and asked, “Did you take the kids out in the rain the other day?” Answering truthfully I said, “Yes, but it wasn’t raining.” I explained, “It was just slightly misting.” “That’s all I wanted to know,” he said, and I could see from his huge grin that he was just about to burst trying to hold back his laughter. Later on, that same day, Mr. Lev, the gym teacher came by to talk to me. I soon learned that the day before, our principal had called Mr. Lev the Gym Teacher into his office and gave him hell

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because parents had called and complained about how Mr. Lev took the kids out for recess in the rain !

accepted this as my designation. Now, on my art works, I sign both, Stephen J. Levin and T Z V E - pronounced TZVE.

All I can say to that is: “Touché, name pirates!”

Now, today, in the Golden Age of Google, I decided to google my own name, and have come to find out that there are MANY Stephen Levins. Some are also artists, some are businessmen, and thankfully none of them are on an FBI or a most wanted list. But once again, I find that I’m not unique. Though I’ve reached out to these other Stephen Levins, wanting to organize a Stephen Levin Convention, none have returned my messages.

During that time, as the school librarian, I was on the phone and email, with many vendors, book publishers, and also media and technology producers. On some occasions, because I'm neither the fastest nor the most accurate typist, I would occasionally, mistakenly, leave out the middle E of my signature, so instead of STEVE, it read S T V E. I was not aware of my error until one day, one of the vendors called asking for STVE - and then asking, “Now, how do you pronounce that?” As the saying goes, “dawn breaks slowly over Marblehead,” but finally it did dawn on me that I had omitted that very important middle E. Several calls came with the same question and I had to provide the same explanation “No, It’s not STVE, it’s STEVE, I made a typo” I didn’t add, “Like you couldn't figure that out?!!” Actually, STVE is fine with me because my Hebrew name is Yakov Tzve. I had always assumed that this was the Hebrew for Stephen James. That is until I mentioned this to a friend who lives in Israel and is fluent in Hebrew. She told me that it is NOT a translation of my first and middle names at all.

I suppose it’s as my favorite and harshest critics - my children - have told me, “It’s just too weird! They must think you’re nuts!” I’ve accepted this name confusion as an existential inevitability, and to that end, I’d like to say, you can call me whatever you’d like, Stephen, Steve, Stefan, Tzve, or even the dreadful Stevorino. As some people say, “You can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner!” However my favorite quote comes from W.C.Fields who said:

“It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.”

So what is it? Why is that my Hebrew name? I guess as they say, “God only knows!”. Since the names STVE and TZVE sound the same, and are so similar, I’ve also

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Lily Fay Grogan Somerville artist and animator

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Jason Getz

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veteran and Weymouth firefighter ______________________________________________________________________!

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! WHAT IS THE PLAGUE?

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What is the plague,

what is the plague?

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Is it the virion? Is it the germ?

Or is it callous disregard

For those different and infirm?

Is it the offspring of Narcissus

Who see their reflection in

The vain Gods of progress?

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What is the plague,

what is the plague?

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We were living, we are dying,

And the selfish keep denying

It's a plague we are defying.

We were dying, but we're surviving

The plague of righteous fascists

Who've been wickedly conniving.

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What is the plague,

What is the plague?

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We are living in a test

Of our resilience at its best.

So we hope, and strive, and pray

To make it through another day

Hunkering down, and turning away

From touch we crave every which way.

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What is the plague,

What is the plague?

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We cry at needless loss

When lives we love become the tossed

Bodies in cold cold containers

As the dross of sycophancy

bill for their ridiculous retainers

As we become the pawns in necromancy.

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What is the plague,

What is the plague?

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!

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The plague is human hubris,

Pride of place and pride of stature,

With souls that are infractured

By the synapses of greed and callous

Disrespect for the being that is earth

And the beings that have worth.

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Greed is the plague,

Greed is the plague.

! - Janna Maria FrĂśhlich ! ! ********************* ! ! A CLOSURE TO FORECLOSURE !

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Gather round me, children, and a story I will tell About a hospital's debt collection practices - Cape Cod got to know them well.

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The union represented everyone at Cape Cod Hospital. Everybody under the rank of god. From pharmacists to "tray girls" in the kitchen. Even included were the clerical workers, which in Those days toiled in the Business Office. One told me a story that made me nauseous:

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She believed that the hospital's outside collection agent ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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! Might be suing patients for medical debt payment. If you could not pay the bill, he would foreclose on your house. Really? I thought. Who could be such a louse? Take away your home because you got injured or sick? I decided to get to the bottom of her story quick.

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I went over to the Barnstable County Courthouse on Rt. 6A There in the records were 120 people being sued because they could not pay. The remedy demanded was foreclosure and sheriff's sale. At least they didn't want to put them in debtor's prison, send them to jail. I copied out the list and plotted the addresses on the map With so many defendants to visit, this would not be a snap.

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The conversations were difficult. First get in the door. Then get past the shame and fear, get them to open up more. A widow with children in Harwich whose husband died of cancer A fisherman in Eastham whose cheap health insurance was not the answer. All were looking at their furniture thrown out in the street. House up for auction, disgrace and defeat.

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We brought them together to make a plan We had to get the hospital to change their stand The hospital was having a big fundraiser featuring Bob Hope We went and leafleted and picketed but it was no soap. The hospital refused to alter their practice It would be easier to negotiate with a cactus. Finally, they agreed to a community meeting. 500 people turned out but the hospital was not retreating In spite of all the bad press, we could not get them to address The issue of people losing their homes because of medical debt More actions continued but their feet seemed to be set.

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Battered and bruised, yet the hospital still persisted Refusing to acknowledge that a problem existed Until something happened to change the landscape: The lawyer got a judgement against a family named Silva (a common Portuguese name on the Cape) The sheriff set up on the front lawn Out came Mr Silva: "What's going on?" "We're selling your house," the sheriff replied. "You have the wrong address. The Silvas you want live at the other end of the street on the opposite side."

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Well, for the hospital that was the last straw, Embarrassed, they fired the lawyer and stopped the foreclosures, no matter the law. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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! So here is the lesson: If you want to play the villain, make like Simon Legree At least take the time to chose your victims more wisely Before you decide which orphans and widows to impress with your might Make sure you get their address right.

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"As through this world I've rambled I've seen lots of funny men Some will rob you with six gun, some with a fountain pen As through this world you ramble, through this world you roam You won't ever see an outlaw drive a family from their home" “Pretty Boy Floyd” by Woody Guthrie

Postscript: The union was SEIU Local 767. The hospital's aggressive collections policy was only one of several issues we had with the hospital. Together with community allies we were pushing to require all doctors on staff to accept Medicaid assignment, initiate special programs in womens' health and others I have forgotten. There was no need at all, as we repeatedly pointed out, to go after peoples' homes; Massachusetts had a free care pool (funded by a small surtax of all health insurance policies) that was meant to reimburse providers for bad debt. In time the hospital and the union learned to cooperate. Cape Cod Hospital later negotiated one of the best career ladders (staff development) programs anywhere. This poem is dedicated to the memory of my father. He was a New Dealer, a child of the last great depression. He was in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), hacking out paths on a stretch of the Appalachian Trail. He organized his fellow movie theater ushers into a citywide union. After Pearl Harbor the federal government nationalized the medical schools and the Army paid for his education. An Irish Catholic, he was a fervent supporter of John F. Kennedy and was devastated when he was assassinated. In the 1964 election he took Barry Goldwater's campaign slogan "In your heart, you know he's right" and turned it into "In your guts you know he's nuts." He was strongly in favor of Medicare and Medicaid even when most other doctors were yammering about "socialized medicine." When the workers at his Catholic hospital wanted to organize with 1199, he supported and encouraged them even though he was on the board. He hated Nixon; I think I know what he would say about Trump. In spite of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion (in most states), it is still a jungle out there. Almost half of all bankruptcies are due to medical debt. Again using court records, the Pulitizer Prizewinning investigate website Pro Publica, found a hospital in St Joseph, MO two years ago using the courts to garnish the wages of former patients who could not pay their bills (some of them single parents and minimum wages earners). Today 30 million workers filing for unemployment means 30 million families without health insurance under our largely employer-based system. Who can guess what chaos lies ahead? Clearly something is going to have to radically change.

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- Michael Gallagher

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Magdalene & Mary From the red of Magdalene To the blue of Mary, What lies in between The sound and the fury— To clean up this mess Then leave in a hurry, And know this day and time Are no longer for you. After the body is buried What will you do? Your grandmother’s world Brings the tears of your mother; Oh woman, Oh girl— Where is your brother?

Afterland by Edward Morneau Part Seven: Xenology

—Robert Doubt

From Part Six: Deliverance is an abstraction; the Deliverer is real, but without a name. It is ourselves elsewhere. We ourselves elsewhere is the Afterland. You will never understand this, or what you think you can understand, until you meet us halfway. Zorwell felt he was under a spell, but muttered, “Who are you?”

The Professor turned his back on Zorwell and, again, proceeded to leave. When the juggling orbs did not follow him, Bailey turned quickly and saw that the orbs were circling above the App Master’s head. Ahhh…he is the one. The orbs know, he thought. “Who are you?” Zorwell said, this time with brave insistence. Bailey moved closer and the orbs returned to their former pyramidal pattern, perpetually in motion between the two Higures. “You would not believe me if I told you.” “Try me. I did create a way to Purgatory— Afterland, as I prefer to call it—so, I’m open to suspending my disbelief. I accept that life is cinema.” Bailey smiled and motioned, and the orbs fell and disappeared through the chapel Hloor. Zorwell said nothing and waited, imagining that magic is just an extension of cinema.

“Do you know the expression, ‘I saw it with my own eyes’?”

“Of course. It’s a cliche.” “Yes, it is. And behind every cliche is an empirical truth.”

“That’s the essence of a cliche.”

“What if I told you that most of what you see is through another’s eyes? Would you believe me?” Zorwell was keen to answer, but Bailey raised a Hinger. “And if you did believe me, how could you verify this? You verify what you see through your own memories. The logic would have it that if you It's All About Arts Magazine July 2020


saw through another’s eyes, you couldn’t verify it because you do not have another’s memories.” Bailey now waited on Zorwell. Zorwell hated the idea of the one-way interrogation, especially one invoking elementary science. “You answered your own question, which is tiresome. Images are shadows and light, which enter the eye through a clear gel-like substance that Hills the back of the eye.. The cornea focuses the images the retina receives and transforms this image into the electro bio-mechanics of the optic nerve to the brain. Unique memory of what is sensed begins there. A singular unique memory, not a shared one. I’ll ask one last time: Who are you?”

“Humor me. Let’s continue. “

“Please, but let me know when you are Hinished.”

“It is rude to be bored by abstractions, my young friend. But I will be patient. We’ve waited this long. Time is never bored.” The Professor turned and kneeled at the small altar in front of Michelangelo’s Hirst draft fresco of Saint Peter’s Cruci3ixion. “Does it ever occur to you that the reason you do not have another’s memories is simply because you forget them? Probably not, especially since you forget so many of your own memories. Why is that? That’s the nature of Purgatory itself: It’s the repository for collective amnesia. Is it where one goes to retrieve the memories of another? Could it be that what you forgot were not your experiences in the Hirst place, but someone else’s, and are, therefore unworthy of your remembrance? And if you think they are worthy, and you account for them, are you then lying to yourself by claiming that these experiences are your own?” Zorwell was well aware of the false Hiction of exaggerated narratives regarding personal experiences. The essential need to validate our own lives by creating little ancillary Hictions leaves little room for the absolute truths of the uneventful realties that comprise most lives. But he refused to engage with Bailey, as these were the kinds of suppositions that his pickle farming parents would pursue during a Sunday dinner. No wonder he retreated so often to his bedroom in pursuit of ones and zeroes. “Afterland is the place to go to resolve lies, or better, to remember what another has seen and experienced for you and what you have seen and experienced for another.” Zorwell saw this coming, thinking the Professor could draw him in by alluding to his invention. He decided to take the bait, to summon the greater cliche. “How very interesting. Let me ask you: The magical orbs you just juggled until they fell through the Hloor—is that my memory of what you saw, or your memory of that I saw?”

“What orbs? What magic?”

Zorwell smirked. “Are we about Hinished here? I have things to do and memories to recall.”

“Don’t we all. Let me ask you: What is your Hirst actual memory?”

“Ahhh… I was three—getting spanked for throwing a sour pickle at my dad’s head.”

“Cute.” The professor was not amused. He knew the bigger truth is so often the quieter one, so he whispered: “It is your experience of what your mother heard when you were in her womb.” It's All About Arts Magazine July 2020


“Oh, please. Don't give me that Mozart Effect—the idea that we experience vicariously through another. There’s a limit to empathy.” “What makes you think this stops after your are born? You have such a low regard for the mind’s conscious reach. The developing mind of a fetus can attach itself to what its mother hears. The unborn sorts out sound in its own way. What makes you think that this new mind does not see, does not visualize in some way in the same way? When the unborn snaps into consciousness, why is the earliest of that awareness not as signiHicant as all others? Is it because it has no language to validate another’s experience?” Zorwell did not think this all that profound and was easily explained with science. While he argued for pre-natal empathy, that the connection between the unborn, the mother’s womb, and the sensations delivered through this womb accounted for the deepest of memories, they are sleeping, subconscious memories that are rarely recalled once a child is independent of its mother. “Consciousness begins with contact, Professor; from the opening of eyes, to the sensation of touch, to a slow concordance with the outside world.”

“You are sure of this?” asked Bailey.

“As much as I can be sure. Almost everything in this world begins and ends with guesswork, creating no end to no end.” “This surprises me. You are a xenologist, then. You are most human in that you are ruled by assumptions.” “I’m assuming that’s a criticism?” For a lark, Zorwell pulled out his cell phone and snapped a photograph of Professor Bailey, who didn’t react in the least. “Assumptions are the root of separation anxiety. If we are born from the earliest stardust of the universe, we share in that stardust in all ways, unique and collective.” Zorwell laughed. “So I’m a man, but I’m also a turtle; I’m a turtle, but I’m also a fern; I’m a fern…” “Stop! Yes. All that and more. Of the sublime, of the fantastical. What’s the most amazing thing you wish for?”

“Meaning, I guess.”

“There’s that guesswork. Would you have more meaning if you were less alone in your search for meaning?”

“You are assuming that I’m alone.”

Bailey gestured for Zorwell to hand him his cell phone and let him see the photo he just took. He looked at it and smiled: “Is this the photo of me you just took?” He turned the screen towards the App Master. It was a photo not of the Professor as intended, but of Zorwell. Zorwell grabbed the phone to see if this were another parlor trick. There was no photo of Bailey in his photo library, but there he was, as he was, not just a few minutes prior. “Everything you remember is not yours, my friend. And yes, you are not alone. You have armies of souls surrounding you because of your invention.” Bailey stood—his stance most serious. “We were all alone, with our experiences, with our memories, until Afterland.” It's All About Arts Magazine July 2020


Zorwell remained seated, momentarily bafHled.

Bailey waved away his urge to respond. “In Afterland, you made contact, like a child out of its mother’s womb; you made connections, reassembling the stardust of here, now, and in between; you hear the regret of the past and see the deliverance of the future. You are the what the Voyager promised; you found a way to encounter its return.”

Zorwell sat up. “Voyager? What? Are you being obtuse again?”

“I must leave. Go see Mollie in your… Afterland. She will explain. We’ll talk again.” ________________________________________________ The Vatican veriHied the Kennedy Assassins as CIA contract agents—Frank Fiorini Sturgis, Lucien Sarti, and Helmet Streikher—lifelong mercenaries, professional soldiers, deep background intel operatives, and willing assassins. Conspiracists and legitimate commissions had long included these three men—among others—who had travelled through the 20th Century of World War II and the subsequent American-Soviet Cold War, resulting in various dark deeds and murderous connivances.

Based on Zorwell’s recordings of the Texas Book Depository Room’s past where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot Kennedy, it was also the names he provided on the receipt for his services as Afterland’s sole employee that tied together and conHirmed long denied allegations. Seeing the assassins in Afterland broke the case: It was Sturgis who set up the alleged assassin site at the book depository; it was Sarti who watched over Oswald; it was Streikher who shot Kennedy from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza. Both Sturgis and Sarti were arrested with others as the hobo boxcar bums hanging around the plaza parking lot soon after Kennedy was felled; they were also involved with Streikher in the botched Bay of Pigs plot against Castro and the Watergate Burglary, which was essentially a search for a document that implicated others in the famous assassination. Knowing that the US would deny all of this as mere circumspect, there was no point in pursuing this further. So to speak, they had other Hish to fry. “Why are you telling me this?” Zorwell was distracted, as he also had other 3ish to fry. He needed to prepare for a longer visit with Mollie in Afterland, and had no time for Bob’s unannounced visit and this tiresome pursuit of Kennedy’s true assassin. “We need to move on, counselor.” Bob was relentless and went on to explain: The Entity was materializing at a faster rate since the demolition of The Mansion in Detroit that housed and protected it. The throngs of visitors making pilgrimages from around the globe were unmatched in numbers by any religious site on Earth. While The Entity assembling before the eyes of the faithful was still too vague to identify without Zorwell’s app, it was only a matter of time before it revealed itself to be the Vatican’s worst nightmare: The Deliverer was female—dying and resurrecting in a perpetual epiphany of manifest blood and dust. This infuriated Zorwell even more, but he would summon poetry instead of anger. “Ahhh…you know, Robert, the dawn of civilization regarding the men of humankind never really rose with the It's All About Arts Magazine July 2020


sun. Maybe this is our moment to let go—you know, you and me. To see the light. Men. Guys. Brothers. Fathers and sons.” Bob laughed. “No doubt. History has been saying that forever in ways too violent to consider. Tell me something new. Nothing changes. Let me spell it out: a world that does not persist with giving men a dominant meaning will perish. History is religion. Religion is men. The entire ediHice of religion revolves around the concentric position of men. But maybe you are right, maybe that conceit has Hinally exhausted itself.”

“I know you don’t believe that. Why are you here, really?”

What Bob would not reveal was the Vatican’s plans for Zorwell. As the App Master’s phone was the only technology that could see The Entity’s spectral completion, that was enough for the powers of Rome to deem it the most valuable and dangerous piece of technology in history. What if it were hacked, what if it were stolen? Where does the App Master keep it when it’s not on his person? If it were stolen and corrupted, could The Entity be compromised and destroyed before it accomplishes the full materialization? This would solve the Vatican’s problem and guarantee the persistence of a patriarchal-based religion. But in the wrong hands, just as the app revealed Kennedy’s killers, it could reveal every deceit, from the shepherd to the king, every villain behind every crime and catastrophe in history. But even raising these questions to himself seemed futile, as Zorwell seemed elsewhere. And the App Master was elsewhere. He had to invent something to maneuver the conversation to this elsewhere. “I’m a little busy here with soul theft. There are more missing souls than I ever anticipated. This is bad for business.” He had Bob’s full attention. “My last several clients could not make a connection in Afterland, and threatened to sue if I did not provide them a refund.”

“What about our no refund policy? It’s a chance they take.”

“Give me a big, burly Switzer to enforce it. Otherwise, I’m not your guy.”

“I’ll look into it. Anything to protect our investment.” Bob had no intention to look into it, as the investment was minimal—housing, food, and time—that was it. For all his genius, Zorwell was a cheap trick. “I didn’t want to bring this up—and I know you are a heathen—but this business of soul theft… You know, stealing souls is the devil’s work.” “No, it’s not. The devil does not steal. He asks and bargains for souls. It’s a terrible arrangement for such a prince to have to strike a bargain. What if he obtains a soul from someone who cares not for his own soul and thinks the devil has better use for it? Therein lies the problem—the problem of the defeated soul. How much is a defeated soul worth to anybody—especially the devil?”

To be continued…

t's All About Arts Magazine July 2020 Afterland & Collages Copyright 2019 Edward Morneau

It's All About Arts Magazine July 2020


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