Monday, February 23, 2015

Standing in front of a work of art

You’re standing in front of a work of art that that grabbed your attention. You’re a human being whose inner space is built of many dimensions--physical, social emotional, cultural, psychological, libidinal, spiritual and who knows how many more.

Which of those dimensions of yourself does this work of art speak to? Which does it provoke? Which does it hold a mirror to? Which does it educate? Which does it make uncomfortable? Which does it bring new insights to?

For if that’s not what its job, then what is? And what is your job if not to pay attention.



I keep falling in and out of love
With you.
I slip and stumble and
Fall on my ass.
I’m red-faced at your
Scorn and guffaws.
But I get up, driven by something
Maybe chemical or magical.
I want to stand on firm footing
With you
To get past twisted Eros
And start to think about
Forever, now.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Valentine’s Day at the Waxahatchie Walmart


-Big Bobby, didn’t we agree that Valentine’s Day would be for us to get just what we wanted?
-We did, Verlene. We did.
So why don’t you go get that gun you wanted. And some bullets, too.
-What about the kids, Verlene? What about the kids?
-They’s too young to be interested in guns.
-I’ll do it, Verlene. I’ll do it. What are you going to get?
-I want a ThighMaster. I know how you like to spend time down there.
-I do, Verlene. I really do.
-That reminds me of the gun you already got. With five kids, I know it sure does shoot straight and true.
-You’re right, Verlene. You’re for certain right.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

A code of art

Professions have codes of conduct or ethical principles on which they are based. Art is a profession, but in a more fuzzy way than most. I asked myself what a Professional Code for Artists would contain. This is my first provisional effort.

A strong personal voice.

Respect for his/her audience.

Personal aesthetic integrity.

Acknowledging responsibility to his/her viewers and culture.

Remaining true to his/her artistic self as he/she sees it.

Acknowledging the role of art as a gift.

Art: some observations

Not everyone can be an artist, but everyone can learn to see through the eyes of an artist.

Every serious artist must be prepared to take seriously the responsibilities of an artist.

Art without a vision is mere jabber.

Why make art if you don’t really mean it.

Not every artist is an artist.

Making a piece of art is simply documenting the journey that is art.

Completing a work of art only begins its test of meaning and endurance.

The artist makes the art; the viewer makes the meaning.

If you are a committed artist, you will realize that wherever you want to go, you’ll never get there.

The value of a work of art is not in its price tag but in its enduring relevance.

The forms of art are ever changing; the need for art is never changing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Too Old for Love?

Too Old for Love?

Am I too old for love?
For its restlessness and
Never-ending demands.
For its incessant need to swim
Upstream against
Comfort and dull routine.
For the unsettling questions
It asks me.

When I was young, I had
The energy to meet its driving
Passions head on.
To want pleasure for its own sake.
To believe in a fuzzy forever more.
To say yes as if I knew
All the consequences.

My answer? No, I’m not
Too old, for love embraced
Is wise and unerring.
It turns you inside out to
Parade your deepest self
As if it were the only thing
That mattered, the only thing
That made you really human.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Love's Lurid Past

Love’s Lurid Past

The hairy Cro-Magnon hit his woman
With a club, dragged her to the cave,
Grunted his way to an orgasm.
Wait, that was yesterday.

The Eastern monarch built his harem
One-by-one, honoring each with the
Pleasure of pleasuring him.
No, that’s the cult story on the news today.

The lord of the manor rode about
To select the serf to satisfy his needs.
“You,” he said, and rode away
Soon to ride her, too.
The Russian oligarch the other day?

The ancient Greek statesman revered
Mentor, boy to man in loving
Man-to man. The driven holy man
Just yesterday with lusty hands.

Love’s lurid past is now.
Is this another human stain
To spoil the glory that keeps us
At the top of the living heap?

Masks of Love

Masks of Love

No one can unmask love,
The shape shifter, magician,
Master of delusions.
Tell me, When is ”I love you”
Not a mask?

Is love the face of the innocent child,
The crippled beggar,
The inept seducer, the bride
And anxious, eager groom?

Does love come slowly,
With small tentative steps?
Or like an attack force,
Blitzing, guns ablaze?
Or on the wings
Of a curious looking bird
Graceful and brightly colored
With sharp talons?

Is love everything you expected to feel
Or is it alternating pulses
Of chill and fever?
Is it a seed growing in you
Like a child?
Is it a fiery burst, petering out
Before it warms what’s around it?

No one can unmask love.
So play the part with intensity
And honesty.
Dance the dance.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Bye, Bye Love

Bye, Bye Love

Nobody gives a damn about angels
Anymore. Bleeding hearts are so
Blasé. Does anyone nowadays hear
The quiet flapping of cherub wings or
The soft impact of Cupid’s

This is now.
And love has grown up.
Big time. Billions of stuff wrapped in
Red and pink paper.
And chocolate in the billions, too
In all configurations. Did you see
The chocolate panties?

Diamonds galore, but only for
One special day. Then it’s back to the
Needs of me and infidelity
And boredom and whatever else
Masquerades as love.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thine Azure Eyes and Flaxen Hair

Thine azure eyes and flaxen hair,
Thine supple breasts, the golden pair.

I asked sly Cupid to secure for me
Thy constant love as gift from thee

He balked, “There is no one as she.
Such noble traits in one could never be.”

It’s true, so fill your trusted quiver
And let her heart that arrow sever.

He flew away with intent and haste
And hovered above my lady chaste.

He set the arrow, the string pulled taut.
The sacred arrow pierced her heart.

She rushed to me with radiant joy.
“Until forever, you’ll be my boy.”

Love’s poison entered both our souls.
Our mine and thine became one whole.

And though each day was not sublime,
We loved our way “’til the end of time.”

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dishes in the Sink

Dishes in the Sink

Do lovers think about the dishes in the sink?
Or if the toilet seat is up or down?
Do lovers concern themselves with dust motes?
Or dirty clothes on the floor?
Do lovers expect silk sheets?
Or  daydreams to come true?

Love has dirt under its fingernails.
And sometimes passes gas.
Love is not aloof.
Or over there or somewhere else.
Ready to be used like a mop, a book,
A puzzle, a mirror, a lamp or a flower.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



The fruit is soft, inviting.
Take it in both hands.
Hold it ‘til you understand
The life it lived.
Bite into its sweet and juicy flesh
Until the seed alone remains.
This seed is the essential thing.
Plant it.
Give it warmth.
Tend to its thirst.
Don’t prune it.
Let in grow in the way
Its evolution demands.
Harvest it for the needs
And pleasure of others.

This is love.

Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #7

Brothers and sisters in art, in a vision I saw the Holy Church of Art sitting radiant and glorious on the high mountain. I saw multitudes gather at the base of the mountain and turn away in laziness and fear. I saw many begin the climb, but turn back because they had not prepared themselves. Some trudged wearily on, looking back to where their true calling lay.

A few stopped to be interviewed and praised for efforts so far. They lingered, and they lost their way. Those who kept their focus on the light, even faltering, continued to the summit and the temple.

But this was not the end of the vision. As these successful pilgrims sat basking in the radiance, some got up, began to descend the treacherous slopes and reach a hand to the struggling travelers.

“The journey is worthy, and you can arrive,” they said.


I'm ready for love

I’m Ready for Love

I’m ready for love.
I’ve got the cards.
I’m letting Hallmark say for me
The things I never could.

I’m ready for love.
I know just where online
To buy the premium chocolates
With nougat, nut and cherry centers.

I’m ready for love.
I have the wine,
A semi-sweet red of course.
More than twenty bucks a bottle.

I’m ready for love.
I have the ring and locket,
White gold
And I didn’t stop at one carat.

I’m ready for love.
The time has come
To sit at the computer,
Find the site, push the key.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Do you believe this?

Do you believe this?
Life ends.
Love endures.
Then take armfuls of love from its universe
And scatter it freely and widely.

Do you believe this?
Love’s arrow is free
To choose any target.
Then let its drugged tip enter deep
And work its magic chemistry.

Do you believe this?
Love is work
Rewarded with more love.
Then plant it. Pull the weeds.
Get your hands dirty. Make a mess.

Do you believe this?
Love can talk
In sacred voices.
Then listen and respond.
Love the world with vengeance.

Holy Church of Art: Sermonette #6

Brothers and sisters in art, creativity is a gift.

Creativity does not aim for the production of aesthetic objects. This is commodification.

Creativity is not a mirror to the ego. That is the voice that rings hollow.

Creativity is not the path to celebrity. Celebrity is at the least a distraction and at the most a poison.

Creativity is not a hermit. It needs to engage, be tested and prove itself.

Creativity is a gift. As such it must speak up, be shared and be magnified.