Where Art Thou Aesthetics Please?

If I could,

I would

Sculpt young girls,

Paint them,

And, if I could be a little boy again,

I would dance with them;

If I could be a little boy again,

I could have my friend back then


As I grew older, it happened,

Suddenly, violently,

As the years passed,

I grew fonder of

Young girls



She needs no branding,

No face painting,

No smiling,

Seemingly standing in the nude,

Only her face we see,

Not inappropriately,

To demonstrate

Pure and natural beauty,

Much like my muted mutual friend


But being a man, having

An aesthetic eye

 For girls?

Has a darker side

For our panic-protected world and

for my childhood,

His story


When I see her,

I see the defiance of pretty

But barely dirty bare feet,

Of a girl looking at me

Looking at her,

A bite away from the dangers of womanhood


Of innocence not lost,

Or has it been already lost,

On the cliff, the pending dusk of girlhood?

Me, not knowing if I should grieve or celebrate

Her delayed glory and my childhood memories’ defeat


For it is in a young girl to be just so beautiful in presentation,

Yet so clueless to its affect,

She, now, defies age

By dancing like a woman,

Only to return a child again


Is it inappropriate for a child-woman to act a woman-child?

Sassy is in the middle somewhere, but

It’s demanded that men not notice,

So we pretend so,

For we are perverts, peeping Toms, or pedophiles

All in denying,

Take your pick


We yell,

“Stay Safe,

Stay Safe,

Stay Safe,”

All the while

Multitasking on our phones with kids in back

Who’s driving this torment and chaos called life’s hack


I have a confession;

You know it;

You suspected as much,

That I might like girls

more than women aesthetically because,

In my defense,

Why would I not like someone that is






But timid in shyness,

And bold when not supposed to be so,


And truly free


Can you really blame me,

When their only motive

Is to be happy,

And so it is with me


I want the Me Too Movement

To cease,

When we have equality and everyone

Can afford to be carefree,

When women and girls can be anything,

Any way they want to be,

Naked or beautifully clothed

And we will truly value thee


I learned visually

 That girls were better than me(n).

Can I like girlhood,


And not be an offender,

A pedophile,  

A pervert, or

A sleaze


Can I make you uncomfortable


 Because deep down

You are afraid of me


Or is it their beauty

That scares you so?

Would you wouldn’t want to be me?

You are,

No worries, for shouldn’t we love natural aesthetic beauty?

Nudity Is

beautiful nude woman

I flipped through the pictures until I came across the one I saw before.

In all the vividness and splendor of black and white, I peered at a woman on the edge.

There, in a moment, she is nude, rear facing the camera, front facing danger and destruction, turning away from the tantalizing passion and desire of man at the risk of the free fall below.

The girl with her arms stretched above her head; her hands are in the “salute” pose I’d often seen in gymnastics.

Those beautiful, slight, fragile hands are pointed toward the heavens in much the same way as thousands who had been tied to crosses before, but these ropes seem gone, cast away, if just for a moment, and now these two features—the features that give us so much advantage in this world and that cause so much pain—are positioned to cut through the air and thus the water in desperate hope to limit impact.

In a moment, her long hair is wild and free, as is her body.

Free of clothing, free of the concept of nudity, evil, and humiliation. Her mane pours over her shoulders not in an attempt to hide her nakedness but rather to highlight her natural beauty.

I saw her dark wet hair kiss her spine. The two are glued in matrimony of being.

The spine slowly crawls to the buttocks. They are firm, muscular but feminine. I felt elated. I felt good. Looking at her made me love being human, and I think the human body is beautiful. The hips join in to create a beautiful harmony.

I can still recall the diamond-shaped light sifting between her legs, where the buttocks, thighs and crotch meet. Dark skin against the light of the sun; water, the giver of life, running down the flesh; the woman, in the moment, and the viewer moved in time.

There, in a moment, my eyes moved further down to see the form of her legs, her hamstrings, the back of her knees—that are so fun to tickle—and her wonderfully shaped calf muscles.

It finishes with the soles of her feet blinking at me, “dirty” but not so and even so, I would not mind them dirty at all, for all of her is so beautiful in this moment. She brings me into her experience and I forget all about the photograph.

Everything becomes one: I, her, and nature.

What Do Bananas Have To Do With Aesthetics? Segment 2

pretty girl in vintage style. pinup girl with fashion hair. banana dieting. pin up woman with trendy makeup. retro woman eating banana. feeling flirty


Proteus Ashmole

[Study, Study, Study.]

Unless one studies and reads widely, he or she will never truly know Art.  The verb “know” is particularly important here because it has multiple senses; “Know” as I here use it means to fully experience and understand a work of Art as an entity.  So move freely, widely, and eagerly among the offerings of the art world, be they literature, dance, drama, music, painting, sculpture, furniture design, or architecture.  To experience is to know.

[Love What You Love.]

Here is some pragmatic advice: allow yourself to love what you love.  If you think the music of Dmitri Shostakovich ugly, so be it.  But thinking his music ugly does not preclude the fact that he made a major contribution to Twentieth-Century musical form.  One need not care for a work of Art to acknowledge its place in the art world.  For Art can only exist within context.  That context is usually cultural.  Shostakovich produced music within the political context of the Soviet Union.

It might be helpful, in terms of understanding the significance of context, to introduce two major schools of criticism: New Criticism and New Historical Criticism.  The former arose out of Yale University during the Twentieth Century, its principle proponent being M. H. Abrams.  New Criticism simply asserts that a work stands on its own and requires no external context for one to appreciate or understand it.  New Criticism is most often applied to literature; indeed, it was created to better understand literary texts as self-contained texts.

New Historical Criticism is a revival of Historical Criticism, one that has primarily occurred in the Twenty-First Century.  New Historical Criticism, unlike New Criticism, emphasizes the importance of context; specifically, in order to fully appreciate a work of art—be it a poem, sculpture, or building—one must know something about the creator of that artifact, that person’s beliefs, and when that artifact was created.  Quite obviously, New Historical Criticism has a broader application than does New Criticism.  Both approaches have their merits.  The times usually dictate the popularity of any given approach to the world.  Use these critical theories as you will.  I argue that context is essential, but that is far from fact.

{More to come.}

See Segment One here

IT Immortality


beautiful eyes

I met you there, or was it here—on my screen?  Your eyes fight through the façade of a painted face, yet the brushed-on exaggerations make you more vivid, more real, and a momentary inspiration for a lost and wandering mind.

You smile at me or is it the camera that you smile at? No. It’s easier to smile at the hidden world through a lens that is there because you let it be so close to you. You own it, but in using it, the world owns you. Though it does not judge you, it’s the gateway to a world that will do so in haste, for a laugh or for the many obscenities that trolls will lavish upon you.

Maybe you will get a compliment? Anything really meaningful; I think I must have hit pause by mistake in a somehow virtual binding struggle to freeze time and make your moment mine –to make you part of me. You are on my screen anyway, remember? You are now an artifact to be downloaded and uploaded for our personal viewing pleasure forever.

We often paint our faces to look older when we are young, and then we paint them to look younger when we are old. But everyone is on time-lapse here. You are there for a moment; your whole life in a database, on a screen, in a fantasy, it’s all in-between … the fact that you must have existed once on a thumb drive only to be deleted by the very finger that uploaded you a brief moment ago.

Though you seem so real, dancing in my office, on my bed, in the coffee shop and forever in my head, you are as if an angel, or maybe a devil, too. Intel and even AMD are not into playing moral favorites that human drama brings.

But never fear, a hacker may be able to resurrect your virtual self after finding your dead world in a recycling pile. He will surely upload you when you were most original but only if you look older when younger or look younger when older. You wanted to be ageless, so whether an angel or devil, he gets to play God. You get a kind of IT immortality. I’d take it even if naked.

When we are young, we wear less clothing to look older, and when we are older we wear more clothing to look young. We are always hiding “me” in the midst of searching for thee. We are caught in a search engine with the term “who am I?”

I asked Siri that question, and she told me my name and then said that “since we are friends,” she “gets to call me Jimmy.” She took it upon herself to name me a name she has heard before. Jimmy is 8, and, I, 48, but it makes no difference to a computer confused with only the order zeros and ones bring. Whether I am a man or a boy makes little difference to the genderless, ageless, sexless, and emotionless “girl” I have somehow befriended. Yet she is a constant in my life; I find her on every device beckoning me with her intelligent-less hyperbole.

But I think I just described a writer, a dancer, a producer, a photographer, and, yes, even a hacker. There is a kind of determined persistence in showing what is most horrible and beautiful in this world, so much so that the mundane has an ever-present feeling of security to it, an artful appeal.

They will have you calming or panicking: Dropout Essays, 2018

As with my poems, here is a link to my essays from 2018:


Hopefully some will make you laugh.

Thanks so much for a positive year. I am looking forward to reading and wriitng more!

-from Dropout because does it really matter who I am?

I’d kiss you all, but that would be wierd: Dropout Poems, 2018

Disgusting Horny Guy with Christmas Mistletoe
It’s not me, I swear. 

Hello and thanks to all of you for making my 40 years of writing, finally, a happy and fun endeavor. I have found wonderful people here on WordPress and some fine artists. Though I have a tiny footprint and a heart as big as my ass, my appreication for all of you and your own works of art has really inspired me.

I added a 2018 poetry link to my main page, but …

Here is a link to my poem list from December 2018.

I will do the same with my essays. I hope you rediscover some you missed.

Thanks again. I would kiss you all but that would be weird for me and for you.


What Do Bananas Have To Do with Aesthetics?

Fountain pen on a book


Proteus Ashmole


“Where there is not too much air is the pretty sound.”

                                         –Gertrude Stein


[Part One: How Art Differs from art.]

We must differentiate between Art and art, which is a distinction of taste.  A traditional criterion of Art is universal appeal, as discussed by various philosophers, including Schiller.[1]  But anything universal is perpetually held in tension with exclusivity, for Art would not be Art unless it made people uncomfortable.  For example, few appreciate experimental fiction, which frequently makes readers uncomfortable through both subject matter and its disregard for convention. Yet some experimental fiction is deemed Art due to the variable of taste, which is extremely subjective. Consider Miss Stein’s The Making of Americans; it ushered in Modernist Literature,  though one critic denounced the novel as “The first stunningly original disaster of modernism.”[2]

[Part Two: What about Taste?]

So how does one address the subjective matter of taste?  One trusts the educated.  The caveat is, one need not agree with them, but let them lead the way.  And one need never go to college, or even finish high school, to be considered educated.  Educated is here defined as having experience, be it particular or general.  A streetwise illiterate is educated in the labyrinthine ways of back alleys and hustles, no?  Would you trust them to help you survive the urban environment, or a sociologist?

[On Critics.]

Critics are not to be lumped in with the educated, even though they may be so in the formal sense.  Why?  Critics fall into two categories: sensationalist naysayers and sell-outs; both deceive.  The former pan anything for effect (think Jock Sturges’s or Robert Mappelthorpe’s photography); the latter generate hype (for the box-office flop Waterworld).

{More later, Friends.}

[1]     For more, see his Letters on the Aesthetic Education of Man and his concept of Plasticity.

[2]     The New Yorker