Oakland’s Spring and Robert Raushenberg at the SF MOMA

Perfect for spring; blooms in Oakland and inspiration from the SF MOMA…large and memorable, the Robert Raushenberg retrospecitive.

Happy Spring Everyone!!

Here is what’s ‘growing on’ in the garden.

I know, some of you may be rolling your eyes, fed up with the blustery winds, sleet, and snow of this week where you live. But allow me just a few photos of the Northern Pacific Coast to cheer you up; this is what is soon coming your way: warmth, Sun, and color!!

And ever so spring-like, I’m happy to say that inspiration is also coming round to my studio lately, especially for writing and poetry (which is always the precursor, the sister Muse to my musical inspirations. Whew!)  I do have projects to finish this Spring. I think I alluded to the lull earlier; family stuff last year kind of drove things quiet for a bit. I’m not one to to make art in times of intensity or drama. Not for public consumption anyway. So hopefully my Muses will honor me with some quality time this month.

But I’m excited by one major spark to my world lately- seeing the art  retrospective of Robert Rauschenberg: Erasing the Rules at the San Francisco MOMA last month. It roused my artistic doldrums with curiosity about other art mediums, got me dusting off pens and ink wells, and has me journaling lots of late. Woo Hoo!

If you are close to San Fran, you must go see Raushenberg’s work: It’s wonderful! Big color, wild textures, giant works and small zippered pieces, a feast of artistic styles, photography, and sculpture.  I just love it when a museum is filled wing after wing, room to room with the chapters of an artist’s life. Those are always the most powerful exhibits.

Artwork image, Robert Rauschenberg, Port of Entry

In the MOMA’s words “From the 1940s until his passing in 2008, Rauschenberg worked with everything from photography to items scavenged from New York City streets to vats of bubbling mud. More than 150 of Rauschenberg’s artworks, including prints, sculptures, paintings, and Combines (works that incorporate painting and sculpture),” are on exhibit. And he was a rule-breaker of sorts. He “broke down boundaries between disciplines, anticipated many of the defining cultural and social issues of our time, and redefined what art could be…”   Exhibit details.

And give yourself a couple of days to enjoy it all; this really is one of those exhibitions where multiple visits benefit; the shear magnitude of offerings is huge. I know I’ll catch things I missed the next time I see it.

Signs of Spring- A Traipse across the Bay

Lots of visitors to our humble abode in recent weeks and for the whole month. I like how this turns us into tourists in our own hometown, Oakland CA.

Lots of visitors to our humble abode in recent weeks and through the month. I like how this turns us into tourists in our own hometown (thanks for that idea Ms. Stella!)

I also like turning people’s ideas of Oakland upside down; all the “is it safe” trepidation.  I’ve updated my Inspired in Oakland page with statistics, press, & perceptions.  A friend says ‘let folks continue thinking all of this nonsense about Oakland, so that we won’t get any more crowded.”  It’s true; the papers keep saying that more people are moving to Oakland than to San Fran now. Either way, I prefer to show folks all the beauty of my town.

Spring weather & a running race on the lake last weekend. Lake Merritt is one of just a handful of tidally influenced, salt water lakes in the world.  It’s about 3.3 miles round.

lake merrit2281

lake merrit2285

Signs of Spring- what’s for sale from local farms at the Oakland Farmer’s market;


Off to the Mission! The best Fish tacos (salmon) at our favorite La Coroneta, in SF.


And something we’ve never done before…the ferry to Alcatraz on a très foggy-turned-sunny afternoon~

Alcatraz fog

Alcatraz1alcatraz2View toward San Francisco…


…wondering did the 3 who escaped ever reach shore, anywhere?

Digging Hope   6:52

Companions in hope, blood, crime-

adjacent cells sharing spoons, digging slow  

until thick fog clouds sting all fingers still,

a blanket enveloping night, while 4 scrape

air ducts clear, concrete crumbling fast beneath

sink-to-shaft, growing softer each year

finally yielding into the desperate frigid  bay,


Poems 52:365

A Traipse Through San Francisco

When guests come to visit, we take them to the usual San Francisco haunts they want to see (Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, North Beach, cable cars…), and for ourselves, try to walk new routes and find new things along the way to keep it fresh.

When guests come to visit, we take them to the usual San Francisco haunts they want to see (Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, North Beach, cable cars…), and for ourselves, try to walk new routes and find new spots to keep it fresh.  I confess, I don’t even bring my camera anymore (how many pictures of Coit Tower do I need?), but it was a first time visit for our friends from the East Coast; it would be easy to feel the day with fresh eyes.

We had both cloudy and sunny days:

Near Telegraph Hill.  Last month we shot video footage here for my new song “I’d cross any bridge for you.”  I love this spot!!

On the way to Coit Tower- we discovered Kingdom Cupcakes, ordered the chocolate assortment,  & took our friend Jimmy for his first ever espresso at Roma’s in North Beach.
















Vinyl store “101 Music” on Grant

Favorite animals of the day: sharks in the glass tunnel; Aquarium by the Bay- SF.

Succulent Dungeness crab- pick them up fresh from any Asian market. 

Deepwater isopods kept in the dark.

Art of the day:  Argentina ants at Fisher Weisman Studio of custom furnishings

“Wow Frank!  San Francisco cuisine is oh-so-big!  Chateaubriand, Giant Dungeness crabs, King Salmon! What shall we eat?!

“I dunno Bernard… the journey from Argentina has been long; anything my size will do.”

The most  inspiring discovery of the day;

The statue of The Goddess of Democracy in Portsmouth Square in Chinatown, begun in 1989 and is a replica of the same statue erected at Tiananmen Square to mark the protests of the same year.

It was a gorgeous day. Everyone is relaxing and playing cards and checkers around her.

City Surprise

Another North Beach day.  Pending dusk,
revelers spill from bars, tourists crowd menus. You ask about the eternal crane in the skyline near Columbus & Main.  We look up-

Crane. Moon. Trans America building.  A figure stands on an adjacent roof in gas mask and shorts, red scribbled text

 “If at first you don’t succeed, call an airstrike.”



Writing in the moment- “small stones”