Michael Andrews Arts

See Announcements for details on publication of Archilochus poems in Arion Magazine.

Cityscapes

Current Project

 

The images are meant to represent various cities.
I am not yet sure if they will include foreign citites such as London, Paris, Saigon, Hong Kong, Tehran and/or Athens, but it will include New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Newcastle and Santa Fe.
Fundamentally there is no difference between a landscape and a cityscape. A picture is a picture and a place is a place. But there is a real difference in the kinds of meaning they convey to us.
A landscape has a narrowly defined range of meaning. You look out at rocks and mountains and oceans and deserts and they all look pretty much the same. The reason is that these things don't change much and they photographed a lot. They get photographed a lot for the simple reason that the meaning of natural landscapes is simple but profound. It is our earth, home, our natural womb. We have a powerful affinity for places of great natural beauty. The kind of thing it means is a sort of ongoing eternity. We like to feel that it always there. It represent the eternal moment, the moment of epiphany, the great ah hah.
The exciting thing about the cityscape is that it dies; it changes. It is culture oriented, culture bound and cultures come and go. If the landscape represent whet we were created from, the cityscape represent what we have created.
The meanings involved in a cityscape are vastly more complex because they imply the most complex thing we know; humans, the human mind and human cultures. There may be other thing that are more complex, but on the whole we are not as familiar with them as we are with the cultures in which we are borm, live and die.
While the landscape makes us tranquil, the cityscape fires the brain. The cityscape has more texture for us, more shades and more shapes. Who built this? Where did they go? Why is this wall painted blue? What is this guy doing? Do these people know some profound secret we have heard?
We look to the mountains and the seas and imagine where we have come from.
We look to the stars and imagine what is on the other side of death.
In between, we are here.


Poetry

The Streets


They may be mean or they may glitter with gold
but there they are,
littered with the men that built them,
different than the mountains,
different than the deserts and the sea,
complete with gutters of trash,
gutters of rain,
gutters of sewage,
gutters of the dying
and the gutters of the dead.

The urban landscape reaches out
and grabs my camera by the lens,
eager to show the simplistic geometry
that gushes from the minds of homo sapiens.

The madmen build as if they would live forever.
The artists build as if someone will know their names in a thousand years.
The women sprout babies like flies on a freshly laid cow-pie.
The men kill one another and other women's babies
as fast as a fly swatter in a lazy man's hand.

Sapiens my ass.

I see lights in the windows
or scratchings on the wall,
doors barred against storms raging,
windows shut against the prying eyes
of predators who will eat
any damn thing that moves
and I see the lives of people
guttering in the wind
and all those straight lines,
all the bright colors or raspberry and lemon and cerulean blue,
all the stone and forests turned into houses,
all the clay baked into adobe haciendas,
the glass and the nails and the brass knockers,
the insane spaghetti wired from pole to pole
and from pole to house to all the lights
that frighten away the black obsidian of the night
and the neon advertising desperate pleasures
for hopeless people
and the litter,
the human waste and the wasted humans
and I think of a mother
holding her infant
and hoping it will
be different for him

but knowing better
as night settles down
around the city

and the rich men
lurk in the dark.