Saturday, June 30, 2012


Here is the dichotomy of an artist:  when a person is happy, they are usually busy, loving, living, playing; they are not creating.  However, when they are sad, here flows the endless stream of creative vision. When you are distraught, you are alone with plenty of time to make art.

Happiness explores and sadness dissects.  The former offers more 'specimens for dissection', the latter comes to a full understanding of that which it has found.

Why does dissecting a situation produce sadness?  I think any thing studied enough brings to light elements that are unexpected, unpalatable and even disgusting.  Dissection opens a concept up and exposes contradiction- indeed exposes that which makes us human.  I believe that humans have a natural tendency to lionize life, see it as invincible and incorruptible, making myths we are also making disappointment when we cannot live up to the things we have canonized as 'ideal'.  And so the arts are in a continual state of revolution.  As it should be.

  The piquant touch of a melancholy is what makes me reach out, what enchants me ... letting go, to know the perfection of possibility and chase it and lose it and lose it, to create under the stars of mischance and look forward to the morning.  Knowing that being human means hurting and lying and contradicting yourself and still living to love and offering your own.  How can a person deny that penultimate ache to the climax of life?  I paint that because I see that above all with every person I meet, but more, that they never get to the climax, like they are in a limbo, waiting, waiting, waiting, and never reaching out and taking.

Poem from Midnight Friday Night Poetry

Life Advice

First and most important


nothing fucks up 18-24 years
of parties, art and beer
like a little hip-clinging rodent
gnawing away at all your corners
because it needs
            EVERY LAST IOTA       
                        of your attention, else
the filthy, pant-shitting hanger on
will make you wipe its ass
the drool from its gurgling mouth

it won’t puke in the toilet
it will rub Vaseline all over
            your record collection
break eggs on the kitchen floor
lock the babysitter in the closet
pee right in your face
            more than once

you become a real
                        HEADKICK FASCIST

I mean, really, those little leaches
don’t know shit when they are born
and if you want to raise
            the cooing demon
well enough to not get stabbed
to death in a barfight
you have to disown your feel-good
Pavlovian drooling
and put on some third Reich boots
goose-step on its pouty face
collect its tears for making gas
buy pepper spray
and USE IT!
You’re going to have to build railroads
to Siberia and send that
barnacle germ fucking kid
            to the gulag.

That idiot parasite
and you have to be ready
to “make the trains run on time”
you will embarrass yourself
in malls, at restaurants,
                        IN PUBLIC
                                    by screaming

DON’T talk with your mouth full
DON’T interrupt
STOP eating worms
STOP hitting your grandma

You will not recognize yourself
you will grow a Hitler moustache
you will perform gross medical experiments

            BLOW YOUR NOSE
            DO YOUR CHORES
            SHUT THE FUCK UP

and it will be good

because it must actually believe
that you will


And if you don’t become Mussolini
if you get all soft on it
give it its darling way
                        RESPECT IT
you might become one of THOSE
            those horrifying mutants
with endless wallet photos
and stories about choir shows
            sports events and teeth cleanings.
Don’t make us suffer you
because you can’t think of anything
            better to do with your life

snip your shit
pop that pill
end the plague of pussy fruit
polluting the world
            and our souls

(maybe start fixing yourself)

and that’s
the advice
I got
for you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Set of My Poems

I Couldn’t Stand

As mortifyingly WONDERFUL
            as all my past relationships
                        have been
with their stiletto knife tears
            ravaged voice boxes
threats of being committed
            (to an asylum and each other)
the locked door cage matches
                        broken finger pointing
guarded litanies of EXCUSES
after evening reports
            of who what when where WHY?!?!?!

I’m taking my jealous
and crushing it to pulp
I’m burning the red-flags
            and all the obnoxious
            YOU CLAIM TO LOVE.

Agreeing with me
            IS NOT
a precondition for my affection
Your day job is not
                        making me happy
Your night job is not
            constantly considering
my needs
and hoping you don’t
            do something inadvertently
                        TO PISS ME OFF.

That’s not what you were doing
when I fell in love with you.

It pleases me
for you to go right on
the you
I couldn’t stand
                        to be apart from


Fucking Sisyphus

O I’m gonna tell you
what really turns me on –
it’s someone tapped into
the lost art of a lost cause
someone giving up
on the whole lousy world
and then choosing to go on
knowing there is no reason to do so
            but the doing.

Fucking Sisyphus, man!
Nothing gets my panties wet
like a man or a woman
heavy lifting some god-forsaken
boulder up a mountainside
watching them chase it down again.

This is not the same
as tripping over the same stone.
I like deliberate futility –
going in with eyes unveiled
to the purposeless purpose.
Sisyphus had his eyes wide open
he didn’t trip or fall,
I know. Because if he had
I’d been sure to be underneath
him when he did.
His eyes were open, and seeing,
he knew his path all too well.

O if you want to woo me,
tell me about your apathy
how you woke this morning
with a choice between
a shower and a suicide
and decided to get clean,
opened the windows
to let the morning air in
before taking yourself
            up the hill again –
and I’m in.

You, shaking your fist at the wind
hollering at the fall leaves falling
putting caterpillars into therapy
telling them they don’t have
            to change
writing poems on torn napkins
and asking me to
stuff those words down my pants
anything useless, outrageous
that asks too much
and takes too much
and I’m all

Fucking Sisyphus, man!
That’s what I’m thinking about
alone in my bed tonight
with my left hand
between my thighs
and my right hand
            on this pen

getting off on this poem.

No Name

To call this intersection
of paths
is like calling the ocean
a storm cloud
we do not name things
for what they could
or will be
we name them
for what they are

which makes this
            whatever it is
something unnamed
because we are inventing
it as it emerges

I have my terrified moments
I write secret notes
and slip them in an envelope
with fire and magnets
addressed to you

I have my pleasures
thinking of your green walls
and I know you’d rather
see me dolorosa
but you awaken me.

with you I have two hearts.

I will not call the seed
a tree,
nor the tree a house
I will not call the fire
a destroyer
or a candle

I will not name this.

The idea is

you get your ass
by killers
who worked
on chain gangs
who can open
beer bottles
with their teeth
and gargle

They get you
on the ropes
with a 1-2
a right hook
they break
your nose, then
they make
you get back up.

The idea is
you get your jaw
knocked to the floor
you get to offer
no excuses
you put your own
teeth back in
the blood
and walk back
on the job
the next day
with your chin

You look those
in the eye
and say

I’m ready.

The idea is
that if you
take your lickings
for being a dumb-shit
and keep going
back to those
brighter, tougher
learn enough
to stop


Even though I love you telling me no

My panther of the yellow eyes
and cagey pacing,
when your black body
stinking of meat
leapt back into bed
next to me
with your kamikaze purr
and then
when your huge paws
wrapped me in tight
to the lank of your body
teeth so very near
but no, never touching
the neck I always
leave exposed for you
and you told me
you wanted to die like this
gripped in a savage cat’s embrace
face to face
with whiskers and fangs,
I wondered about the surety
of not leaving this life alone.

We both know
this is the kind of question
with no answer.

How do I prove
I love someone?
Is it true my body
ends at the skin
and the wide, starry void
is separate from me?
How do you know
I’ll keep my promises?

Let’s stick to questions
with answers.

Are you here right now?
Am I in your feral arms?
Do we dream?

Yes, panther, yes.

I let your claws open me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Poem by Hank

Just finished reading "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" by Charles Bukowski ... here is my pick

air and light and time and space
“–you know, I’ve either had a family, a job,
something has always been in the
but now
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
the light.
for the first time in my life I’m going to have
a place and the time to

no baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your body blown
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
back while
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.

baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
new excuses

Monday, December 5, 2011

The New Name

Perhaps you are wondering, what exactly is a self-abusing wondershow?

In short, I think it is you.

But not the polished, presentable, practiced you. I'm talking about the you on your deathbed, in the emergency room, flailing on the floor crying for your lover not to leave, raging against an injustice done to you, snarling at the person who cut in line. The one that springs up unexpected and suddenly takes over your actions as though you were a marionette.

The you you regret, apologize for, put away in a special closet deep in your mind and try to forget. The you it gives you anxiety attacks to think about. The part of you that makes you say, 'well, the good outweighs the bad.'

This self at the raw of yourself is where are all your wounds live. When awoken, you are powerless to your own will because that damaged you needs to be bandaged, needs attention, needs healed. You fling yourself into a haze of acting crazy to try and mete out some justice for your injured self. You sling arrows, you say things you do not mean, you scream, anything to get that other person to listen to what you need.

This is self-abusing. And don't you act like a wondershow?

But, this is not the only self-abusing we do. Also, there is the abandonment of your dreams, the settling for what life gave you, the giving up on being an artist. Perhaps, when first we betray ourselves we cannot help but feel betrayed and used by everyone around us. Which makes us lash out, do harm, be angry.

Can you admit this you is inside of you? This impish, sabotaging devil comes out to wreak havoc every now and again, mostly when you are hurt?

We are all self-abusing wondershows. It makes me happy to come right out and say it about myself, I am not misleading you: I will act the fool.

Please, when it happens, laugh.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Suffering Suffering

Are love and suffering constant companions?

It seems the windmill of what's passed on from generation to generation might be a story of how we all suffer at the hands of those who claim to love us. We're told, "I only do this because I love you." We are taught that people make mistakes and that forgiveness is divine.  We must forgive and forget because family is the most valuable thing in our lives. This is what we are told.

We perpetuate this paradigm, turning on our friends and families and children as adults. Drama ensues. Think about most of your fights with people you love, they seem years later to be practically incomprehensible to have started clan wars over, to print up Team This Person and Team That Person shirts over. We say what's important is the lesson learned.

So what exactly is that lesson? That to love and be loved is to make others suffer and suffer yourself? Give up on love if you want autonomy and happiness? 

There will be no abandonment of love, but is there a way to mitigate the suffering?

The next time someone you love irritates you, hurts you, try something different. Instead of being mad and angry, asking for explanations and justifications and waiting for your opportunity to be cordially forgiving, decide that person does not need to be sorry. Decide there is nothing to forgive because you love that person and are going to keep doing so either way. This is not to demean a genuine apology. Saying you're sorry is a powerful gift and perhaps a necessary element of our being able to move on, both in the giving and in receiving.

Not needing to forgive a person means that you are not angry. So you must focus on how to not be angry with the people you love. The solution centers first around yourself, if you can relinquish the sense of entitlement you feel you have over another person's actions, truly allow them to be themselves, then it is my theory that the anger will fade. The people you love will no longer be able to hurt you because you cannot be hurt by them.

I can't imagine being mad at the people I love right now because I know that what I really want is for them to be themselves, and for that to be ok.  I want them to know that they can be with me without walls or judgement. I don't expect them to adopt my mores as a precondition to my love. They still have their own needs and expectations, and I respect that.

Now, as a self-described self-abusing wondershow, you might argue that I like being hurt and discount your own ability to forgo your anger. I say that it is precisely my masochism that has taught me how to truly love another person. Because being hurt hurt me less than other people, I analyzed and delighted in my suffering, I was able to give my sadness a depth of thought most people avoid. I was able to put aside my ego long enough to see my part in the relationship drama, and attempt to stop making those who love me suffer. In doing so, it also freed me from the particular pain of being disappointed and hurt by the ones I love.

 I learned my lesson: the best gift is loving a person for who they are.

Jayne Deserves Special Attention

This girl is fantastic and deserves to be famous. I made a webpage for her. Jayne-saw