www.agentofchaos.com presents guest poet laureate of cuyahoga county daniel thompson

Daniel Thompson, 1935 - 2004
Poet Laureate of Cuyahoga County

jim lang, daniel thompson  Truffaut & Daniel by Ben Gulyas daniel from lang's bagozine

35 Daniel Thompson ArtCrimes poems
Daniel fotos 1935-2004

35 Daniel Thompson poems from various ArtCrimes 1986-2004

Beauty and the Bird
Bone Poem (by Daniel's dog Truffaut)
Breath and Dream
Chocolate and Roses
Days without Dreams
Dirty Pool for Truffaut
Freedom Writer Graffiti
In My Cock and Bully Days
In the Silence
Love Poem
One More Graffito
Razz's Poem
Small Tragedies of the Junkyard Poets' ... Poetry festival
So the Talk's Gettin' Heavy
Talking Easy Thru My Hat
That We Are One
The 23rd Skiddoo
The Anatomy of Love
The Dogs of Morning
The Dream Thief
The Eagle and the Dove
The Girl Who Died Her Hair
The Message
The Wait
To Sleep and Forget
Truffaut at Cumberland
We Are All Gunmen
Wild Onions
Women at the River's Edge
Would You Write A Poem For Me? - for Marlene

I have to add 50-60 Daniel poems from ArtCrimes 8-19
they should be online by July 2004

the poems below are the versions published in ArtCrimes over the past 18 years
Daniel has likely revised many of them

with upwards of 100 Daniel Thompson poems printed, ArtCrimes may be
his most prolific publisher

Bone Poem*
by Truffaut

Art, Art, Art
Bow wow growl
No ruff drafts
Hot doggerel howl

*Example of rejected poem

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Beauty and the Bird

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

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Breath and Dream

A leap
In the dark
You're on the bed
You lean
Your back
Against mine
It's nice
To have a body
To sleep with
The night
The serpent
In the ear
Breath and dream
Conspire, repeat
It's nice
To have a body
To sleep with
Even a dog
Like you
With fleas

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Out of the body politic dying
Nights without bread
Led to the carnival knowledge of color
At the nip and tuck of the budding revolt
In naked beard and scandalous sandles
I was overcome by the shallow, wee town
And contrary minds of the city sprawl
My mustardseed faith moved the mountain on me
And the flowers crushed on the sidewalks of time
Were my seedy bedparnters in crime
Rocks from the cradle and the billy club rub
Were wisdom cracking the star-spangled fang
After the dogbite the rabbis returned
With plastic priests and pasturized milk
So I wrapped God's news in an old fish story
...and man swung from ape's umbilical cord
Till guilt edged the serpent under the heel...
Bruised legacy and the bootstrap snapped
When all the innominate, hump-the-dump bones
Were grinding the stones and sticks to fire
While I Adamed an apple off the knowledge tree
And turning the other tongue in cheek
Slicked my good hair in her downhome desire
Then shifting to high gear in the wilderness streets
Where pot and panic handlers begged to differ
Of necessity tripping fantastic light
I turned on the system, the dark riders circling
Brother, can you spare a victim?
And moved on as thin as a praying mantis
...alive again; deadly as sin...
On the nit of my grit and the grin of my skin

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Chocolate and Roses

We met and immediately
Wanted to be rich. That was a year ago
At last we've decided to pool our tears
Sell them to the International Salt Company
Become millionaires. What do we want
But a life of chocolate and roses
Steaks for Truffaut, our greatest dog
Trips abroad, candlelight suppers
New curtains for the bathroom
I'll feel so respectable, she says
Is that a bad feeling, I counter?
I'd like a new image
Shave everyday, tie, stickpin
Shine on my shoes, spats, perhaps
Do you know how to jitterbug, she asks?
Ah, what makes the heart leap
Its waters flow to a shining sea
We swim toward the bank and dally
Till the weather changes. Now
Out of hiding the fugitive sun
Announces the dream is over
We smile, stay broke
And settle for ecstacy

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The Dying Swan
in 1911
Pavlova's dogs
Were tired

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Days Without Dreams

Days without dreams
Night after night, the dark
No kisses, no hugs, no body
Next to body for 5, 6, 7 years
Who knows? Who can remember
How much time? The sentence goes on
This life without sex, nothing physical
Between us, everything material between us
Smoke and ivory, the gestures of sorrow
The narrow comfort of words, food, anger
I've blown up -- a cartoon of flesh
At one with its own balloon thoughts
Moment by moment, born again
A wallflowering romantic, fallen in love
Howling like Humpty Dumpty
Bitter among the roses
When the moon is full
It all stopped years ago
Who knows now?
After the abortion
After the toxic shock
After my hands
Around her throat

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 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 wildwest
   Night, as tough
  As the nails
 In his coffin

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Dirty Pool - for Truffaut

Throwing a dog
Who doesn't like water
Into the water
Is like hitting someone
You supposedly love
Once you've done it
They'll never trust you again
And the first chance they get
They'll put the bite on you
You dirty son of a bitch

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Freedom Rider Graffiti

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

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In My Cock and Bully Days

In my cock and bully days
On the beauty/beast express
When I'd run my reckless eye
And any old phrase would do
When thick as thumbs in the green
Thief wind, I made the round ground's
Spinning skin my house of joy
And the bouquets of poses
I would toss to the ladies
Were my flowers of black sunlight
Cracked through the rock

In the midnight of rivers
Where I washed out my virtue
Happy as a hobo
With his dreams in a bottle
No dog-haired saint in the fox-
Fore of God nor spellbound bee
In the dandelion's roar
Lived in the lovelight as I
And the heart, still shining, sings

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In the Silence

Trees gnarled
Against the night sky
Sits on the snow
A statue looking up
At what so intensely
So doggedly
An elusiveness
The ubiquity of the oneness of things
The question mark is lost
Light as a white feather
In the silence
In the fallen snow

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for Thomas Applegate

If you see K-65
You're fucked
You probably
Won't have to worry about
Someone needing you
And feeding you
When you're 65 or 4, 3, 2
One thing is certain, Thomas
Nuclear waste
Is a terrible thing to mind

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Love Poem

Or do
What you will
My love
I'll be your
Sheet your pillow
Your arms against
The night
Have faith
My hands
Will lie untroubled
Out of sight
Or wakened
Rub our blind love
To double sighs
Of light

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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

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One More Graffito

Pity anyone
Who has to shit in nasty
Filthy Cleveland cockroach dead air
Evil shadow bars yellow dog cell
Meaty graffiti Uncle Sam junkie
Punk funk old mushroom clouded
Soupbone cough coffee
Cold monkey ass sand-
Which is the way it is
City jail where
Taking my eyes off
The contemptible
Unkept floor
I leave the future
Occupant of my cell
One more graffito
May your dirty dreams
Keep you sane

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Razz's Poem

Your death
Smashes our clock
The cold nose of morning
And the evening walk
Praise waters
That flow
Through our eyes
Through the park
Praise fires
That glow
In the heart
Of the dark
Praise winds
That blow
Our ashes
Our love
To the earth underfoot
To the skies above
O gutter moon chrome blood
Animal grief I
Must woo
The broken voice
Hanging on the wire

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

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

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So the Talk's Gettin' Heavy

So the talk's gettin' heavy
And I tell her, Listen, Nancy
I'm no good; I'm just a bum
I'm not even a good poet
You're not even a good bum, she says
Well, after that, I mean, after laughing
What's there to do but make love

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Talking Easy Thru My Hat

Las, Mister
         A Mo-
           Neck on s-
            Tilts, in
             Trudes thru
              The window,
                Eats the flo-
                 Wers from my Ha
                  -waiian shirt...
                  At that she almost laughed.
                  It'll be easy, I told myself,
                  Easy does it, just take it easy,
                  Speak easy, keep the pace easy,
                  Make the terms easy; it's an easy
                  Business to get into - being free
                  And easy; go easy into a kiss and
                  Then tell her how easy street feels
                  When the tin lizard, lounging on gr-
                  Een tires, licks the jam of traffic up
                  And over easy; keep the matter and the
                  Manner easy, for easy marks the man of
                  Easy living; yes, easy come and easy go
                  And may I say you are so easy on the eyes
                  And easy on the ego, you know, you make me
                  Wanna just take life easy in your easy chair...
                  Not there, she cried, You're too fat! Go sit on
                  Your hat...So I said, That's that and sat on my
                  Hat until it was flat...not much fun and easier said than done.

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That We Are One

That we are one with the dumb
And stumble with the halt
And blindly tap messages in the infinite dark
Of little faith or too much, that soon
The fly-by-night caught in the sweep of the broom
Turns up a thorn in our flesh and blood streets
And follows us home to our room

That we are run by the gun
And commanded to halt
Or blindly track savages in the animal dark
Or little love or too much, that soon
The dove that plucked the green leaf from the ruins
Returns from the fire black as the raven
And grieves as we weave our own doom

These truths, hard as nails
Are hammered in hands
That bleed in jails across the land

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The 23rd Skiddoo

The Warlord's the shepherd I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie: for more West
land he bleedeth me; besides the till,
what matters?

3 He boreth my soul: he feedeth me the
jazz, our might is righteous, for his
games' sake.

4 Yea, yea, yea, though I walk
through the valley of the Jolly Green
Giant, I will fear, know evil: for
the CIA is with me: thy rod and thy
staff they pacify me.

5 Thou preparest a statement for the
Press on the presence of mine enemies:
The Vietnamese in Vietnam, the Ches
lounging below the border, the Raps
in the traps, the Hippies on trips,
the sheepskin Doves, and the other
Yellow Peril: thou appointest a HHHead
with oil on thy tongue: thy cupidity
runneth over.

6 Shirley Temple and Hershey shall
swallow me and all the lives of my
day: then who will dwell in the
House and Senate of LBJ forever?

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The Anatomy of Love

When love comes out the window
The Law goes in the door
They want to know what was that sound
Love, he says she said
All the way down
He lies, Sadd says, I fear foul play
Love's love was a rope of sand
And that was the wrong way, Corrigan replies
To let the lovelight in her eyes
We charge Love with a felony
I disagree, John T, says Love's attorney
Love's love was grand; it just got out of hand
Why, Dave was Adam, Virginia Eve
Their only sin, originality: she dangled
Like forbidden fruit three stories high
And then she fell . . . and then she died
For what shall Love be tried?
O I suppose if I'd been Love
I'd have kept that window closed. Who knows?
When Love goes out the window
The Law comes in the door
They know it when they hear that sound
Love, he cries she cried
All the way down

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The Dogs of Morning

After the piss
And the coffee
And ahh
The first shit
Of the day
After the voice
Has reached the suburbs
In the half-sleeping light
Are we ready
O dogs of morning
To meet sweet Jesus?
Ready to be at the beep & call
Of every indigent & his mother
Wife, sister, girlfriend, brother...
Caesar & Josh
Leap over me
Into the car
Like sailors
Drunk on liberty
We sail away to jail

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The Dream Thief

Who stole your dreams, what thief?
The street thief, the thief of late calls
The international thief of bail and hot sauce
The thief of hats, the thief of language and fish heads
The jaywalking thief, the thief of cigarettes and innocence
The mourning thief, grieving in rags and ashes
The thief of fire with socks that match, the clean thief
The thief of four dogs becoming five, the grand thief
With photographs and laughter, the thief of conscience
Blood on his hands, the film noir thief, the thief of rain and teeth
Didn't I, your thief of thieves, your dream thief
Those sleepless nights, mumble in the moonlight
Reach for the sky?

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The Eagle and the Dove

  in a
      I saw a
        dule of
          doves in
              dress; and
                 the doves were
                   one dove; and on
                     the dove's tongue
                       there was a tale;
                         and the tale was
                           of an eagle and how
                             an eagle grew; and the eagle
                             grew angry; and out of the
                           eagle flew a soft white hand;
                         and in the hand there was
                       a stick; and the
                     stick shook the
                   sun; and the sun
                 split the earth;
               and the earth
             turned to
             a voice was lost, somewhere a dream . . .

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The Girl Who Died Her Hair

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.

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The Message

She calls me
Amid those cries
Of nightmare logic
All things broken
That had promised us
Glass bones wood skin
In case of emergency
Send the message
Past the madness
(o those terrible eyes!)
The hard transparency
Of the heart love breaks
Love enters

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The Wait

Like a crack
In the sky
This tree
At the earth's edge
Fills my coffee cup
Coffee with whiskey
Half-gone now
Along with love
And the night
Razz rolls over, stretches
You talk in your sleep
My sad ear waits
For your waking
I scratch the dog
I keep the faith

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To Sleep and Forget

To sleep and forget
The evening sky
The promises of the city
I lie, fallen roses
Round my bed
White flowers drawn
From my sick breath
By hand, though
No sleight of hand
Can take away the pain
Take heart, I say
And the heart is taken
Its sleight of breath
Extends the poetry of flesh
Returns love to the earth
Where the hand
Again dreaming
Writes in the dust

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Truffaut at Cumberland

Taking up the cause
Of crow, sky is happy
Water on rock's loose sister
To crocodile, black snow
On sidewalk, dogs talk
In short waves of grass
Ants anticipate picnic pleasures
Truffaut & dark dog sniff & split
Hares in hole keep low profiles
Bushy tail is periscope, U.S.S.Squirrel
Whoosh, submarine flies up tree
Feet swarm
Truffaut follows odors
Orange ball spins
Wings heavenward
Blue bicycle boy
Whizzes by, whistling
On monkey bars
Acrobats hang
Banana smiles
Hi, dog, says skateboard
No need for long hair to say
Have a nice day

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We Are All Gunmen

Cross at the light
And step over the dead
We are all gunmen
After the trial
The judge said, Daniel
You can say anything
You want to in America
But you've got to pay for it
We are all gunmen
I heard it at the C-Saw
The time the Angels trashed my reading
After the poets 'll come the niggers
We are all gunmen
How many killers are out tonight?
How many good Germans
Are threatening your life?
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
Let's put the l back in flag
Anita Bryant. What do you need?
You're it in the game of nuclear tag
Hey, hey, Enola Gay
How many buttholes did you bomb today?
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
We're big brains. We're scientists
We got grants to prove it
Star Wars. Shee-it
Let's knock these monkeys' brains out
The planet of the apes can go to hell
We need better helmets for the NFL
The whole country can go on the dole
We're gonna meet Russia in the Super Bowl
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
We are all gunmen
Cross at the light
And step over the dead
We are all gunmen

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Wild Onions

In those inevitable nights
When the sounder of swine
Playing to the hilt
Spills the milkwhite pearls
Into global living rooms
When in the ear of our Lord
The Word is found
Beating like a drum
Truth crushed to the ground
Will you stand out
In that reign of terror
The sabres rattling tooth and nail
And join the daisy chain to jail?
Now he who knows the maiden rage
Smells deep the flower's blood
Who scans the age can diagram
The sentences of the judge
Or turning inward still may hear
In zigzag argument
Man's canons of revolt

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Women at the River's Edge

When woods turn into words
And the words yellow
Under the sun's thumb
Into pools of dead air
On a dog day in a deaf year
The women at the river's edge
Their hearts beating wildly
Smash their lives
Without permission
On the blind rocks
Sharpened by the mind's eye
Broken, bred on silence
Their hearts heal in the river's dance
Time and again rising in love's anger
Toward the danger on the map...

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Would You Write a Poem about Me?
for Marlene

Would you write a poem about me?
I like music, death, numbers & jewelry
I'm gonna write books, the first one about love
the second about my life 'cause it's very interesting
One night I composed a 2,000,000-word Declaration
Of Negro Rights but I couldn't write it down 'cause
I didn't have a light bulb; sure wish I had a light bulb
That night...you'd have really liked it
I can write good love letters; they might be mushy
But they mean a whole lot...I do things the way I feel
You know, they wanted to give me $500 just to dance nude
Sshhh, I bought 4 copies of that record & I don't have one for myself
You know, they tried to kill me.  You wanna marry me?
I mean, you wanna be my boyfriend, yes or no?
You know how to dance?  You want me to teach you?
I like Eye-talian men mostly.  Don't put all that in there
It's personal, well, give me a light.  What sign do you think
I was born under?  What are you, Aquarius? Aries?
I'm Libra, the scales balanced.  Anyway I'm leaving tomorrow
I'm supposed to have got my senses back.  It took fourteen men
To lock me up last time; they said I bit off the supervisor's nose
They'll tell lies on you.  Sometimes I buy music just for the words
Do you know any languages?  How do you say I love you in English?
Will you live with me?  We'll have everything; I'm on Welfare
Do you write in shorthand?  I can't read it.  I'll have to give you
Lessons on how to write.  Come here for a second...X...
Good night, Call me tomorrow.  I'll be free as a bird.

Daniel Thompson 1935 - 2004
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
35 Daniel Thompson poems
funeral service 5.10.2004
Daniel ArtCrimes index
coeditor ArtCrimes 12
editor ArtCrimes 4
fotos 1935-2004

the poems above are the versions published in ArtCrimes over the past 18 years
Daniel has likely revised many of them

with upwards of 100 Daniel Thompson poems printed since 1986
ArtCrimes may have been his most prolific publisher
I'm now adding 50-60 poems from #8-19

some fotos by jim lang / other fotos & webwork by steven b. smith

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