"And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying"

-TS Eliot


new paintings

If anyone wants their portrait painted please contact me- I'll be doing lots of portraits the next year and I would gladly take most commissions. Here's my email address: Nickbontorno@hotmail.com


tom waits

Down by the Riverside motel
It's 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store
She closed her eyes and started swaying
But it's so hard to dance that way
When it's cold and there's no music
Oh, your hometown's so far away
But inside your head there's a record that's playing
Hold on


an autumn poem?

Leaves gather at the edge of the field

Like old friends reassuring.

The confidence of summer

Has given way to the sobriety

Of all things becoming temporary and impalpable,

Throughout summer I command my days

Now I am a beggar-

Chilled and disillusioned

I find a path among the leaves

And Orion begins his arc overhead.



the only thing I don't like about the west is how fashionable it is for people to fall in line. Even the rebellious young people swarm in trendy hives. Everyone should read a little Emerson. Get some transcendental in you.


a drawing

And your very flesh shall be a great poem.” Walt Whitman


End of summer

"Done layed around
Done stayed around
This old town too long
Summers almost gone
Summers almost gone"


Book of Abraham and Joseph Smith Papyri


So here is a link that very straight-forwardly answers a lot of questions that I have always had about the Book of Abraham. Its easy to find critics views online, but that is not very interesting. It is much more interesting to believe in something and find out why, than to go around discrediting everything difficult. Like George McDonnald says "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and therefore left untried".

The only thing not mentioned here about the facsimiles being not really about Abraham I read Michael Rhodes idea that they could have been some things Joseph had in his collection that resembled closest to what he may have seen in revelation- and got published (thoses scenes are common it seems). It sold the Times and Seasons paper.


Bob Dylan played here

Dylan played in jackson last night, and Jim and I went to it with some free tickets my boss came upon and gave us. He surprised me by playing a lot of his hits, which I thought he generally avoided, but he played Rolling Stone and Just like a Woman and the Ballad of Hollis Brown and the Lonesome Death of Hattie Carol and Rollin and Tumblin and even All Along the Watchtower. It was pretty monumental. If you cant tell from the pictures he's the one with the white hat.
So Jackson hole has givin me some really good music since I've been working here. Last year I saw Greg Brown in Driggs and Beethovens 9th at the Grand teton music festival, and this year I saw Mozarts 40 and 41st and Bob Dylan. Good thing I was here these years.


question the motive of your loyalties

Mosiah 29:26
"Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law- to do your business by the voice of the people."

Prop 8 Overturn
Statement of Charles J. Cooper, lead counsel for the proponents of Proposition 8, concerning the decision rendered today in Perry v. Schwarzenegger:

“Today, a single federal judge has negated the will of the people of California. The central premise of the court’s ruling is that it is irrational for the citizenry to decide to retain the traditional definition of marriage. The court holds that the ubiquitous definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman is a historical curiosity that serves no purpose whatsoever, but rather is based solely on anti-gay biases. Indeed, the court went so far as to brand as “irrational” all supporters of traditional marriage, which is the vast majority of all people, in American and throughout the world. As New York’s high court recently recognized, until very recently it “was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex.” [Hernandez v. Robles, 855 N.E.2d at 8 (N.Y. 2006)]. The historical record reveals that the traditional definition of marriage is grounded in society’s interest in channeling potentially procreative sexual relationships between men and women into enduring, stable family units to increase the likelihood that children will be raised by the man and woman whose union brought them into the world.

“Judge Walker’s ruling sweeps aside this historical understanding of marriage. In its place, he has announced that “Marriage is the state recognition of a couple’s choice to live with each other, to remain committed to one another and to form a household based on their own feelings about one another and to join in an economic partnership and support one another and any dependants.” His opinion thus treats children as a mere afterthought when it comes to marriage. The Court’s disregard for the historical purposes of marriage would require California to embark on a novel experiment with the fundamental institution of marriage. In doing so, it threatens to harm the vital interests historically served by marriage. The United States Constitution provides no warrant for this result, as demonstrated by the all-but-unanimous judgment of other federal courts that have addressed the issue.

“In addition to dismissing the traditional definition of marriage, the judge incredibly found that children don’t need fathers. Or mothers. To state this proposition is to refute it. And the court also found that there is no benefit whatsoever for a child to be raised by its own biological parents. Fortunately, the Constitution does not require the people to substitute the social science musings of gay rights activists for common sense. This decision will not stand.

“Fortunately, the case is not over. Judge Walker acknowledged from the outset that “this case is only touching down in this Court, … it will have a life after this Court, and what happens here, in many ways, is only a prelude to what is going to happen later.” July 2, 2009 Tr. of Hr’g at 12. About that he was right. We have already filed a notice of appeal and look forward to the next stage of this litigation.”

Our president is calling prop 8 "divisive and discriminatory". All these changes bring us closer to the time when it becomes unlawfully discriminating for the LDS church to deny marriage to gay couples. But the church's official release on the subject said in part: “There is no doubt that today’s ruling will add to the marriage debate in this country, and we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion.”


3rd summer in Jackson

Thinking about the mountains where
People learn the stars
Clouds rolled in from Nebraska
Dark chords on a big guitar



"With your measured abandon
And your farmers walk
with your worn out shoes
and your eagerness to talk
with your mothers burden
and your fathers stare
with your pretty dresses
and your wind swept hair
with your pledge of allegiance
and your ringless hand
with your young woman's terror
and your old woman's plan
with your sisters questions
and your brothers tears
with your empty womb
and the forsaken years
O you"

-Greg Brown


"And again, O God, when I did turn to my house thou didst hear me in my prayer.
Yea, thou art merciful unto thy children when they cry unto thee, to be heard of thee and not of men, and thou wilt hear them."

Alma 33


salty and flaty

if you head west of Salt Lake on I80 you drive through the salt flats which are a huge expanse about the size of New Jersey of nothingness but salt. The military uses this area of Utah to blow things up. No one and nothing lives out here, and its refreshing.


The hosts of the air

O'DRISCOLL drove with a song
The wild duck and the drake
From the tall and the tufted reeds
Of the drear Hart Lake.

And he saw young men and young girls
Who danced on a level place,
And Bridget his bride among them,
With a sad and a gay face.

The dancers crowded about him
And many a sweet thing said,
And a young man brought him red wine
And a young girl white bread.

But Bridget drew him by the sleeve
Away from the merry bands,
To old men playing at cards
With a twinkling of ancient hands.

The bread and the wine had a doom,
For these were the host of the air;
He sat and played in a dream
Of her long dim hair.

He played with the merry old men
And thought not of evil chance,
Until one bore Bridget his bride
Away from the merry dance.

He bore her away in his arms,
The handsomest young man there,
And his neck and his breast and his arms
Were drowned in her long dim hair.

O'Driscoll scattered the cards
And out of his dream awoke:
Old men and young men and young girls
Were gone like a drifting smoke;

But he heard high up in the air
A piper piping away,
And never was piping so sad,
And never was piping so gay.

WB Yeats




Henry Folsom

This is an old folk painting done in early 1700s by an artist who no one knows anything about, and died young. It's of his sister. It hangs on a wall. That's art, and I don't think you need much more. You can take your NYC and L.A. and your subconcious and your concepts and your dialog and your community and your grants, and have a bonfire.


Website has landed afresh

I have a new website of artwork. It is almost done. But you can see it at Nickbontorno.wordpress.com

I may change it to something else in the future, but for now, that's where it is. Nickbontorno.com is broke and gone.


Kandinsky and Klee- good times on the beach

This is for a collection I want to start of pictures of famous artists hanging out together.