Monday, February 23, 2015

Art Exhibit: Opening Reception: Corey Beth LaBuff

Monday, March 16 from 6:30 to 8:30pm (come and go)

Corey Beth LaBuff, a Texas based artist, currently resides in Houston. She received her BFA from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. She enjoys working in acrylic, watercolor, soft pastel, colored pencil, graphite, and ink. She also dabbles in printmaking creating linoleum block cuts. Much of her work is inspired by her hometown of Galveston, Texas, her love of the beach, and her love of animals. Her works of art range from greeting cards, portraits, landscapes, themed murals, to Mardi Gras floats and decorations. Her main goal in every piece of artwork is to bring joy and happiness to others.

Friday, February 13, 2015

featured poet Daniel Carrington

Daniel Carrington will be featured at FPL’s off the page poetry series in May of 2015. Below you will find Daniel’s poem The Painter.  Upon invitation he also contributed an Afterword, original to From the Reference Desk and meant to add insight into The Painter and his creative process.

Daniel Carrington is a Houston-based architect and poet. He is a lifetime member of the Gulf Coast Poets and has been a three-time Spotlight Poet at their annual Poetry Out of Bounds event. In addition, he was featured in Public Poetry’s 2013 Summer/Winter Reading Series and has been selected as a Juried Poet for Houston Poetry Fest in 2010, ‘12, ‘13, and ’14, and his work has appeared in each year’s anthology. He is currently working his first poetry collection entitled Mosaics of the Night.


ours is a fleshy fruit
beneath overcast skies.
by contrast, the bad apples
with which we battle
are like gnarled fists and knuckles
under the hard sun of heaven.
those sharp shadows that mark
the orchard floor define a dark aspect
that sits alongside simple pleasures,
as mingled as the palette of the painter –
the fields of gold and crows of black.
much is made of this fertile crescent
in which we grow and go to seed,
but what I know is such that
the canvas weft might hold it
if it were not a crime to even speak it.
it is this:

let us be grasshoppers, you and I.
what the industry of insects makes
is a social apparatus, a levee
or earthen dam against which presses
an eager water in which we sense
no enmity, no joy,
just the business of overflowing the valley
to renew the land through violence.

(Originally published in the 2010 Houston Poetry Fest Anthology)


“The Painter” wasn’t published until 2010, but its earliest drafts date back to ’06.  Writing this companion piece gave me the opportunity to go back and reexamine those initial brushstrokes in an effort to help any interested readers better understand my process as well as my personal take on the overall composition.  (This is the point where a *SPOILER ALERT* is warranted, though I’ve tried to leave some things to the imagination.)

The poem is grounded in actual events of that not-so-distant time, though to betray them would be like exposing a canvas to prove it’s there.  It serves best discreetly but, much like the events I allude to in the poem, springs to mind at the merest mention.  After all, what battles?  What levees?  It’s enough to say that they served their purpose (in the narrative, if not in reality).  Add to that the withering pace of my workload at the time, and it comes to this: I was tired – plain and simple.  Art, however, is rarely either.

If there is any refuge at all though, I find it in art, so from this very real but somewhat oblique starting point, the poem ventures out into reverie, into a landscape awash in beauty but feathered by dread.  And it was here that I paid a not-so-subtle homage to Vincent van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows, a painting as much framed by levees as the painter himself, stricken as he was.  I like to think there was a measure of solace for him inside his frames.  But there were also the crows.  They’re just impressions of birds really, reduced to a few sublime brushstrokes.  If one were to look closer, they might realize that it is us who color them with our omens – a hallmark of our duality, those inescapable oppositions that define us.

It may be reasonable to acknowledge hardboiled truths, but I find that reason is seldom reason enough.  Recognizing a fact is not the same as reconciling with it.  And it’s at this point that the poem turns on itself.  Weary as I was, having come to this place to find respite, it’s easy to resent reminders that all is fleeting.  In that sense, I think my invocation of Aesop’s fabled grasshopper was more hyperbole than a ringing endorsement of slothfulness.  It’s a plea against extremes made in the most extreme terms – proof in itself of the limitations of reason.

Ultimately, the poem does not offer an olive branch though, not to mankind and certainly not to me.  That I perceived events unfolding around me as adversarial is a fault of perception on my part.  Time and tide will always imperil our levees, and our intercessions in this world are impermanent at best.  To simply understand that wasn’t enough for me.  But by embracing it, I made peace with the Painter.

Daniel Carrington

Other Poems by Daniel Carrington:

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Friendswood Library flicks

Friendswood Library flicks is an ongoing movie series held every other Thursday evening in the Friendswood Public Library Activity Room.  Films are shown on an 8 X 10 ft. screen.  Movies are free and begin at 6:20pm.  Refreshments provided.

Not Rated: 113 minutes: 1963
Often described as “the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made,” Charade stars Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in a sparkling thriller with overtones of screwball romantic comedy — or is it the other way around? ---Decent Films Guide
Stanley Donen's stylishly elegant, largely entertaining romance-thriller teams Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn (then at the height of their careers) for the first and only time. ---Emanuel Levy

Thursday, February 19 at 6:20pm

Now, Voyager remains a highly narcotic, swoon inducing romance in the Bette Davis canon.  ---Slant Magazine
Selected for Preservation in the National Film Registry in 2007
Not Rated: 117 minutes: 1942

Thursday, March 5 at 6:20pm

Each of Bob Hope's "My Favorite" films (My Favorite Blonde, My Favorite Brunette, My Favorite Spy) was, by accident or design, a parody of a dead-serious movie genre. 1942's My Favorite Blonde, for example, was a takeoff of Alfred Hitchcock in general and Hitchcock's 39 Steps in particular. Two-bit vaudeville entertainer Hope gets mixed up with gorgeous blonde British-spy Madeline Carroll. Highlights include Hope eluding capture by impersonating a famed psychologist (watch for Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer as Hope's most contentious "patient"). Madeline Carroll also got several opportunities to shine comedically, especially when she lapsed into cloying baby talk while posing as Hope's wife. (Rotten Tomatoes: Movie INFO)
1942: 78 minutes

Thursday, March 19 at 6:20pm

Based upon a Jane Austen novel, this period romantic comedy depicts the chaos unintentionally caused by young Emma's attempts to play matchmaker for her immediate circle. Unfortunately, her plan ends up causing more confusion than happiness, and Emma herself soon becomes caught in the web of romantic entanglements. (Rotten Tomatoes: Movie INFO)
2002: Rated PG: 2 hrs.

Thursday, April 2 at 6:20pm