In creating a site that tracks the development of art: in writing, music, on poetry and in translation, the idea came to me from my grandparent’s home outside Philadelphia as well as an image from Sutton’s Bay, Michigan where I lived with my extraordinary Great Aunt Bernice in the early Eighties while working on cherry farms in during a summer away from college.
The clotheslines were a kind of bridge in each backyard. In Philly, ours was of a lime green, faded piping with giant hooks across the tops. Having visited my grandparents as a new born baby all through childhood, there were a few hidden worlds in the house (the small door at the side of the grandfather clock;the hamper shoot from the upstairs to the utility room below;the lead circular manhole cover in the backyard that had a shoehorn like handle that housed housing elements–all passage ways into other imagery worlds). The clothesline was also one of them, and I remember climbing that frame, swinging from the posts, with feet dangling in the air, sweeping through the wet clothes, sheets, towels, and undergarments. Rows upon rows, folded back on one another of cloth, cotton, and both light and heavy laden laundry (men’s gray working pants and dungaree overalls), and linens would rustle in the light wind, while drying from the yellow beams of hot sun.
When my grandparents were finally put to rest, we were there at the empty household. Abrupt creaks of the furniture, cabinets and drawers opening and closing with loud disturbing clangs and banging, and a dusty air took over. I stood at one end of the empty closthesline in back, with the brick outdoor fireplace in ruins:a side a rubble of misshapen bricks, black tar still visible in the belly of the edifice, like a warn out reclining chair, with one armrest missing.
At almost 6’3”, my armpit and arm were able to straddle the upper posts. Such liveliness, living, now dead in the fall multi-color leaves. The rose beds disappeared. The apple tree limbs and trunks seemed drained of any essence. The poles were flaked, showing a silver and tin patina.
I liked the idea of things being unfinished, undried, in medias res. I liked the idea of wetness, things billowing in the air, heat shining and beating on bleached clothes to make them whiter, and the attempt at trying to create art of some kind, in the elements, in the middle of things, as they are progressing through their final stages. Hence, the clothesline.
What I don’t like about these sites has to do with logging events. It would seem fitting to start like a book with a first page and move forward. But these sites move backwards. Today will be lost to tomorrow, as the files continue to rack up. Creation and ideas move sideways. So the logic of a time continuum gets lost in the system of filing here. Will just start and go, wherever and whenever, will go.
Time to start pinning.