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FOR THE SAKE OF ART

Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed was sure he had no idea what it was.

Ed Nelson was not fond of traveling. He got seasick at the mere mention of the ocean. You’d never get him on an airplane. The pressure nearly made him pass out once. It seem that headache would never go away. Trains were OK, but they took too damn long. Having his choice, Ed would have rather stayed put.

That’s why his colleagues found it strange that Nelson decided to drive to the consortium. It was cramped in his small compact car. And the drive would take longer than any mode available to him. Longer than even taking the train.

Ed Nelson did alright for himself in his sales position. But he had run into a brick wall. He hadn’t advanced his station in years; though he’d have been made a full partner by now. Instead he found himself hauling ass down the interstate to cross state lines before darkness set in.

Up ahead in a clearing he saw it. A Farris wheel, he thought. Or the maddening loop of one of those anti-gravity roller coasters. But as he neared the structure, Ed was sure he had no idea what it was. A sculpture maybe? He laughed loudly. It could be a Druid icon! What ever it was, it looked hideous on the side of the road.

Between exits this monolithic doughnut stood, maybe fifty feet high – a monstrosity. Interwoven like a wreath, bars and crosses, spheres that appeared as heads of some civilization climbing to the heavens. He was so taken by the piece of “art”, Ed Nelson hadn’t noticed the line of people.

Standing at the gaping portal were approximately 40 people dressed in white waiting their turn. On this grey and depressing afternoon, Nelson saw blue skies through the opening. There was sunshine. It was a beautiful day. But only inside the ring. He pulled to the shoulder of the road near the median and stepped out of his car to investigate. Apparently not dressed for the occasion, Nelson was stared at and ignored.

Taking a place at the end of the cue, he tapped the shoulder of a pleasant looking older woman.

“Excuse me Ma’am” Ed began. “What’s going on here?”

“Young man, do you see this monument?” she said softly. “It is the way out of your despair. Through that opening… is redemption!”

“Redemption” Ed Nelson repeated. It sounded nice. He was in need of a change. The “rat race” would have to carry on without him.

But suddenly, the crowd stared to disperse. He stood confused.

“HEY!” he called. “Where’s everyone going? What about redemption?”

One man looked at Nelson and then back at the sculpture.

“Redemption? It’s an ugly piece of art!” the man said incredulously! “Do you have any idea how much of our tax dollar are tied into this… this shit!”

‘Then why is it here?” Ed Nelson finally wanted to know.

The elderly woman who have duped Nelson earlier overheard the question.

“You moron, it’s art… for the sake of Art, you nabob!” she stormed away with the rest of the crowd. Ed Nelson felt foolish and greatly let down, standing by himself. He never saw the placard.

“SPHINCTER” dedicated to the people of this Great State by Governor Art Decoupage.

“Art for Art’s sake” he thought to himself. What a waste of resources! It was only fitting this piece was named after it’s patron!

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 5 JULY 1913

EXHIBIT #1 – THE COMELY WENCH

ComelyWenchCome hell or high water, she always gets her man!

Gwyneth Smulders learned young. The ways of her father were not lost on this striking lass. What she lacked in class, she made up for with her seductive glances and her handy side arm. Her wile with that revolver had resolved many a conflict and passed judgment on many an ill-advised suitor who thought her cuter that the mermaids of Clareon. Little did they know, that when this siren wailed, even Neptune swam for cover. Just over 5 foot tall, although small in stature, Gwyneth was a dynamo in a ship battle.

She had come by her skills as honestly as one of her ilk could. She inherited it along with all the booty her illustrious grandfather had pilfered and pillaged from his adventures in the “re-appropriation of bullion”! Blackbeard knew how to party. His granddaughter learned well.

Solomon Diggery would follow where ever her ship traveled. Revenge was an option Diggery always kept holstered, and bolstered by her almost apologetic glance as she left him bloodied after shooting off his jib sail, he had sought her favor. She had fancied the cut of his jib once and thought of cutting it off then and there, but a blast from her Galeon 357 handled that task with a bit more of distance between them, the way she liked it!

Gwyneth Smulders carried a torch for no man. She carried a loaded revolver for one. And come hell or high water, she always gets her man!

EXHIBIT #2 – “NIGHTINGALE’S SHADOW”

SilhouetteShipTerence Foxx had been dead, lo these many years. Pirates who lived hard and fast don’t last very long with a target on their backs. Foxx bore one that sped him toward that goal. And although his murder was neither celebrated, nor decried, it is recalled each year since his passing.

Foxx died on the third Thursday in September; an ominous and rare happenstance. It appears over the sullen horizon, a Pirate’s Moon, they call it. For in the misted evening, before the stroke of midnight’s toll you can see it balanced precariously in the distance. Round and bright and surreal, you can feel her burn. Her wrath is as fiery.

And in her brilliance you can discern the mast and trussed sails; a silhouette in the darkened skies. Foxx’s “Nightingale” sails once again, a captain-less wheel and nary a man on the rudder. A random path to hell, tacking the shadows to oblivion. Every third Thursday in September.

EXHIBIT #3 – JEPPISON’S CREST

compass1The trunk had been retrieved from the murky depths, waterlogged and in stages of deterioration. Salvage crews find the best “booty” when left to their own devices. But the Jamaican government had a strict policy. Any findings, unless direct ownership can be proved, become Jamaican historic artifacts, and that fact irritated Clavin Beauregard Jeppison. Clavin was heading up this search mission a mere knot into designated Jamaican space. One nautical mile stood between the treasure and some politician’s greed.

Jeppison and his crew had a plan. They would use tow lines and gently drag the chest across the ocean’s floor. But this was not an easy task the floor was ragged and uneven. There were wide depressions where the trunk, if sucked downward, would be lost to Poseidon. Slow and steady would be their only hope.

Clavin’s salvage boat moved methodically, as if trolling for snails. But the better part of madness would not allow him to relent when many years and dollars were exacted into this project. The submersible vessel monitored the move and all seemed on course.

But the jutting rocks hidden in the sands had other plans. A section of the rock pierced the wooden shell of the container. The only way out was up, and that would spell disaster to Clavin and his men. One last attempt to carefully coerce the box from it’s obstacle did little to dislodge it, it merely rotated it to the right.

“Hold it!” Clavin instructed. “I need a front view of that chest!”

The diver in the submersible circumvented the boulder to sit in front of their find.

“Hoo Hoo!” Clavin’s exuberance beamed. “Bring her up! Bring her up!”

The objections of the crew went unheeded. Jeppison had seen something that sealed his decision.

As they lifted the trunk to the surface, the crew remained puzzled. They did not understand why Clavin would jeopardize losing this treasure in a moment of excitement. Jeppison placed his hand over a casting emblazoned on the cover of this chest. It had the dull shimmer of tarnished silver. It was elaborate; ornate in a calamitous way. A crest. Clavin knew the crest!

The men gathered around their find, thinking Clavin has surely lost his mind. Oh, he was crazy all right! Crazy as a fox. Raising his hands to quiet the clamor, Clavin drew in a calming breath. Then, grasping his shirt he pulled it open to reveal a tattoo. A crest. The Jeppison Family Crest! It matched the adornment exactly. The chest was not a historic artifact. It was a Jeppison family artifact. Clavin had cause to celebrate. He had made the best discovery. He found himself. At least a small part of himself.

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 3 MAY 2013

(Via Photobucket: loveej)

KITE EXHIBIT #1 – Chrysalis Interrupted

He wished he could fly. Furio Cappulscalco had a fascination with flight. He wanted to pick up and just soar into the clouds. But he knew little boys couldn’t fly. Why, he got into trouble trying to cross the street by himself.

He stood in the clearing by the lake, watching the kites dip and soar in the sky above the trees. He loved the graceful movements as the paper fliers performed an airborne ballet.

Furio wanted a kite. But he couldn’t afford to buy one, so he gathered things he found in the trash. Newspapers and colored tissues paper became the shell and tree branches were the frame.There was a spool of kite string that had torn and was tangled. Furio spent some time straightening the string and his make-shift kite was ready. He ran north and the kite bounced on the hard ground, He ran south and it did cartwheels in the dirt.

Furio checked the wind direction and he ran headlong into it. The kite seemed like it was going to elevate, but suddenly the kite “dipsy-doodled) into the edge of the lake.

Capuscalco was upset. His “kite” was a mangled mess. The colors from the tissue started to run and color the newspaper. An old man sat nearby feeding the pigeons and watching Furio.

“Your kite needs a tail, young man” the gentleman instructed.

“Kites ain’t got no tails” the boy snapped.

The man stood up from the bench and came by Furio.

“May I?” he asked the boy.

The lad held up the mass of kite to the man.

“She’s not so bad”, the man started, ” fix this here, tie this there…”

Then the man undid his necktie. He attached it to the bottom of the kite.

“Here, good as new!” handing the kite back.

Furio looked it over and wasn’t impressed. It looked the same as the mess he had made.

“Trust me son, she’s a beauty!”

Furio laid the bundle of paper on the ground and walk a ways along the shore of the lake. He took a deep breath and started to run trailing the string behind him. The kite dragged along the ground briefly and then went up into the air. As the kite unfurled, it spread open and took a beautiful new shape,

That’s when Furio smiled. The wadded bundle of paper looked like a cocoon, a chrysalis. But as it opened it was a butterfly. It soared and swooped in the sky. And trailing beneath it was the necktie tail.

Furio turned to thank the old man. But he was gone. The boy was pleased. He appreciated the kindness of the stranger. It gave him hope.

KITE EXHIBIT #2 – Spirits in the Sky

kites

(Via Photobucket: crysta1994)

Angeline drifted to the edge of the vale beneath Cherubine Mountain. Other souls had gather there as well. Today was the Day of Ascending.

The gentle souls were draped in white; long flowing gowns that fluttered in the wind. The rugged souls came in deeper hues oranges ablaze and blue and greens; aquamarine and gold. The colors were fit for celebration.

The angels came to watch the fanfare as the horns sounded and all the souls bristled excitedly. One by one they stepped forward gentle, graceful steps that became lighter and lighter.

The angles pursed their lips and blew to create the wind that lifted the souls skyward. In an upward motion, the spirits became kite-like and soared toward the heavens. Angeline watched in awe as one by one her friends ascended.

It was her turn. Tentative steps drew her into the opening where once souls of her kind had assembled. One step, two steps… Angeline felt lighter than air. Three steps, four… her feet no longer contacted the ground.

By her sixth step. Angeline had taken flight; a beautiful flowing kite, an offering to the creator. The sky at once was full of kites flying freely. No strings attached.

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 15 MAR 2013

EXHIBIT #1 – SEDUCTION IN BLACK AND WHITE

SeductionDusk had fallen, a quick and rapid descent. The evening light filtered through the flimsy window treatment; a curtain disguised as gauze. Lana came into view. At least the shadow of her was visible.

One of my over-sized dress shirts draped over slinky shoulders; a walk to reflect the same. In the narrow hall she waited. The gentle curve of her nakedness plays upon my eyes, teasing and pleasing in the same breathless gasp. The shirt did little to hide her beauty. For in the silhouette boiled unadulterated love, a smoldering ember inflamed. I called her Lava. She was molten. She flowed sensuously, destroying everything in her wake. I hear her sigh, a sultry hiss like the beckoning of steam. She dropped her arms, and shrugging her shoulders, my shirt as well. I could tell we would erupt in passion. Vesuvius is envious.

Alert the town’s people. This night will be volcanic!

 

EXHIBIT #2 – OUTSTANDING 

Outstanding

El Blanco ran with no other creature; a rebel in equine beauty. Her stride was long and lanky; her gallop unbridled. There was no hiding the fact that she carried an aura about her that said she was remarkably singular. No other horse compared. The plains were her playground with no one around for miles. If a horse had smiles, El Blanco would be grinning from ear-to-ear. It was here that she was in her glory.

The story could have ended there, but it was apparent that such thoughts would come across as fantasy. El Blanco was nudged awake. Another behemoth pressing his massive hind quarter against her, staggering her step and arousing her slumber. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the other horse’s insistence wore on her sense of independence.

 El Blanco has been corralled, thrown in with the rest of the population. She was a horse, this was her station. She was conspicuous in her bleached contrast to the brown and black and roan beasts that shared her fate. Another day to ponder. And dream. Someday her spirit will triumph. Independence rests in the muted night.

 

EXHIBIT #3 – CHOREOGRAPHY OF LIFE

ChoreographyLilianna was a graceful swan in the tumultuous waters of the human condition. She dreamed of stardom. But mother Russia had dealt her other cards. She had trudged through the streets of Minsk, where she waited for the shuttle; a ride to the bearing factory where her petite frame suffered in contrast to the burly women who made that familiar trek as well. Her own mother shared her dream; a prima ballerina in training, applause raining down upon her as she stood center stage of the St. Petersburg Metropolitan Theater. Swan Lake had been her calling. But ball bearings held her back.

 All the obtuse women huddled at the end of the bus; chatter like a rustling in the hen house. Clucking and looking down their noses to this glorious waif. Lilianna stood in the center of the car, the buds in her ears offering the symphonic strains that drove her motor. She swayed with her eyes closed feeling every note, every crescendo. Each flourish of strings and tympani a counter-point to her heartbeat. Stretching and lunging, arms waving like the wispy clouds that laced the eastern skies.  Prima Ballerina’s sometimes live their dreams behind clenched eyelids. But at least they still dreamed.

 

 

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 1 FEB 2013

(Via Photobucket: o0puppylvr0o)

“She leaned against the wall, arms extended and supporting her diminutive frame.”

EXHIBIT #1 – STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT

Monique was at her wits end. They had taken everything of any value to her. All she was left, was her dignity, these four walls and the need to dance. The music played internally; a melody that has played there since her birth. From the squalor of her broken home to the lofty stages upon which she played, Monique was her own star. She shined brightly, no matter what Francois had to say.

He tried to consume her; to control and demean her. But she was strong enough to not allow that to happen. She had it all. And now she had nothing. The spindly waif struggled with her demons. She leaned against the wall, arms extended and supporting her diminutive frame. The muscles in her back eased; her calf muscles tightened. Monique tossed her head back, whipping her abundant curls across her shoulders, falling back into place in tight ringlets of hope. Heels lifted and her body pulsed.

The music inside was cacophonous. Dancing had commenced. Monique was free!

—–

EXHIBIT #2 – A VISION OF WHITE IN MOTION

 Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness.

“Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness.”

Jacqueline reeked of purity.

Her existence was of one purpose. She wanted to be looked upon as the fairest in the land. For in this sick and confused world, she knew that purity was a lost commodity. And thus it had great worth, but in a way which she had never imagined. From the shelter of her over-possessive upbringing, Jacqueline knew not of the deviance which plagued the “real” world.

Her means were simple. And her beauty flowed from her naivete. A clear conscience and a pure heart could defeat the most destructive of beasts. Astride her bicycle, she had set out to offer her goodness to ease the pains of the darkness. Jacqueline had no idea.

The lovely one had no inkling of what awaited her in her travels. She had never encountered ravenous wolves. She did not battle wicked witches. She was in for a rude awakening. But the world awaited Jacqueline. It was more than capable of encountering her kind. They would destroy her. Jacqueline could never distinguish between purity and fear. Either way, she reeked of it.

—–

"She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!"

“She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!”

EXHIBIT #3 – LIGHTER THAN EYRE

Delphine found herself lost in her writings. She had wit and a clearly expressive soul. In her mind, she was a Bronte sister separated at birth and quite a few decades. But her imaginings were very visual; a feast for the eyes and soul. Delphine’s diversion placated her sedentary heart.

Adventure and situations played in her mind; a muse that was more blessing than curse. But at worst, she was merely a good writer. Those who read her worded magnificence knew otherwise. She carried her verbiage like a cache of gold. It was her intent that gave her words their worth and value.

Delphine drew such great comfort from releasing her ramblings into the world. She soared in unforeseen stratospheres. She flew in the paths of many great authors before her. She became airborne through the spreading of her wings on her flights of fancy. She felt carefree and unencumbered. Delphine was lighter than Eyre!

GOSSELIN’S GALLERY – 25 Jan 2013

'Twin bicycles stood near the front entrance of the abode"

‘Twin bicycles stood near the front entrance of the abode”

EXHIBIT #1 – IN TANDEM

Twin bicycles stood near the front entrance of the abode. It was cozy. A lovely little cottage where life found a way to flourish. Richard used to tease Talia that it was a great home for a swinging bachelor.

“Or for a young couple just starting out… if they were really in love!” he teasingly amended.

It remained home for him after she had passed. He was reluctant to change anything. Richard felt that Talia had worked so hard to make this a proper home and besides, it reminded him of her loving hand in every nuance of this place, he decided to leave it intact.

For forty-three years, they had shared a simple home; their hovel was more of a palace in their eyes. The lack of offspring became a convenient reason to stay.

“This is a great place for the two of us” Talia would mimic, “if only we were in love!” We couldn’t possibly squeeze any children into this small space.”

There was always sadness in her voice when she admitted this. Oh, how much Richard wished it was a problem with his “plumbing”, and not her cancer riddled ovaries. He was glad that early detection had bought them so much time. So what if the had no children, it was the trade-off that gave Richard and Talia a lifetime together.

He held fast to his resolve. The divan would remain by the window. Their chairs would remain side-by-side at the far end of the living room. And the bicycles they used to ride around the villa would stay shackled near the front door. Talia would have wanted it that way.

EXHIBIT #2 – WE INTERRUPT THIS PROGRAM…

"She wanted more out of life than a 32 inch phosphorous screen."

“She wanted more out of life than a 32 inch phosphorous screen.”

Chester was a glutton for information. Where everyone had a favorite television program that they would watch and comment upon, Chester’s show ran four times a day. He could be found as a fixture on his couch, remote control at hand at five and six, ten and eleven.

News was his addiction; his obsession. He could tell you the price of oil in Kuwait, and which despotic dictator ran roughshod over his populace. Which celebrity did what with whom. What parts of the county could expect heavy snowfall… Any bit of minutia was fodder for Chet’s fertile mind.

And the world around Chester still went around. Neighbors came and went. So did his wife. She had enough of the constant barrage of depressing news. She wanted to laugh. She needed to dance. She wanted more out of life than a 32 inch phosphorous screen.

And his show continued on. Daily death and destruction. Weekly features about foregone conclusions. Analysis and more analysis. But life as he had once known it had changed. It had been interrupted. And he had never noticed.

—–

"The leather valise landed on the chair near the desk."

“The leather valise landed on the chair near the desk.”

EXHIBIT #3 – HIDEAWAY

Daniel Cavanaugh had finally found success. The latest of his manuscripts had been accepted for publication. It was indeed a proud moment and just the encouragement he needed to further pursue hid ambition.

Cavanaugh had “pretended’ to be a writer for twenty-two years. Always with something to say, or so he thought, he had ideas galore but very little time to hone his already precarious position.

So Daniel packed a small bag and headed for the cabin near Fielding Lake. It was an escape that his family had taken advantage of all these many years. Peace and serenity oozed from the landscape and Daniel knew it was his best shot at completing his latest project.

The place was… rustic. It needed some work, but that would have to wait until he had finished his draft. Cavanaugh took note of the broken hinge on the screen door. A family of birds had nested under the south eave. They added atmosphere; character. It was just the right setting.

He removed the coverlets from the furniture. He dusted off the desk near the rear picture window overlooking the water. Daniel set a pot of coffee to brew. The leather valise landed on the chair near the desk. He stretched his arms out wide and breathed the fresh lake air.

It had been years since his parents had gone leaving him this property. It was almost as many since his face had graced this place. It was always a home away from the confines of home. It was peaceful and serene.

“Work can wait” Daniel mused. “I’ll just enjoy being ‘home'”.

Amidst the water’s splash and the wilderness noises, Daniel fell asleep upon the couch. Work waited. It had little choice.