Monday, December 12, 2016

Please, tell me to go to hell!

Hundreds of page hits per day—day after day—month after month—year after year—127 so far today alone! But not a single comment! Are my posts that dull?—that irrelevant?—that unengaging? Perhaps they are! Yes, it's quite possible... I freely admit it... in fact, that is my guess...
Perhaps I ought to offer a strident opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—would that help matters?
Yes, let's talk politics: Should I pick a side on the corporate duopoly and viciously condemn one or the other of their champions? Would that do it?
Please, tell me to go to hell!—that would be preferable to this unnerving silence!
Or is it that all these thousands of hits are merely the ghostly traces of hackers and internet bots? But even this cannot be an excuse—even an automated reply would be welcome—perhaps an "out of office" message...

Thank you in advance,

Your humble servant,
~ B.F. Sp├Ąth

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"You Should Pick Up the Brush Again."

That's what he told me. I was at a party a few weeks ago and ran into an old friend whom I had not seen in perhaps 20 years. And I had completely forgotten that he had purchased one of my paintings back in the day. He twice repeated this suggestion, and then e-mailed me later to mention it a third time.
I had given up painting for well over a decade (for numerous reasons)—but every now and then, the idea of returning to it would occur to me. And as I am highly susceptible to almost any type of suggestion, my friend's opinion was the deciding factor in "picking up the brush again".

Here's where I had left off:

My Working Method
"I begin with an 18th century formal garden design by Dezallier D’Arganville, French naturalist and author of La Theorie et la pratique du jardinage (1709). His exhuberant and eccentric designs were intended to “outshine Versailles”—and they provide me with a perfect blueprint for my otherworldly compositions. The design is then constructed in three dimensions utilizing Cinema4-D. Lighting and camera angles are manipulated to give me the dramatic effects that I want."

18th century garden design by Dezallier

Computer-generated model

Finished painting: Grande Parterre 4, Oil on canvas 8" x 11"

You can view more of my paintings here:

And archival prints are available here:

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Sun Temple is now available

Yes—The Sun Temple has finally arrived!  Expanded into a full-length novel and available in a print-on-demand format, with a Kindle version soon to follow.

"A Great Phantom Park rises magnificently out of a thick cloud of Cannabis Indica smoke—until a stiff maritime breeze blows it all away to reveal the hopeless ruins underneath the illusion.
      Manhattan's Battery Park serves as The Sun Temple of the book's title—and it is the narrator's desperate mission to maintain this grand myth.
      But the concurrence of a heat wave, a rare bout of Summer fever, and a tainted sacrament all combine to push this already overheated equation towards psychosis and destruction.
      A telepathic grief infuses every page of this relentless inquisition of a book. Everyone eventually finds themselves on trial: the sun itself is ultimately judged as a miserable failure, and the moon is revealed to be as scheming and duplicitous as a Mata Hari.
     And though the sun is forced to retreat in shame and defeat, and debilitated constellations fall
tragically from the night sky—the entire cosmos wrecked—the narrator invariably awakes the following morning refreshed, with a positive outlook, and the delicious anticipation of putting the torch to his blood once again!
     As we navigate the scorched pages of this feverish book, we are reminded at times of DeQuincey's "Confessions of an English Opium Eater"—and at others of the tall tales of Baron Munchausen. There are echoes of Doestoyevsky's "Underground Man", and Pessoa's "Book of Disquiet"—and a spectral Manhattan can take on qualities of the old Prague ghetto as portrayed in Meyrink's "The Golem"."

Click here to buy The Sun Temple

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Great Fire

My short story, The Sun Temple, has been expanded into a full-length novel—soon to be available in both print and e-book formats. Here's another sample chapter: 

The Great Fire 

For years, the temple’s congregation had dwindled, until it numbered a single figure, whose regular attendance had been duly noted by the park staff and the tourists. This extraordinary and artificial situation defied all moral and economic understanding. The entire park was being maintained for the sole benefit of a lone worshipper! (I am, of course, reminded of the case of Rudolph Hess—for decades, the single, solitary inmate of Spandau Prison). And then, finally, all was lost as the Great Fire put an end to this unnatural form of worship, consuming the collected prayers and grief of the entire history of the congregation.

     I continue to brood upon that mysterious blaze—it comes to me at odd hours—it weighs on my mind, and remains unresolved. I was never able to determine exactly when it took place, or anything else about it for that matter, except to know that it has lately taken its place in the Pantheon of Great Fires.

     Perhaps the Great Blaze was a consequence of the rashness of a crazed and fanatical congregation—who had implored, cajoled, and hectored the Sun, until finally that mighty inferno grew annoyed and transformed himself into his malevolent form: Nergal, the Destroyer! Yes, in their eagerness to possess the Sun for themselves, in their reckless folly and greed, they had brought down their own destruction upon themselves. But perhaps all this is a false narrative, a myth that has been put in place in order to deceive the populace, an official lie which eventually becomes truth through mere repetition, and which shields the identity of the real perpetrators of this great crime: the Authorities themselves! And I can’t help thinking that at the very least they had used this tragedy to their own advantage. The Great Fire was certainly to their benefit, and neatly facilitated their ultimate plan to ruin the Old Battery.

     But even the briefest glace at this troubled book ought to re-inforce in your mind the importance of myth in our society. Turn to any page, and you will be rewarded with the most spurious claims, tall tales, and absurd confections—all of which have been meticulously crafted in order to offset the crushing banality of everyday existence.

     The Great Blaze continues to burn through my dreams, tearing through the Books of Childhood, consuming my past, and devouring my most cherished memories! It burns continuously, without pause, without interruption, while I sleep, while I strut along the Promenade in a Holy Trance, and when I sit idly at the edge of the Hudson, lost in hyperbaric considerations of a fallen star. Yes, that tragedy continues unabated, without the slightest considerations for our feelings. And The Last of the Great Parks had also met its end in that terrible misfortune.

     And my throat is parched…but the long-dried out fountains of course provide no water…

cannabis   ///   psychedelic   ///   fantasy