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Portico Arts

Readings | IV The Emperor

Readings | IV The Emperor


The Emperor

Authority, regulation, direction, structure

Upright:  Leader. Creator. Exercising potential.  Discovering limits and moving past them. Directing the flow of opportunity. Communicating clearly. Being in control of your talents and learning to aid others to see your vision. Tempering anger with wisdom and experience.


Make Haste to Live: An Afterword


This art collection is a celebration of Ray Bradbury and so having the man himself as the emperor seemed natural.  However, he did not start out as “the man himself.”  As all writers are aware, there is that uncertainty at the very beginning when no stories have yet been published, printed or even viewed by someone else. That boy, the uncertain yet gifted boy, is the right emperor for this showing. I chose to have the poster unzipping to represent the works that are to come after this moment. They are magic tricks of language, the peek behind the curtain of the future.

This piece is available for licensing.


"When I was eight years old, in 1928, an incredible event occurred on the back wall outside the Academy motion picture theater in Waukegan, Illinois. An advertising broadside, some thirty feet long and twenty feet high, dramatized Black-stone the Magician in half a dozen miraculous poses: sawing a lady in half; tied to an Arabian cannon that exploded, taking him with it; dancing a live handkerchief in midair; causing a birdcage with a live canary to vanish between his fingers; causing an elephant to … well, you get the idea. I must have stood there for hours, frozen with awe. I knew then that someday I must become a magician.

That’s what happened, didn’t it? I’m not a science fiction, fantasy, magic-realism writer of fairy tales and surrealist poems. Quicker Than the Eye may well be the best title I have ever conjured for a new collection. I pretend to do one thing, cause you to blink, and in the instant seize twenty bright silks out of a bottomless hat.

How does he do that? may well be asked. I really can’t say. I don’t write these stories, they write me. Which causes me to live with a boundless enthusiasm for writing and life that some misinterpret as optimism.

Nonsense. I am merely a practitioner of optimal behavior, which means behave yourself; listen to your Muses, get your work done, and enjoy the sense that you just might live forever.”

- Ray Bradbury
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