Tag Archives: art

A Crowd In The Desert

A good story borders
On being believable
Details pour in

I was filling my thermos
When the phone rang
So far so good

It was the local giraffe
Always sticking his
Neck out

 The story becomes
A collection of melodies
And coffee shop ditties

Jukebox doowop
These good stories
A wading pool

With a line forming
Filled with forty thieves
Who get to work on time

A rhyme capsule for the stomach
Of tomorrow, this thing
We call poetry

Cornerstones producing echoes
Holding up the world
We build to live in

Be it suits or sunshine
Afternoons of sandwiches
Nights of moonlit wine.

They Shoot Film Philistines, Don’t They?

One of my friends out here in L.A. has a fascinating (to me, anyway) character trait: through various machinations in her life, she has almost no grasp of popular cinema from 1979 to 1999. Apart from Indiana Jones and Lord Of The Rings, it’s just a black hole of pop-culture arcana, where half-understood details and overheard recollections fill in the areas where most of us have indelible memories.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, of course — no one is required to have known or seen certain things to exist comfortably in life.* Still, it’s very strange to talk with someone highly intelligent who has a firm grasp on the history and current events of the past 30-ish years, but who has no ability to converse in the shorthand language that my friends and I use all the time.

My hope in the future is to try to launch a project that traces the progress of this pop-culture Mowgli through her cinematic wilderness. As a preview, here is a compilation of some film syonpses that she has recently shared during normal conversation:

The Shining

“It’s Jack Nicholson. He’s in a hotel, and he’s a writer. There are a couple of little girls, and a room floods. Then he starts to go hysterical.”

Back To The Future

“He goes back in time in a car on fire.”

Animal House

“That’s a college one. It’s sort of like Old School. I think it stars the brother of that guy from that awful lawyer show on TV, doesn’t it?”

Return Of The Jedi

“I’ve seen that! Luke tells Leia she’s his sister, and she remembers her real mother. And there’s an old guy at the end, but they replaced him with the young one from the new movies. Umm…I might need to watch it again, actually.”

Friday The 13th series

“I don’t know what that is.” [That’s the series with Jason.] “Who’s Jason?” [He’s the killer who wears a hockey mask.] “Oh.” *long pause* [Do you know what a hockey mask looks like?] “No.”

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

“There’s a guy who rides a missile. Right?”

*I say this, but I don’t really mean it. It’s so very, very wrong.

If I Made Art

To Paper-Mâché artist Franz West – 

If I made art
I’d mashup relevant things
With today and forever and important emotions
And permanence and you,
I mean I can make you
A poem to read
In ten seconds flat –

sewn to shadows,
shown to adults long forgotten
of the place of things
and how things sing stings
as it rings its lightness
and, sewn to your shadow, shone
your shadow singing
in its place

– I can do better than that
It’s just silliness stuck together
With rhymes and novelty
And silliness and you, surely you
Can do better than that it’s just glue
And newspaper and silliness
And nothing that arty
And that’s really the way I see it;

More than pasting bits
Of purple nonsense before your eyes,
Art touches you,the good stuff, at least,
Like Pixar movies and art
Brings hope and change, like Obama, art
Preserves our culture, our past,
Us when we were beautiful, just ask
Madame Tussaud, if I made art

I’d combine relevant things with today
And forever and important emotions
And permanence, I can do better
Than just glue and newspaper and silliness

And you can give them this poem
To read in the 22nd Century
When Obama is stiff and lifeless
And Madame Tussaud is still Madame Tussaud,

I can give you this poem to read
In ten thousand years when evolution
And gender have spiraled in on themselves
Like a Fibonacci seashell,
When whitewashed news is a parody of parody,
When Obama and Osama are just words
That rhyme with llama
And Pixar means as much as Landline
And Betamax and Madame Tussaud,
But by then they wouldn’t get it :

Beyond these words, art will change
More than papers and news,
So I’ll stick to rhymes
And novelty
And silliness,
You stick to glue.

Creation Myth

In the beginning there was a Story
And the Story was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Tradition of the Story moved upon the face of the waters.
And the Story said, Let there be God: and there was God. And the Story made God in its image.
And the Story saw God, that God was both wrathful and loving: and the Story divided the good from the evil.
And the Story called the good and evil into conflict, and the light against the dark.
And the Story set this in motion through Time
with only God to guide its words.

All The Art I Need

A man in throes
Of passion knows
No pen or paper,
More content
To pay the rent,

Dig endless holes,
Stack bricks atop
Bricks, break his back
And hold a smile
Where paychecks spiral
From pockets single file

Like stars in twilight sky,
More  than man can count, too
Tiny to matter, enough
To fill the eye
For ten lifetimes,
These are the days
Of happiness,

From each other
Until one day,
As you lay on your back,
The black drapes of night
Drawn in and painted over
With those countless stars,

A hand holds yours
And the warmth you share
Becomes the only real thing
In this speckled quiet dream
And each day before you
Like each star above you
And the hand-warmth
Between you all

Nothing Matters In The Supermarket

It didn’t matter that Charles had lost 30 pounds so far this year. Or that just last night at the Colton Awards, named for the late Jeremy S. Colton, a distinguished painter, he received the distinction of Community Artist of the Year and praised for his innovative work as a found object sculptor. No one in the frozen foods aisle of the Waltham Super Stop & Shop would notice or care that he was honored at a banquet, respected by dozens of his intellectual peers, to whom he spoke from the podium about art, life, and passion.

Maybe if those 13 year old skate punks knew that he was responsible for all of the installation art pieces in the city that served as their urban skate park, maybe then they would be making fun of his manbreasts right now.

“Hey Fatty Fatty Fuck Face, why don’t you get out of the frozen pizzas?”

“Yeah. Maybe take a look over at the fresh produce. Unless you’re stuck in the freezer there, your Fatness.”

“I bet you squeeze your own tits and pretend like they’re a girls’!”

Charles had a Masters Degree in Fine Art. He studied in London. Florence. At Edinburgh. Within his small community of sculpture artists, he was renowned. Respected. But right now, staring longingly at that boxed DiGiorno, he was just another overweight townie, violently thrown back in time to middle school again, where he was teased just as relentlessly. He had worked so hard since then — not to lose weight, but to find some other way to prove his worth to the world. He was finally validated after last night’s ceremony, bestowed with the honor that he for years thought he deserved.

Until today, when all of it was lost. The supermarket truly is the greatest equalizer.


She finally found a frame that she could fit herself inside, custom-made to fill
her oblong shape. She resembled a violin bass — the kind McCartney played —
lanky tall and thin, with curves around the bottom. The enclosure was made
from a deep-stained mahogany with black
contour lines along its rounded molding —
an outward curve, as if to complement her
own. She was matted on black and pressed
herself against the back of the glare-free
glass (a $120 value) Elated, she smiled so
relieved that she would finally be seen as Art,
unquestioned by those who never knew her,
never understood. Neither actions nor her
eccentricities required explanation as long as
she existed in the context of the frame.
They would simply be accepted, individually
interpreted within a secondary frame
projected upon her by each viewer’s personal experience. Now she was Art,
and no one would question her claim, comfortable within her frame, oblivious
to the fact that she was trapped with no way to be displayed or hanged.