A Recent Abstraction: #8


Hello Friends,

Here’s a recent piece for your enjoyment. As far as color goes, this is a bit of a departure from other works in this series. Still, there’s something that calls to me. I hope you hear it too.

Love,

Brandon

New Poem and Recent Abstraction: #5 by Brandon White

A Recent Abstraction: #5

The Borders:

In the grand scheme
you were
momentary

and now
I keep you
like a proper poet

at the borders
of the mind,
in flashes

of cold
memory


-Brandon White

A Recent Abstraction: #3 by Brandon White

A Recent Abstraction: #3 by Brandon White

Hello Friends,

Here is the third piece of my new series of digital works. I love the feeling I get from this piece, but I can’t quite put my finger on why. Perhaps that’s the reason?

The words are flowing again, and I’ll be sharing a new poem or 2 in the coming days. Plenty of progress is being made on my third book.

There’s a light ahead, friends. There’s so much beauty, creativity, and love just around that next corner. I can feel it.

I hope you’re all healthy and happy.

Big Love,

Brandon

A Recent Abstraction: #2 by Brandon White

A Recent Abstraction: #3 by Brandon White

Hello Friends,

Here is the second piece in my new Recent Abstractions series of digital art.

I hope you enjoy.

-Brandon

New Digital Art – A Recent Abstraction: #1 by Brandon White

A Recent Abstraction: #1 by Brandon White

I’ll be sharing a new series of abstract digital works that have been helpful and healing. I hope that some of you might appreciate them.

All My Love,

Brandon

Repetition – A Poem by Brandon White

Hello friends! I’ve got for you today, a new free verse poem, fresh from the mind to the screen. I hope you enjoy it!


Repetition:

Choke on thoughts of hands
and flesh

and know that I have come to despise
these cheap displays of passion.

On the endless backroad
of my numbered days

I speed screaming into the mouth
of the beast that swallows my years.

Every wrong turn
remembered.

I feel I've been
robbed.


-Brandon White

Gift – A Poem by Brandon White

A short, newer free verse poem that arrived fully realized while driving my daughters to school. I hope you enjoy it!


Gift:

I live not for risk
or adrenal rush

not for company men
or brass rings

I live for the song

For that perfect line
of a poem

where the muse rips
open the box of mystery

like a Christmas morning gift,
raises it to me smiling and says:

For you, the world


-Brandon White

Ghost Rider – A Poem by Brandon White

Another recently unearthed free verse poem, written a few months after my father’s passing. I was inspired to write about the comfort we find in art during times of uncertainty and pain. I’m happy it’s found a place.


Ghost Rider:

You’ve been the ghost
in the seat next to me

for more miles
than I can count.

Your voice rises
from the speakers

to illuminate
the road ahead,

to make yourself known
once more.

God knows
I could use the company.

We’ve never had much use
for conversation,

so let’s fill the air
with a song once more

and build a fire
by the roadside.

I’ll stretch this body out
and turn my eyes

to the western stars.


-Brandon White

Bob Dylan: The Master & The Mystery

Photo by Richard Mcall via pixabay

In my time as a writer and consumer of poetry and songs, I’ve found few artists as polarizing to my fellow lovers of music and literature as Robert Zimmerman, aka Bob Dylan. From those who simply can’t find their way beyond the nasal vocal delivery to those who speak of him as a kind of prophet, the truth is few artists in popular music have had the kind of cultural impact as Dylan. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said better by many writers over Dylan’s seven-decade career, and this IS NOT a career retrospective – this is, as all things I will present to you in this space, about the craft and the mystery of art, and few have gotten as close to the heart of that mystery as Bob Dylan.

As a young songwriter, hearing Dylan for the first time was like God himself pulling back the curtain of creation and saying, “See, this is how it all works.” I was blown away, terrified, and determined to understand how someone could find themselves in such command of their craft. How the hell did he write like that? These fantastic images that flowed from his pen were like nothing I’d heard before, and they set my imagination on fire. Clearly, he was tapped into the source – there could be no other explanation. Later I’d find out that the source he was tapped into was a tremendous knowledge of folk and blues music, a bit of theft, poetry, and a lot of amphetamine. Still, plenty of artists had enjoyed their share of these and other things, but none of them returned from their trips with a message like this.

So what as artists of the social media age do we have left to learn from Dylan?

First, not to let the opinions of others dictate how you approach your work or determine what success and failure are to you. Is the act of creation enough? Is the act of creation and sharing it with others enough? Or does it need two thousand likes and to fill your inbox with hundreds of followers curious about your skin-care routine?
If your answer is the latter – please take some time to rethink your approach.

Second, the bravery to follow one’s muse wherever it leads. Dylan, throughout his career, has been a chameleon. From Woody Guthrie clone, to protest singer, to rock ‘n’ roll cool guy, to a country artist, to evangelical preacher riding a slow train promising fire and brimstone, to bluesman, to doing his best Frank Sinatra impression, nothing has stood between Dylan and his vision. Tastemakers be damned. Carve it into your heart and bravely step into this cynical world to leave a mark that is uniquely yours. Bob would have it no other way.

A couple of years back, I attended a Dylan concert at the Brady Theater in Tulsa, Oklahoma. From the sparse stage set-up to the minimal, warm lighting, the room was ready to recieve the message.

Dylan took the stage with his incredible band and delivered not a single song in its original format. The audience of mostly general music fans were left stunned. What was this? Why is he changing the arrangements? What is he doing? The endings of several songs were met with an uncomfortable silence, followed by almost reluctant applause.

Dylan was showing us the raw truth of his craft. That there on his stage, in his mid-seventies, night after night, he was not there to deliver the hits. No, he had come to conjure spirits, to throw the curve, and call wild audibles all in an attempt to find that elusive moment where creativity, heart, and muse align. He was, in his way, pulling back the curtain and saying, “See, this is how it all works.”

The Child – A Poem by Brandon White

This free verse piece was written around the same time as the bulk of the poems that make up my debut book, The Year that Stole the Light Away. I stumbled onto it this morning, and after seeing it with fresh eyes, I thought it would be nice to give it a home. A piece about the child that lives in us all: I hope you enjoy it.


The Child:

She remembers me from years ago,
but I can’t say the same.
She says her mind is troubled.

She tells me her mother ran off
with her stepfather.
They’re traveling the country in an RV.

She tells me she deserved more
when her father died.
Now that bastard gets it all!

She leaps from her chair
and loudly re-enacts an argument,
jabbing her finger into a phantom chest.

Her eyes fill with tears,
and at sixty years old, a lost child
cries out for her mother.


-Brandon White