Michael Andrews Arts

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

Riding South


A motorcycle odyssey from Los Angeles to Peru, 1979.
In February of 1979, Brad Foulk and I left Los Angeles. We rode two Yamaha XT- 500s to Lima, Peru. 8000 miles. We saw lots of countries and a lot of people and we found fun and agony, love and laughs, hate and greed, friends and fear. We got typhoid fever in Oaxaca, and we went through a war, bullets and bombs and men with cyanide in their veins. Near the end, we got drunk on Pisco Sours in the Hotel Gran Bolivar in Lima. We went to Machu Picchu and we snorted cocaine as pure as a hospital sheet. We came home. It took six months. We had lots of adventures and spent lots of money. A dollar a mile. Each. Olympus loaned me a bunch of cameras. Along the way I took 4500 pictures. I also filled six notebooks with stories and thoughts and observations and poems.

 

Artist Book


 

 


Editions

Letterpress Edition:

A six month motorcycle ride from Los Angeles to Peru, 1979; the Nicaraguan war, archeological ruins, portraits, dunes, crosses, markets, Machu Picchu, icluding an introduction and bibliography. Foreword by Carlos Fuentes.

The 11x14 edition has 78 pages, letterpress on Arches watercolor & 29 pigment prints, loose leaf in linen binding with cover image in recessed window. The standard slipcase is made of various woods: Pine, Fir, Redwood, Cedar, Poplar. The window is clear lucite. Limited to 17 copies.
Currently: copy 1 - $10,000.00

The 20x24 Letterpress & Digital Print Edition, limited to 4 copies, has 80 pages, many folded folio, letterpress on Arches watercolor & 29 pigment prints, loose leaf in linen portfolio box with cover label pasted into recess. Individual prints are available in various sizes.
Currently: copy 4 - $20,000.00

The 20x24 Letterpress & Cibachrome Print Edition, limited to 3 copies, has 80 pages, many folded folio, letterpress on Arches watercolor & 14 matted, vintage Cibachrome prints, loose leaf in linen portfolio box with cover label pasted into recess. Individual prints are available in various sizes.
Currently: copy 2 - $25,000.00

Digital Edition:

The 11x15 edition has 272 pages of text, 32 Chapters of prose narrative, foreword by Carlos Fuentes, introduction, preface, postscript, bibliography, print list, and 57 poems. There are 798 illustrations. Both the text and illustrations are printed on un-coated Somerset natural and bound as eight page signatures. The 244 signed prints are printed on a coated, natural, heavy paper. They are loose leaf and interspersed among the bound signatures of text. The 798 illuminations, images printed only on the uncoated prose sections.
The book was set using True Golden and Lydian for the prose narratives, and Albertus and Centaur for the poetry. The volume frontis pages are printed on uncoated Gampi mulberry papers. The four volumes which comprise the book are printed on linen and are contained in the slipcase. The four slipcases is hand made using purple heart and maple with lucite barriers. The edition is limited to 5 copies plus an artist proof, signed and numbered by the author.
Currently: copy 1 - $20,000.00

The 20x24 edition has 128 pages of text in 32 folded 24x40 sheets, a prelude & introduction, a foreword by Carlos Fuentes, postscript, bibliography and print list, 30 poems. There are 470 illustrations. Both are printed on un-coated Somerset natural and bound as eight page signatures. There are 35 20x24 signed prints, printed on a coated, natural, heavy paper. They are loose leaf and interspersed among the bound signatures of text. The 470 illuminations/images are printed only on the uncoated prose sections.
The book was set using True Golden and Lydian for the prose narratives, and Albertus and Centaur for the poetry. Contained in a 20x24 portfolio case of box wood, covered with linen with an attached title label. The edition is limited to 5 copies plus an artist proof, signed and numbered by the author.
Currently: copy 1 - $20,000.00

Some of the contents, image and text are available as 20x24 inch, limited edition folios. Many of the nearly 1000 images are available as prints.



Photographs


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Poetry

A SOLDIER AND HIS DOG
Under The Flame Tree, In The Dawn,
In The Rain, In San Juan Del Sur, In Nicaragua,
In May, In 1979, In The War


You know, he added very gravely, it is one of the most serious things that can possibly happen to one in a battle – to get one's head cut off.
Tweedledee


We come riding the hard way through the fog banks of gnats to the border
where everyone has a gun but us and the guns say – No Way Out.
We spend the night hiding in a motel where the landlady doesn't want us
and in the morning the 50 calibers start to gut the city of Rivas to the north.
We get out with all our parts and ride back through the guns to the border
where they still won't let us through the lousy 200 meters to Costa Rica
where the whores work for love and the lobster are as long as your arm.
When the mortars come in we all get behind the stone wall
and listen to the bullets whine and tumble over our heads.
Now and then they skip down the dirt road kicking up a little dust
lazy-like, like they are going no place special
and bullets just have no moral sense at all –

they don't care who they kill.

Just as the National Guard troops are about to get overrun we jump on the bikes
and ride out down the dirt road where the bullets skip along in the dust
and we make it through the monsoon rain to this little town on the Pacific
complete with fishing boats and tankers in the harbor and a beach with surf
and palm trees and gasoline for 4 bucks American for 1 gallon each.
We are alive enough to write this now because Comandante Zapato
didn't want to have American journalists killed in his town.
He saves us from all the badasses that don't like the way we talk,
the way we dress, the place we come from, the color of our hair,
and the fact that we have no guns.

They have guns:
lots of guns, tons of guns, all kinds of guns; M-16s, BARs, Israeli Galils
and I get to look down the barrel of each and every one of them
just a couple of ounces of pressure from being garbage.

We escape the clutches of the town con man who tries to hustle us with
the old Guide-That-Speaks-English Gambit and the I-Love-Americans Trap
and he shows us his wife that he has just beaten, and her father
who is dying of old age, malnutrition, a broken hip swollen
with sepsis and just plain sick-and-tired-of-it-all.
We choose to stay at the Hotel Estrella instead, the only tourists in a war zone.
We get the whole top floor with a balcony that looks out over the palms
and the beach and the surf and the harbor to a sunset filled with pink and orange
and salmon and pelicans diving in the surf for dinner.

The town has no dinner, no electricity, no water, no mail, no telephone, no radio, no refrigeration, no tea, no love at all and No Way Out, No Way Out,
No Way Out – No Hay Paso; so we sip hot Pepsis, we are of that generation, and I am scared – scared of places with no way out and scared of how
I've seen these things before in another time in another jungle in another war
where I have seen the amazing things that some men can do to other men
when they are bored or paid or scared or right or just plain mad
but Brad has never seen what a sane man can do
and it never comes into his head that we are that close to dead.

They keep telling us that there are no mosquitoes in San Juan del Sur
and when the sunset splashes synthetic dyes all over the sky
the first 3000 mosquitoes fly through the balcony window
and I spend an hour rigging a net, cleaning the ear infection
and slapping antifungal cream into my crotch
and I settle down to watch the sun go down
thinking of all the things in the world there are to miss
and watching the sun like a movie in a 5 dollar show
because that's the way to live –
like every sunset is your last.

Death does not frighten me.
It offends me.
I unfold my knife and lay down under the net while things go black
sweating and glad to be alive enough for the mosquitoes to still want me.

In the morning I am only a little surprised to wake up breathing.
It is raining.
Light is just beginning to smear grease across the harbor.
I go out on the balcony and look down the street past the roofs and phone poles
to where the road bends and heads out of town.
Just across the way is a bright orange flame tree like the ones
I used to see in Vietnam and I think about small worlds and the way humans
go for the jugular and I start laying plans to get me through the day.

I think about sunset.
I think about killing and getting killed
in the dark
in the night
in the mosquito net
in the rain
in my sleep
in my young young youth
and I see that the Comandante has put a guard on the hotel to keep the other Guardias away and the Sandinistas, the local militia, the bandits,
the town con men and all those guys that have all those guns
and the only other thing they want is us.

He is sitting under the blood tree in the rain.
He is scratching his dog just as though he were as sane as you and I
holding down the world, protecting the innocent
and keeping that black crazy fear away
and I know better
just like we are all innocent
aren't we
just plain folks
and I remember the way the eyes of sane men go crazy and empty and mean
when the time comes

and for just that moment before the sun comes up
I cry.