Saturday, 21 June 2014

Summer Solstice 2014 by Bob Paris (c)

Solstice Night 2014 photo: Brian LeFurgey (c)

Everlast shall summer sun alight
Sustain our dance upon
Twirl waltz floor here assembled
Ancestor dust and breath and hope
Shadow forms alas forgotten
Passed along a road
In chase of grand repute
Gather ash yet swim apace
In strokes along linger trespass
Horizon expands expectant
For this child of tomorrow
Raise a glass
Beat thy breast
Jump yon fire
Sing hosanna
Hesitant twilight yet the forest calls
Shall it storm this eve in light
As the lamb recalls first springtime

On Solstice Night 2014
By Bob Paris
© all rights reserved

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

From the Archives...

Official Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved
August 1995

“The depth of my belief in the power of bodybuilding grew out of my desires as an artist.  I pretended that I wanted grand success as an athlete in some traditional sport, but only because that was what I believed was the right thing to feel.  Great athletes were the good guys and rewarded with adulation and wealth.  Artists generally tended to struggle.  When I discovered bodybuilding, I knew—with the sort of instinct that reveals itself in rare moments—that I could have both.  I could be the artist I’d always dreamed of being and I could be a jock and exert my physical presence in a way that would demonstrate to all the world that I was truly a man.  I could have taken no other sport as far as I did this one.  It is misunderstood, underappreciated , corrupted by petty greed, and considered to be the realm of freaks, but it is also beautiful and thrilling and lifted high above the dull thud of conformity.” 

Excerpted from:  GORILLA SUIT by Bob Paris © (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved, ISBN 0-312-16855-1) 

Photo by John Balik, 1983.  © Bob Paris all rights reserved

Monday, 16 June 2014

Yonder Comes Solstice

As the Solstice approaches -- as the existential sand runs down the hourglass, as each beat of the heart echoes, one essential message resounds through the ages:  Grab this moment.  Hold it lightly in your strongest grip.  Grasp it as you would a fragile newborn.  Take it on your heart and into your lungs, this ever-quaking, ever-shimmering bit of sea glass discovered on the shifting shore of now.  So...

Right now, whisper to yourself ‘thank you for my life’ and in the coming hours say ‘I love you’ to at least ten people (or ten times ten times ten people -- and creatures alike).  Open twenty doors for myriad strangers and thank them for being allowed to do so.  Be kind to someone utterly different from you and then do it again and again.  Give a street musician all the money in your left pocket.  Hang up your phone and ask the person serving you a coffee or ringing up your groceries how their day is going.  Kiss a baby.  Watch a bird weave a path through the air you breathe; then remind yourself that this is the oxygen that keeps you alive. 
Embrace the wind and be ever grateful.  After all:  Carpe diem is only the beginning of the story.  You, me and all of us -- we write the rest.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Flash Goes the Sizzle by Bob Paris (c) 2014

Official Bob Paris 2014 all rights reserved

What amount shall life amount
Through what clear pool to dive
This full accounted jumble intrigue
This purview sinew retinue salute
Grand view to view this view
What a view
Glorious O glorious O glory glory
Alliteration alteration incantation exclamation
Should do can do will do
Getter dunn
Astride this mountain highest
Sing exception chant exception
Oh exalted vantage point
City burns upon that hill
Along horizon tinted salmon
Cumulus doth flow apace
Mackerel ozone skitter skitter
On this altar shared with Isaac
By buy bye abide
Quiver hand yet hesitates
Or shall adhere remit awaiting
Anoint awake will not escape
Yet not on time or is it is it
Everlasting everafter evergiven evercraven
All embraced yet not arisen
Et fruition beyond beyond
Beyond beyond right here unfolded
The hoarsened chant a shriveled bellow
And yet and yet and yet again
Bounds around this too too mortal flash
Acclaim profane exclaim attain
Amounts again to what
'Flash Goes the Sizzle'  by Bob Paris (c) all rights reserved
photo by Brian LeFurgey (c) all rights reserved

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Second Life of Old Trophies

Saturday Morning
Midsummer, 1994

“I still had the whole trophy from my Mr. Universe win.  It was more substantial than usual: A brass, art-deco, funnel-cloud-shaped, covered vase, mounted on a teakwood base.  Only the little physique man mounted on top was plastic, so I kept it around.  Not displayed.  Collecting dust in a hall closet.
Official Bob Paris all rights reserved
The one from winning the Mr. Southern California was a silver-plated champagne bucket with the title and year engraved on it. It sat on the corner of my desk. Since it easily held fifty or sixty pens and pencils, it had some utility.
The sliver-plated punch bowl from winning the California Muscle Classic was outside in a flower garden, filled with carefully selected, smooth agate stones and being allowed to go old and mossy, because I thought it looked English or French or something.  That one was getting the best second life an aging trophy could ever want.” 

Excerpted from: GORILLA SUIT © by Bob Paris (St. Martin’s Press, 1997, all rights reserved  ISBN 0-312-16855-1) 

Photo by John Balik, © Bob Paris