installation 4

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this is our will

we declare
claim what we want
this is our will
build, create, engineer, refine
spectacular minds ceaseless in dialogues
questioning this universe and beyond
we place ourselves above all living organisms
pontificate our supremacy
other occupiers require too much space
our supernatural right as leaders
entitles
take what we desire
force them into boxes
into dead holes
onto ragged patches

perhaps it is we
who are on the bottom
we who have always been the lowly
we who belong in the corners
if all beasts possessed our human capacity
for thought and reason
they might also destroy
the very home they hunt and graze upon
only those with grand intellectual mindsets
can perpetrate the killing of this planet
lion
art previously published – Prisma on construction paper

uptitty bookreader

damn horse, had a sure thing
jack jockey was horse-size himself
I’ll win the lottery soon, maybe next week
when they get my damn numbers right
freakin’ lotto balls
my carpet sweeper got more suction
than that damn blowin’ machine
I’m gonna win the 5G shoppin’ spree
just gotta do the survey
when my damn computer feels like workin’
screw the dude who said I gotta beige dinosaur
my machine ain’t no albatross
though them nasty black birds siphoned all my grass seed
shit birds
too bad my cat took off
offended for bein’ named Snowball
it thought it was all hot
like that chick
thought she was better than the Yankees
I set her straight
couldn’t order a good hot dog worth a damn anyway
who buys peanuts
that’s what’s left in my kitchen
peanuts, butter and some crackers
freakin’ saltines, what the hell
salt
may as well eat sand
like the line she said I crossed
or the sand I shifted can’t remember what the hell she said
she said bookies are real bad
told her only if ya lose
and my ships are comin’ in
she said traitor winds blow hard
said my feet only shuffled in circles
I shuffled the sand when I shifted the line
she screamed my primo leakin’ shower head
mixed all the crap up
like the cement shoes I’ll soon be wearin’
all I know is – those curvy pants of hers closed when those damn books opened
uptitty bookreader anyway
don’t know what the hell she was ever talkin’ about
I only wear Gucci slides
upitty girl

five-cent pump; a murder mystery

queue red pump
a hand-painted sign reads 5 cents
that’s where the bloodstained diamond ring is found
not the body, she’s missing

a long rubber tube reaches into a black hulking car
with a grimacing silver grill
and a great shadow-casting hood ornament

designed by Jimmy Durante
that’s what I read in a retro diner somewhere
off route 46, maybe it was I95
fade to dim office

clanking Royal typewriters
swinging low lights
and leggy secretaries
dumb but smokin’
the night moon is pushing through slotted blinds
golden diagonals dramatically cut across dark green desk blotters
amber bottles are stashed in low metal drawers

a chisel-jawed guy smacks his fist
a nearby detective swizzles on a straw
like the red pump
except it’s a lot shorter
it only has to reach his curling lips
he’s clanking murder motives together
like the ice chips in his tumbler
if the clues were more cerebral

and less like the obscene-sized hood ornament
or the bad comb-over toupee
Don Morzellio wears to look good for Gina
who cares only about the bulge in his pants
the back pocket, not the front
the show would have to run much longer
the intense detective gulps down his bourbon
he’s figured out who dun it
the mystery parceled together
while drinking and making small talk with the sexy secretary

cracked windshield, blood-splattered ring, paid rat
and exaggerated theme music
woman with straw hat black lady jane created a few weeks back

eyes piercing

dad-hsback when men were men
silent pain and strong hands
I remember other agents gathering around him at parties
women telling him what a handsome figure he cut
he smiled in his broad shouldered frame of 6’2
eyes piercing as was that deep voice
terrifying as a child
now remarkable
listening to his life stories
mesmerizing in detail, poetic in delivery, exciting in fact
an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation
as a kid staring up at him
I believed any criminal in my father’s path
immediately surrendered themselves

rather than deal with this larger than life, slice of human
friends called him Bill, the rest–Vito
judicious and fair before earning the law degree
an amazing and prolific career
mafia cases and colorful gangsters
the temper, he still has it
no patience for silliness, but all the time in the world for family
not a day goes by
when I don’t think of him
of the exceptional driving force
his charismatic personality has infused
and continues to…
dad coast guard  dad-shooting rangeHappy 84th Birthday, Dad
dad and mom

shy party dog

shy party dog

top photo – Brooklyn Tech, 2nd – Coast Guard, 3rd – firearms practice, 4th –  my mother-in-law on left, dad center, mom on right

Shy Party Dog created last year for his 83rd B’day 🙂

A Crime of Crayons

A Crayon Crime

It seemed in 1973 everyone in school had 64 crayons – everyone – except me. On the day in question, desperation had clouded my judgement. It had corrupted my creative sensibility. I was ten at the time and in dire need of 64 colors. I had Crayola’s 24 pack which included colors for growing robust apple trees, fluid blue skies and abstract butterflies. It wasn’t enough. I needed more pigment. I coveted the built-in sharpener too.

Crayola BoxOne day while shopping with my mother and 2 other siblings, fate waxing at my feet, divine intervention struck. On this ominous morning, I glanced down at the beige store tiles. My disbelieving eyes engaged my sleeping brain. My little fingers snatched up the crumpled dollar on the floor. Much to my horror I discovered it was one-half of a paper dollar, and the other half was nowhere in sight. Nothing mattered. My heart was jolting in 64 magnificent colors. My brain was a prism of planning. “Art cannot be stopped,” my greying conscience defended. While Mom busied herself shopping and shepherding my two younger siblings around cans of tomatoes, I cleverly rolled the dollar into a cylinder.

There wasn’t much time. Grocery cart loading for a family of eight was nearly done. I told Mom I needed the bathroom. I flew to the school supply section, grabbed Crayola’s 64 box then sprinted to the register hoping to make an express purchase. I handed the masterfully rolled dollar to a young cashier. I didn’t know how much the crayons cost and I didn’t wait. I grabbed my fabulous box and bolted toward the exit doors.

In hindsight, I should’ve selected the silver-haired cashier. The swift employee ran after me as did my mother. My crime was foiled on the spot. I had to return the crayons. I had to write a letter of apology. And, I was grounded.

So there I was stuck in my room with just 24 crayons and two weeks to think about all the colors I didn’t have.
Crayon Crime

Lying for an Angel

My Friends,
Sadly this tale is not a yarn. It is a true story, one that I’m not proud of. I was nine when hallowed inspiration struck. This creative shining moment in 1972 continues to cause me pangs of guilt. Even now I await delivery of a Time Machine ordered on Amazon, so I might return to the scene of my crime – the moment I lied for an angel.

My Grandmother’s Closet
My grandmother had her own bedroom in our home. It was a magical place. There was candy and small treasures wrapped in gift paper in her dresser. In the walk-in closet, she kept packages of Wrigley’s. The gum often called to me. I occasionally answered by sneaking a stick or two hoping it would never be missed. It never was. I thought myself clever.

The Inspiration
It was nearing Christmas – that most magical time in ‘kiddom.’ I can’t recall why I needed gum this particular morning but I did. I tiptoed into Grandma’s room and into the big closet. While borrowing a stick of gum, I heard footsteps and was forced to wait. As I held my breath, I began perusing Grandma’s knitting supplies. This closet was loaded with rainbow balls of wool and oodles of parchment patterns. Some wool was in balls while other threads were wrapped around cardboard cones. With my laser vision, I saw naked cones – I saw angels.
Ice Angel Cone

The Crime
In the blindness of inspired excitement, I threw caution to the wind. I took two large wool skeins and unravelled both until I held two precious cardboard cones in my thieving hands. I was going to make angels. There were swatches of fabric in our attic. One in particular, a beautiful light blue with silver and gold threads would be perfect for my angels’ gowns and the metallic pipe cleaners in my room could be fashioned into halos and wings.

The Lie
I cleverly concealed the heaping wool piles behind Grandma’s shoes. With the evidence camouflaged so was the crime. How did Grandma find the displaced wool so quickly? Hadn’t I been stealth? Hadn’t I swiped gum without a single repercussion ever? With five other siblings, there might be a chance to frame someone else, or I could outright lie when prosecuted. I remember Grandma calling me into her room and pointing to the woolen spaghetti. I remember her asking me if I unravelled the wool. I remember, with Christmas only weeks away, lying for an angel.

The Guilt
I don’t know what became of the first angel. The second, wearing a doily gown (there wasn’t enough blue fabric) remains with me. She hangs in my studio always nearby. I never admitted my crime to Grandma. And whenever I look at my cone angel she whispers, “Grandma knew all along. She kept the first angel, the one with the beautiful gown of blue, because she thought her precious.”
Angel ConeThank you. Dream of being the most honest version of yourself you can be 🙂

HAPPINESS AND PEACE IN THIS NEW YEAR, MY FRIENDS