The Ignorance of Youth

November 17, 2017

when you start catching glimpses of your father’s face

reflected in the mucky shop windows you pass each day downtown

— and if you haven’t yet, you will —

Mortality is suddenly that annoying frat brother from college

not so long ago

getting his ever-pubescent jollies

by razzing you about the ignorance of Youth

unaware that

if nothing more

Youth was your one true friend

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The Lobotomy

October 31, 2017


brain to think removed

the pumpkin could merely grin

his Carver was pleased

Burger and Fries

October 25, 2017


Hate and Fear 

rented the room upstairs

and they constantly stomp about.

Such heavy

heavy

weight

suffocates 

our black lungs and hearts 

but no one seems to care. 

We take a long, slow drag on a Marlboro, snorting smoke when the local TV weatherman cracks a joke… 

The news today seems familiar again

itchy trigger fingers and bloody streets

drug dogs in junior high school halls

the market reaches a new high 

while acid rain still falls

and falls

and 

falls.

Confusion, collusion, corrosion, and tears.

We make an improbable wish as we blow out our candles, then everyone smiles and claps, as if we must be so happy to start another year…

Missing uranium and wars to be waged

our biggest concern is a living wage 

to feed these hungry kids

while rich, fat pigs

grab some pussy

just 

for 

kicks.

We have no need to worry since prayers are being said, for the good Lord works in mysterious ways, they promise…

Goddamn foreigners on our land

paranoia shakes our hand

remember promises are cheap 

but mankind deserves a place to sleep — 

we all want this before our death. 

Disease, distrust, disgust and despair 

the sweet scent of decay begins to fill the air.

We grab a burger and fries, then bid our fond farewells…

Jesus Became a Capitalist

October 22, 2017


Jesus is a loving man deep inside his heart, but being born the Chosen One creates great pressure 

And modesty is a sinking ship, when assured how great thou art 

He grew weary from years of prayer requests — heal the sick, end the wars, and let us score a touchdown 

So he sold the family biz for a billion bucks, and flew a private jet out of town

Now he’s a scratch golfer with a hot, young wife, living just outside Palm Springs 

He attends church once a month, enjoys making wine, and contributes to many tax-deductible charities

There are occasional days — usually after tennis — when Jesus wonders if he should have done more

But a deep massage and sauna serve him well, a reminder he is happier than ever before

Jesus is a loving man deep inside his heart, but he’s called it quits, and we’re on our own…

It’s time we each start doing our part. 


He looked so handsome with the handgun he found hidden on a shelf

He aimed it at his mirror and whispered yippee ki-yay, motherfucker! to himself

He looked so handsome with the handgun he considered taking it to school

Girls would finally notice him, they’d all think he was so cool

All the guys would gather ’round, begging to be friends 

He’d let them take turns holding it, the attention would never end

Maybe he’d leave it in his backpack for protection when he’s chased

Instead he raised it to his head, and blew off half his face

He looked so handsome with the handgun he found hidden on a shelf

Pollock’s Mural 

August 5, 2017


I was finally able to view a Jackson Pollock. Not just any Pollock, but arguably the greatest Pollock — Mural. Certainly the greatest in stature, at almost 9’x20′, if not the greatest artistically. And if not the “best,” it was at least a turning point when Pollock, who was commissioned by wealthy socialite Peggy Guggenheim to fill a wall in her townhouse, began painting large-scale works. 

Much has been written about the painting. Pollock, a relatively unknown artist at the time, was hired by Guggenheim in June of 1943. He received a $150 per month stipend (equal to about $2100 today) and was to have the work ready for a show in November of the same year. Legend has it that when November rolled around, the giant canvas remained untouched. Pollock claimed to have completed the painting during one creative outpouring sometime in late December (later testing proves the work was not entirely painted at one time, however), and said that the painting came from an inspirational vision the Wyoming native had. “(It was) a stampede…every animal in the American West, cows and horses and antelopes and buffaloes. Everything is charging across that goddamn surface.” 

Standing alone on a hot summer day inside the cool halls of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO, where Mural is on loan from the University of Iowa, I was able to truly take in the artwork. While it isn’t my favorite painting, and Pollock isn’t my favorite artist, it is something to behold. I stood as far as possible and viewed the painting as a whole. I could visualize the stampede, yet was also able to let my eyes lose focus and get lost in the free-flowing, yet repetitive, form. In some way I felt as though I was being watched. It is intriguing and mysterious. 


I walked the length of the painting — back and forth — imagining how difficult it would be to keep the work consistent, yet maintain the subtle differences throughout. I stood with my face inches from the canvas, studying the lines, the splatters and perhaps unintentional drips (Mural was finished several years before Pollock started his drip paintings), the layers, the textures…and all the other tiny details hidden in the monstrous piece. 




I imagined Pollock’s studio — his apartment, which had to have a wall secretly removed in order for the canvas to fit —  and what it might have been like. The smell of paint and turpentine was undoubtedly and obnoxiously mixed with the cigarette smoke that hung in the air. Pollock’s thick, boozy breath clung to the wet paint, and his dripping sweat became forever a part of the artwork. Maybe a jazz record played in the background. Perhaps Pollock worked in silent solitude. What was going through his mind? Did he sit and eat a ham sandwich at some midway point, staring at the unfinished work and wondering what the hell to do next? Where were his first and last brush strokes? Was Pollock pleased with the completed work? 

While I’m a lover of art, I’m no historian or expert. I see what I like, and what I like makes me wonder. Art makes me think in ways that I don’t normally. I believe that’s why I’m drawn to it. Mural certainly made me wonder. It made me think. It drew me in. If you get the chance, I highly recommend viewing it. 

when love was banished 

June 24, 2017


when love was banished we had just fallen in love 

refusing to say goodbye we went on the run 

we hid on an island and played in the sun

the authorities found us and fired their guns

we died together that day…

but love won