From the Edge / Bill Dixon

Then & Now, Stephen Poleskie

ur turn came and we shuffled our bikes up to the starting line. My eyes should have been on my own set of lights, but I couldn’t help looking over at the Hustler’s “Christmas tree.” He got the green and took off. My eyes flashed over at my own set and, after what seemed like a long time, I got green. I took off. Glancing up I could see the Hustler, which appeared to be half way down the ¼ mile track. But I was gaining on him. I ran my tach to red line in each gear. I was right on the Hustler’s tail. I risked a glance up at the finish line. And then I was passing him. I held on and crossed the line first.

Stephen Poleskie/Then and Now

    Leaving Moscow?   By Stephen Poleskie  Contributing Columnist   “Just fill out this form and you can go. . . .” Jenya said, sliding a paper in front of me. “But it’s in Russian, I can’t read Russia,” I replied. “We know you can read it,” Jenya answered, giving me...

Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

I took the drawing off the wall and laid it on the floor. I could stand there looking down at the huge work and get an idea of what I wanted to do, but had to bend over and get on my knees to draw on it or paste the collage pieces onto the surface. I tried this for a time, until my back began to hurt. I had cracked my spine in a motorcycle racing accident many years ago and it still bothered me. It’s hard to be creative when one is in pain. I stopped work on the collage and considered abandoning the project. Then I got an idea—the conference room upstairs.

Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

I don’t suppose that I am the only person who goes to sleep at night wondering if they will wake up to find the world at war. Or perhaps the war will have started by the time you read this article. I will not comment on the quality of the world leaders leading the world during these times…

Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

When I mentioned that I was writing an article about teaching myself to fly, my friend asked: “Who do you think you are, Leonardo da Vinci?” So I know a clever person, who must have read Leonardo’s notebooks. In case you haven’t read these texts, when he wasn’t working on paintings, murals, or designing war machines, Leonard often made drawings for devices to get himself into the sky.

Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

Such was the technology of the 1960s, perhaps carried over from the 1860s when the structure was first built. It wasn’t all that bad though. The building, 76 Jefferson, became so popular as a residence for artists that in 1972 the Museum of Modern Art mounted a show of all the people of note that had had studios there. I was included as well as many of the screen prints we had created and the Paris Review poster series which we also printed.

Steve Poleskie/Then and Now

Elaine de Kooning and Steve Poleskie, photo by Eddie Johnson Remembering Elaine de Kooning at Chiron Press   by Steve Poleskie Contributing Columnist The Denver Art Museum is currently holding an exhibition titled “Women of Abstract Expressionism.” It will be up until...

Bill Dixon/From the Edge

I took the High Street bus to a campus bar near my apartment, washed my hands thoroughly, and ordered a cold bottle of beer. I told the bartender, Harry, I’d just gotten out of prison. He asked me if they offered to let me keep the striped suit. A funny guy, Harry…. It took me about fifteen minutes to settle down, and start erasing the previous hour from my thoughts, a job that’s still not done.

Then and Now/Stephen Poleskie

The art expert and the customs inspector moved to a corner and had a brief conversation, tentatively looking my way from time to time. Then the customs inspector came back to me and announced, “The professore will look at your work now. . . .” His use of the word professore was reverent, not sarcastic.

From the Edge/Bill Dixon

I liked cat houses as places to sip adult beverages, thereafter. Also, they were typically cleaner and had colder beer than the alternative beer joints, plus a “security officer” or two to look after the paying customers. They had a bathroom, too, instead of having customers go out the side door, and pee in the weeds. Lee offered all those services, as well. We immediately established a mutually acceptable relationship.

From the Edge/Column

Things started to come apart: we blamed each other for things little and large: cracks opened. Staying in the same house got progressively harder for us. I have to take responsibility for doing nothing to change the direction things were going. It really was my fault, and I’d declined a wonderful opportunity and wrecked almost twenty years of our very excellent relationship. Being pig-headed is an expensive behavior form, but I fit the definition, nicely. By mutual decision, I “temporarily” moved into a small campus area rental property we owned. I strayed. I strayed a lot.

Then and Now/Steve Poleskie

The photo above is of me talking on a telephone when telephones were for talking on, not typing out messages to one’s friends with your thumb, or playing games, or getting directions that get you lost anyway. We still use a land line in our house, although my wife and I both have cell phones; or mobiles as they are called in the rest of the world…

Bill Dixon/From the Edge

Everyone develops a system of rationalizing their more aberrant behavioral issues, I suppose, and I have developed mine. I don’t watch much television. (Here comes the rationalization)….In Maine, I don’t have any means of doing so: no cable, no antenna, and absolutely no interest in turning on the tube even if I had the means to do so. Accordingly, for nearly six months out of the year, I don’t watch any TV at all − as in none!

Then and Now

I must admit that when I learned what was in the rooms upstairs I was rather curious and kept peeping through the forbidden door’s keyhole, but all I could see was a dark stairwell. I was told that the door was only open on one day of the year, the anniversary of the dead Massimo’s resurrection and return to heaven. On that day, I was advised, my apartment would be invaded by an array of priests, bishops, and cardinals, and maybe even the pope himself, who would be coming to pray, light candles, and spray incense on the stuff in the rooms above. I would be permitted to stay and see the ceremony if I didn’t interfere. I hoped that I might even be allowed upstairs to look around.

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History…

The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as ragazine.cc, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.