Tag Archives: Poetry

Fame & Misfortune at the McNay

The McNay Art Museum is exhibiting a special collection of Andy Warhol’s most iconic reflections. Cat and I met poets Don Mathis, Lia Fagin and Rod Stryker. The following is my “review” of the exhibit.

Stand before me, American Reality,
Strike a pose
I will paint you as I perceive you
I will construct and deconstruct
I will screen your pixelbits

Say I portray your worst
Say I merely copy
Say it’s unAmerican
Say myths of my parties
Say I can’t be understood
Say I am contrived
Say it a lot
I like that

I come obsessed with your obsessions
Beimaging your guilty deaths
Portraying the denizens of your pantry
Massaging fame images you proliferated
Here, partake of this, our communion,
European masterwork iconography you learned to cherish
Visages of Jesus I bounced off the walls of the American living room

Question my motivations
Question my madness
Question my quiet revelry
Question my orientation
Question a lot
I like that

For all the answers are the same:
“nothing behind it”

Three Mirrors

My dresser has three mirrors
And not one has the truth.
Left outrages when wrong, yet
Plays so strong when right
Right cringes with who I am
Frightened by the actual
Center accepts the whole,
Resting in faithful fortune.
These are the man that travels
To meet his son known for eight years
Through an exchange of words,
Personal and scholarly
Heart and mind
Such gift cannot be deserved
The man I am travels this Friday.

for the Herff twins on their birthday

spirit flows on the breath, unceasing exchange
between bloodheartlung and treecloudbeloved.
drawn deep into the body, commingled with thoughtdreamidea
exhaled into the heavensaircanopy, there to aspirate forever.
thus over sagecedardust Cibolo plain, slowwave landscape
of sudden beauty and unexpected peaks, watervaluethread flows,
blessnurturecleanses, carrying whispersongcalls of yearningknowingloving,
hearts bearing storytruthlife from mouthsource across worn beds
above and below rockchallengefaith to now, and granddaughters beyond.

Jennifer and Daniel Get Married

sustain your love

naked (often occurs when fully clothed) emotion is inevitable and nurturing when correctly managed

be peacemakers.


for Daniel & Jennifer

grace begins at home

wonderful feeling

no higher integrity

ask for what you need, give what you are asked for


“better happy than right”

truth abides

listen to the voice that sings harmony


noblsavaj 071710

deeply care, sincerely give

cherish the beloved


tightly held.


the depth of friendship, the breadth of intimacy

love teaches wisdom



Lyric Change

912pjan19 Songs are the least of it, but there’s this one, “Dese Blues” I wrote in 198something. I’ve played it with One Minute to Midnight for a long time. From about the week it started until sometime in December, the lyric is:

I don’t mind when it’s time to pay my dues
No I don’t mind when it’s time to pay my dues
If I didn’t live this way, I wouldn’t know how to play Dese Blues

I don’t mind all the sufferin’ and the pain
Don’t mind the sufferin’ I can stand the pain
It’s always Dese Blues and Dese Blues always feel the same

I jumped off a cliff
And I shot myself too
Neither feels as bad as
Dese Blues I got from you
I got Dese Blues from you
Nothin feels as bad as
Dese Blues I got from you

If I could be somebody else
I’d wanna be B.B. King
If I could be somebody better
You know I’d wanna be B.B. King
I just love the way he make Lucille sing

guitar solo chorus first verse out

The song has been real powerful through some real highs and lows. A big abyss divorce gave me a demon bitch focus for the jump chorus and pain. But then in December, warmed by a great job and a sweet girlfriend, I get a difference grip, and at a practice before New Year’s, the second verus and jump changes:

Y’say I’m in a rut, I consider it a groove
You call it a rut, man, that’s my groove
Freedom’s just another word
For no dignity to lose

I bit the bullet
I took the fall
In the end
You don’t matter much at all
It’s Dese Blues, Dese Blues dats true
It’s Dese Blues dats true

Great way to bring in the year. It’s gettin’ better all the time.

Echoes of a Journal Reading

Morningstar and birdsong call her awake
To walk along dry lanes known since childhood,
Eyes drinking thistlepod and cactusflower,
Flora whose lineages neighbor her own.

Beau follows by running ahead,
Glancing back to read inclinations,
Assessing, then leaping strange cattleguards.

She visits gardens tended by daughter and friend,
Harvesting recollections that feed
Ideas still forming years after their conception,

Juanita makes use of a summer day’s best hours.

(Original Date: August 2000)


beer bottle stands in the crotch of a three-trunked cedar stump
daring outrage at drunken intentional litter and arbitrary tree removal
until recollection mitigates – the non-native cedar drowned our sacred cypress
and the beverage provides every worker a palliative relief from drudgery
thus, the epiphany, whatever first impression, carries no meaning,
just a silver-labeled longneck shining in the severed limbs of a weed tree.
(Original Date February 8, 2003)

It may be interesting though unnecessary to know
How random the random splatters.
Movies of painters waving brushes, pouring
Memories of Greg Ploetz above Navarro
Squirting tubes haphazard? Chance magic?
Visions of sticks stutter dragging through lumped acrylic
Circles 360 round not precisely measured to match
Translucent gradients on edge, dark spatter south of right
An accident left uncorrected, accepted.

Knowing nothing, feeling everything, everything I see
Teaches, raises questions I could research if I didn’t
Prefer my own conclusions. A Warhol Marilyn seen
Through a doorway, repeat, repeat, not quite repeat
Upper left square bears shadow stain, query Andy:
Replication? Fuzzy eyesight, replicate, replicate?
What difference these masterpieces in the museum
And the paintings in Kay’s daddy’s garage, scorned,
Pending eviction, her conviction oozing out of her eyes
Who says, who judges, what standard, what price?
An accident left uncorrected, artist left rejected.

(Original Date: July 8, 2005, Nelson Atikins Museum, Kansas City)

Meg Ryan’s Blues

Albert Finney has not come to dinner tonight.
The real skinny takes no excuses, it’s a slight.
She loves when he sunsets a scene, noon to twilight.
“Albert,” says she, “Always has presence, not quite
“Overpowering, he lets her grace flow around his might,
“I melt, hot brie in theater chair, until tonight.”

(May 6, 1998 at Liberty)

gary and sandy as james dean and marilyn monroe

I dreamed a movie starring us the other night:
we lived in a silver Airstream
parked in the middle of a West Texas place.
Our life, close to each other and far from everyone else,
was captured on hand-tinted black & white:
my pale pink shirt I wore as I cooked and your turquoise skirt
moved to the beat of an obscure quick blues.
Seated at the kitchen table, you laughed and talked,
backlit by sun filtered through a semicircle of yellow curtains.
A cat slept at the end of the couch. I grabbed your hand
and we danced. My arms, bare under rolled sleeves,
held you firm as we twirled across the tiny living room.
We kissed, and I brought drinks while we caught our breath.

(Original Date: about 1986)