Archive for the ‘collars and vents’ Category

I’m Back

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

I’m back, I’m back
but I am a hack

Whatever my rack
I cut myself slack

when I should
be shooting for good

I end up bad
and ultimately sad

for my words
are like turds

and my pics
are deep six

I’m a hack
an artistic quack

I should be proud
and proclaim aloud

that these marks
like infinite sparks

are masterful strokes
and not childish jokes

So let not my mediocrity
be my final biography

for I’ve seen that shyte
can truly take flight

from out in the cold
to swimming in gold

I’ve heard many a rap
that was totally crap

so I accept
that the inept

is often seen
as really keen

Its really the frame
that is to blame

for making junk
loose its funk

to take center stage
and become a new rage

Right on
write on

let it flower
and take on power

from the funk
to the monk

stop being glower
and let the words shower

Pfffft …


Sunday, October 14th, 2012

I will be seventy tomorrow
How I wish I had been writing
When I was in my thirties and living among bandits and thieves
Or in my twenties when carousing saloons and bars or in my teens
When playing twisted vandal or — but wait …

I did write when I was a teen
Something about the meaning of life
and the future of humankind

it was a disjointed poem about man
evolving into automata and living in split-level tombs
Having satisfied all their earthly wants and needs
Bored and packed away from the realities of living

I remember giving this poem to my cousin
who turned it in for an english assignment and
ended up having it published and winning an award for it.

But thinking back further I wish I had been writing
of my life in my youth, learning about female anatomy
in my backyard tent or under our porch
with the neighborhood girls.

My quest for speed and coolness
with hotrods and sports cars
and houses and yards. And,
more recently with my adventures
as an artist on the road.

and my happiness
at having survived
still free
from the daily grind
which seems to have
consumed most
whom I have known.

for what?

get what you want

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Be careful what you ask for, you just may get it.

Gays and lesbians clamoring for marriage will end up having divorces —
something new perhaps and rarely any fun;

Fed-up Arabs seeking freedom and dignity may end up having
more repression, poverty and disappointment — that’s a sad one.

Something for nothing, a free lunch and easy money draw many
to learn as in an ancient Chinese proverb:

How do you know it’s good?
How do you know it’s bad?

To paraphrase the Stones:
you can’t always get what you want
but you always get what you need.

healthy, wealthy and wise?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Just this past week I was anglin’ on
a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

“Early to bed and early to rise
makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

So what ever happened to healthy, wealthy and wise being
sought after like some sort of ultimate prize?

It seems that lately these virtues are cries that
so many people hold as Evil in their eyes.

If you’re healthy, there’s a crowd that’s heard whining and
ascribing your good health to something genetic

while their own habits of sedentry and over-dining have
led them to a condition that’s truly pathetic.

When it comes to wealth the assessment’s even worse; your
frugality and good choices are reviled as a Curse.

And when you try to pass along any of that Wisdom you’re
heard as the purveyor of yet another conundrum.

So instead of health we race toward illness and morbidity and
in place of wealth we get more lack and want.

In lieu of wisdom we’ve accrued ignorance and stupidity. Now
these New “virtues” are all that’s left to vaunt.

broken (inspired by bob dylan’s everything is broken)

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

broken dishes
broken parts
broken wishes
broken hearts

broken wheels
broken dials
broken deals
broken smiles

everything’s broken
nothin’ ain’t right
everything’s broken
it all seems so trite

broken boxes
broken gloves
broken foxes
broken loves

broken bottles
broken teams
broken models
broken dreams

everything’s broken
nothin’ seems to fit
everything’s broken
nobody gives a shit

broken strings
broken spines
broken rings
broken lines

broken oaths
broken herds
broken growths
broken words

everything’s broken
and it’s nobody’s fault
everything’s broken
we’re all at fault

broken meanings
broken findings
broken leanings
broken bindings

broken combs
broken ropes
broken homes
broken hopes

everything’s broken
nothin’ ain’t right
everything’s broken
it’s not a pretty sight

broken pintos
broken flies
broken windows
broken lies

broken fears
broken lights
broken tears
broken nights

everything’s broken
nothin’ to hold on
everything’s broken
even you are gone

broken cars
broken dives
broken bars
broken lives

broken roads
broken times
broken loads
broken rhymes

everything’s broken
nothin’s even here
everything’s broken
have another beer

broken chills
broken blinds
broken pills
broken minds

broken balls
broken brows
broken walls
broken vows

everything’s broken
everything’s broken



color me green

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Green, green, green, green, green
Close your eyes, green, green,
I mean it, close your eyes and just see
green — green, green.

Green, green, brown, red green, green
green, brown, brown, red, green green,
evergreen trees, green, green, brown,
green, brown, red, black, white, gray,
green, grey, flowing creek, rushing water,
green, green, green, brown, red, black, white,
green, green, green, brown, red, black, white,
green, green, brown, red, black, white,

green, green, brown, red, black, white,
blue, green, green, brown, red, black, white,
blue, blue, green, green, brown, red, black, white,
blue, green, green, blue, brown, red, blue, white,
pitter, patter, blue, gray, white, gray, green, green
rain sprinkles everything, gray, green, blue, white
green, green, green, green

Breathe deeply, blue-green, blue-green, gray
white now red, orange, yellow, red, red, red,
brown, red, brown, green, red, brown,
as the bear devours your leg, red, red, brown on green.

We are always [green] surprised by what we [green] don’t expect.
So be ready for the [green] uninvited and serve them your best
green, green, red, brown and black, black, always black
— and blue, blue, blue. Boo-hoo. Woo-hoo. Blue, blue.


forked tongue speaks of two-sided coin

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

I’ve always prided myself in my affinity to differing camps
the intellectual and the down and dirty normality
to the enjoyment of drink and drug, the rewarding joy of physical labor
to the engaging discussions of rhyme and reason, of art and taste;
to the endurance of agonizing pain and demoralizing realizations;
to the lofty exhilaration of conceptual discoveries and spiritual quests
along with the defeats and losses that seem to recur without end.

I love the raw expression of joy and anger, of winning and defeat
the stultifying numbness of boring repetition and the thrill of revenge
the finding of friends and the gifts of lonely pursuits
the open discussions of inner most fears and the quiet reflections
on secrets closely held and never admitted.

But where does this leave me or is it carrying me
into the continuing maelstrom of this scattered and shattered existence
seeking a roost, a place of comfort amidst my refusals to accept it
along with my desires to fly past anything resembling a cage
into which a solace may be found but lost in this continuing turmoil
that I find so orgasmic in its chaos and juxtaposing energies
that to my properly addled mind offers a unity of life and death.

The two-headed angel speaks with a long and forked tongue
of the two-sided coin, the double entendre and the double-barreled gun
of the one-for-all and the all-for-one
becoming the one-as-all and the all-is-one
in the place where all roads lead to none
and the waning moon is the setting son.

So go fuck yourself and leave me alone
to find my own way past this overdue swoon
where the high-blooded hipster is bad-to-the-bone
and the struggling loser is a man-in-the-moon.

rotting to perfection

Friday, September 17th, 2010

I used to feel like I was part of a mass movement for good
like a particle in a sea of positive elements all moving
in the same direction generally, each contributing
even though we are all very differently endowed.

Now I feel more like I am a piece of discarded refuse
in spite of my continuing contributions and activities;
a piece of rotting food on a pile of more rotting food
used only to fuel the vagaries of a few vultures and rats
who quarrel over the few remaining bits we comprise.

Politicians, bankers, generals, preachers and pirates
feeding their insatiable egos on the rotting remains of civility
and reasonable order, enjoying especially the mindless
scent of their misguided followers’ rantings and alms,
pushing them further into the greedy nirvana they crave.

How far will we have to rot here before we become choking
in our putrescence — how vile must we get to have an effect
that reflects the nature of our situation until it rightly gags
the devouring giants and hungrily-nibbling rats
toppling them into an abyss from which they again feed our growth.

Its probably just another example of the balance of everything
over time, repeating its rhythmic dance and my anxiety is nothing
but my part to be played in this tableau so here I am,
promoting being to the extreme, being to our limits and just a little
beyond since that is the essence of life — pushing and pulling.

Whoever you are, now is the time to act out, to hold no reins
and be a part of the life that surrounds us in this beautiful chaos.
Burn brightly from every orifice and do your part what ever it is:
devouring and becoming fatter yet or rotting and becoming putrid
enough to do the choking of those greedy bastards. Get up and dance!


Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Its a misty late summer afternoon in Seattle,
some Howard Roberts style electric guitar jazz is riffing on the radio.

A mug of fake coffee with Hazelnut syrup is steaming away on the taberet
while the darkness of my barely lit studio wraps around me.

I’m wondering how I might write in the same way that I paint —
moving colors around on a new canvas seems easier than moving words around
on a new page.

A painting starts with a few colors chosen and spread around on a canvas with a brush or palette knife, then maybe a rag to smear light washes, starting to see something emerge is such a thrill.

Writing seems so clunky, words must be typed or handwritten in a pretty much linear form so as to be readable and have some meaning — or do they?

If I were to put down a random selection of words I would then have to either cut them apart and rearrange them physically or erase them and re-write or, cut and paste to get a new creation. Is it worth it?

I hate editing as much as I hate doing pre-ordained imagery in paint, preferring abstract expression to classical illustration.

I want to create written works that have the same ethereal yet engaging quality that my paintings have– to transport viewers/readers to a place where they take ownership of the words as they spark new images, ideas and words of their own in their minds and hearts.

So, let’s try something out here — throw down some words and move them around. Here goes:

saliva mountain mounting glancing abundance around throwing riffs drums cymbals driving lemons gout midday ringing signals whistling macaw juniper jungle rhythm jingling q-tips phoenix eraser needle-nosed broom sharpen pen boom heater wheel fundamental

OK, now let’s see what happens in various rearrangements, adding some connecting words and punctuation:

Whistling mountains foretell the ringing of the macaw
and the jungle rhythms throwing riffs into the mounting
midday abundance of lemons and needle-nosed drums
as you sharpen your pen over the glancing heater at your side
while the phoenix-like boom erases the q-tip’s subtle strokes
from the fundamental wheel angles that signal the beginning
of the driving cymbals in the juniper broom that sweeps
the fundamental glancing aside and leaves you inspired.

…or maybe taken in their original order:

A saliva mountain is mounting, glancing in its abundance
around the throwing riffs of drums and cymbals
driving lemons of gout in the midday ringing — signals
like a whistling macaw in a juniper jungle with its rhythm
jingling like a q-tip in Phoenix, an eraser of a needle-nosed broom —
so sharpen your pen, your boom heater wheel is fundamental.

… there are some possibilities there — maybe.

Or, what if I just take them as a starting point for a stream of consciousness ramble:

Thoughts of fresh lemons hanging in the midday sun
echo in my mind as the gloom of autumn settles in
to the rhythm of ringing cymbals and mounting drums

Rising like the Phoenix from the gout of the jungle
to the heater from which the macaw and juniper merge
into a whistling wheel of throwing song and saliva

Driving the broom wheel into its fundamental q-tip
as the needle-nosed eraser pulls on the strings
and the pen moves out into the night with a transcendent riff.

Nonsense making sense, that’s what its all about. Its the only way to inspire some original thought, some intrinsically unique experiences that can’t happen with words that have too much meaning as they are, common phrases. Telling a story is one thing, inspiring some original thought is yet another. I guess I’m going for the latter in a more direct way, trying to circumvent the redundancy of familiar situations and their influence on thought patterns.

Its a continuation of my initial forays into what I called “thought generation by exposure to non-objective media” back in the late 60’s in New York and later in Park Forest at Governors State University. Guess I haven’t changed much basically. I was inspired by Dada — Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray, et al while a student and felt that my entire career as a graphic designer was a work of conceptual art or, merely a way to make some money masquerading as a design consultant.

So, as I transition into adding writing to my painting I want to bring that same approach to bear, hence these stabs.

I hate editing, re-writing so, you’ll just have to bear with my
unvarnished uttering and find what gems you can. Why?

The more I leave to you, the more of personal value you’ll find
as you let these words settle in to the fertile soil of your mind.


meeting your muse

Horizontal folds of blue magic surround the twirling air currents that swirl around
the outer edges of this room and leave a soft pulsing light as if a cloud of energy had descended
from out of nowhere, leaving a scent of incense and fresh air mixed with the smell after
a rainstorm on the fresh grass of a summer field, now drenched in a warm orange glow.

Spikes of bright green wave in this gentle breeze, emanating the essence of liveliness
whispering of new beginnings and an unusual ability to sense the new in the familiar
as ever lightening clouds glide against the deep blue sky leaving nothing but nothing
in its path but the feeling that something new is being born in this most comport-able place.

The room and it’s contents begin to move about in their own independent ways, some in,
some out and others around as things now begin to take on the aura of another place entirely
and the energy is palpable as your very being seems to be experiencing the same dis-integration, in a nice way, floating pieces of your thoughts and feelings intertwine.

Contrasting thoughts and ideas meet in juxtaposition and affinity at once becoming friendly
as the obvious and the hidden, the sublime and the ridiculous dance in cozy confluence
and new insights begin to bubble up from within your own colored space to join in this
merry pirouette of consciousness and sensory pulsing you feel, this dizzying ambiance.

Listen then as the sound of the nostalgic clarinet hums with the piano and the flowers on it
and the unicorn and the gas station down the street flirt with the passing days of swimming light
into the forgone bidding of the old woman who wears the fresh rose in her hair, singing
old show tunes and holding forth with a chorus of air conditioners in the most beautiful concerto.

The sharpening stone makes its presence known to the crayon of red but not so as to blind
the frog in the old Sprite drinking the elixir from a paper cup and a plastic straw — hold on.
Fantastic blankets of pink and pale blue flit past in little pieces with furry bumps and satin edges
rubbing your cheek, touching only the lightest fuzz as the thumping trumpet explodes gently.

Fat orbs glistening with juice and fresh pulp of fruity tendrils, leaking an aroma of cinnamon
soft-edged in their pubescence and ripe in their maturity approaching a fermented sound
like a muted saxophone in a smoky club or darkened alleyway as cats howl and sirens hum
and the smells of musk softly fill your nostrils and turn into your own array of colored light.

Slowly a chant begins deep inside and you can hear it welling up just behind your lips
as your breathing falls into a deep, slow and soft rhythm — hnn — hmm — hnn — hmm
and now all is bathed in pastel light as the sounds of your primordial tissue reverberate
slowly taking you beyond consciousness into the light where you rest awhile, and Return…

more on cultural entropy

Monday, June 28th, 2010

No one wants to take responsibility anymore
No one wants to stand up and be counted
No one wants to be bothered

Everyone wants someone else to take responsibility
Everyone waits for someone else to do something
Everyone wants to be left alone

What ever happened to integrity
What ever happened to the can-do spirit
What ever happened to community

Slackers, blame shifters, cowards and sloths
all shouting give me and expecting it for free
without a thought of sharing or conserving

So use it all up, and when its all gone shut up your face
and die in your rotting hovel surrounded by your waste
and become fertilizer for my roses.