Monday, October 23, 2017

My Sport

My father, and my mother, too
have gone the way of others who
no longer walk the earth. They spun
my spinning top of destiny at birth.

They set up all the rest of me.
What's beyond this vast elastic Dearth
of anything that matters?, this incarnate
just-won't-do? What are our tasks

when we’re alive and after? Maybe
daddy's doubled up in laughter reading 
random passages about the past in vast
Akashic records speckled through 

etheric texts dissolved in motes
of hydrochloric acid floating
imperceptibly above Alaska. He’s not
around to ask. Is Mommy in a belfry 

making existentially elucidating fudge,
so dense it will not budge?
Does Bob my bro still hold a grudge
against them? Is he on an ocean-liner

now regaling him with whales?
And so I fence them in with speculative
tales and stories about offhand glory.
They're flakes of nothingness, most likely,

as I'll be as well. Hell is when you break
the spell. Unless I'm wrong. Speculation's
long, and death defines long’s opposite:
there’s nothing shorter than can’t-be.

I slap my knee. My sport is
to report on it and disagree.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Another Test

The question’s not to be or not – hey, who’s that man behind the curtain?
Does he dare to eat a peach? No, I’m certain we reach into other regions
of – I want to say intention! – I wish there were intention! – I wish that I
believed in guidance from a hand or from a holy man or from the grandeur
of a Bach to Bach seduction, and it doesn’t mean I don’t, that is, “believe”,
it’s just it doesn’t matter. Want to shatter into bits? Believe in sociopathy.

Or cleave to opportunity instead, when you are rolling out of bed and take
your shambles to the bathroom and regard the thing that mirrors back
into your eyes as not-so-bad this morning come, perhaps, to think.
Today your soul may come to drink from some new just-discovered spring.
Let’s get practical about this drawing thing. You say it’s random. Is it?
Is it like the physics in that quizzical imagined business called mutation?

Stick a “random” on mutation: Darwin did, Darwin thought he had to. Or is
questioning esthetic? Is there an impulse toward the beautiful? When I got
my six buck sale-price plastic bag of Sharpies, did it mean I wouldn’t start
my next perplexity emerging from the void? Mutation can’t be random.
It starts from something proven, there, like Steuben glass looked on a shelf
all lit up like a brain when you were ten, a class trip to the city. It wasn’t pretty.

It was crucial. Rain’s not random: it’s solution. Inevitable child of two
parental elements deciding that the temperature is right not just, as always,
to collide but to collude in something so salubrious it has the power to enact
a generating enterprise, to aid a thing to breed. It changes need into creation.
Water is a dare. To eat a peach. To reach the man behind the curtain.
To be or not to be a question. Somewhere there’s another test. And


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Makes, Measures, Gives, Lends, Is

The premise which makes every other
premise so uninteresting they're rendered
ineffectual and therefore inadmissible –

the measure of what gives us a voluptuous
capacity for leisure, lends us everything
we treasure, and whose generative power
is invincible: the Pleasure Principle.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How He Painted His Portrait

He began by standing
grandly like a cavalier –
a wily stylish royalist –
bound to his king by reflex –
all ample elegant virility,

tastefully testosteroned:
his thrill was real. He warily
leaned back – quick hands
turned cowboy: reached
for guns – tense spine

relaxed into impasto, half-
mixed hues, whites, blues
and greens – scarlet,
black and turquoise mark
the outer limits of the paint:

there’d be a void
of unalloyed un-painted
canvas beyond that:
what color could one call
unpainted canvas?

Ridiculous and inexplicable:
no point beyond existing.
Someone said to think our
species had more purpose
than to be organic landfill

was presumption. But
presumption will insist. His
cowboy/cavalier’s still here.
Albeit with those funny
squiggles out each ear.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A Private Blue

Assuming, as I am today disposed to do,
that there’s no reason not to think
whatever we would like to think is true,
I have decided that you trade in an ephemeral

but incontestable exasperating magic which
creates the cloud that you inhabit and accrue
by simply being you: that you in any other
context – Idaho or Timbuktu – would be as

inexpressibly uniquely new as you seem now.
Every day I look and see what seems to be
the recognizably colluding is-and-what-and-how
of you: contours that depict familiar outlines

and announce your various peculiarities
and unmistakable phenomena – no doubt
whom I am looking at – that brush of shadow
in your eyes and face – inveterate elusive

specked-with-sun-gold linearity which finds
some parity in cherubim, but more invokes
a camaraderie with poltergeists and demons
whose deft steaming sweet shenanigans

will never be denied: every day I see the slide
into the mystery of how you claim complete
autonomy – dimensionally here in every way –
and yet with some strange inexplicability:

there is a crucial floating thread in you, an art
connected to an answer in your heart – or so
I am assuming, as today I am disposed to do –
which drifts astray into a private blue.


Monday, October 16, 2017

She and Her Hammock, Her Hammock and Her

“Hang up a hammock,” her spirit guide
told her one night in a nice enough dream:
“sit in it often until something softens inside
and you feel something gleam.”

“Soon you will see it. It will go grow clearer
as long as your hammock and you co-construe
to co-habitate: gently and warmly get nearer
by sitting, awaiting the next breakthrough.”

She thought: won’t be hard to do that.
The hammock and she got along like a charm:
they happily nestled like lap and cat.
And then she began, with the faintest alarm,

to see the dream’s gleam had arrived.
Her hammock had brought her transcendency
which she now knew was why they had thrived.
Hammock and she were in love. Destiny.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Pure Light of Franck Danican: "créatif dans l'âme"

I met Franck Danican because he liked my art, which he'd seen on Facebook. He approached me with the request to do a drawing for him - using him as a model with complete free reign to do anything I wanted with the image. I did so - and found it absorbing. So have dozens of other artists he's asked to do the same thing, with the result that he has an amazing virtual gallery of extraordinary work. 

To meet Franck is to understand why we all succumbed so freely to him: he is a pure light. I admit to being wary at the beginning: most models and fashion designers (both of which he is) are stereotypically prone to me-me-me "Ego" difficulties, to put it mildly: Franck is not one of them. He radiates a sense of joy and freedom which are contagious. His story which begins in his having been born in French Guadeloupe, takes him to France and now to New York, is one of the more inspiring New York stories I've encountered. Here's his intro to his 2018 calendar "Marogani":

"When I first saw the Statue of Liberty, I didn’t see her holding up a flame. “C’est un pinceau!” is what I thought: a paintbrush. Born in the French island of Guadeloupe, moving in my early teens to France to study fashion and become a designer, and now in New York, where I am a model, designer and am further exploring the interface of art and fashion, I realized, more deeply, not only in my own life but to uncountable others, liberty can be reached through art.

My grandmother would have been amazed at the journey I’ve taken to this liberty. She called me Marogani, creole for Mahogany, because my skin was the color of that wood and I was as strong as mahogany – hence the title of my new 2018 calendar. I selected twelve colors and asked artists with very different styles to collaborate with me (using me as the model) on the images you see here. How readily and gladly they agreed! Their generosity and the quality of their art powerfully moved me. Through their art they revealed aspects of me I had never before been able to see. Now arrayed into a calendar, each month a celebration of a different artist, I hope these images will underscore another and far greater message: if the paintbrush is to bring us to any kind of freedom, one way it can do so is by giving us the widest possible range of points-of-view of artists who hold that brush, and evoke angles of vision we’ve not before encountered. Our vision widens as the happy result."

Franck's curiosity about and interest in and desire to aid the careers of artists bespeaks his generous nature. Since he's been in New York he's staged three fashion shows in Times Square, met with and worked with the biggest artists and designers in New York, and in general has made himself increasingly known in the fields of both fashion and art. He's regularly featured in European magazines and interviewed. Two YouTube videos are here affixed - one of a sort of 'day in the life' of Franck Danican, interview in French (his native language):

the second an array of the artist Manolo Yanes' depictions of him as "The Black Clown." 

Here's the cover and January layout for "Marogani":

and an interview done with Franck in Elle Magazine:

one of his monthly features in Polis, this for August 2017, some of the drawings done of him by numerous artists (a few, including mine - upper left, will be found in "Marogani")

Here he is leaping in a Levis ad, New York

here's a link to his designs for french singer Joelle Ursull in Fashion Republik: 

and about his haute couture collection also in Fashion Republik:

and a piece in French about him appropriately titled "créatif dans l'âme"

and then dive into the Google feast of info about him:

Let him into your imagination! And if you speak French, meet him - talking with him will make you want to speak it: you'll get better at it.


If you're interested in contacting him directly, he invites you to do so: or by phone or text: 917 340 9932

He has a capacious and brilliantly illustrated page on Facebook, continually updated with pics and info: feel free to friend him and contact him there too:

I'm not only Franck Danican's friend; I'm his assistant. If you'd like to order the 8x8 wall calendar Marogani, please contact me - Guy Kettelhack - 212 253 9709  -  Or on Facebook:

I can arrange to send you the extrarodinary exhibition on a wall Marogani (2018) really is. It sells for $40, plus mailing. Of course, if you're in New York, I'm sure I can arrange to hand it to you personally, so no mailing involved. You may have to shake my hand or something however.


It's rare that I feel so strongly about wanting myself to help give someone the spotlight I think Franck Danican deserves. You know this is true if you know me. But Franck Danican is a burst of pure light. To be with him is to feel more alive than you did before you met him. He deserves heralding.

Friday, October 13, 2017

In Search of the Sleazy Apothegm

I’ve become a match for
the latch on a door.
I thought I wanted more
of every bit of thing nonstop
to stop by, drop in, pop on
over. And they did.
They were no bed of clover.

I hid when they had
eaten all my raisins
and my reason and got
bored with the unfeasible,
unseasonable sleaze
of my proclivities and slid
back out the door.

Now each last dotted i,
crossed t in them has lost
its appetite for me,
and I have lost
my aptitude for every little
idiotic bitty flitty it in them.
Now I require

a perfect single essence
to inspire condensation:
deflate the bloviation,
mutate to apothegm.
I’m on a diet.
It’s very quiet. I recall
how much I like it

loud, and how I love
a sweaty crowd.
Been so long
since I have bowed
to great applause.
Gives the poet in me pause.
Gives the sleazy actor claws.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Homeostasis of Change

If you must carry the message,
permit it to presage

a thing you believe.
What deceives will aggrieve.

Or better still, be it,
then, like a breath, free it

and let it be gone.
You won’t stay past its dawn.

As there’s nothing to say,
Existence will shoo you away

to collapse like a star when it dies –
sooner or later, perhaps, to rise

to face a new foamy exchange
with the homeostasis of change.