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About Varied / Artist Member Joe GirardMale/Canada Recent Activity
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(Contains: sexual themes and strong language)
I prefer not to see myself
as straight, it’s a chaos
landscape, this blanket
draping curves, dips, shades and
shallows, the skirt of light
worn by the great
wall of China,
the long ass food chain,
bipedaling at the zenith,
toy soldiers, backs bent,
waving wheat when fucking,
when beast-shambling,

I’d rather be bent, a roadmap
of a man, a pink spider
web of lightning and blow myself
apart, and blow a part
of myself, the part he has
when I crooken him
Roadmap
And to follow up that last bit of existential hand-wringing, here's a light, fluffy meditation on pansexuality. Full disclosure, I'm most into androgyny, whatever the plumbing, though I do have soft spots for typical gender-extreme motifs (in other words, manly men, like Khal Drogo/Jason Momoa, and girly girls like Scarlett Johansson).

My nine year relationship with my partner has been an open one, the past four-five years, with all the ups and downs that come with that, but the main result has been more of a mental exploration for me, and more of a sadly heart-breaking physical exploration for her. Nevertheless, we've pulled through, and plunge ahead. 

While many of the poems I've posted about our adventures in polydom, this one is probably the most personal, focusing on my relationship to my own, evolving understanding of my sexual self.

I wrote this some months ago, found it, and loved it enough to touch it up for display here. But he main reason I haven't been posting the volumes I've been writing lately is because I think the series I've been working on are fit to print, and didn't want to dissuade potential publishers. 

Exciting times.
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I've seen signs
in so many people,
nothing insignificant,

saying, "Follow me
in." So many people
wear that expression,

saying, "Follow me.
Wear what I
wear." That expression

exhausts my mind, and I
wear. What I
wish: to never inhale

exhausts. My mind and I
free to choose, to
wish, to never inhale

something I might regret:
free. To choose to
know it might all mean

something. I might regret
if I discover,
know, it might all mean

nothing; insignificant
if I discover
I've seen signs.
Trust and Doubt: A Pantoum
Inscrutability is the risk every rigid pantoum runs. This one ran perilously close to the edge, but I hope it's worthy of collection here. It's message may be one of the most important ones I've ever related in poetry.

Basically, since middle school, I've noticed that I often learn things only to see those subjects pop up somewhere soon after. Like, I learn, say, about the civil war, and then an ad on the side of a bus reads, "This way, to the civil war museum." At first I took them for coincidences. I think most people do. 

Being a fanciful sort of person, I couldn't help wondering, though, if these were guideposts of the universe. Like in Stephen King's Dark Tower series, I wondered if these supposed coincidences were a way to know I was on the right "path." 

Obviously, this is a way to find inherent meaning in things that dwell in an existence that may be inherently meaningless. The war between trust and doubt rages. 

A more scientific approach might be to say that "seeing signs" is merely an indication that your brain is on, and alert. Which is great. I know of one study that showed that people who considered themselves "lucky" were scores more likely to pick up a ten dollar bill off the ground than people who considered themselves "unlucky," because the unlucky mind is not looking to see if anything good is around. The unlucky eye edits out positive chances, opportunities. 

I go back and forth on how lucky I am. I grew up in one of the freer, friendlier countries, Canada, but my childhood was subject to countless abuses and misfortunes. And while I'm always looking to succeed and to stick my neck out and to jump on chances for personal gain, I can't help reading my life as a series of missed connections, brushes with greatness, and abandonment, which as a self-perception, I must admit, makes me feel worse about myself for feeling entitled and arrogant enough to believe I'm as talented as some say I am. Resting on laurels is, perhaps, my worst quality.

All I can say is, I'm happiest when I'm 'seeing signs.' And doubt, no matter how positive and necessary a thing in the science world, is often the thing corroding my faith in existence, turning my head away from signs and toward drab meaninglessness.

Still, I feel I owe it to myself, and whatever people see in me, to work hard at my craft, and hone my skill set. Superstition, I'm beginning to realize--in spite of my considerable atheism--has impaired my ability to take on the world at face value (which could do away with many of my neurotic tendencies). I've been a feng shui consultant, a dream interpreter, and a minor expert on astrological concerns (mainly thanks to growing up with my mom, a born starchild), though I wouldn't say I believe in a single non-scientific aspect of any of those trades. I just have an innate gift for committing folkloric belief systems to mind.

I'm a certified reflexologist, but as evidence continues to come forward suggesting it holds no water as a legit health practice, how can I practice in good faith? I may be happier when I'm seeing signs, but I think I'm better at what I put into the world when I doubt. 

All that said, the reason these arcane interpretations of the world have endured is because the world is a mysterious tangle of patterns. Patterns that science is demystifying. Not fast enough for some to put their faith in it, like the bushman who says no one has been on the moon because he has never met anyone who has been on the moon, and most importantly, he has not been on the moon (imagine what he would say about the atom). 

But I think the problem lies in how what some call patterns, others call coincidences. How many doctors saw what Semmelweis saw (that doctors should wash their hands after handling corpses to keep from transmitting germs to other patients, killing them) before Semmelweis decided to do something about it (and look where that got him)?

All that said, I think it's easy to see why modern skeptics think the way they do. We have thousands of years of culture, with countless sufferings to speak for, borne by trust in false patterns. And those who still cleave to false patterns are waging an intellectual war against those who pioneer correct patterns.

But I think if we can somehow adopt a more fluid relationship within ourselves toward trust and doubt, never taking one or the other too seriously, never consigning to rigid belief or rigid doubt, then we would see the meaning in life we've been searching so hard to find: 

The open mind sees the patterns. Everywhere in nature. And if we master them, and never trust or doubt that we're done looking for new ones, we may defeat pain. 

Ps. That could actually be a pretty good argument for twitter (which I ordinarily malign), our current maelstrom of modern pattern-navigation.
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twilightpoetess.deviantart.com…

Check out TwilightPoetess and her new title poem, Tell Me What You've Gone and Done Now, a poem comprised entirely of devART poem titles! Pretty swanky, I think you'll agree. A title of mine is in the mix, is one of yours? I guess you'll just have to go see to find out...!
  • Mood: dA Love
  • Listening to: Kavinsky - Nightcall
  • Reading: Doctor Sleep - Stephen King
  • Watching: Meet the Fokkens (Documentary)
  • Playing: Mario Kart Wii and Dungeon Keeper
  • Eating: Falafel
  • Drinking: Sweet sweet water

deviantID

sandzen
Joe Girard
Artist | Varied
Canada
Here's my interview with PoeticalCondition, after I was elected Poet of the Month: poeticalcondition.deviantart.c…

And here's my feature from when NicBelroque named me Daily Lit Deviant: nicbelroque.deviantart.com/jou…

As an actor, I've performed for the queen of England. As a film-maker, I've participated in several film festivals, placing first in the Toronto Art Festival 2006, in the digital film category. As a zen gardener, my designs have appeared in the Absorb art show.

My poems and short stories have been published in journals and magazines across north America, on and offline. On devART I've received one Daily Literature Deviation commendation for the poems:

Self-Made Men (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Sel…
The 1998 Housefire At 198 Wentworth Street South (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…
Untitled: A Sonnet Told In Titles (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Unt…
Piano Armageddon: An Image Poem (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Pia…

Daily Deviations were awarded for the poems:

Come Home (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Com…
The Craven (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…

And my music has appeared on radio stations and at concert halls in numerous countries across North America and Europe. I've written music for the bands Ben Caplan and the Casual Smokers, Hobo Sapiens, Uvenburd, and my eponymous solo project.

An anthology of short stories, In the Wings: Stories of Forgotten Women, edited by Bernadette Rule, includes my short story The Changeling (unavailable on devART, sorry :3). In the Wings was published by Seraphim Editions and is in its third printing. Other magazines I've been featured by include Switchback, WTF, The Perceptive I, Cleansheets.com, and In My Bedroom magazine, among others.

Most recently, In My Bedroom magazine published my piece Threesome (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Thr… in their Vol 4 Issue 2 release, Menage a Trois.

These are my websites (so far):

Download my album www.reverbnation.com/joegirard

My CBC Radio profile radio3.cbc.ca/bands/Joe-Girard


If you've enjoyed reading my popular works featured around devART, may I recommend the following others as highlights that had people talking:

The Horse-Fall: A Villanelle (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…
Spiritual Sex (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Spi…
Big Top (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Big…
Hyoid (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Hyo…
Spacefeint (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Spa…
The River: A Pantoum (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…
16-Bit Haiku: First Half (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/16-…
16-Bit Haiku: Second Half (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/16-…
Watch Your Step (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Wat…
Monster Patient (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Mon…
Anxiety Attack (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Anx…
Weep Western Tears (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Wee…
Hard Like a Star's Iron Heart (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Har…
Lick (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Lic…

Here's a few more poems that are personal favourites of mine:

Dead Skin Deep (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Dea…
The Werewolf Monologue (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…
Stitches: A Sonnet (sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Sti…

Here's a collection of my forty most favourited zen gardens:

The Gates of Moria sandzen.deviantart.com/art/The…
Zenstellation Series: Ursa Major sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Zen…
Phoenix sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Pho…
Cherry Blossom Modern Art sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Che…
Elemental Cycle Pt. 1: Water sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ele…
War of the Worlds sandzen.deviantart.com/art/War…
Totoro sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Tot…
Shirivasta sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Shi…
Path Between Two Waterfalls sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Pat…
8 Colour 4 Bit sandzen.deviantart.com/art/8-C…
Om sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Om-…
Porch Swing sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Por…
Pac Man sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Pac…
Bag End sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Bag…
Zzzzzzzt sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Zzz…
Zenstallaion Series: Taurus sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Zen…
Year of the Rabbit sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Yea…
No Face sandzen.deviantart.com/art/No-…
Nine Were Given to the Kings sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Nin…
Totem Pole, Telephone Pole, Tree sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Tot…


And if you like nature art, here's the one's fans liked best:

Vertical Rath sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ver…
Treefingers sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Tre…
Natural Shoji sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Nat…
PAranoid Schizophrenia sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Par…
Big Bang sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Big…
Samurai of Slate sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Sam…
Geodesic Dome sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Geo…
Origami Mistake sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Satellites Over Toronto sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Sat…
Born on a Ghost Ship sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Bor…
Tower of Pebel sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Tow…
Rock Out sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Roc…

And here's some highlights from my dabbling in origami:

Elephant sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Dragon sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Rabbit sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Fox sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Eastern Dragon sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Velociraptor sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Pikachu sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Turtle sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…
Neko Cat sandzen.deviantart.com/art/Ori…

Current Residence: Ottawa
Favourite genre of music: Percussive
Favourite photographer: Edward Burtynsky, maybe. Gregory Crewdson?
Favourite style of art: Nature Art
Favourite cartoon character: Calvin. Or Homestar Runner.
Personal Quote: Familiarity breeds birth defects.
Interests

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:icongrimdreamart:
GrimDreamArt Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much for :+fav: on "Fantasy Pond"!
Reply
:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014   General Artist
Not at all. There's a stark, grim chill present in your work that feels almost like Dr. Seuss, Edward Gorey and Edgar Allan Poe had a baby. It's all wonderful, really.
Reply
:iconjae462:
JAE462 Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
thanks for the fav
Reply
:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014   General Artist
No problem. A truly sensuous capture.
Reply
:iconthesphinx:
TheSphinx Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you for faving my [Red Light 2047] :)
Reply
:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2014   General Artist
Not a prob. Loved the immersing totality of ambiance.
Reply
:iconmotleydreams:
MotleyDreams Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   Writer
Congrats on your feature as NicBelroque's Daily Lit Deviant! I loved The Craven and hope I can find time to browse more of your gallery. :D Hope you have a great day!
Reply
:iconsandzen:
sandzen Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   General Artist
Well, I thought of just the thing. In my devID up above you can browse through a selection of the pieces readers and watchers have enjoyed the best. Thanks for the inspiration, and for your kind words. I can pretty well guarantee I'll have a good day, now.
Reply
:iconmotleydreams:
MotleyDreams Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   Writer
:D
Reply
:iconblood-dancer:
Blood-Dancer Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014
thanks for the :+fav:
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