These are the poems from ArtCrimes 03
editor S. Judson Wilcox
publisher Smith
June 1987
27 poems - 15 poets

The Vacation Coloring Book

The Difference Between Hot and Cold Blood
by Jim McCall

The boy sat and shivered
his stiffened buttocks had melted
some of the ice
soaked through his legless jeans

His life in abeyance
slowly with freezing finger
he wrote in the early morning frost
on the frozen lake:-

My name is Herman I am freezing to death

Glazed where his warm hand had rested
the translucent surface showed
swimming images below
strange cold blooded faces
mirror his own reflection

With a sledge he hammered
at the thick hard ice
cracks appeared then an opening
where a pool gathered
the first letter that he had written
of his name
changed to an 'M'
the message now read
the legless boy died into the
icy lake

Freedom Rider Graffiti
by Daniel Thompson

Poem scraped with contraband
Fifty-cent piece on the prison wall
In Parchman, Mississippi
Summer, 1961

              Know now
              No hero here
              No how
              If ever
              On tree
              The way
              They done
              I'd be
              I guess

by Daniel Thompson

Meow, say the tongues
When cats catch up
With them. Cat got mine
And more, got throat frog
Got lung fish, got bird breath
I sink in miasma and gasp, grasp
The heartstrings of my fellow sufferers
Wheeze the people allergic
Pussy feathers, duck dust
Poland, uh, pollen
We cough our days away
Tap our feet to a ragweed beat
Grin and barely endure till Theo Dur
Or sometimes in that airless hell
I, I, Isuprel...Aahh sss hupp
Cough coUgh cOuGh
CoUgH coUgh couGh
CoUgh cougH coUGh
COugh coUGH cOFF
Ahhh another PHLEGMboyant
Asthma attack over wow

by Marcella Long (12 yrs old)

loud, roaring
nasty detergency,
dead, unfeeling,
dirty, germful,
funny, bad
as a queasy feeling.

swish, crackle,
multiple color, different sizes
smooth, sharp
sour, sickening
stinky, putrid
as a funky attitude.

by Daniel Thompson

 Comes in
  The Bottle Works, orders drinks, refuses to pay.  It's your turn, Mister Haims     Billy the Kid
   Says Death, it's your turn to pay.  Eighteen shots later, bullets, not booze         For Bill Haims
    Bill, like his namesake the Kid, lights out on the horse
       He's ripped off from Death, rides
        Till he crosses the River
         Hey, Leon, Old Man
        He shouts, Hey Shondor
       Billy the Kid's
      Come home again
     As tough as life
    In the widwest
   Night, as tough
  As the nails
 In his coffin

Utopian Dot To Dot
by Cat Smith

No winners, no losers
Connect the dots or don't
It's your reality

by Luigi-Bob Drake

radio is made of electromagnetic waves which pass thru space at the speed of light
where they travel, these waves propagate magnetic fields which can be detected
by measuring their effects on matter -- iron for example is physically deflected
by an electromagnetic field. cosmic rays, microwaves, radio transmissions pass thru us
constantly -- each one leaving its trail of disruption in the blood of each of us

i dream this dream over & over.  i'm at the radio station
sometimes there are people around but i can't talk to them
sometimes i'm alone.  i'm supposed to be on the air
i'm looking thru all the records but i can't find anything.
there's no roof on the studio, it's a cool starry night
i wonder how the records stay dry when it rains.
the last song is almost over, i gotta put something on
but i can't move    can't say a thing     the record ends

dead air

experiments are now being planned to detect radio messages aimed
at the earth from planets of other solar systems --- experiments which
few believe will succeed, but which few would not want to see tried.
many are worried by the fact that radio noise is received from outer
space --- worried not so much by the possibility that it might be due
to others humans, but by the fact that it is not.  if communications
from other beings can be received, a specialist will be required
for their reception, a fact which will probably bring relief to most of you.

when my best friend from high school went crazy, we blamed it on too much acid
he'd sit and stare at the radio for hours, trying to turn it off. he heard voices
under the music, a secret society with telepathic powers working to control the planet
by all listening to the same music at the same time, their brainwaves would align...
he'd stay awake two weeks at a time, filling 40 pages a day with his theories
and poetry. now he's doing that thorazine shuffle, still listening to the radio

Small Tragedies of the Junkyard Poets'
Auto Recycling Dog, No Nukes, Pro Garlic
Poetry Festival - Sunday, August 7, 1983
for Myron
by Daniel Thompson

Forty pounds of hot dogs disappear
Seven chairs walk away
The chicken doesn't move
The books don't move
The winning dog, Phineas T. Muldoon
Bites the Master of Ceremonies
The Master of Ceremonies moves
To the Emergency Room at Kaiser
Gusti turns the color of garlic
Has to leave
Alex Bevin, coming since July 7
Never shows
Professional heckler overcharges
Wait till next year

Beauty and the Bird
by Daniel Thompson

Out of loneliness
I have fashioned
A bird that does not sing
Save when rare occasions bring
Stark beauty
Then bird and I are one and we
Go mad with song and beat our wings
And through Imagination's eye
We even fancy we can fly
Beyond the skin of things
Then earth's
Sad face comes round again
Reminds us of the cage we're in
And how stark raving mad we've been
To think we're saved by beauty

The Guinea
by Christopher Franke

The guinea came up from
the valley of the zoo,
a gawky cock, high on spring,
to promonade down Fulton Bridge.
The cars were wary of the bird
with head-poking strut.
A bicyclist hoped to herd it
back home. But a black-and-white
blew through, thumped it good,
and kept going, as it popped up
from under, no flashing lights,
plopping back down on the road kicking
and flapping, flapping its last life out.

by Christopher Franke

That night
a firefly
hit the windshield
its luminous
tail glowed and glowed . . .
like some death-denying heart,
or beacon to darkness,
its dimming glow;
obsequy . . . was
its dimming glow.

Deer Crossing
by Christopher Franke

I slowed
to let a deer
cross the road;
and being passed
imagined the deer
struck!  But does
are faster
than jackasses.

Art Notes
by Ken Nevadomi

January; What's His Face goes out to buy paint.
comes back 3 hrs later. Drunk and bruised nosed.
No paint. couldn't find any, he sez. Q. where did
he go? what did he do all that time?

I'm getting a feeling that he's an asshole who is
finding painting not exactly to his liking.
and, is setting up diversions to avoid his
work. Maybe I'm the focus of his frustration.
maybe the remedy for this is to kick his jive
ass down the steps.

the caravaggists:

-Ah yes. the carravaggists
are at it again.
Selling paintings for
bags of grass seed.
-Screaming at their painted
images in the hopes that
they won't slide off the
canvas. . .again.
-Screaming at the top of
their lungs in the hope
of waking the dead.
But the dead aren't laughing.
-Hitching & jerking awake in the
morning with the taste of bad
words, bad deals, bad wars and
bad art in their mouths. Thinking
the same tired old thoughts as they
Shulub forward, ever forward
to the studio loft in
the soon to be chic area
of lazy buildings that
only yesterday had piss
stains on the corner stones.
-It's all going to be new now,
they tell each other as they meet
for one more cup of coffee &
watch the yuppy puppies
race off to the BETTER FUTURE.
Well, sez one art type, time
to scream at the portrait I was
doin for Mr. Boljowls.
Yep, sez the other art type, time
to yodel at those pictureasque
all american landscapes I'm
doin for the Sump & Hump Corp.
Hope the paint won't fall off
before I sell 'em.

Admonishmentary (civilian to Art Types):
Hay! We know you're a drain on
society. What the hell, so what!
Stick around anyway. You're good
for business. But just remember
to keep your paint clean. After all
the mayor and the govenor and the
Presidente and the dentists and the. . .
Well, just about everybody's coming
to opening day.

The Validity of Relationships
by Steven B. Smith

Full moon

Moonlight drips
Drips down
Dead realities
Dead reality
Dripping down
Dread realty

The moon is moist in Autumn
Great, rotund.

The Mourning of Icarus
by Amy Bracken Sparks

In the bee-drone Tennessee sun
my husband waits, his hair white,
elbows raw, one hand a lump
of fused fingers. Lurching,
he fills the still air
with his bones and moves
post to post, joints bursting
like peonies in the sun.
He waits for something
to scrape the bumps from his bones
in long strokes, raise him
wings extended, like his son
did that dead hawk, 20 years before.

Last night I dreamt we swept
the road home, palms cupped
against the clay, pushing it
to the shoulder. We were
together, our fingers red
in the earth. I wanted
to wake and tell him
this was how it should have been.
Now he traces cracks in the dirt
running years deep.
We never could get anything
to grow.

Next door, I know, hungry girl-
children taunt him with swollen
breasts. They always bear sons
whose faces flash in the weeds
underside up, waiting for the rain.
Yes, we had a son once.
We never talk of it.

I could sometimes coax him
to bed by smoothing his joints
with long fingers, blow cool breaths
the length of his spine.
But tonight there is only
murmuring as a breeze skims
the cornsilk, rustling leaves
feathers and dark animals.
A shadow glides over my slatted face
the way Icarus cast his shape
wild and soaring.

He punches the night away
and rattles to the door.
He waits for the wind to lean
into trees, the sound of wing
against wood, for the updraft
that can melt bone.

Peering into the night, once again,
he's blinded by a rush of salt air
and sun and the sound I never hear,
cannot not hear, our son
laughing, laughing, soaring
and laughing.

by Michael Salinger

At a certain point of the
Day sunrays bathe the brass parts,
Still hot to the touch, stacked
Next to my machine.
This time of day
The light sheen shining of brass
Time of day
Is coming progressively later.

Cut Words
by Christopher Franke

Patience my ass
I'm gonna kill something

When I planned to retire before fifty
this is the business that made it possible
The Stimula Condominium
Tom'$ ribs
Smile if you're horny

on: poetry
     art tickles

All love poems are siblings.
Will we need a duplex to get along?

Doctor Skills That Kill
by George P. Kemp

Minutes after the good news
We had him stuffed.

It's too bad you had only one life to give

Doctors thought it was indigestion
After listening to the soundtrack for Buried Alive
Death cast the deciding vote.

The Heart as Arsonist
by Steven B. Smith

Sure the kindling.
But as well the wood.
The place as such
And substance
Of the matter.
Amounts of time to flicker.
Flame in bright arrogance.
Become fuel to continuity,
Faded maturation.

It is not wonder
Yet is
Why wolves, weres and lovers
Lie dreaming before fires
Fire places
It is the melancholy
Of the cycle calling.
Warmed atavisms
Consumed in life
In love of rebirth.
The remembrance
Of werewolves wanting wings.

All these
The core past caring
The fire is
Is love.
The spark
To kindle the passion
Then human the substance
To weather completion
This this is love.

The Lady On The Beach
by Ron Haybron

Her hair is combed, and neatly coiffed
And piled atop her head
The bathing suit is bright chartreuse
Her skin is oven red

Glass sandals grace her plump, pink feet
Her lips are rouged and painted
Her mein is firm, with faint disdain
For the beach with sand is tainted

So awkward for a promanade
To have the place all sandy
A little concrete for a walk
Would be so much more handy

But she will manage anyway
While all the tourists gawk
Be-ribboned, necklaced, ring-bedecked
She takes her daily walk

country girl
by Steve Melton

lily white hair strewn
bike riding beauty

barefeet pump pedals

undefiled by soft caress
          of rough embrace

the sand inside her swimsuit
             scratches smooth flesh

The Girl Who Died Her Hair
by Daniel Thompson

Once upon a tick tock
In the land of You & Me,
Otherwise known as Us,
And sometimes U.S.A.,
There lived a girl who died her hair:
Some days blonde,
Some days red,
Some days brunette,
And some days back to black.
But always she was blue.
"I'm so bored," she would say, "I don't know
what else to do." So she thought and thought, but it all
came to naught. . .till suddenly out of nowhere, as she
rubbed her lucky rabbit's foot, she got this idea:
"Why don't I go in the woods, ask a rabbit to be
my friend, and take him home with me." So she went
to the woods, found a hole and what do you know? Out
popped, or rather, out hopped a rabbit.
"Is your name Peter?" she asked.
"Naw," said the rabbit, "and it ain't Bugs neither."
"My goodness!" said the little girl, not so surprised
at a talking rabbit but by the way he talked.
"Robert's the name," said the rabbit as he thumped
the ground, "What's yours?"
"My name's Peggy," the little girl said.
"O yeah," said the rabbit, getting excited, "you
know Whole Hog and His Five Little Piggies? Used to
be at Farmer Brown's. Then, off they went to Chicago.
Ain't heard no news since. Guess 'Ole Whole' got
himself a job and is too hog-tired to write."
"My name's Peggy," she giggled, "not Piggy. You
better call me Peg so you don't get so mixed up again."
"Peg's a nice name," said the rabbit, "I'd hang
onto it if I were you."
"Of course I will!" said Peg, "a name's a gift our
parents give us and I always keep all their gifts. Just
like this ring. See." And she showed him the gold
ring her parents had given her on her last birthday.
"That ring's a pretty thing," said the rabbit.
"Why thank you, Robert," said Peg. "It's fourteen
Karat, you know."
"Fourteen carrots!" shouted the rabbit, "now you're
talking my language. I sure wish I had fourteen carrots
right now. That'd really make me happy."
"Well," said Peg, "I can make you happy. If you come
hop-hop-hopping home with me, I'll give you all the
carrots you can eat."
"Wow!" said the rabbit, "Let's go!"
So Robert, the rabbit, went home with Peg and liked
it so much he never wanted to leave. He had all the
carrots he could eat...and more. For pretty soon
the people of Us saw a little girl with a rabbit.
Sometimes both were blonde,
Sometimes brunette,
Sometimes red,
And sometimes black,
Or the girl would be blonde
And the rabbit red,
Or the girl a brunette
And the rabbit yellow,
Or the girl a redhead
And the rabbit brown,
Or, Or, Or...
Anyway, it was always a surprise
And even today they still talk about
The little girl who dyed her hare.

A La Carte
by George P. Kemp

His young wife didn't mind
portraits of George and
reputation for sex mania
and his special mayonnaise
Good for you, Bad for me.
Hours after eating,
he gave her an ear
and died in the saddle with her.

May 9th
by Val Seeley

Lock him away
Close the door
He doesn't want to
Be here no more

What is there left
Just more lies
More deceit
People will grab
At you 'til
You are beat

So, lock him away
Close the door
He doesn't want to
Be here no more

Children will cry
All alone
Waiting for
Someone to sing them
A love song once more

But, lock him away
And close the door
He doesn't want to
Be here no more

A Sad Poem
by Dick Head

I gave her my love
Her skin was soft as a goat skin glove
I gave her my seed
In her womb it grew like a weed
We thought our love would last
But in time it had passed
Now she's got our kid & I'm left alone
With a herpes virus to call my own
And the flesh is rotting from my sexual bone
I feel like a sad poem
Like a man without a home

tragic illumination & magic transubstantiation apocollapse of daily life
by Luigi-Bob Drake

1 IT

Swan Songs
by George P. Kemp

Fleeting expressions
bang bang (bang bang)
Long is forever
Last words
(putt putt)
Appointments with Death
Last impressions
(after draining swollen scrotum)
(died bored)
Swan songs


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