The Installation in San Francisco of ‘Tides’, a Two-Ton Sculpture by Our Issue 01 Artist, Yoko Kubrick

Artwork, Updates

In the very first issue of Bold + Italic, we had the opportunity to feature a sculpture, titled Tides, inspired by the ocean waves. Kubrick crafted it in Tuscany, Italy of Carrara marble. She tells us it was completed on a commission for the University of San Francisco (commissioned by the graduating class of 1968 for the 50th anniversary of their graduation when it was an all-women’s college – Lone Mountain Women’s College.)

Tides is now located at the top of the Lone Mountain campus staircase in the Sacred Heart Garden – “which for me,” Kubrick says, “is arguably one of the most beautiful views in all of San Francisco.”

“Tides was inspired by the Banzai Pipeline, a surf reef break on the North Shore of Oahu, where I lived as a child. Through this form, I try to express reverence for the beauty, movement, fluidity, and energy of ocean waves. […] I think there is a sort of magic that happens when we can merge with nature in this way.” – Yoko Kubrick, Issue 01

Here is what USF wrote about Tides and its installation in SF: “How to Install a Two Ton Sculpture” – quoting one of the students, “It’s really nice to have a little rest area going up all these stairs to Lone Mountain.”

In another article in the NY Times – “The Sculptor Who Conceives Classical Myths,” – Nick Marino writes about her work that the “piece doesn’t have a front or back, so you’re never certain how to view it; the only focal point is a suggestive hole that Kubrick bored through the middle.” To which, Kubrick suggests that such sculptures “give a larger space for interpretation; if you see a perfect image of something that’s classical realism, it doesn’t leave as much room for the imagination.”

A dream accomplished for her, Kubrick informs us that of the 358 public artworks in San Francisco listed in the Smithsonian’s online catalogue, only 15% are by women artists. (a sad fact?)


yokoworkingangleginder

Yoko Kubrick is an American sculptor of Japanese and Czech heritage. She grew up in Guam, Hawaii, California and former Czechoslovakia, the contrasting cultures from where aroused her interest in the arts and now inform her work as a sculptor. She studied briefly at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara (in Carrara, Italy) before leaving to work alongside professional sculptors in a marble atelier. She currently divides her time between the San Francisco Bay Area and Tuscany, Italy. Find her here!

Amar Saeed’s “Views Through a Lens”

Artwork

Amar, how so good?

“Not very good really! My journey with the lenses hasn’t been a long one to count. It began hardly over an year ago but, fortunately, it has been nothing short of amazing. While looking at them, and even later, photographs are like musical notes to me, each having a different emotion (or rather very often a lot of different emotions). However, talking of the process — how I think of it — I don’t just click photos with my camera, I press a pause button in time and capture the moment, but yes! I still have a lot to learn and many journeys to embark on. And very hopefully, I still have a lot of stories to create.”


amar-saeed

Amar Saeed, a second-year student of Medicine in SKIMS, India, is an amateur photographer. A coffee-, nature- and animal-lover, with an interest in writing, reading and learning, where he lives is a major part of what inspires him. “Views Through a Lens” is his first online publication. Find him here, and on twitter!

Laura Potts — 4 Poems

Poetry

Yesterday’s Child

 

The sun slit a knife through the womb-wet night

and bled like an egg, like a budburst head:

in the swell of the sweat on the belly of the bed,

broken-throated then and red, you said

the clench of winter let the roses grow instead.

 

But time has fled with jenny wren and left

the meadow dead. And overhead a mouth of moon

has called a mourning on this room, and soon

an ever-bloom of moss will clot the loss of you.

For the years between us are wide as a child;

 

and the tears as wet as a wound.


The Wise Child

 

I remember he fled from the fogdrop moors with the dawn

and the bells of December beyond, calling morning to the streets

while winter wept beneath the trees. A sleeping me before the door

glowed on behind my mother’s knees. With holly-forest at his feet

 

from leaping long the brawling leas, he brought the loss of blossom-blush

to fall upon the breeze: he the keeper of the keys to all our stars and

northern storms, who never knew that news he bore would bruise the husk

of heart and more, poured a prayer into the pram and handed up a telegram.

 

Pass the years upon the land, a scrap of shying light I am. My splash

of laughter never sang the spring to swing me in its arms, ever since

that winter when my eyes lost all their stars. Oh father in the terrace dark,

that vast cathedral of your heart never called a patch of moon to squint

 

a light into our room, when looming in the corners slept the soldiers

in the gloom. I saw the sun forever as a wet and sunken wound, and knew

the black that cooked the blue when I was only two. And you? The colder

soul that spat the gas to phantoms that would never pass, who blew

 

the saplings ribbon-black and burst the buds beneath his tracks, would

always be my father but never once my dad. Last and ever after that, here

where War had torn us sore and mauled our bruises black, I heard

the chant of thousands calling to the stars and back: for all the years

 

and eras came that postboy down the path. He always was, perhaps,

and is; and leapt until we lost him to the dying mouth of mist.


The Body Broken

Mass and Sunday mourning pass the chancel black

and chalice-back of I, spire-spined and last to part

my plumping bud to take the nocturne wine. Mine

 

the softly hills, mine the spill and steeple-swing

of fruiting breasts and bells, yes. We break the bread

and bless. Lady in the lancet holds the apple mocking red.

 

Dappled chant and dark, ahead the blood-bright night

and first-light glass of gasping Eve, winter’s heave

hangs always here with heads that bow before the vow

 

to never grieve the leaving eyes of youth. Truth

is lost and winterworn. Borne away on snarling winds,

the greening drop of spring falls from my hair. The cleric’s

 

cloak is a darkly thing. My deeper, deeper throat

receives the gloaming sermon there, heir of the berry

dreamt to bursting in his hand. Damn the vestal

 

up-and-swung of lust that Woman loved, budblood

and the Garden singing skin and pink bouquets, but

turn the tongue beyond the Book and in the darkest

 

places hold the harvest fruit and look above and long

to lasting-touch the apple that is loathed so much.

Such is Sunday mass and curse of we, the curled

 

Madonnas kneeling with a screaming in our skirts.

The weakly bread we break and nurse. And vow and

kneel and slaughter one more godless book of verse.


Kitchen, Sinister

Ten springs gone in my morning of life, I wore light

in the summer of my voice, in the candles once made

of my eyes. That night dusk swung out and away into noise

wild and white above town, and down in my childhood

 

garden lost the pond breathed out light grey and soft.

I remember not. But black clot and burnt in my throat

when she coughed up hot liver that night in the gloam,

the globes of her eyes gone bloodfull and long

 

did the birds scream murder outside. I cried. My

winter-ghost mother gone grey in her day, a tragedy

staring and wearing that cracked pale-fade skin in an old

kitchen light. When food was thin she served me lies. No,

 

the stars did not giggle the puddles that night

when my dark-fire youth wheeled a wind round the house,

her once-fluted mouth nursing liquor and meth. Her deathlight

was dark as a gobbet of gas, a heart in a jar on a chimney last

 

lit back when I was a lamb. After that? I took a bath. Black

was the path at infant’s end, a lack-lanterned track derailing

and cracked was the girlhood glow of my light. O mother

of mine, the window-steam bled itself pretty that night.

 

 

Under the trees, I sit in the asylum garden.

I swing the bottle to my lips and swig.


Laura-Potts-6

Laura Potts is twenty-three years old and lives in West Yorkshire, England. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has been published by Aesthetica, The Moth and The Poetry Business. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and became one of the BBC’s New Voices last year. Her first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas. She received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018 and a nomination for The Forward Prize in 2019. Find her here!

  • Featured image, by Amar Saeed.

Lisa Stice — 2 Poems

Poetry

The School Project Asks, ‘What Makes You a Star?’

 

To prove she is a good artist,

my daughter draws a spaceship

and her dog. This is Seamus

about to board, she explains.

 

I tell her about the stray Laika,

how she was one of the first

astronauts, but don’t mention

Laika was never meant to return.

 

To prove she is a good artist,

my daughter draws a spaceship

with her dog inside. This is Seamus

looking out at the stars, she explains.


Honed

 

We are sharper than we once

were, and sharper is akin to

safer, smoother, steadier, keener.

 

Now, our grip is instinct, our

hands shaped long before

we clasp and begin the cutting.

 

Come, let us glide some more

across the whetting stone, wipe

ourselves clean for work ahead.


lisa-stice

Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/military spouse. She is the author of two full-length collections, Permanent Change of Station (Middle West Press, 2018) and Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016), and a chapbook, Desert (Prolific Press). While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. Visit her here! and at Facebook / Twitter.

  • Featured image, by Amar Saeed.

Sarah Bigham — Where the #&@* is Bigham?

Non-fiction

Where the #&@* is Bigham?

            While I am not what anyone who has ever seen me attempt to fish or camp would call an “outdoorswoman,” I adore gardening. Every year I can feel myself becoming more stressed after the first frost that ends my gardening season, and I wait anxiously for the crocus bulbs to pop up each spring when I can again return to my planting patches. Each spring, my wife and I spend hours purchasing vegetable seedlings, flowers for my growing collection of window boxes and ceramic planters, and at least six varieties of basil. We each take a break from our professorial duties and grading to spend some time reveling in the yard when the ground has finally thawed.

            Despite my love of gardening, I am somewhat of a liability out there. Several years ago I developed a nasty infection from dropping a pair of pruning shears into the top of my foot after ill-advisedly hacking at an unwanted vine while barefoot. Body movement is an area that I have never, ever excelled in. My wife describes it as an inability to know where my physical parts are at any given time, as I live almost entirely in my head and thoughts. I desperately looked for ways to avoid gym class in junior high and high school, terrified of volleyball after being smacked unconscious, co-ed flag football after having the breath knocked out of me by a player on the actual team, and gymnastics which I dealt with by continuously rotating to the back of the line so that I would never have to leap onto or over the vault. (Far preferable was to spend time looking as if attempting to sit on the balance beam.) I am hopelessly uncoordinated. I fall down stairs and trip up them as well, I knock into things when walking, and never seem to connect with the ball when playing any kind of sport (not that I ever seek out these sorts of activities).

            As bad as I am with moving my body in a coordinated way, I am even worse with knowing where my body actually is. Years ago year, my wife gave me a GPS for Christmas and it was probably the best gift I have ever received. She purchased the device for me in hopes of averting future directional disasters — and the ensuing hysterical phone calls — when I attempt to find off-campus meetings and conferences. (For several nail-biting years, I had to attend monthly meetings with state colleagues in a planned community with a distinct lack of wayfinding tools and strong zoning that precludes attention-getting signage.)

            However, the person who could best confirm that I hopeless when it comes to navigation is a particular sergeant from the United States Army who attempted, using an impressive range of tactics from intimidation to outright begging, to teach me how to use a compass.

As an undergraduate, I needed to take a physical education class and wound up in orienteering. It sounded interesting, I reasoned, and possibly fun, with a chance to explore the areas on and beyond the campus, until I realized it was populated almost entirely with ROTC cadets who knew land navigation techniques, slept outside without tents (on purpose), and happily ate MREs, the pre-packaged, field rations provided to soldiers. In hindsight, there were many other PE options that would have been much better choices for me, like badminton, or the stress management and bowling classes I eventually completed to finish my PE credit requirements.

            In orienteering, I would learn to use a compass to navigate over terrain and find various control points before heading for the finish area. Granted, the initial exercises involved topography no more complicated than the college quad, but I was incredibly intimidated by the ROTC members who showed up to class in fatigues and serious boots. I had not even thought to bring water with me while some of them had applied camouflage grease paint to their faces and strapped multiple canteens to their chests, along with binoculars and sunglasses.

I can still hear the sergeant shouting at me. (To his credit, he had just become an ROTC instructor after serving as a drill sergeant for basic training.) The semester began with profanity, and a lot of it. Apparently this is motivational for military-types. I, however, was a different story. The yelling either led to tears or complete confusion on my part.  As for the sergeant, I look back and think how much I must have frustrated him with my complete lack of basic navigational sense, my unpreparedness, my constant questions, and my general sense of hilarity when it came to seeing his stout neck turn purple as he yelled. For weeks, he would blare directions, filled with military jargon, while I just stood there waiting for him to finish. I was unable to process anything delivered at that decibel so I just stared at him until he was quiet. He soon learned that calm patience was his best bet for dealing with me, and spent extra time helping me learn how to shoot azimuths before the sun set and it was time to “hit the mess.”

I thought I was finally making some progress as the orienteering exercises took us into wooded areas surrounding the campus. At first, I was flummoxed by the relative darkness of the woods and how distance looked so different without bright sunlight illuminating my surroundings. Then, I managed to both lose the Army-issued compass and acquire poison ivy after sliding down a steep hillside when startled by what I thought was a potentially rabid raccoon. (Thank god my roommate was a bad-ass ROTC cadet whose training team recovered the compass from the woods before I had to compensate the federal government for it. She, unlike me, always had a plan and knew where she was as well as where she wanted to be. She is now a colonel and a doctor at Walter Reed, who outruns service members half her age and can navigate her way out of any situation, compass or not. I am in awe of her.)

As we got to know one another, the sergeant’s cursing turned to sighing and he transitioned to supportive mode in his attempt to teach me how to find my way. His volume reduction led to increased verbalization on my part, and in retrospect, I can only imagine how much he was annoyed with my constant chatter as I learned to estimate distance in paces and write with grease pencils on the specially coated maps we used during each class. I thought he might even be starting to not hate me, despite my incessant talking and general orienteering ineptitude. Then we had a mid-semester exercise that involved the solitary work of being dropped off in some nearby woods and making our way out to a rendezvous point. I was the last one to struggle out of the woods, at the first hints of coming dusk, just as I heard him screaming, Where the #&@* is Bigham?, and from the look on the sergeant’s face, I could not tell which one of us was more relieved. On the ride home I endured what I hope was good-natured kidding about how the ROTC students were assembling a search party to deploy if I had not arrived when I did.

I shocked everyone — including myself — when I was able to successfully complete the final series of exercises in the woods without being last, and pass that class. This earned me a genuine smile, and a high-five (which, in typical fashion, I bungled) from the beleaguered sergeant.

Now that I am a teacher of community college students, many of whom are anxious and have many questions when starting the semester, I often think of the college instructors I had, and the lessons that prepared me for my career. Blessings to that sergeant who taught me orienteering, one in a series of teachers who showed me their own kind of mercy when I proved to be an exasperating student.


sarah-bigham

Sarah Bigham is a previous Bold + Italic contributor who teaches, writes, and paints in the US where she lives with her kind chemist wife, three independent cats, an unwieldy herb garden, several chronic pain conditions, and near-constant outrage at the general state of the world tempered with love for those doing their best to make a difference. A Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, Sarah’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of great places for readers, writers, and listeners. Find her here!

  • Featured image, by Amar Saeed.