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September 14, 2009

trixie: a special naked steel body

by gl. at 9:14 pm

while sven & i were eating dinner at portobello last week, some mysterious benefactors were gifting trixie with a few new magnets! it's always a delight to return to the car to find new poetry, but to find new words entirely is even more marvelous. thank you, you fair word fairies! trixie is practically beaming with pride & gratitude.

[watch me go fast]

[easy summer]

[do not lick or feel monkey]

[celebrate romance garden]

[dreamed of all face glow]

[help see how sad]

[a special naked steel body]

[time is like wild creature love]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

June 26, 2009

wiping the slate clean

by gl. at 6:15 pm

it's been a very long time since i've posted, and it looks to me like if i wait for the perfect time to give each item the post it deserves, i will never post again.

during the holidays, at the masarie curry party, marta said i changed her life: she attended a collage night once and makes one every day now. it's not often you get to hear something so dramatic or sincere!

but it's been hard because a bunch of awkward things happened at once. my focus has shifted to include arts organizations. i've been spending a surprising amount of time & energy supporting medical causes. my own art has re-embraced theatre. a lot of people have died (including lane, my mom & sven's grandfather). my primary art support group collapsed. my photo routine is broken. the economy shook us. in short, things are in flux.

since sven & i are about to go on a long summer trip, i'd like to tie up some loose ends so when i return, i can start with a clean slate: i'm still searching for the next surge of momentum but i can't move forward if i'm still looking back. so here are some things that have happened over the last year i'm not going to write much about but that are worth mentioning & recording:

at the little things show, i picked up a prayer flag by jennifer mercedes because of its title: "a prayer for an inspiring future." yes, please. see you soon.

[gl. as The Lyon in A Midsommer Nights Dreame]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: administrivia, classes & workshops, exhibits & events, miscellany, other art, printing, trixie, writing

November 29, 2008

trixie update

by gl. at 1:22 am

so it's been a while since our last trixie update! fortunately, she just got an email from a spontaneous poet that read "just rearranged some words on your flex car and enjoyed it very much. what a great idea!" i was excited because it's the first email trixie has ever received, which means the (very basic) site & sign i created for her in april (, is working!

in other trixie news...

["love letters" for trixie]

[sven's homemade magnets]

[a thing of wild life]

[enough poetry? i ask for more]

[fearless letters, swift symphony]

[scarlet creature advocate]

[stardust, be creative]

[studios of truthful courage]

[i feel like butter]

[i faced a music creature so i swiftly recalled a symphony]

[night music sizzling like butter...]

[so i tell time but have it not]

[though times of glass...]

[you are a delight]

[time's up! make love]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 20, 2008

we are not licked

by gl. at 6:23 pm

dearest elf: fear not! a new poetry car season will begin soon. the rainy season tends not to encourage spontaneous poetry, but trixie and her magnets have just been washed and the fair weather will undoubtably foster automotive poets everywhere. trixie is delighted you wrote to ask about her, though!

[we are not licked]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

November 25, 2007

neighborhood poetry program

by gl. at 11:38 pm

last week trixie hosted an impromptu poetry workshop for some neighborhood boys:

[youthful poets]

they played with trixie a long time, considering how cold it was that day. let's see what they came up with:

[tell us where you want it you naked man]

[i make love wildly]

[all we need is weed]

[symphony & love]

[swift work makes only more]

i totally loved that last one. they were so pleased they didn't even balk when i asked for their picture:

[say cheese!]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

November 13, 2007

sale of the century

by gl. at 11:59 pm

on saturday i dropped off a plate of apples, cheese, crackers & nuts for the trillium holiday sale, and then i got to shop! i'm not actually a big shopper, but it feels different when you're involved in the organization and supporting real people, you know? :)

i went home with 2 pairs of stubborn earrings, a pair of earrings from carolyn quinn designs, bookmarks from becky bilyeu, a slug family for some very lucky cats for christmas, and one pound of fabric i really don't need but couldn't resist such beautiful scraps for a measly $1.

oh, aaaaaannnnnddd.... a chicken hat from liv and lotus!

[bawk! rawk!]

but best of all, i got to meet the family of one of my artist's way clients. her daughter met trixie and made several poetry fragments, one of which was this one:

[she has enormously sad hair]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, trixie

October 21, 2007

trixie, the 10th muse

by gl. at 8:48 pm

trixie is long overdue for an update! the photo below is a sign from "trixie's," a hair place next door to the little red bike cafe. tlrbc makes wistfully good maple bacon ice cream, but everything there is really quite delicious.

[how could i resist this sign?]

but i've been wanting to write about this since i first saw it mentioned on her blog: shu-ju made a gocco print featuring trixie! it's part of her unofficial "quirky delights in portland" series, the other of which is about the toy horses attached to the old horse rings.(btw, shu-ju was just mentioned in the new york times magazine as a gocco expert in their article "the cult of gocco". go shu-ju!)

[make words erupt like a big cabbage?]

i was blessed with a copy of the print when i went to see shu-ju today during the open studios tour today (more of that in a later post!). when i got out to trixie someone had arranged all her poetry magnets on one side onto the rear door.

[thank you, shu-ju!]

AND... it pained me to have to wait till now to write about it, but bridget's gotten her poetry car up and running now, too! she calls it the "blank canvas" and has already had her first spontaneous poem. yay, bridget! i'm so excited for the poetry cars of america! we've got to get a better name: the automotive poetry association? the poetry transportation society? iambic odometer?

[make time for more love or play]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

September 29, 2007

the poetry car posse

by gl. at 10:55 am

so it's true that magnetic poetry is no longer selling the "really big words for grownups" magnets that i have heretofore been using as trixie's typeface. but i emailed them to ask if they had a stash hidden somewhere i could buy from them, and i was delighted when they said they had ONE in "the archive" (their closet) that i was welcome to have. dave, the owner, said "give her the replacement for free; trixie was excellent."

[really big words for grownups box]

[make love with fire: look at those lovely serifs!]

["here's hoping these stay put!"]

plus, they sent a magnetic poetry keychain, a tiny refrigerator with a tiny light bulb that turns on when you open the tiny door and a tiny crisper that stores the tiny magnets!

[tiny poetry, the polar opposite of big words]

but i've always had simply fantastic service from magnetic poetry. for the clay guided art night last year, i lost the dot for the "i" in their "poetry stones" letter kit, and though i just asked if i could buy one, they shipped it to me for free and let me pick a couple of other letters, too!

the only sadness here is that because this really is the last package of really big words with serifs, the loss of future magnets will hit me pretty hard. i'll starting taking "shrinkage" more personally when i can't replace the magnets.

but on the bright side, trixie's starting a posse! bridget & caryn are thinking of putting together their own poetry cars & trucks! caryn's in washington d.c., but bridget's thinking it would be cool if we picked one night a month for the poetry cars of portland to gather at burgerville like the classic cars do. there may be only two of us now, but soon we will be a mighty poetic force, swift like haiku but as epic as the odyssey!

[celebrate the world through wild romance]

[update sep30.2007: the owner of magnetic poetry blogged about trixie! eeeee!]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

September 11, 2007

blank slate

by gl. at 12:27 am

what's wrong with this picture?

[blank slate]

someone stole all trixie's magnets on her right side while sven was out shopping the other day!

one of the questions people invariably ask when introduced to trixie & her poetry magnets is "do people steal them?" usually, no. this is only the third time something like this has happened since 2003 (once in colorado). i expect a few of them to be lost to "attrition," but it's rare for someone to swipe a whole bunch. but when it does happen, it makes me sad.

(ooo, AND they yanked the cthulhu fish off the back, too. ergh.)

we used up the last of our magnets to fill the space, so now it's time to order more magnets! but i'm a little worried because their big kit looks like it's only available in san serif; they used to have an additional kit which was a serif font. it would be weird to mix them, and i lovelovelove serifs!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

August 19, 2007

trixie praised by anonymous little Elf

by gl. at 10:27 pm

we got a truly delightful trixie testimonial last week:

Trixie! I have found you! I thought you were a figment of my imagination...

One day, long ago (ok, it was June 9, 2006, around 3 pm) I had a magic moment with you... right there by Powell's Books. I was so deep in thought, on the cusp of a huge decision, and caught in nightmare traffic in downtown Portland on the eve of the Rose Parade. And there you were... all filled with poetry. You were in the left lane, I was in the right. I saw two fragments of poetry that spoke to me so deeply, so accurately that it was almost as if the heavens had opened and rained the answer down on me. Really, one of the most awe-inspiring events of my life.

Now, to preserve my identity I'm going to be an anonymous little Elf, and I'm going to keep the exact events and fragments to myself... it's very private and personal.

But I thought you would like to know how much Trixie affected me... and that is TRUE ART. You have achieved something special and I thought you should know. I hope Trixie is still flitting around, all gussied up in poetry, and I hope to run into her again. Thank you, Trixie! I'm so glad I found you. For some odd reason, today I googled one of the fragments and you popped right up on my screen... amazing!

this seems like it would be a good time to show a couple of more poetry fragments (whose quality is admittedly muddled on account of taking them inside a parking garage at night). may they help you with a big decision someday, too!

[we want god or sizzler]

[this is not all]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

August 9, 2007

cola war!

by gl. at 10:46 pm

sometimes people gift trixie with unusual things instead of making poetry. last time it was a "clearance to be worked" magnet, which she still carries. this time it was a "cola war" sticker over one of the magnets:


i don't really know what it means, but i peeled the sticker off because they pasted over a 'woman' magnet and i don't feel compelled to further their meme (except here on the blog, of course!). :) i wish they had made an interesting line of poetry with it!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

August 2, 2007

trixie at the movies

by gl. at 11:43 pm

a recent trixie poem:


tell the world to let us lick skin
sizzle with love's embrace
drink that fire through night

i took this in the parking lot of a movie theatre, and it was a good thing i did because some of the words had been used for other poetry when we came back out.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 21, 2007

sign of the times

by gl. at 11:59 pm

after four years of trixie provoking stares, smiles & random poetry , i finally got around to making a sign for her:


it immediately worked at the gas station before i left for shu-ju's show at the maryhill museum (more on that later): one of the men combined an "as" and an "s" to turn michael5000's "lick that butter" into "lick that butter ass." it's a fairly common way to arrange those letters.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 13, 2007

trixie's summer vacation

by gl. at 11:07 pm

[play and make the day sizzle]

trixie's having a fine summer vacation so far. she just had her first-year anniversary of being completely paid off, so i got her detailed, which took off years of playa dust that had lingered on the dash. that means the magnets got cleaned, too, and then rearranged so we have new poetry again. a couple of my favorites so far are "embrace life but let us face sad days together" and "give our sad fire creature a drink."

just a few days ago a tourist i met at the delicious sahagun chocolates (which also makes a fantastic rose soda) saw trixie from the window and ran outside to take her picture.

but then i got out to the car yesterday and someone had thrown sticky, half-eaten cherries on her. why? i don't know. fortunately, trixie is forgiving and benevolent. :)

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

March 9, 2007

the night has a thousand eyes

by gl. at 11:39 am

trixie has a new friend! meet the googly eyed car!

she's still being created, but it's fun to meet another car with a blog.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

January 21, 2007


by gl. at 9:06 pm

i just discovered this homage to trixie from wayward waif:

"It's a magnetic poetry Toyota. On so many levels, and for so many reasons, the owner of the magnetic poetry car prompts me to see the world as a much more friendly place than I normally view it. An actual car with magnetic poetry pieces. Uber awe-inspiring in a way that I can not adequately describe in words."

yay! which is a good excuse to finally post some of the poetry we got while traveling through canada this summer. i was surprised to discover that until we reached edmonton, most canadians looked at trixie with suspicion. i had expected her acceptance to be greater there than it is here. and even those who chose to play with her played roughly, showing a disturbing tendency to rip words apart to create the sentence they wanted.

[tell the world we did more]

[recall rust goes through sad hair]

[he drinks & i run]

[have sizzle in the world]

[worship skin and sizzle fire]

[man wants woman but she wants creatures of the night]

that last one has probably been our longest and most complete sentence so far. click on the image to see it larger.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

November 29, 2006

love letters

by gl. at 11:59 pm

how sweet! someone left a note for trixie while we were grocery shopping at new seasons:

[love letter: click the image to see the larger version]

it doesn't appear that lisa made any new poetry, but i'm thrilled someone took the time to tell trixie how inspiring she is. it made trixie's day. ;)

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

November 8, 2006

someone keeps stealing my letters...

by gl. at 2:11 am

as shelley says, "It's kind of like if everyone in the world could touch your car -- all at once."

yeah! thanks, shelley! i think trixie's blushing! :)

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

October 29, 2006

fill 'er up!

by gl. at 11:59 pm

i met a poet at the gas station the other day: oregon is one of two states that don't allow you to pump your own gas, so you get familiar with the gas station attendants at the gas stations closest to you.

finally inspired to ask about trixie, who he's seen at least 10 or 15 times, jerry lit up when i told him it was a poetry car. he says you don't need talent to be a poet, just perserverance. he writes cowboy poetry about "jt carpenter" ("get it?" he says. "jesus the?"). in one of his poems, god rides a harley while the devil rides a honda, while in another poem billy the kid & jesse james share a beer, despite living 80 years apart.

jerry is old & mean. for a while i wouldn't go to that gas station because he'd mutter and scowl and throw my receipt at me. but it was amazing to discover the change in his demeanor when he got a chance to talk about poetry. we all need outlets for creative self expression.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

June 16, 2006


by gl. at 11:13 pm

to celebrate trixie's freedom from contractual obligations, we washed her and her poetry magnets and added a few more to top her off. the very next day someone in the neighborhood had already absconded with some of the words from her trunk, so we had some editing to do:

"worship a plastic garden" became "worship a sweet world" and "make time for the enormous taste of butter" became "make time for the garden" (i wish i had taken a picture of the butter line!).

i like it when people play with the magnets and make new poems: i like it far less when they take them away so nobody can play with them.

other poetry currently on trixie:

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

June 13, 2006

you belong to me

by gl. at 9:26 pm

it's official! i sent in trixie's final payment to toyota today! she has served me well & faithfully for the past 5 years; here's hoping she lasts at least another 5! to celebrate, i sure hope we get her to a car wash and refresh her poetry magnets soon.

[trixie at her second burning man]

some recent trixie poetry:

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

April 9, 2006


by gl. at 11:01 am

yesterday trixie took us to flying pie pizza and when we emerged, sated and energized from a game of non-competitive scrabble, we found a note:

"Cool car! Sorry our toddler shoved a lot of the pieces down your passenger side engine crack though. Opps."

so we opened up the hood and indeed, there were several poetry magnets inside the engine. opps!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

April 2, 2006

trixie update

by gl. at 9:49 pm

while we were at the rebuilding center today, someone stole all the poetry magnets on trixie's hood. this is the second time a major theft has occured (the other was when i was showing sven manitou springs, colorado, where they stole all trixie's nouns).

one of the frequently asked questions about trixie's poetry magnets is, "do people steal them?" and ordinarily it's not really an issue; i expect attrition and can even understand the irresistable desire to take one, the way people do road signs. but swiping 20 of them is just rude. it felt like trixie was riding around portland w/o her shirt.

it's probably time to write down the current catalog & wash her, anyway, so here's a snapshot:

i wish i had an easy, fast way to wash her magnets & dry them. doing it by hand takes forever. any ideas?

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

February 21, 2006

trixie: a study in opposites

by gl. at 2:40 pm

as i was stopped at an intersection today, two grizzled men walked past trixie and glared at her, slowing down and looking at her poetry menacingly. i was relieved when they got to the other side of the sidewalk.

when i stopped at the next intersection, two teenage girls noticed trixie: one of them stopped for a moment with her eyes wide and dropped her mouth in awe. then she broke into a huge smile: "i love your car SO MUCH!" she yelled as she passed. when she got to the other side, the other girl hugged her friend in delight.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

October 12, 2005

trixie fish

by gl. at 1:53 pm

trixie also attended the hp lovecraft film festival! here's proof:


posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

August 27, 2005

new poetry catalog

by gl. at 10:56 pm

after 10 anonymous days of driving trixie around without her magnets, she is now replenished! and with them, a new poetry catalog:

trixie first got her magnets to go to burning man two years ago. if we were going to burning man this year, we'd leave tomorrow, so consider this a nostalgic tip o' the hat in honour of all the amazing art & very cool people trixie won't see this year. in addition, scarlet star studios is now a member of the black rock arts foundation. hooray!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

August 14, 2005

counting rhymes

by gl. at 11:05 pm

trixie has 225 poetry magnets plus the one that was donated by an anonymous benefactor. i know this because i've just finished washing them all one at a time. whee!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

newest trixie poetry

by gl. at 11:22 am

the trip to bend produced a new wave of trixie poetry, though once on 23rd a guy stopped in the crosswalk to rearrange her magnets. i'm planning on washing her today; it'll be like we reset her. :)


posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 19, 2005

where you go when you know

by gl. at 12:41 am

weird trixie moment at the burgerville drive-thru tonight:

"hey, are those magnets on your car?" says the cashier.
"yeah, like the ones on refrigerators," i say, smiling.
"and you still have a stereo?" he says, mystifying me.
"yeah....." i say, uncertainly, but smile.
"huh." he says, and walks away to make a milkshake.

i have no idea what to make of that.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 7, 2005

trixie's been gifted

by gl. at 9:16 pm

btw, i haven't yet mentioned that some time in the last couple of months, someone left a magnet for trixie!

clearance to be worked

how very kind! trixie loves you, mysterious koan magnet!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 3, 2005

trixie's current poetry catalog

by gl. at 2:52 pm

here's a catalog of trixie's current poetry fragments (maybe they can be used as writing prompts or as a poem-writing challenge):

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie

July 2, 2005

another scarlet star studios member

by gl. at 12:12 pm

it's about time for trixie the poetry car to have her own page, don't you think? i created an email address for her the other day, but she should definitely have her own blog, too, or at least a blog category. (i never thought i would do something like this for a car, but then, i never thought i'd have a poetry car, either!)

[trixie says, "hi!"]

this is one of the poems someone has composed atop trixie:


celebrate that sizzle
of rust & easy skin

taste the glass day
so as to
make us want

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: trixie