Saturday, August 31, 2013

Healthcare Crisis song (set to tune of Pere Ubu's "Final Solution")

Recording with John Petkovic (Death Of Samantha; Cobra Verde) reminded me of this song I recorded with one of two best rhythm sections I've ever worked with---Stoo Odom and Marco Villalobos (Graves Brothers Deluxe, Mahikari, The Residents, Thin White Rope, Noel Redding).

I had written a "topical song" in 2009 (it's still, alas, topical today) about the healthcase crisis, and the debate over "Single Payer Healthcare plan"--for The Thom Hartmann show on Air America (when we still believed it had a fighting chance of being passed). I had originally set the words to the tune of Eddie Chochran's "Summertime Blues" (in classic Mad Magazine meets Weird Al Yankovich fashion),
but Stoo Odom pointed out to me how Pere Ubu's "Final Solution" is based on "Summertime Blues." We all loved the music to the Pere Ubu song, so we recorded it that way too. The video is just a placeholder, but I love the SOUND of this band.

I'm not saying my looks are nearly as good as the original, only that I can't even perform the original anymore, because my own words are so buried in my psyche, so here they are:

Well, I'm gonna raise a fuss about the greedy folks who rob us
I'm gonna take my problems to Senator Baucus
Well, I tried to file a claim: "Ain't my coverage up to date?"
No, the payment center said your last premium was late.

Well, the doc was gonna cure me, yeah, he made the fist incision,
When his boss yelled, "Stop, he's got a pre-existing c-c-condition!"
I went to my congressman, and she said--quote--
"Those guys vote with money, you may only with your vote."

A Rat done bit my sister nell, my mother's getting sick.
Her face and arms began to swell, they say blame Michael Vick.
Well, the doctors she could pay for only made things that much worse
you can't get cancer treatment on the wages of a nurse...


The Symbiosis of Artifact and Process In Bettina Hubby’s 3 Construction Site Installations

I.  Hunting (or “in the morning there is meaning”)

“Art is one of the many products of thought. An impressive one, perhaps the most impressive one, but to revere art, and have no understanding of the process that forces it into existence, is finally not even to understand what art is….Even the artist is more valuable than his artifact,…but the process itself is the most important quality because it can transform and create, and its only form is possibility…..The artifact…is only important because it remarks on its source.”
Le Roi Jones/Amiri Baraka, “Hunting Is Not Those Heads On The Wall” (1964)

“….but in any case the thing’s got to come into being, something has to happen, or all
We’ll have left is disagreements, desagrements, to name a few.”—John Ashbery,
 “One Coat Of Paint” (April Galleons, 1987)

In considering the symbiotic relationship between artifact and artistic process, the “Head on the wall” is a striking image to characterize art works in galleries or museums. It emphasizes the beautiful trophy of the so-called successful hunt abstracted from the process of hunting, as well as of the hunt’s functional necessity (that resulted in the creation of practical necessities like food and clothing, whether called ‘craft’ or ‘culinary arts’). In Early Modern (pre-20th century) Western Art, such “death” was often championed as immortality---the sublime object can outlive the artist. Baraka clearly makes no such brag, but this doesn’t mean he rejects the creation of “things.”

“Art is identification, and the slowing down for it. But hunting is not those heads the on the wall.” This is the only time he uses the phrase in that essay, but it’s telling. This “death” (or “Immortality”) is more accurately (modestly and intimately) a cessation, a pause, in the mad rush of the hunt, the process, or of what Ashbery would call “disagreements,” however arbitrary (a poem is never finished, only abandoned; a song is never finished, only recorded). The artifact, or thing, may not provide any absolute closure, but there was a real ethical foundation in the creation of the first gallery or exhibition setting---as a sacred (even if ad hoc) place. Likewise, the concept of art as an end-in-itself, if understood as a temporary absolute, is not dismissed. Baraka does revere that attention, the slowing down that the creation of artifacts entails, just not the fetishism of it at the expense of the process.

Even if the artist is “cursed with his artifact,” he’s careful not to say, “Hunting is better, or is always better, than those heads on the wall”—and in this sense, his essay is more radical than those who do suggest we he should eliminate the artifact. Rather, it’s needed precisely to illuminate the process, and enable its continuing. The process may give the artifact meaning but the artifact gives the meaning form. In order to “push the envelope,” there must first be an envelope to push. [i]

II. Bringing The Work Site Into The Harris Gallery

Bettina’s Hubby’s recent construction site installations illustrate the struggle with the artifact Baraka explores. Hubby starts with an idea “to create outside the confines of conventional exhibition settings,” yet her photographic and mixed-media Construction Site series was first made public at the Harris Art Gallery at The University of LaVerne in November 2012. In this setting the primary emphasis was on the “heads. “Art-critics and enthusiasts gave positive reviews to her choice in subject matter as well as aesthetic beauty of her site-specific installation art, but her artwork went beyond static portraits or still life “documentary photography” in a number of ways. This two-person show, with Chad Attie, was itself deeply influenced by the kind of thinking that was in the air when Baraka his essay in 1964.[1] As Jon Leaver puts it in the press release for this show:

Since emerging in the late 1960s and early 1970s, site-specific installation art has sought to reject the notion that artwork is independent of its surroundings. In line with this current in contemporary art, this exhibition brings the life of the street directly into the gallery.

Hubby’s inspiration for the Construction Site series came literally from the street outside her front door. The imagery incorporated into her photographic and mixed-media installations derives specifically from the road works taking place on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake, the site of her studio.... Accordingly, she has brought the work site into the gallery in the form of five sections of chain link fence, onto which are clamped delicate silk panels printed with her photographs of construction work. These photographs are manipulated to subtly kaleidoscopic effect, producing a mirroring similar to a Rorschach inkblot, an invitation to the spectator, perhaps, to imbue the work with personal meaning. Other works in the show include ceramic tiled panels that further evoke and aestheticize the paraphernalia of road works, as well as photo-collaged wall decals depicting strange hybrids, conjoining organic forms and machinery."

Leaver, as well as other art critics who wrote of the show, emphasize the aesthetic detail of the artifact, but notice the tension between the verbs and nouns! As Hubby’s process manipulates kaleidoscopic photographs of construction work, and places them on silk panels clamped onto sections of a chain-link fence, her conjunctions between the sky and the machinery, the yin and yang, also reveal contrasts. Using “masculine” and “feminine" media and forms and processes, the symmetrical mirroring of the large water pipes before they’re placed underground, in my own personal imbuing of meaning, resembles fallopian tubes as a site of construction, for instance—though her gendered juxtapositions in her work cannot be reduced to mere anatomy.

At the Harris Gallery show, the thing came into being, and the show certainly illustrates one way life can be brought back into the museum (even in the form of the holes in a chain-link fence). These objects become commodities for sale and appreciation, but at least as importantly an occasion for more hunting. As Leaver writes:

As with much of Hubby’s work, the project is participatory and inclusive; for her the construction site is not a distant subject of her disembodied lens, but something to be engaged.

Accordingly, for Hubby, this successful and innovative show at the Harris Gallery could not be the be-all-and-end-all, the closure or culmination of a fascinating process. In part, because the process of construction at the site continued, in her own front yard outside of her live/work space; whether she liked it or not, she could not avoid returning to the source! Socially and environmentally, this controversial construction site was larger than her and she could not be an observer of it without also being an actor in it-- since her art was contingent on the construction worker’s work (whether you call it art or not).

III. Construction+Art: The Rowena Street Exhibit

In her Rowena Street exhibition, she brought the gallery back into the street, the site of her original inspiration. This phase of her engagement was the antitheses to the Harris show.  The work becomes imbued with cultural meaning that was implicit in the Harris Gallery, but now the primary focus, even if at the risk of de-emphasizing the “actual art” itself—a risk she gladly took to create work that doesn’t corrupt viewers into “accepting the material in place of what it is only the remains of,” as Baraka puts it.

Hubby had begun documenting the construction site on Rowena (The River Supply Conduit Improvement Project commissioned by the L.A. Department of Water and Power) because, like many residents and businesses in the area, she was frustrated by the noise, the dirt, and the underlying politics of this project (now into year 3 of what was supposed to be a 1-year project). Hubby, however, also saw the similarities between what she does as an artist and what construction workers do—and felt increasing solidarity, especially as she became more aware “of the neighborhood tensions that the workers have to fend off," as she told Catherine Wagley of the LA Weekly.[2] If one of the of functions of “documentary art,” is to call attention to the lives of its subjects, the Rowena exhibit certainly achieved that more than most documentary still-lives are able.

A construction site, as a workspace, is much more an embodiment of what Baraka calls “hunting.” A construction worker understands work a little differently than even the most innovative conceptual artist; the finished project just means the end of the gig, the end of a paycheck---a sense of accomplishment too, but, unlike in an art-gallery context, they get paid for the hunting more than the heads. If these construction workers didn’t actually create what they were paid to, they would likely not be re-hired! Yet that doesn’t mean they are not also “artists” (if that term is used honorifically).
Understanding this, Hubby wanted to celebrate their ongoing work, so she threw a party on the construction site itself on Saturday, January 12, 2013, an ‘off day,’ (though a few workers still could be seen working), that transformed it into a gallery space; her printed invitation emphasized the “casual party” nature of this event for the benefit of a workers and general public[ii]---but it was also a highly political conceptual art piece with civic value. The workers “played,” but Hubby worked. While Hubby displayed many of the same works she had shown at the Harris Gallery on the actual chain-link fence, the “hardhats’” unfinished works-in-progress presided over the event. In this context the work had a radically different function as well as meaning. The construction site became more than a “found object.” The event itself—which was well documented, became as much a part of the art as the photographs.

Since it was primarily billed as a party, balloons, candles, food and music became as important as her own artwork. She unveiled new art-objects, created specifically for this site-specific context—most notably, the iconic “disco ball” hanging from a large excavation crane that loomed over the site and the traffic cones stuffed with flowers; the cones could still serve their primary functional purpose while also doubling as vases. She also symbolically invited the attendees to literally eat her photographs, as the icing of the cake she served, and photographed the half-eaten cake (another form of excavation or digging). While the photographs that emerged from this event are beautiful and thought provoking, they only tell half the story. In this context, the objects, and even her role as “artist,” were superseded by her role of party host, project coordinator, and even political activist—her relentless hunt.

She invited me to provide the musical entertainment. Hubby understood how a dirty 1983 Ford Econoline with a piano bolted to it (courtesy of mechanic High Kilroy), conceptually, is analogous to a large crane with a disco ball hanging from it. She also painted the van with chalkboard paint so that the workers and their children could create visual art as I performed. We set up a microphone outside the van and many of the construction workers and their families as well as singers from the surrounding neighborhood (Michelle Rose, Tif Sigfrids and others) joined in for “street karaoke.” The construction workers sang along to “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” (poignantly joining in on the “work, work, work” chorus) and sang  James Brown’s “I Got You” in hilarious falsetto after sucking on helium balloons—to name but two highpoints.  No one cared if we were creating “art” beyond the transient event—and, musically speaking, we weren’t creating marketable “product,” but for that night at least, the tensions between the neighborhood and the workers were not evident, as the audience became participants; the subjects became co-creators in the art, and the artist became curator as well as observer; producer as well as consumer.

This party certainly lived up to Hubby’s claim “to create art outside of conventional exhibition settings.” It became a media event—not simply the antithesis of the Harris Gallery show. Taken together, these two construction site exhibits, complemented each other, and suggest new possibilities for how we create and exhibit art and music in the 21st century. This was not lost on Elsa Longhauser, the director of The Santa Monica Museum of Art. SMMOA found itself in the middle of another construction site controversy, and invited Hubby to be a year-long resident construction artist to make a virtue out of necessity.[3]This provided Hubby the perfect context to further develop, and synthesize her findings of her first two construction site exhibits—largely because it was both a construction site as well as a conventional exhibition setting.

IV. The Dig The Dig Potluck: Santa Monica Museum of Art (July 21, 2013).

On July 21st, 2013, Hubby brought her artwork and curatorial acumen to another controversial construction site: the Bergamont Station, adjacent to the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Hubby’s “Dig The Dig” installation was an outdoor event that brilliantly occupied the liminal space exactly between the construction site and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Though officially invited by the museum, and held on its parking lot (separated from the site by a chain-link fence), the event had the blessing of the construction site, and both construction workers and art cognoscenti were invited to participate (and the input of both was essential).

“With the validation of SSMoA Monica,” as Rose Apodaca puts it, “the celebration-cum-art installation took on a different significance from the Rowena chapter—albeit without the institutional or art world sobriety” of the first chapter at LaVerne University. Like the Rowena event, it was a party to celebrate the workers whose construction work on Olympic and 26th she had chronicled, as the Museum’s “Resident Construction Artist,” in the months leading up to the event. Hubby expanded most of the ingredients she had included at that event (the disco ball, the cones, the food, etc.), but, socially, it had many more similarities with a conventional art opening for group exhibition. While this installation was billed as a “potluck dinner,” and included a rich away of food and beverages, what Hubby served up was an embarrassment of riches that simply cannot be digested in one visit to the museum cum construction site.[4]

V. Curating Is Not Those Heads On The Wall

Of the over 300 attendees of this event, there were only a handful of construction workers present; the vast majority were patrons of the museum, fellow artists, or people from the community who had heard about the event through KCRW or the other pre-show publicity. Over 30 artists, working in a wide array of media (from artifact-based work to process-oriented work) contributed.[5]

As a result, there were many more patently artistic focal points at this event, with a site map posted on a blog to allow curious viewers to navigate the event.[iii] As one of the musicians invited to provide “entertainment,” I was especially impressed by the way Hubby spaced the layout of the event so the musicians, and DJS, were far enough away from each other so as not to compete. Since the space itself was more expansive than either the Harris Gallery or Rowena Site, Hubby’s own art-work took on a larger scale, as she displayed “super-sized photographic murals on vinyl” (in contrast to Harris’s silk): “a kaleidoscopic vision of dredged earth, ponderous machinery, verdant palm trees and sea-blue skies”(Apodaca).[6]

She also expanded her use of the traffic cone motif; this time stuffing the traffic cones with sunflowers—because they last longer—and streaking them with tasteful brushstrokes which complemented the orange, and the presence of the cones was heightened by her use of orange table-cloths, utensils and actual oranges in bowls. Barbara Gillespie decorated each tall cocktail table with crocheted orange and white miniature “cozies,” The Inflatocorps Cone Bar created a giant nylon cone, and Ivette Soler conceived a cocktail called The Safety Cone. Thematically, the flower in the cone provided the central iconic image, or thing, that often started the discussions, yet the discussions went beyond it in fascinating ways.

In her role as “curator and project coordinator,” contrast and juxtaposition of such contexts deeply influenced Hubby’s decisions on which art works, and artists or creators to include.[7] As a writer, I was immediately impressed with the text art by Christopher Michlig and Eve Fowler. Michlig’s posters were nothing but the single word “YES” or “NO,” the primary dualistic juxtaposition,[8] while Fowler chose one of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons as her text to hang on 4 adjacent posters. Hubby used them for the show “purely due to the day-glo palette and poetic nature of their messages in contrast to normal construction site signage” that suggest analogies with the cone, but the specific text Fowler decided to use was entirely her own and suggests other juxtapositions worth further investigation (Fowler was not present at this event).

VI. Branching Out

Likewise, the inclusion of my “piano van” project clearly relates thematically to the flower in the cone or the disco ball on the crane. Hubby did not dictate my choice of material; the event, however, certainly played a part in the nature my “performance art” at that event, as I found myself interacting, often one-on-one, with those who visited my parking space during the four-hour stint before my official 20 minute performance. In this context, there was very little gregarious dancing—to either my music or the DJ at the other end of the site-- and no interactive, if debauched, street karaoke as at the Rowena event. I did receive requests for some songs, and appreciative listeners, but more often I found myself in fascinating discussions with other artists and art appreciators about the presence of the piano in the van as an installation piece in Hubby’s exhibit.

Since the event necessitated that Hubby “branch out” from her role as visual artist into her role as curator, it became clear that I must branch out from my role as musician. The mere concept of a piano in a van may be a static artifact, but improvisation, in this case primarily in conversation, became the hunting, which allowed me to at least begin the process of interactive harmonizing with the practices of the other artists at this event in a way music could not in this context.

Indeed, at the heart of Hubbyco’s curatorial projects, is her putting a diverse group of artists in implicit dialogue, to explore the ways each artist’s practice intersects with the others. These conversations became explicit at Dig The Dig, and as I found myself engaging in them, I experienced how the conversations became the art, or more importantly the hunt, in which the artists could begin to discover ways in which are practices can be further coordinated to intersect with each other.

VII. Language, Introversion, and the Question of “Conceptual Art”

In this discussion, I’ve purposely tried to de-emphasize the use of the term “conceptual art,” to describe Hubby’s ongoing achievement. Certainly Hubby tries to avoid the term—for her the execution of the works (the ‘heads on the wall’) is clearly not a “perfunctory affair” (as Sol Le Witt put it in his seminal 1967 definition in ArtForum); but as the presence of Christopher Michlig’s text-art shows, Hubby certainly incorporates the central concerns of that historical “movement,” creating art that questions its own nature. While many have pointed out Hubby’s affinities with her mentor, Ed Ruscha, who elevated the status of language itself as art (and was present at the event as a “culinary artist”), and others who have produced art by exclusively linguistic means, I detect even more affinities with Christine Hill’s Volksboutigue projects. Hubbyco, like Volksboutique, could be characterized as “an exercise in labor, in public service and conversational skill” revealing “the dichotomy between a working atmosphere and its result---between introversion and extroversion.” It shows “the mess behind the scenes” exhibits mistakes and "capitalizes upon chaos” (Volksboutique Manifesto).[9]

In Hubby’s case, the conversational skill both precedes and extends beyond the “event itself.” Talking and writing have a similar symbiotic relationship in the Art of Conversation. Behind the scenes, the creation of a blog months before the event to document her role as Resident Construction Artist became at least as important as her delivery of flowers to the construction site. Those were the first two things Hubby did at SMMOA, and in expanded proposals she planned both bulletin boards and billboards not simply to publicize the project but to engender discussion on its civic and aesthetic value. In the 21st century, such “virtual reality” becomes as crucial as attendance at actual events, whether we like it or not.

The so-called necessity of “web presence” these days in the culture industry (on-line applications, on-line classrooms, wiki-leak activism, MP3 culture, etc.) has lead to an increasing placeless, and eventless, culture. Yet overzealous attempts at reactions to this (such as the Occupy Movement, which became dominated by those who believed that their actual physical presence at various City Halls around the country was more “in the trenches” than those who were working on the “virtual” trenches (through teaching, the web or art) are not the answer. Why? In part because they don’t make room for introvert!

But Hubbyco’s vision is capacious enough to reveal the dichotomy “between introversion and extroversion,” and thus make room for the introvert as well site-specific extrovert, between the “doer” and the “thinker. In this sense the launching of the blog alongside of her beautification project at the actual site shows how the event becomes the thing that exceeds itself. As an introvert, I feel in many ways more present in Hubby’s project in writing about, and beginning to analyze some significances, of these pieces than I did when at the actual event (though it was fun-work while I was there!).

In this sense, the event became less of a culmination or a climax of Hubby’s construction work installations and more of what Rose Apodaca refers to as SMMoA’s “first chapter of engagement with the revitalization of its environs and its own metamorphosis.” As I look forward to Hubby’s proposed books, and even a panel discussion (which may include as many of the artists present as she can corral, her ongoing blog and proposed book and other documentation), I considered writing a DIG THE DIG theme song, but Samo Hunt had already done that ( ).so—for now I decided to write a sestina. It only focuses on one aspect of the event, but one that should not be overlooked:

[1] Baraka was clearly not alone in the idea that museums and galleries that de-emphasize their surroundings conferred the negative value of a reified ‘death’ (as opposed to a positive value of ‘immortality’ onto a living process). You can even see it in Dylan’s “Visions of Johanna,”—“inside the museums infinity goes up on trial...” The highway blues that Dylan sees in the Mona Lisa’s smile could also be called ‘the hunting.’ Yet The Harris show illustrates one way a gallery can bring life back in.
[3] While most agree bringing more mass transit to the area will be great for the community, “it’s a sad irony,” as Lisa Napoli noted, that it resulted in the destruction of the much beloved Track 16 Galleries. The Museum (itself a beloved, and anything but staid, institution) remains, and while temporarily inconvenienced by the “dig,” is ultimately looking forward to the new station.
[4] The documentation has begun. Tyler Hubby filmed many aspects of the event; Marlene Picard (and others) photographed the event rigorously, and here’s Ruben Diaz’s time-lapse Bird’s Eye video of the event, for starts:

[5] Gordon Bowen, Josh Callaghan, Alice Clements, Eve Fowler, Steve Hurd, InflatoCorps, Kristin Beinner James, Adam Janes and Justin Miller, John Knuth, Karen Lofgren, Omar Lopex, Christopher Michlig, The Modeling Agency, Adrian Paules, Nora Jean Petersen, Pat Pickett, Nancy Popp, Olivia Primé, Jim Skuldt, Mike Slack, Mariángeles Soto-Díaz, and Keith Walsh. Additional creative contributions from Fallen Fruit (David Burns and Austin Young), Samo Hurt, Barbara Gillespie, Dave Cull, Tyler Hubby and Zig. music from T. Kelly Mason, Soy La Mujer, and Chris Stroffolino; and cocktail artistry by Ivette Soler and a bespoke scent created by The Institute for Art and Olfaction
[7] aside from the food of course; both professional and amateur “culinary artists” were invited)
[8] see Apodoca for a further discussion of the possible significances, both aesthetic and political, Michlig’s posters took in the context of Dig The Dig.
[9] A fascinating art-school dissertation could be written on the striking similarities (and differences) between these two artists. I’ve had the pleasure of working with both, and plan to discuss this in a future piece that goes beyond the scope of this essay.

[i] Baraka’s own body of work, as artist, public intellectual, culture worker and activist in over 60 years of public life is itself an embodiment of this symbiosis. His work in forming collaborative institutions of self-determination (from his work with The Black Arts Repertory Theatre in the 60s to his recent events, co-hosted with his wife Amina Baraka, at the Spirit House in Newark) is exemplary, and go beyond the terms of this particular early essay of his.

[ii] Construction+Art+Outdoor Exhibit+Party
If you are a construction worker, this invitation is especially for you

Bettina Hubby has making photographic works of the Rowena street construction  project in Silver Lake over the past year.

Workers and the site itself—have become the inspiration and subject matter for this recent art project

As a way of thanking you and giving back, Hubby is inviting you and your family to a casual outdoor party.

Saturday—January 12, 2013---5-730 pm

LOCATION: The biggest construction site on Rowena Avenue between Fletcher and Hyperion. Look for the orange balloons and candlelight!

Locals from the neighborhood are also welcome to join.
Hope to see you at the site!

*Food and veberages are being generously donated by ATX, Atwater Village and Bar Brix, Silver Lake and special thanks to Raven Spa

[iii] (this was where I included the Site Map as an endnote, but BLOGGER won't let me post it!)

Hubbyco's Dig The Dig: Merch Sestina

An excerpt from a longer prose piece about Bettina Hubby's recent multi-dimensional "construction site" exhibitions....

Dig The Dig: Merch Sestina (version 2)

Even in 2013, amid all the post-post-modern conceptual art,
when you go to a fine-art gallery or a museum, you rarely see “merch”
being sold alongside the, usually expensive, other art work
on display. Perhaps galleries & museums fear it would not enrich
the experience. But this is one of the reasons why Bettina Hubby’s
recent installation at the Bergamont Metro station construction site

is so refreshing! At the Dig The Dig exhibit, the construction site
adjacent to the Santa Monica Museum of Modern Art
was transformed into a 30 person show, curated by Hubby.
Beautiful still lives, thought-engaging conceptual pieces, &, yes, merch
were all present. Each installation brought different values to enrich
this event, which was also a party to celebrate the construction work

that had disrupted the community & SMMOA’s ability to work
before they commissioned this Resident Construction Artist on the site.
SMMOA’s July 21st celebration is the first public manifestation of Hubby’s enrich-
ment of the environs. By exploring the relationship of construction work to fine art,
as well creating “Dig The Dig” scarves, buttons, pillows, T-shirts and other merch,
including a Perfume called “Dig” developed with Saskia Wilson Brown, Hubby

emphasized why Rose Apodaca calls her “an art-egaliatian.” Hubby
& Brown (of the Institute of Art and Olfaction), crafted this edition of work-
er inspired fragrance, limited to 100 bottles. In creating this “merch,”
they waived 49 flavors under the noses of workers from the site
to determine which scents made “tired workers feel good.” The Art
of concocting a scent that can make tired people feel good can enrich

in ways that conventional perfumes do not. You can feel immediately enrich-
ed by this concoction of orange, vanilla, coffee, pine, rain & ‘fresh laundry’ Hubby
& Brown developed without having to wait to see if others find the art
seductive! As the workers became a nascent focus group in Brown’s work,
I wondered if this “bespoke scent” could be marketed beyond its use at this site-
specific installation. As far as I know, there are no plans, but this “merch”

also served as a “loss-leader” to call attention to IAO’s other “merch”
& the coordination of efforts between Hubby, Brown and the workers enrich
our understanding of the ways art, labor, and commerce intersect in any site
of familiar daily experiences. While this is only one aspect of Hubby’s
topical explorations, Dig suggests a way for those who call their art work
to create, and collaborate, in coordination, with those who call their work art

(of course, you could totally avoid the Merch Table. Hubby didn’t demand
anybody Enrich her pockets, or even enjoy the Work or Works at the
Site, but I didn’t meet one person who found no Art they could use or enjoy).

Chris Stroffolino, August 2013

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Farm stand opens in South LA to Fill a Grocery Store Void (KCRW Radio Transcript)

Great music on the radio may be increasingly rare these days, but there is still some very good song-length pieces on talk radio. Here's a recent one I found worthy of transcribing (to sublimate my own personal crisis, once again, in the wider cultural one!)

A Farm stand opens in South LA to fill a grocery store void.
Which Way LA? A 3:32 piece produced by Anna Scott

Starts with crowd noise, & the sound of a typical farmer’s market exchange—
Someone asking for fruit, and being told the price.
Enter voice of commentator: 
A liquor store parking lot in South LA isn’t the typical setting for a farmer’s market, but that’s where a new Friday produce stand started last week. It may just be a single booth with a modest supply of lettuce, grapes, berries, and other fruits and vegetables, but some see it as a major victory:
O: 22:we’re all here together having a fruit stand, partially because the big grocery chains have just decided to abandon south LA and so we’re gonna yell at them and bang on their windows about that, but at the same time, we’re not gonna go hungry”

O: 36: Marquis Harris Dawson is President of the Non-Profit Community Coalition, one of the organizers of the new produce stand. According to the group South LA has roughly one grocery store for every 6,000 people. By comparison, West LA has approximately one store for every 4,000 residents. South LA also has far fewer farmers’ markets, and a higher concentration of fast food and liquor stores.

For years it’s, been referred to as a food desert, with little or no access to fresh affordable foods. The Community Coalition draws a direct link between the neighborhood’s limited food options and its higher rate of health problems like obesity and diabetes, so they partnered with another non-profit, Community Unlimited, which provides the produce for the new farm stand.
Dean Pascal, from Community Unlimited, also lives in South LA:

There’s maybe one grocery story within—I would say—a mile radius that I can even walk to, so it’s super hard, basically. Like you have try to eat healthy, and as opposed to if I walk out of my door, there’s a Kenyon Normandy, a Taco Bell, A Jack in The Box—so this is why this is needed because we need to make eating healthy just as convenient as eating fast food.”

1:54 Many shoppers who turned out for the farm stand last Friday were definitely happy to have a convenient healthy option, but can a small produce stand that’s only open 3 hours a week really make a difference in how people eat? Isaac White has lived in the neighborhood for 54 years:

“Right now, it’s a band-aid over our wound—of not being able to purchase organic foods, fresh fruits and vegetables. Here in the _?___ space neighborhood, if we had a market here locally for the seniors such as myself, we could walk to the store, as it is now we have to be depend on someone coming to get us transportation, etc. etc, just to get there to meet our needs, and we need fresh fruits and vegetables just as  much as other neighborhoods, as anybody else does.”

2:24 Anne Kim recently returned to South LA after finishing graduate school. She doesn’t have her own car, and recently travelled over 6 miles on foot to bring home food from another farmer’s market across town:

“We really need more food resources and ways of preventing us from just becoming, um, fat and unable to enjoy life, and I’d rather be able to walk to my grocery store, walk to my church, walk to do whatever it is I need to live, and I think it’s very very unfortunate, but atrocious that I cannot do that.”

3:20. For some people walking isn’t just a luxury. It’s really hard to take a bus to a grocery store and really carry home enough groceries for a family, so we’ll see if the South LA farm stand catches on. For KCRW, I’m Anna Scott.
++++ (commentary by Chris Stroffolino)

As a radio piece (the length of many pop-songs), Anna Scott is to be commended for her muckraking on this exemplary David-and-Goliath story. Usually stories like that spend so much time trying to give the corporations equal time--interviewing a CEO explaining their rationale for having to close the supermarket, and was pleasantly surprised this one didn't.

It’s definitely an issue that needs to be addressed and publicized more, in hopes of creating a coordinated grass roots network of similar stands. The Food Crisis and The Obesity Epidemic was certainly a big issue that came up when I taught at Laney Community College in Oakland, as well as in my own personal life when I lost my car, and had to rely on what convenience stores were available. It’s also an issue some innovative “conscious hip hop” songs like “Rich” by Beme-The Rapper:

Thus, I was especially happy that the related issue of car-dependency (which may even be more pronounced in Los Angeles than it is in the Bay Area, especially for an ex-New Yorker like myself) comes up in the piece, and how it effects both seniors like Isaac White, and young people like Ann Kemp. Walking is not only the only form of transportation available to some people, it is also a way to become healthier—if you’re able to walk. Thus, the Farm Stand serves a dual purpose; not only does it provide healthy affordable food, it also suggests ways to create alternatives to car-based culture. I crave such neighborhood pieces community activism. As a disabled person (who in a way is doubly disabled, because I neither have a car nor a place to cook), I feel tremendous solidarity with these people.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rosalind as Poetry Critic: The “Love Plot” in As You Like It

Rosalind as Poetry Critic: The “Love Plot” in As You Like It

I.               Introduction

In As You Like It, in contrast to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and other Shakespeare comedies, the main “love plot” is not introduced until later in the play. Watching the Independent Shakespeare Company of Los Angeles (ISCLA)’s delightful and thought-provoking performance in time, reminded how long we’re actually stuck in the “envious court,” presided over by Duke Frederick (who has villainously usurped power from the rightful duke, his brother). The romantic plot takes a while to assert itself. At first, it seems like a sub-plot. You could even say it is incapable of making a genuine first move.

As many critics have suggested, the play is more about “gender politics.” When Celia and Rosalind enter, against the backdrop of the male-dominated court, they begin speaking of gender more than love, and the themes they introduce---the relationship between women’s honesty and beauty, and fortune and nature’s “offices”-- will clearly be taken up later in the play (most blatantly in Touchstone and Audrey’s relationship). When the idea of “love” is introduced, it is introduced as “sport,” a diversion from Rosalind’s misery before she meets Orlando.

When Rosalind and Orlando do meet, both size each other up as much by character (and specifically their parentage—the similarity, and even solidarity, between their banished parents) as by their physical aspects (his wrestling prowess, her beauty). So even after this meeting establishes a possible love story, it is still deferred as both Rosalind and Orlando defect to the forest of Arden (not coincidentally the maiden-name of Shakespeare’s mother), which is already inhabited by her father, the banished Duke. In fact, Rosalind’s famous “To liberty, then, not banishment” speech becomes a thesis statement for the first Arden scenes. Most of Act II is interested in showing the character of the Duke’s court-in-exile in contrast to his bother’s court than in the natives of Arden.

II.  “That Is The Way To Make Her Scorn You Still”

The change in tone to a “love story” begins with the first entrance of the natives of the forest in Act 2, Scene 4: Corin and the “love-sick” Silvius. The first line spoken by Corin, the older (if not necessarily wiser) man is: “that is the way to make her scorn you still.” This line, spoken in media res, suggests a smarter love strategy than that which Silvius is engaging in. But Silvius has a point: he’s acting foolishly, but at least he knows, it. He believes this proves his love, but he leaves before Corin is able to suggest to him a possible alternative strategy that wouldn’t make Phoebe scorn Silvius.  Yet, at least as important, is this effect this exchange has on Rosalind:

Alas, poor shepherd, searching of thy wound,
I have by hard adventure found mine own. (2.4.39-40)

Rosalind’s identification of Silvius’ “wound” with her own reveals an identification that goes deeper than conventional gendered-postures toward love. This prompts Touchstone to comically express the earnest follies he remembers about how he acted when he “was in love.” Unlike Corin, he remembers it, but like Corin, he advises that such folly will pass: “But as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly.” And Rosalind, in contrast to Silvius, understands that wisdom—but certainly isn’t going to repeat Silvius’ mistake (it is not her way to beg, but rather to conjure, as she says in the epilogue).

It isn’t until Act 3, Scene 2, however, that Orlando starts “marring trees” with his poetry praising Rosalind, which reveals that it’s easier to take the characters from the court than the mindset of the court from the characters. Orlando’s speech in which he announces that he will write poems is itself an attempt formal courtly poem (a truncated sonnet missing a quatrain).

Hang there, my verse, in witness of my love:
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
With thy chaste eye, from thy pale sphere above,
Thy huntress' name that my full life doth sway.
O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character;
That every eye which in this forest looks
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where.
Run, run, Orlando; carve on every tree
The fair, the chaste and unexpressive she.

 “Books in brooks” indeed, but the poetry he actually puts on the trees is probably even worse.

III. Orlando’s Poetry

Now we finally get to hear Orlando’s poetry, and the audience can generally agree that it’s terrible. But the poetry serves at least two functions: 1) It establishes the main love plot, in a play that is relatively short on plot. 2) It allows the other characters to become poetry critics, which moves this dialogic plot forward.

Touchstone, Celia and Rosalind herself all play the part of the “poetry critic,” mocking the unskilled verses (in ways similar to Theseus and his court mocking the performance of "Pyramus and Thisbe" in A Midsummer Night’s Dream). [i] Their mocks, however, are more about the manner of the verses rather than the content of them, especially once Celia tells Rosalind that Orlando is the author of them. Clearly, knowing who the author is changes Rosalind’s response to the poems (she’s obviously not a “New Critic” who takes the poem as a self-contained unit, regardless of context). Despite the fact Orlando’s poems “had more feet than the verses would bear,” it hardly matters if “the feet might bear the verses.” While Rosalind is clearly flattered by the attention of the man she herself feels ‘love sick’ for, her criticisms of Orlando’s poetry are ethical as well as aesthetic.

As Rosalind becomes giddy and expresses her own love-sickness in confidence, to Celia, Orlando enters, in conversation with the melancholy Jaques, which Rosalind notes (“slink by and note him”), with the advantage of disguise, as well as of what Bertrand Evans’ calls “discrepant awareness”—she is the unobserved observer witnessing this conversation. Jaques, too, attempts to criticize Orlando’s poetry, but the best criticism of Orlando he can muster is “the worst fault you have is to be in love.” Since one of Orlando’s poems actually refers to Jaques’ “Seven Ages Of Man” speech, but considers it less beautiful than the mere name of Rosalind, it makes sense that Jaques would dismiss it. He’s clearly not an entirely “reliable critic.” As Orlando nobly responds, “I chide no breather but myself,” he reveals things about his character that his poetry could not. This conversation, as much as Orlando’s earlier prowess in wrestling, can confirm for Rosalind that Orlando is a much better man than a poet, as he basically offers a defense of his poetry---even his bad poetry---in prose, or conversation.

In conversation with Orlando, Rosalind’s criticism of his poetry mostly address her ethical concerns with the content of his verses, as well as of his speech. Althoughly playfully and comically expressed, there is some serious business going on here. Given the speed in which all of this happens in performance, it’s easy to ignore what Orlando’s poetry was actually saying, but it’s not lost on Rosalind. Let’s take a look at the content of the two poems of Orlando’s that Rosalind has heard.

The first one, which Touchstone parodies, is simply a praise poem of a disembodied ideal (“her worth, mounted on the wind”) and plays into the courtly sonneteer conventions that Shakespeare’s famous Dark Lady Sonnet (#129) parodied (all the pictures fairest lined/ are but black to Rosalind”). To be fair, it’s doubtful Orlando actually intended this to be read by Rosalind.

The second poem (which Celia read) is deeper; it’s certainly longer, but not really about love, or even really about women. This “tedious homily of love,” in Rosalind’s phrase, spends ten lines essentially summarizing what we’ve seen of the male-dominated envious court (“violated vows/ ‘Twixt the soul of friend and friend), as well as Jaques’ cynically reductive “Seven Ages Of Man” Speech. It’s clear, however, Orlando is trying to find a way out of this mindset, now that he’s in the “unpeopled” forest, as he invokes her name:

But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at the end of every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write.”

It is unintentionally hilarious; Orlando will write about “violated vows” and then tag the word Rosalinda at the end of every sentence. He then continues on an expanded, and slightly better written, version of the other poem, as he invokes the name of “Rosalind” as an ideal alternative to the world he knew.[1] Orlando at least uses the name of Rosalind to reimagine his identity in Arden, and this actually parallels Rosalind using the name (and disguise) of Ganymede—especially once she realizes it can be useful in her wooing/education of Orlando. It’s a start, but only a start.

Noticeably absent is the “sighing” and “groaning” of a “true lover” like Silvius. Nor is there anything specific about what won him over in their meeting about her character (sure, he may not have a lot to go on, but he’s got something more than “Helen’s cheek, but not her heart,” for instance).

No wonder Rosalind calls the writer of these verses a “fancy-monger” who needs “good counsel” for his “deifying the name of Rosalind.” There’s a fine line between “Deifying” and “defying” here. When Rosalind tells Orlando what actions or “marks” embody the sign of a true male lover, she essentially characterizes Silvius. If you were a true lover, “every thing about you [would] demonstrate a careless desolation.”

She then adds:

but you are no such man; you/are rather point-device in your accoutrements as
loving yourself than seeming the lover of any other.”

And, indeed, she’s absolutely right; this is what we see revealed in Orlando’s character up until this point. Of course, this doesn’t mean that such self-love isn’t preferable to the “true lover” as portrayed by Silvius. Certainly Rosalind doesn’t fall for Silvius, but only pities him.

The dialogue between Orlando and Rosalind may take this “poetry criticism” as its starting point, but it goes beyond it. Improvising, based on what she knows of Orlando’s character, Rosalind figured out a way to woo and be wooed, to teach and reveal her character. As student in her private tutorial, Orlando clearly wants to make Ganymede believe that he loves, and now refers to himself as “the unfortunate he,” but does she really love her? By the end of the scene he’s much more willing to play the game of wooing, of courting with the sly, witty, Ganymede---even if it’s mock wooing.[2] It’s certainly better than the merely monastic “cure for love” she offers--if nothing else, will it allow him to “people” the desert with a more “fleshed-out” version of Rosalind if he ever decides to write a poem again. And, luckily—for everybody---we never even see him trying to write a poem again.

The poetry, in a way, did serve its purposes, but now theatre can take over. Whether or not an actual woman would embody all the “non-ideal” characteristics Ganymede mentions (for instance: grieve, be effeminate, changeable, longing/ and liking, proud, fantastical, apish, shallow,/inconstant, full of tears, full of smiles, for every/ passion something and for no passion truly any thing), Orlando clearly is won over more fleshed out, and less-than-ideal, role of women that Ganymede will play, and has already played in this scene. Rosalind will get another chance to play “poetry critic” soon enough.

IV. Phebe’s Poetry

After the intermission, time speeds up, plots both accelerate and proliferate, but all of them deepen our understanding of love more than “poetry” has. In Act 3, Scene 4. Orlando is late. Rosalind’s skepticism about men’s vows could be proven true, and she will show him how she feels about that before they’re married; before she has a chance, she is interrupted by Corin, who invites her to witness the ‘pageant’ of Silvius and Phebe. Rosalind will watch (and learn), but like Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, will also prove “a busy actor in their play”(3.4.46), except more intimately than she knows. In many ways, this “play within a play” most dramatic scene and situation in As You Like it, in part because it is also the occasion for more lyric poetry (poetry in this play, in contrast to song, engenders drama).

The scene does begin like a “pageant.” This is the first time we actually see Phebe, and she starts out as the cliché convention of the “scornful mistress,” but due to Ganymede’s intervention, she ends up a very complex and fascinating character (albeit write small, and certainly not as complex as Rosalind, or even 12th Night’s Olivia, with who she has many similarities; though the gravitas of her situation is given much more weight in 12th Night).

When we see Phebe mock Silvius’s hyperbolic language, as Corin had warned Silvius she would, Ganymede intervenes, and improvises. She will scorn the scorner, mock the mocker; you’re no beauty, be grateful. Phebe, however, is turned on, at least as much by the physical appearance of Ganymede, as by the language that “he” uses, and promptly falls for Ganymede.

It confirms for Rosalind the first thing she heard Corin say about Phoebe when she entered Arden: Silvius’s attitudes feed Phebe’s scorn, as well as its corollary: Ganymede’s scorn breeds love. This notion of love, which Renee Girard calls Mimetic Desire, is perhaps most clearly and succinctly stated in dialogue form in this short passage from A Midsummer Night’s Dream:

O, teach me how you look and with what art
You sway the notion of Demetrius’ heart
I frown upon him, yet he loves me still
Oh , that your frowns would teach my smiles such skill!
I give him curses, yet he gives me love
Oh, that my prayers could such affection move!
The more I hate, the more he follows me
The more I love, the more he hateth me (Act  1, Scene 1. 192-199).

In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the tempo of this exchange is so fast, that the importance and gravitas of what is being revealed here (even if not to the characters themselves) is lost, but it’s expanded and slowed down in As You Like It.

If we take this as a universal attitude towards “the play of love,” it implies that Phoebe’s scorn may also make Silvius love her—but now that Phebe feels the wound that Silvius felt, she feels a deeper appreciation and understanding of the role he has been playing, and the language he uses, in part because she can’t keep up with the way Ganymede hoists her with her own petard (as Hamlet would put it).

Phebe clearly loves the language of prose and taunting over the language of poetic mewling (just as Rosalind clearly loves the dialogue of wooing more than the poetry of deification)—but by the end of the scene it’s no longer an “either/or” decision for Phoebe. While she began the scene criticizing his pathetic language about the “invisible wound” of love, she now admires Silvius’s language, as well as Rosalind’s. In the heat of the moment, Phebe may not be able to see fully how similar Ganymede’s theatrical scorn is to her scorn of Silvius, but she does now understand Silvius’ perspective (and why he would be drawn to such language in the first place).

Still, Phebe thinks she can meet Ganymede’s taunts with taunts of her own, but needs to do it in writing, with Silvius’s help—not that Silvius has the ability to play the game of taunting as much as Ganymede does. Phebe is clearly confused at the end of the scene—and doesn’t know how to combine the language of taunting and wooing (Ganymede’s and Silvius’) as Rosalind does with Orlando, but Phebe becomes much more attractive, and interesting, as she tries to sort it out. In fact, she is the character we witness going through the most profound change in the entire play.

When Rosalind receives this “taunting letter,” she once again plays the role of “poetry critic” with an emphasis on ethical, rather than aesthetic, standards (for whatever else can be said of Phebe’s poem, it’s not as bad as Orlando’s were):

Rosalind: She Phebes me: mark how the tyrant writes. 

Art thou god to shepherd turn'd, 
That a maiden's heart hath burn'd?
Can a woman rail thus? 


    Call you this railing? 


Why, thy godhead laid apart, 
Warr'st thou with a woman's heart?
Did you ever hear such railing? 

Whiles the eye of man did woo me, 
 That could do no vengeance to me. 

 Meaning me a beast. 

 If the scorn of your bright eyne 
 Have power to raise such love in mine, 
Alack, in me what strange effect 
Would they work in mild aspect! 
Whiles you chid me, I did love; 
How then might your prayers move! 
He that brings this love to thee 
Little knows this love in me: 
And by him seal up thy mind; 
Whether that thy youth and kind 
Will the faithful offer take 
Of me and all that I can make; 
Or else by him my love deny, 
And then I'll study how to die.

Call you this chiding?             (Act 4, Scene 3)

Rosalind’s “poetry criticism” here is very similar to her explicit and implicit critiques of Orlando’s poetry. She criticizes the deification as tyrannical. Rosalind’s criticism is also similar to Phoebe’s own criticism of how Silvius’s language (of scorn, wound, and dying) casts her (or ‘him’) into the role of “beast.” Rosalind shows herself as a “master-mistress” of combining these two roles as Phoebe was not (yet) able.

While Phebe understands that Ganymede’s scorn has the power to “raise such love in mine,” it’s a difficult to believe her plea that Ganymede’s “mild aspect” would make her love even greater (after all, that “mild aspect” as Phebe’s poem defines it, is exactly what Silvius showed her, and which she scorned).

There are a number of fascinating ironies here. Silvius had warned Rosalind the poem was harsh---because that’s what he was told Phebe intended. And when Rosalind claims, “She Phebes me,” she’s implicitly saying “You’re right, Silvius, this is harsh. She’s treating me similar to the way you must be treating her,” but on hearing it, he wants to defend Phebe for being so gentle---for the first time in the play.

Rosalind of course knows in advance that Silvius wouldn’t see it as ‘harsh,” because in truth, her main criticism of this poem is that “She Silvius’s me!” The main point in this exchange is to teach Silvius a lesson, as if to her private tutorial says to him: “Silvius, this is how Phebe read your declarations of love. She saw it as railing and chiding, and you cast her into the role of beast, even if you didn’t know you were.” Your rhetoric is certainly not persuasive.

The debate over whether this poem or letter truly is chiding is left off, but Phebe herself had claimed she intended to write a taunting letter. Of course, that doesn’t mean it was really her intention---the poem makes it clear that Phebe didn’t actually want Silvius to read this letter, and thus see Phebe as the vulnerable love-shaken woman (He that brings this love to thee/Little knows this love in me)—but once she reads it aloud to Silvius, it doesn’t diminish Silvius’ love, and may even deepen it, even if he remains largely a passive sieve (but one whose sentimental foolery got the whole plot going in the first place).

V. Denouement (& Touchstone)

Soon, Rosalind realizes she must gracefully transition to being Rosalind again--not just because Orlando’s third tardiness had a legitimate excuse, or even because her disguise (while not proving “a wickedness,” -in Viola’s words from Twelfth Night)-- has gotten her more tangled up in the Silvius-Phebe plot than she would have wished, but also because his brother and Celia have now fallen in love, and thus can be useful allies in any return to the court---though that “appears in other ways than words.” She may even feel a little abandoned by Celia, or at least as envious of it as Orlando is of Oliver’s newfound happiness.

Rosalind, however, did achieve what she set out to do, and establish a new ground for a relationship with Orlando. As the play winds to its denouement, the characters prepare for the return to court (while the country couple of Silvius and Phoebe apparently will stay in Arden---in contrast to Audrey who will get her wish to be a woman of the world, with Touchstone).

This return to court of most of the main characters, with the “clarification” CL Barber claims, requires its own essay, but let me end with a note about Touchstone. Touchstone is not only getting married, by a proper priest this time (see Carole Thomas Neeley’s seminal feminist discussion), but in a way---and more importantly (for him), he’s getting “betrothed” to the banished Duke who is about to become the rightful Duke, and thus in a position to pay him when they return to court. While in Arden, the Duke had considered making Jaques’ his substitute “foole” (“you shall have [motley]), but Jaques had clearly shown himself unfit for that role, especially in contrast to Touchstone. All works out, because Jaques decides to “follow” the newly reformed usurping Duke Frederick in a “nook merely monastic,” in which they can either rail together (or something to be determined in a possible sequel if you’re so inclined).

[1] (and such peopling, certainly goes beyond Richard II’s prison soliloquy in Act 5, scene 2 of Richard II; with which an interesting comparison could be drawn. Richard ends in trying to people his prison, but in many ways it’s Orlando’s beginning.
[2] In this dialogue, Orlando reveals himself as not an entirely passive sieve (in contrast to Silvius), and does give cues to her, yet Rosalind controls the conversation, she has it both ways: the learned uncle who schooled her not only taught her to be, be suspicious of woman, it turns out that this “uncle” is also at least as suspicious of men! (just as much as her actual uncle, Duke Frederick, is). It’s possible that Ganymede is teaching him skepticism (not just towards others, but towards himself---which h already shows signs of,--“I chide no breather but myself”), in part as a reminder of the court they left, and both hope to return to---but Ganymede is less interested in teaching Orlando to be more suspicious in love, than she is in bringing them into play.

[i] From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rosalind.
All the pictures fairest lined
Are but black to Rosalind.
Let no fair be kept in mind
But the fair of Rosalind.
I'll rhyme you so eight years together, dinners and
suppers and sleeping-hours excepted: it is the
right butter-women's rank to market.
Out, fool!
For a taste:
If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So be sure will Rosalind.
Winter garments must be lined,
So must slender Rosalind.
They that reap must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rosalind.
Sweetest nut hath sourest rind,
Such a nut is Rosalind.
He that sweetest rose will find
Must find love's prick and Rosalind.
This is the very false gallop of verses: why do you
infect yourself with them?++++++++++++

Why should this a desert be?
For it is unpeopled? No:
Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
That shall civil sayings show:
Some, how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
That the stretching of a span
Buckles in his sum of age;
Some, of violated vows
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end,
Will I Rosalinda write,
Teaching all that read to know
The quintessence of every sprite
Heaven would in little show.
Therefore Heaven Nature charged
That one body should be fill'd
With all graces wide-enlarged:
Nature presently distill'd
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra's majesty,
Atalanta's better part,
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
Thus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devised,
Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest prized.
Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
And I to live and die her slave.

O most gentle pulpiter! what tedious homily of love
have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never
cried 'Have patience, good people!'
How now! back, friends! Shepherd, go off a little.
Go with him, sirrah…..++++++++++++++
Didst thou hear these verses?
O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of
them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.
Ay, but the feet were lame and could not bear
themselves without the verse and therefore stood
lamely in the verse.