les jeux sont fait

September 30, 2020 § Leave a comment

It was more than I could bear. It was really only about that, bearing and countenance. It was a poor reflection on us all. It was folly. It needed to be called. It was gratuitous, voyeuristic and violent. The extent to which it was, is tolerated and to which any normal standard of measure about who actually said what about policy seems a conceit, as if what just played out hadn’t. 

Nope. It is madness. And Joe was solidly Joe. Perfectly so. Let Biden be Biden.

That The Proud Boys were given, by the commander in chief, a new feather for their proverbial hats was the perfect capper. The perfect tag line for the night. 
Rome is burning.

white*out* lying

September 26, 2020 § 1 Comment

I’m thinking as Václav Havel might suggest of this business of living in truth; this business as James Comey said of not passively entering the circle of assent; I’m thinking as Timothy Snyder said about this business of not obeying in advance, and I’m thinking of the way the word anarchy is being bandied around, and how like nasty it is said as if a taint and certainly a taunt.
I’m thinking again of how and when and why I was nearly fired in a room at the top of the stairs for being a flaming anarchist, and I’m thinking it was you who would call me nasty with all the entrenched sexual overtones who schooled me in how and when to to best use that special bit of nasty to my advantage, so hell yes!
And I’m coming to think may be they’re all just other words for supple, and the nasty truth is it~~that practiced willowy supple~~ is mine to do with, to have and to hold, to use and to flaunt, as
I please

I can’t hear even with a gun pointed to my head.

September 24, 2020 § 1 Comment

One figures it out again albeit slowly and painstakingly I figure it out again, wrong is wrong no matter how many times he or his henchmen or you may assert otherwise and no matter who does it under what circumstances wrong is wrong, and it’s not like we don’t know it or recognize it and I can still like you but not like at all what you do and call what you do wrong; I am not a loyalist. And, of course it adds up one way and another those things that you discount or obfuscate or kid around with as if it’s ok, like peaceful transition of power, and the endless corrosion of our shared reality. It’s dangerous, this it could be true. As if there is no such thing. As if you don’t count on the commonly held beliefs of your tribe. Or your spouse. Or your boss. As if you don’t count on me to wear clothes, stop at stop signs and shit in the toilet.

It was raining, there weren’t that many people. He is hateful, spiteful, corrosive and an unimaginative man. He is a bottom, and a bottom feeder. And he’s feeding on you.

I wonder why you wonder why I keep bringing it up.

Yeah I’ve got it now. I’ve got some of my own could be trues lined up. Let’s see how it works for us.

918 2020

September 19, 2020 § 3 Comments

And then Ruth Bader Ginsburg died.

And before anything else it was a visceral blow back to the time before our bodies were our own. To the times of relegated to, not slavery but owned just the same. To the Mrs. Doug Clark of it all, loving or not beside the point. To the not being spoken to directly of it all and with the permission of one’s father or husband of it all, to the “Of course you don’t want to do that, Dear!” of it all. To the anything for a son of it all, to the silent until spoken to of it all, to the barefoot and pregnant of it all; to the no mind of one’s own of it all.

To the not so long ago of it all.

bringing it home

June 6, 2020 § Leave a comment

It was simple enough. Two old white guys, two older white people sitting on chairs at our local corner with signs. One sign said listen up, and below it was a black circle. The other sign said black lives matter. By and large the response was favorable. People honked, waved, pumped their fists even though they were on the way to the grocery store or the hardware store, masks around their necks but even the pandemic not foremost in their minds for the moment. And there we were, not who, what, or where they expected to be interrupted. In their car, in their driving zone between here and there otherwise not available, like sitting on the toilet.

And by a large margin people were in enthusiastic participative agreement, even driving by in their cars. We live in a small town and were on a busy corner; we know many of the people who drove by. A couple of them who drove by once on their way, and once on their way back, actively didn’t see us. One person rode by on their bicycle, and did well coming back to have their, “Say, can I ask a question, what about white lives? White lives matter. All lives matter.” And then they wanted to get into the flag and taking a knee and of course the looting. But those who didn’t stop, and didn’t honk in support, and didn’t agree, opened their windows to yell out, “white lives matter too.”

Yes. Of course white lives matter too. Obviously.

It was eye opening, in the simplicity of it. Just the two of us. No hooha, no others, no bullhorns, no sounds, no music, no performers. Nothing but two old white people sitting in lawn chairs wearing old people hats, with two signs, one saying listen up, and the other saying black lives matter. It is in the simplicity of it, eye opening. How ominous the words, just the words are, to some. Just the words BLACK LIVES MATTER.

And those, a small number, all of them white, who want to, need to veer away from having to examine that. Just that. Black lives matter.

And as if it were a call and response, they feel reassured or like they have the last word when they can say to themselves, as if it were an amen, white lives matter too.

It is good practice, bringing it home to the corner, to our neighborhood, to our daily lives, to see how afraid mostly white people are of the equality we on the one hand think already exists while at the same time doing everything in our might to make sure it doesn’t.

If all lives matter we all need to act as if they do. To simply say white lives matter, or all lives matter, not only misses the point; it does so, actively.


jig is up part 2

June 5, 2020 § 2 Comments

Did You Purposefully Make a Boring Book: a (text) conversation.

judi: I stitched the second Coptic binding of Zeroing In.
Jesse: You must feel good about that
judi: It’s nice. And clean. And boring.
Jesse: The action of stitching it? Or the book itself
judi: The book itself, no pizzazz.
Jesse: So, not too happy about it?
judi: It’s what I intended, and it came out well, and it will be somebody’s cup of tea.
Jesse: You don’t sound too happy.
judi: It’s interesting how I feel about it.
Jesse: Very. Why would you intentionally make a binding you find boring with no pizzazz?
judi: That’s a very good question! The binding is fine, actually. It’s the pages of the book that are boring.
Jesse: And did you always notice that…
judi: It’s a long and sordid story.
Jesse: It must be. So, I mean, were you putting out boring pages intentionally, to cater to an audience?
judi: Sort of but not exactly. So, it’s not a total bust. And I may jazz it up. And it really is lovely, elegant really, like D. would like it–
Jesse: Ah cause it fits in with the general public’s likes? Perhaps I would too, I am conventional when it comes to many things.
judi: It’s what a book is supposed to look like.
Jesse: And what do you think or want a book look like? If we’re out to perfectly customize your style of book?
(Asked but never answered.)
judi: Here’s the cover.

Jesse: Don’t like the solid color and bold lettering? You like more chaos and mayhem.
judi: It will be stitched with white thread.
Jesse: …and more disorganization?
judi: I guess I do.
Jesse: It sounds lovely.
judi: It is lovely and the text is beautifully printed.
Jesse: I appreciate that.
judi: And there a few wonderful graphic elements…
Jesse: I appreciate that you have many styles.
judi: Exactly, that is part of the exercise.
Jesse: Did you know that you would find it boring afterwards while you were doing it?
judi: I don’t know. I don’t think so. But the different style is part of its intent.
Jesse: Yes it is.
judi: The idea was it was, is (just) a book. The text to stand on its own. I wasn’t sure that I would find it boring.

Jesse: It’s good to know what you prefer and not, if it wasn’t already clear.
judi: Yup. So that too is part of the exercise.
Jesse: You should be proud of it.
judi: I am pleased with it, it is what I intended.
Jesse: I’m sure it’s not as boring as you think–
judi: I may have to modify it.
Jesse: May not be as bold as a lightening strike, but–
judi: I’ll have to sit with it.
Jesse: Maybe a good exercise to only slightly modify it. Keep it the way it was meant.
judi: Yes.
Jesse: To show yourself you can paint many unique and wide strokes. You may come to temper your modifications, cause that was the mood you were in when you did it, as you have said to me.
judi: True.
Jesse: And have to acknowledge that part too. That sometimes one is more conventional or steady and even, sometimes we are more organized, and focused on stable consistent ideas and have less spoken feelings and sometimes we try and show the world different sides of us.
judi: I need to be clear about what I think I don’t like. And why I think I made it.
Jesse: Yes.
judi: And if it is what it set out be.
Jesse: Clarity is good.
judi: And why I’m holding the line with that, rather than allowing my usual process of going where it takes me. That gets back to the art. There was no exploration, in this book, only craft. And aesthetic to be sure. Hmm, very interesting conundrum I’ve created here.
Jesse: Aesthetic is important.
judi: HA! Maybe it needs a side car.
Jesse: No exploration is okay too.
judi: Maybe the colophon needs to be one of the early inky newsprint pages; the proofs of the verses. As an insert on the inside back cover. Bits from the humble beginnings of the piece.
Jesse: It doesn’t need to be changed dramatically.
judi: I like the sidecar idea…this is the most exciting part of having done this version of the book! So maybe this is what it’s about.
Jesse: Each part gives you something.
judi: Certainly I will work with it one way or another, ah! I have it! Put together a smaller companion book, a step sister–
Jesse: To keep the bigger one honest.
judi: To kick ass.
Jesse: So you want to make another book to justify this one?
judi: No. But I still have several other books I intended to make, back to the pages printed on newsprint, and one on thin tracing paper creased and inked on the press. So one of those can be a ‘companion book’ to this one. The tracing paper version wouldn’t have necessarily stood on its own either. Now they can be a diptych. Point counter point. It’s pages are perfectly creased and discombobulated.
Jesse: Chaos makes you feel more comfortable.
judi: It’s about character, somehow. About context. Ha! Again, maybe it’s incomplete, in that it doesn’t create enough of its own context. Funny I don’t feel like the text alone holds it up. I’m definitely going to have to sit with that.

The jig is up & pink

May 31, 2020 § Leave a comment

It was sort of anticlimactic, after the whole build up to doing the binding of the 1st coptic bound version of ZEROING IN. As if it were, had been a question of competency or the rigors of a quest or that stunningly threatening exam on cardiovascular disease and arrythmias, as if it were a passing or a failing situation. Instead of just along the way and some details certainly better paid attention to, but not beyond my ken.

So maybe it’s a sloppy shorthand or misspeaking, and not can I do it, or I don’t think I can do it, but can I do it as well as I would like to, and what will it feel like if I don’t like it even if I do it very well.

Which is perhaps a losing track of why one is doing it at all. Which is perhaps a losing track of why I am doing it at all. And what is the standard, the bar, the aesthetic that in the end or beginning or along the way pleases me. And what is the cost if I don’t. Ah, there it is.

After all is not an equal measure of pleasure in a job well done, or aesthetic, what I may have, will, or did discover, what I set out to explore, what new eye I come away with, what I practiced, what I learned, what I bring forward to the next exploring experimenting excavating doing living.

Anyway it was sort of anticlimactic, I mean it was as simple as cutting a piece of paper the size of the book, deciding where I wanted the holes to go, making little Xs on it to use as a drilling jig, square up the text, drill the holes (2 in this case), thread the needles (curved in this case), and stitch the damn thing.


I even remembered how to figure out how much thread I didn’t need. It didn’t even take half an hour.

One down, one to go.

death goes on

May 30, 2020 § 3 Comments

it started out, thinking of the murder of George Floyd, with

our bare bones are on display

but I thought that could be misconstrued, as if I were
talking about ‘them’ so I changed it to

what I meant to say is I’m so sad and so angry

which could be misconstrued too, as if that were the end of my responsibility, what I meant to say is I’m so very sad and so very angry, neither apology nor instead of the here saying that is to be said.
the seeing there is to see. the listening that’s been squandered.
the together we are in is hatred and disrespect and
the everlasting some are more equal than others.

and along comes a virus sits down beside us;

we are not winning. we are not great. we are not one. we
are not righteous. we are not blessed. we are in the throes
of our lost humanity. it is past time for sadness and anger, as if that were the end of my responsibility. we are not there yet, still a long meandering hill full of switchbacks to climb to right the everlasting wrong of injustice. we need to step it up.
I need to step it up.


dodge, resist, resistance, perspective

May 26, 2020 § Leave a comment

A (text) conversation between Brooke Holve and judi goldberg.

judi: if I use crayon to block what the sumi ink will cover is that called a dodge?
Brooke: a resist?
judi: Yes! Close, Ha!

Interlude. After walk

judi: so the Coptic binding versions of Zeroing In are finally starting to get a bit edgier. But the way that it the binding seems to resonate with the text is enchanting.
Brooke: Can’t wait to see. Can you send an image?
judi: some of it is still in the becoming, but yes I’ll send images. It’s the things I thought were side trips that in fact are thematic backstory. That of course belong.
Brooke: Intrigue.
judi: like this

Brooke: With crayon resist?
Me: yes.
Brooke: White crayon?
judi: to start. Yes. Lots of black and white and gold and silver but up comes orange.
Brooke: And crayon before the sumo?
judi: and yellow.
Brooke: Sumi
judi: Yes, crayon before the ink. Now thinking of course of other colors.
Brooke; Lots going on already without the color
judi: yup. The colors are for the more yellow version, on yellowed paper, that was going to be a Storage Book binding, but now will be coptic binding. Totally jumping the rails I’d put in place! As these things go.
Brooke: Interesting to write about the detailing, derailing.
judi: sort of did on the ‘implementing’ post
Brooke: I’ll look
judi: but it would be good to expand because it is about just that moment when you one I let go, hmm. (Working on a piece, a poem about an experience I had yesterday that might be a bit of a tie in)
Brooke: Interesting using materials that resist while dealing with your internal resistance.
judi: in deed. This time is all about resistance. Ha! And funny I couldn’t find the word and used dodge instead.
Brooke: Dodging can be a way of resisting.
judi: nodding. But resistance to what?
Brooke: A real question as you say.
judi: ha!
Brooke: Another way is, holding you from–
judi: what am I afraid of, in the doing? In the finding out, or outcome?
Brooke: Is it fear?
judi: anxiety? Dread? Ah! uncertainty, risk
Brooke: It involves lots of energy and time.
judi: I’m shaking my head. In this instance it doesn’t seem to be about time and energy
Brooke: Having something to show for the effort.
judi: I have a more direct and clear relationship with my time and energy allotting, I wondered at the habit part of ‘I can’t do that.’
Brooke: Lack of confidence?
judi: wonder, present tense. Nope the habit of what if I get it wrong, as if there is that parameter, which in the at-large resistance about restrictions has to do with.
Brooke: What will you get wrong?
judi; that’s just it. Nothing, she responded, laughing. So maybe it is a dodge to buy some time.
Brooke: So it’s about breaking your internal habitual thoughts?
judi: yes. And to have more accurate language. Like having or taking the time, like Cheryl does, to ferment and foment. And, for me add some froth, hmm and impulsivity, ah, so maybe it’s the counterpoint to my impulsivity! And neither resistance nor dodge. Just, the time it takes.
Brooke: It’s a challenge to have both, and that is where the art is. You are resisting your natural inclinations.
judi: three Fs: ferment foment fallow. The thing then is to exploit and harvest the tension. To archive it. Ha!
Brooke: So the resistance is important!
judi: yes. There is a (another) way of explaining my process. Yes. It is a gating mechanism, element.
Brooke: I tend to say that I often am working against myself.
judi: so, it’s important to bring it in as party to the process. Not as a not. But as part of the perspective.
Brooke: Of course!
judi; an element, cog in the process representing or speaking to the tension in a piece. Or versa vice. Yes. This is rather helpful.
Brooke: Where there’s resistance there is energy.
judi: yes. So it’s not then by default bad or negative. It just changes the rhythm or the pacing or the tone, ha! The prosody, let’s say.
Brooke: And there’s something there.
judi: yes
Brooke: Hidden beyond.
judi: and a cry for patience.
Brooke: And trying.
judi: like, wait wait, time to catch up with oneself to assimilate assess the data as it were. Not a dis tract ion, but an in sinuat ion. An in ter pol at ion. Not, in ter rupt ion. Hunh! well, this is good to know! And a lot to work with. Simple as look what the resist added to the whole

Brooke: Yes a depth and texture
judi yes, depth and texture.
Brooke: And different markings. And a complexity.
judi: which might have otherwise gone missing. Yes the side trips the in between yes the meanwhile
Brooke: The adventures.
judi: the getting there the route root the scree? The asunder? The athwart the snigow sliops rust
the can’t of can so. Oh! What a glorious title.
Brooke: I like it!
judi Or cant of can so
Brooke: Another way of saying but or butt or. I’ve been thinking of <<but>> recently…this conversation has been helpful.

73 days later

May 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

the good that yet resides in us

I heard his voice before I saw him
a yelling without hostility but yelling nevertheless
with a cant toward what can’t be seen, a prosody
the rise and falls the measure of talking to God, or
maybe just a call and response to the voices in his head

swirled in a gauzy black robe falling off his arms in the air,
astride a small bicycle his feet on the ground, he saw me
seeing him

he yelled across the covid distance between us,
“I’m sort of weird, don’t be freaked out,”
“You are sort of weird,” I yelled back.

and for a short while his yelling gave way to tender
muttering the two of us in that moment of call and
response, time out from the uncertain forbearance–
a consolation prize

the chance meeting on a Sunday morning
at the corner of who are we what do we want.


  • here.say. press

    having language for, is on my mind, and the gift it is in placing oneself, grounding oneself, like a good pair of boots

    ◉l e tT e R s ❆ L E Tt Er S❊ themselves have form, and play have sound, and ideas, before they are given assignment each letter has heft, and posture, before it is given ink and put to paper, before it meets the press each press with non-negotiable demands, scent & music, rhythm and phrasing of its own

    it is a trick to think the words are already fixed and ordered

    (c)jgoldberg. you know what I mean

  • flash in the pan

    printing flash in the pan

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  • the weight of it

    the weight of it words a letter at a time, i’s from the i bin, e’s from the e bin k’s from the k bin, I don’t use so many k’s I come to find out b’s & d’s p’s & q’s to be minded—there’s a map for the untraveled— sentences a word at a time, paragraphs a sentence at a time all a letter at a time, it’s hearty stuff this translating it this imprinting it once again on paper one sheet at a time giving wordsmith its proper meaning
  • drum forme

  • when heresaid

    November 2020
    M T W T F S S
  • who said what

    nananoyz on white*out* lying
    nananoyz on I can’t hear even with a…
    judigoldberg on 918 2020
    Lindy Le Coq on 918 2020
    Lindy Le Coq on 918 2020
  • backtalk talking back

    as these things have a wont to go I set it rather upsidedown in a manner of rightside up speaking from what we thought was the originally agreed on idea but by then I’d thrown away the scribblings and whothehell knew, besides of course it was as it lay pretty doggammed nifty if we so did say ourselves, well except for the backwards B which in our muddle of not sure which way was to be up we didn’t immediately see which in turn (ha) was some part of the consternation and confoundment in discerning the which way of up
  • unseeable

    July 26 2003 since no one sees me there metaphorically speaking no one sees me there literally, even looking straight at me, bent over as he was saying I’m the chief of psychiatry thinking he wouldn’t need a daypass just the same as the housekeeper who’d left her id badge upstairs in her other purse or who the hell knows it wasn’t until he was all the way through his litany that he saw mejudiwhoheknows looking at him as if I could give a damn about chief of psychiatry because the point is downstairs he’s as faceless as the housekeeper is upstairs
  • the last slippery slope

    truth is helping can be just like telling someone what to do and then everything changes, but that’s only half the story when you’re the daughter and they’re too old to manage without your help of course that’s how it starts the telling them what to do, with helping, and it’s not the helping that is so much the problem though they’re reluctant to accept it the problem is the indelible knowing (what it portends) that before they’re ready there will be only the telling them what to do that started with just helping
  • drum

    selling a copy of DRUM