The three studies above represent what I would call Paranormal Train-men's Art, or PTA for short. It's Train Men who really have inherent psychic ability, but never did the Barbara Brennan "hands of light" training with Shirley MacLaine in Mexico. These men demonstrate an ability to communicate the frustration of "life on the tracks" with an ounce of flair, superstition and Neanderthal Elegance.
The guy who draws the "Cadillacs-At-The-Crossings" has been around. Same with "FLOW" above. The one on the right is unknown, but child-like, naive and angelic in its intent.
Others still demand engagement of missing parts of our Olfactory Apparatus. "Where's Surfer Joe" could be interpreted on many levels, and if I was one of those horrible PhD's in the "Art Department" at the local Ivory Tower, I'm sure I could write a book on it.
But I won't. Why? Because Surfer Joe's dead. He died long before Brian Wilson and Mick Jagger died. And no amount of beer in a damp rumpus room will bring him back to life.
Then there's the Middle Ground. Plate "K" - to the right - announces his presence with a military feather in his rebellious red hat. Again, amplitude suggests possibly another Train Worker with a background in the Boy Scouts, or perhaps a truck driver on hash. We don't know these things. And Plate K, bless his soul, is not helping us. He is a stick in the mud, a masked man with a fencing sword who just popped your bubble-gum bubble and smiles that Mona-Lisa like smile because he knows more than you.
Some of these are just Insanely Interesting by what they say and what they imply. Anyone can have fun with them. Check out this Gumbo on the left. Here's a Skull Guy, carrying some kind of Santa-Claus bag, escaping on a Bicycle with some Chinese Lettering and Masonic Symbology trailing behind. Doesn't that just give you the jitters?
We know, without consulting our Thesaurus, that this person has had an interesting life. We know we could write a book on what goes on in his dreams, or perhaps his waking life as well. But we also know that nobody would read it. Unless he was sitting in a damp rumpus room waiting for Surfer Joe.
Buck Jones: The Crimson Trail. Yes. Just a slight entry into the Workers Logbook in March '02. Probably a cold day in Thunder Bay. Another foggy bright day of jingling metal and caboose explosions that rupture your ears. Don't need to hear the wife nagging anymore because you can't hear anything anymore. That's OK. It's a good union, a good dental plan, and plenty of chalk to mark off the days.
April, '99. The Adventures Never Find. This is a random sample of the type of "trailing tags" left around greater pieces; this one however is a bit of a loner.
Carl Jung would enjoy this: who is looking for who? Do I find the Adventures or do I Hide from Them?
And, are these adventures Friendly? Warm fuzzy things or prickly cactuses that wield gnarled monster hands in the darkness? It leaves one with a lukewarm cup of Ginseng: half-empty, set down on the counter where the waitress has gone home and the neon sign is shut down for the night.
But, a hand still finds the cup, and a soul still drinks the empty meaning of a line that says it all, and says nothing.
We're kings and beggars, but we all sleep in the nude.
If you wait patiently, Scribbles Number Two will take