James Harkins Is Gone

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Jack O Lantern

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Last week in recalling the time Rena, James Harkins, Robert Delano, and I went on a road trip together, all of a sudden Jame’s energy was very present. I even wondered if Rena and my old friend are in touch with one another. Not able to shake this energy, I called James and Nancy for the first time in many years. I left a message saying I was authoring a autobiography, and he’s in it. Five minutes later, Nancy calls and informs me James died of heart failure back in March the same month I lost Hollis.

I asked Nancy to send me some photos and some of Jame’s art work. Until then, I will employ the work of others to try to describe what James the Artist was about. He greatly admired Kirchner and Pollack, and did more than a thousand works in their style. James would fold a 24 X 30 inch piece of watercolor paper twice to arrive at the size of most of his work. This made it easier to stack and store in boxes that were taped and sealed, the addresses of famous art museums scribbled on these boxes lest there be any confusion, or tug-of-war, as to what museum gets what work. If anything, my old friend was an optimist! Too bad those who were in James’ life were not so positive.

Take for instance his younger brother, Michael Harkins. Seeing that his brother was destined for greatness, Michael begged his father to send him to the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Fearing he would live in the shadow of his older brother’s achievements this jealous sibling tried to intercept what Fate had in store for James. However, Michael failed to take this great opportunity his father paid good money for, seriously, and squandered it. Hooking up with the beat poet, Michael McClure, Michael became a womanizer, a cosmic jokester, a CCAC prankster. Michael coined the phrase ‘California College of Arts and Laughs’.

One could say, Michael was the grasshopper, and James the ant. While Michael only produced a few works of art, it is estimated his very serious brother rendered over 8,000 works. James Harkins might go down is art history as the most prolific artist that ever lived – and the most serious!

James was not a dabbler. During what Michael cynically titled ‘His linoleum Period’ James would do as many as six paintings a day. But, that is nothing compared to his leaf and Jack-o-lantern periods. Greatly inspired by the pumpkin James Wyeth rendered, James did as many as ten lanterns a day. Being a Buddhist, James tried to capture an inner light that was trying to get out of the orifices of our human existence that is born in a darkness that only a few attempt to escape from.

Perceiving we are held prisoner in our fleshy forms, Harkin’s pumpkins began to disolve into what can be described as ‘The Madness of Mundane Existence’ What looks like a journey back to early infancy, is in truth an attempt to un-know, so one can really know.

Finding himself on the brink of Nirvana, and about to see the light which we all seek, here come his jealous brother to unmercifully ridicule and shame his older brother, who for one thing had captured his lost childhood – almost by accident!
“Leafs are free!” James told me one day when he came from out of the rain, soaking wet, holding a armful of leaves he found in the gutter where he would splash about in his rubbers on stormy days – with abandon!

“I saved these poor leaves from going down the storm drain. Thanks to me, they escaped total oblivion. There is a message here for me. These leaves speak to me!”

In order to escape this insideous sibling rivalry, James launched into his Leaf Period. Desperate to find a medium that would not give rise to the extremely critical nature of Michael, James did over 2,000 paintings of leaves. In this great pile, James found sanctuary from his younger brother.

In the autumn leaves of our childhood memories, James alas found the freedom to romp and play in extacy, free of the torment, free of the jealousy, and free to let his little light shine! His ‘Little Pumpkins of Wonderment’ have toured the world and have brought tears to the eyes of the staunchest critics. Even the Pope in Rome took notice.

“Until now, I believed Jack-O-Lanterns was Devil Worship. Mr. Harkins has shown me the light! God bless this merry soul.”

Pope John

To sum up the work of James Harkins, this persecuted artist blazed a path back to the empty lots we spent our youth playing in, and invites the happy inner child lurking in us all, to return to our age of innocence. Un-happy children, need not apply.

Jon Gregory Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press
Knight Templar of the Holy Shroud
Grand Master of the Swan Brotherhood
Holy Knight of the Order of Saint George de Rougemont

Copyright 2013

http://www.kerouac.com/

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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One Response to James Harkins Is Gone

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Two months ago I got a called from Michael Harkins. I was shocked. I thought he was dead. We had not talked in five years. We had a fight over this Trophy Friends. He claims he was tight with Michale Maclure, and his friend, Jim Morrison. He demied I ever met his poet buddy, and I was improperly name dropping. I was dipping into HIS pile. He pretty much called me a liar when I told him he introduced me to Micahael after we saw his play. I think we were at Mills college. Then my live in lover had me sit in on a poetry class she took. She introduced us and asked if I could sit in. I later caught Amber in be with Paul Drake, the actor, and ten Oakland Cops showed up when I told Paul it was time for him to come outside so I can kick his ass. Then Michael said I never met Linart. I reminded him he took us to lunch at Wendy’s and showed us a uncashed check for $16,000 dollars he got for his PI work, We then took him to KTVU for a interview. We picked the white cat hairs off his dark blue suit. Michael made a similar CLAIM on Bruce Perlowin who lived in the basement of my second mom after he got out of the Fed lock-up. Micahael was married to his ex-wife, who was a very snooty social climber, and wanted nothing to do with the Harkin’s family. I was snubbed by both of them After doing a sem-intervention with Bruce ‘The King of Pot’ I suggested he come out against drugs. Michael arranged for his Trophy Buddy to speak at a public school. In our last call M mocked my late sister’s fame, and this newspaper. He got a good chuckle about my religious claims, and, topped off his Major Status Put Down with a threat. He said he had stuff on me, and, could bring me down to size. Let me remind him, that his wife did legal work for me concerning my late sister, my sister Vicki, and my daughter. M had worked as a Private Investigator when we went to Christine’s funeral Does he have a PI liscense? I have shared personal and legal matters with him. I invoke Client Privileage. That said, here is the post that prompted his call. He tol me for two years he was given six months to live. I was glad he was alive. M claimes an aquaintence did a search of him, and sent him part of this post. THEY claimed I putting my friend of fifty-three years, down. If I wanted to do that, and thought he was dead – why didn’t I realy go to town on him, and really raid his Beloved Trophy Room where he keeps hs really goo friends? What this post is, is a parody on STATUS. All three Harkin’s sons were artist. James could not bring himself to talk about my sister’s success, because, he looked down his Skyline nose at me. I was a lowly flatland friend. To prove that he was a superior artist to everyone in his mothers house where he came to live rent-free for years at a time, he would do as many as six water colors a day. After a month, he took his collction to the upstairs closet where he kept HIS beloved boxes tha thad the names of FAMOUS museus on them. One of them was marked ‘The Tate’. Boy, did James have one over on us with that one. Why the Tate? I could write a book on the Harkin’s Renaissance if M would allow me. Let me add, this blog is my Sober Journal. My not so famous sister kept a Sober Journal that was disappeared. Tom Snyder said Christine’s writing were “the ideations of a woman who was not well when she wrote them.” Snyder spills all our family secrets and demonizes Rosamond. This has caused me much grief. Micahel suggests I am only upset because I didn’t make millions off my art, and, be somebody. This blog is just a pathetic attempt to attain the STATUS my sister attained. But, Micahaels chuckle demoted my dead sister, to NOBODY STATUS, I week later, I realized this CENSORHIP, and this forbiddin me to write about him, was STATUS SEEKING. The Paparazzi only want to get scoops on FAMOUS PEOPLE, no nobodies like Michael Harkins, and his brother, James. My old ffriend has raised his STATUS, while cutting me off at the knees. He then put a gag order on me. Let me post this picture of M’ss Trophy Pal flipping the press the bird. That’s Trophy Pal No.1 carrying a six pack. Jim and Michael are off to drink some people, smoke some pot, and write poem together. I own Morrion’s book of poems. I would like to do a critique of thi poetry but, I’m afraid Big Brother will fink on me, and get me in trouble. M called me – TO BUST MY ASS DOWN TO SIZE! Fuck……………you!

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