chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

THE MEMORIES…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ THE MEMORIES
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

form…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ form
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

somewhere…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ somewhere
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

behind…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ behind
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

design…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ design
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

indulge…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ indulge
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

the essential…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ the essential
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

in…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ in
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

rain…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ rain
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

down…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ down
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

SELF

DAK self etching 1968In 1993, on the cusp of her 82nd birthday, my mother had a one-person show of her work at a gallery in downtown Los Angeles. She had been in a number of group shows, but as desperately as she had wanted to exhibit and sell, it was only with the encouragement and support of a group of fellow artists that the show materialized.

A huge achievement, a triumph, really, “Moments” tracked the arc of her work, from early sketches and very realistic still-life paintings through later abstraction, construction and installation. A catalogue and a series of self-portraits stitched the decades together.

Dorothy had no formal training, though she took many art classes, and her paintings often reflected the influence of her teachers and the artists she studied. In some of her work, she displayed a wonderful knack for whimsey, discovering objects and creatures within a blot of ink or paint, or emerging from a scribble.

This etching captures that spirit. It’s one of my favorites. A Chagall-ish collection of beings floats around a tall vase: snakes and butterflies, birds, frogs, flowers and dog-like creatures, including our pug, Taco, with dark ears, facing the woman, on the little rug in the lower left.

The Artist’s Proof, framed, signed and dated, hangs on my wall; I look at it often. Today, as I was shuffling photographs, I found a small photo of the piece marked up for inclusion in the catalogue. The caption is written in pencil on a bit of paper masking-taped to the photo: SELF PORTRAIT 1968 etching 18″ x 24″. The word PORTRAIT has been erased and the piece is called SELF in the catalogue.

As many times as I have looked at the print, I never realized it was a self-portrait: the beautiful, beloved, fairytale princess that my mother imagined, or wished, her Self to be.
. . . . .
“SELF” © D.A. Kleinberg 1968

in the hidden…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ in the hidden
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

in their…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ in their
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

shadow

1940s Helen and DorothyDorothy and her sister-in-law Helen look glamorous in this mid-1940s photo. They would have been in their 30s, the war over and life in their favor. But what interests me most is the looming shadow of my mother’s brother, Bob. No matter that the two women are bright and sun-kissed; Bob’s shadow looks massive and overcoated.

If my father’s family was sprawling and inclusive, my mother’s — at least the local branch — was small and self-involved. Bob and Helen and their son, Bobby, who was about my age, lived nearby, as did my grandmother, Elsie, and our families socialized with some frequency.

Uncle Bob was a cigar-smoking joker, loud and a little flashy. He was unfailingly kind to me, but my mother had nothing good to say about her brother. Two years older, he had been her childhood tormenter, teasing her, pulling her hair, jumping out from behind doors to frighten her. Yet the degree of her resentment went beyond a younger sister’s memory of past pranks and she did not forgive him. His presence, even after he had moved away, was sinister, the looming shadow more than a metaphor, and as an adult I came to suspect that there was more to the story than my mother would tell.

letters…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ letters
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

WRITER…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ WRITER
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

to create…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ to create
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

the muse…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ the muse
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

words…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ words
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

memories…

found poem © j.i. kleinberg ~ memories
found poem © j.i. kleinberg

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