Michael Andrews Arts

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

The Sierras Abstracted


Artist Book

An Artist Book of poems and Abstracted Photographs, Coptic bound with printed wood covers.
The place reflected in this book is the Sierra National Forest just outside the Southeast corner of Yosemite, about 25 to 35 miles Northeast of Bass Lake. It incorporates a family history from 1930 to 2006: portraits, forest, stones, lakes, flowers, landscapes, streams. And it represents the shelf life of a forest from its beginnings as a wilderness of old growth to its transition into a grandiose park and pine plantation. The metaphor for this transition is represented in the change of the forest name from John Muir National Forest to the Ansel Adams National Forest. Our cultural parallel is the tansition from roots and substance to celebrity and what turns a profit.
The prevailing modality of how to define the function of a photograph is limited to the current idea that a photographic image should simply record the world by looking as much as possible as the originating scene.
The odd thing about a photograph that is meant to be as close as possible to the original reality is that it can never be exact for the obvious reason that a photograph is two dimensional while the reality as we normally experience is three. This suggests two thoughts. The first is that only the reality is an exact portrayal of the reality and everything else an approximation by abstraction.
Abstraction, representation and art are closely related to the concepts of algorithm and metaphor. The second thought is that we train our eye to accept an artifact as a close representation based solely on custom and fashion.
152, 12x12 inch pages on 100% rag, archival paper, 59 poems & 59 pigment prints of Abstracted photographs, coptic bound in a wooden binding printed with cover image. Set with Optimus Princeps & Lydian typefaces. Limited to 17 copies.




Watching The Buck

Holcomb Lake, 1959

On the north side of the lake is a meadow with a rock fall spilling five hundred feet down the face of a granite cliff.

The rock fall is all loose scree and medium sized boulders, tumbling in slow motion for thousands of years into the meadow below.

Pop and Patriquin took me and Rick and Dennis and Lance scrambling up the rocks.
We slide and tumble and dodge one another's landslides.
It took us blood and sweat and tears and two hours of heart pounding, leg crushing, spine breaking climbing to make it to the top
where could look out across the sea of other peaks cresting across the range, and down to the lake waiting blue below us.

The next day we all sat in the quiet of the afternoon on the big boulder that sits in solitary grandeur in the middle of the meadow.
We are watching the clouds sail over the green joy of the meadow, across the ice blue sky, and pass out of sight beyond the granite wall.
We make less noise than the afternoon breeze blowing off the lake.

Suddenly, without a sound, a lone buck with a huge wrack wanders into the meadow, looking for tender grass and a cool drink,
and we hold our breath, scarcely able to contain the sheer thrill of being this close to so
wild a thing, hoping he doesn't see us, doesn't run,
and he crops the cheerful grass until finally, one of us moves, and the buck jerks his head,
startled the first moment he realizes that his meadow is populated with mortally dangerous predators.

He bounds across the grass in less than a heartbeat and begins leaping and bounding up the rock fall, boulder to boulder, without a single slip,
without a single rock slide, and before we remember to take a second breath, his bobbing white rump
leaps over the top, and he disappears from our lives in less than two minutes flat.

Only hawks have loved these mountains more.