Sunday, January 5, 2014

Artist Ashe Troberg: Painting Ed Galing

Ed Galing

 Artist Ashe Troberg, the founder of The Brooklyn Voice ( is working on a painting of Ed Galing for the next issue of Ibbetson Street--a tribute to the late poet--who died at 96--this December.. I asked her about her process as she works on Ed's portrait. I also told her that she in a way is a poet-- in that she interprets a face with her tools, as the poet does with his or her tools--so to speak. This is what she had to say:

" There was a time that I totally painted without thinking and all my connection to the painting was with my subconscious. . But I am a bit more aware now. Being aware allows us to realize things .. and connect many dots. Very often I get engrossed in a painting. Ed's is one of those. As I continue to learn his jaw lines, his hair lines I sort of traveled through.. .or at least I could say reflected on how he looked as a young man. .. his life.. .his peak of time. You do get connected. ..especially when someone like him, who is no more.  ..Artists are just artists.. .I mean composers, poets, artists, authors.. .they create. . Only their tools are varied. ..they can create a moment from a certain scent. Winter or a rose Garden. . Or dusty old library. They.create that moment with their own tool. So yes all of us who create something are just artists."

Thursday, January 2, 2014

An Elegy for Ed Galing in the Form of a Letter to the Deceased by Alan Catlin

An Elegy for Ed Galing in the Form of a Letter to the Deceased

Dear Ed,

“I wake up
to the sadness
of being seventy"

Ed Galing and Harmonica

the poet Maia Penfold wrote some years ago,
reflecting how beautiful the world looked from
outer space and how, here, on earth, we dishonored
ourselves, fought senseless wars, persisted in all
forms of cruelty to our fellow men. I can only
imagine what you might add to her reflections
with regards to human follies without end.
At 96, you wrote about having lived too long,
of the loneliness, missing, most of all, your wife
of sixty-seven years, gone now for many years.
You wrote of constant pain, how helpless you felt
in a wheelchair and of the one remaining joy of your
life, writing poems. Those poems you typed , badly,
slowly, on a manual machine and mailed to small
press magazines no one ever heard of but your friends,
mostly fellow poets, who loved you and your work.
I can’t express how much I admired your needing
to write and how that was inextricably linked to your will
to live, when nothing else seemed to matter; the writing
kept the love alive, all those people you cherished
nearby. That last week you wrote letters to old friends
suggesting this was the end. I wrote back, a day late,
right away; after all you never know which one might
be the last one. I’ll cherish my last letter from you though
you’ll never know what I had to say.