Issuu on Google+

12 Poems Volume 1 Copyright Š 2016 Robert Rabinovitz ISBN 978-1-365-18342-3 Robert Rabinovitz, Associate Professor Design Parsons School of Design The New School University New York, New York United States of America Acknowledgements I would like to share my deep gratitude for the continued support from my friends, colleagues, the annual faculty research funding grants received by Parsons and The New School University and my talented and devoted student research assistants. Without help, all of this work would surely not be possible. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written consent of the copyright owner.

twelve poems volume 1 robert rabinovitz

contents preface poems


1. it's a windy life 2. how long will I go 3. a deeper truth 4. monday morning 5. time waits for you in a different way 6. transitions 7. the dreams I have yesterday 8. dream 9. you were a lost soul 10. incomplete 11. the road is dark 12. these tears


After quitting my job as a industrial designer in 1988, I began once again my search for meaning. I wanted and needed to connect with others in a much deeper way expressing myself through art, poetry and music. In late August of 1990, I continued my journey as an artist, and entered my first year of graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art. I began to write and journal, record sounds, images and video, developing what would become the beginnings of my true creative voice. I have continued to write poetry and music, take photographs and film, building on a personal archive of self expression. Twenty two years later, while teaching at Parsons in NYC, I met Brendan Dunne, a student, who became my collaborator, friend, and designer on this first collection of poems. Brendan and I connected right from the start and this project of synthesizing my vast personal archive of poems and memories finally became a possibility. We met regularly in the Spring of 2012 at 2 West 13th Street in my office as he and I sifted through piles of old photographs and poems. As dates and numbers have always been a guiding structure on which to build my physical and conceptual ideas, we decided to use the actual dates and times when the poems were written as the main thread throughout this volume. Most grammatical and spelling errors are left as written and intended to help capture the true and honest spirit of the process of translation from original handwritten notes and notebooks to digital files and finally to this printed book in your hands. All photographs are original prints scanned specifically for this publication.


it’s a windy life ₁

it’s a windy life so nice and tight so smooth and light so bright it’s a dusty road a cotton field full of grass and coal so delicate and rough so smooth and hard

so walk lightly and do not wear shoes so your feet can mature to take the bruise

so wrestle with this and walk with that and move about and wiggle and listen and play


you moved and altered your state and upset your morning and at night you wake and feel the need to be who you really are

but were not all day out there in the world where you play the game that hurts so much you fall apart and tremble inside while you wear the mask of someone else but cannot know what you truly are till the pain is so that the night stillness speaks so gently to you and at once because you don’t have the virtue now but allow it finally

while there is no choice but hear at that time when knowone is talking to you and you are not worrying about what you want or cannot have but that quiet moment when god speaks to you at that stillness that only you can know is real and true and honest and as black and white as the pimple on your cheak with the little black head that has been with you since you can remember.


and clear and right

It is as clear as that... as clear as the shape of your left thumb which is slightly smaller than your right because it did not get smashed by the basketball like a few other fingers on your hands‌ its as clear as that like the smell of your tshirt after not showering all day‌ like the pattern that you always see when the sun blazes on your eyes on that hot summer day, the ring of light that reminds you of your eyeball and the light around it and the trail of particles that move gracefully down with perfect gravity

to the place and time where you blink again to bring it back up only to fall again and play with this you will till you are awakened by the necessity of your bodies desire to release itself of liquids that are much like if not exactly the same as the fluid that allows the particles in your eye to swim with grace and beauty and perfect form in organic euphoria.

Amen to all of this and more .




how long will I go â‚‚

8:15 am

how long will I go waiting to be true

how long can I go waiting to b true

how long can I go waiting to be true

how long can I wait till I say the truth


so how long will you go to a different truth

how long can you hold.




a deeper truth ₃



my home is here its inside my shoes – the 26 homes all what ive known – there were a few more when I was young not my choices, just the ones I got but my home is now, its in my shoes its often not where I think it is

my home is now its in my shoes its more like the ground I walk then a location or spot a sidewalk or road a path of earth a wet surface a snowed in lot home is a bit higher than that, its up a ways from my toes ive got about half way up is a heart thats not seen too well from where im at


nineteen home is here its now its true its – with me now as I write to you home is here its inside you its where you say a word or two it s looking at your friend on the street its when you get something to eat it’s a smile a hug a hello or goodbye a memory of when I cry the moment we touch its here and now its all we got home is here its now its true my beating heart for this moment or two – so thank you for this and thank you for that the smile you gave has made a home at last.



monday morning â‚„


on the meaning of being on the being of seeing on the trees im singing for you im speaking on the meaning of being for you im listening for me im hearing for you im seeing more clearly now im feeling on the meaning of being on the meaing of seeing on the ground im laughing on the fly im dreaming on the way im living on the way im praying for all my friends who are in pain.

on the train im listening on the train im hearing on the plane im feeling high on you im watching on me im around and in time i m singing and in time im dreaming

alright tonight




twenty five

in the light of this day im walking im listening to you im here but im not im with and im with out im into and im out im before and im behind

on this road im walking on this road im talking my way thru something I don’t know on this road im talking my way around you on this road im dreaming and saying and being and doing and watching and seeing and being and really not listening and really not hearing and really not being and really just dying to



be with you.



time waits for you in a different way 5

12:29 am

time waits for you in a different way


not today not today -



nor tomorrow


nor tomorrow

in a different way in a different way


time waits and we do not

time waits and we do not

time waits and we do not



stop stop

t i

not today

m e

not today


don’t worry bout me I got one don’t worry bout the law ive had one

don’t worry bout the time Ive been there

dont worry about the floor been on one


37 don’t worry bout the time I left one

don’t worry bout the girl had one

don’t worry bout the side

passed one.

thirty eight


transitions 6

12:29 pm

its all just transitions




ammunition for what can be

ammunition for where I want to be


cant stay in today

trying to get away.




the dreams I have yesterday


the dreams I have yesterday seem to drift away when I awake

the dreams I have yesterday

speak of my night before the dreams I had yesterday

seem to drift away


the dreams I had yesterday told the tale of last night



I want to stay asleep more to find out where we went.



dream ₈

5:25 am

somethings changing and im sure of it somethings changing and im sure of it

somethings been changing and its not just in my head

somethings changed they took out this thing wasn’t supposed to be


it was in me now its gone

somethings changed thats inside of me im sure of it

somethings changed and its inside of me

somethings changed


fifty seven

lets go and see lets go and see

and im sure of it

66 58


you were a lost soul ₉



you were a lost soul

on a tired road

you came back to me

to say




incomplete ₁₀

1:37 am


not sure if I can sleep seems the words don’t rhyme but I can eat the love I give makes me weak the times like these im incomplete



the road is dark ₁₁

4:04 am

the road is dark

most of the time

it flickers at night


sometimes the road is dark at night


most of the time

73 81

it flickers

at night

with light


the sparks they wonder in at night + if I’m lucky I’ll remember a few

+ write them down for me + you


seventy five

+ if I’m lucky I’ll write them down for

me + you

the pond is dark at night most of the time

+ it flickers sometimes



these tears ₁₂


these tears these tears

they shed light and drop for you to reflect in me and you



they shed light and drop for you to reflect in me and you these tears to feel for you to let it be known that you and I can contiune to die that you and I can continue to die into the arms of love

these tears

drop drop drop


and reflect the light and love of hearts unite in light and love




art direction . design brendan dunne


poetry . photography . composition robert rabinovitz research assistant emily grigsby






12 Poems Volume 1 is the first in a collection of poems including text and photographs that span a lifetime of work as an artist and designer. Working collaboratively with my art and design students at Parsons School of Design in New York City, we selected the poems from over forty books of original hand written works beginning in 1990. This full color printed volume contains original scanned 35 mm color slides, color and black and white photographs and typographic elements to contribute to the overall context of the poems. The images also include many of my travels from Philadelphia to New Jersey, Colorado, San Francisco, Detroit, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, London, Paris and the many roads between to New York City.

typography lineto optimo



twelve poems volume 1 n° copyright Š 2016 robert rabinovitz all rights reserved


12 poems volume 1