Saturday, July 19, 2014

On Viewing “Robots With Tater Tots”



It’s nothing but a big blob of pink paint
in the middle and a smattering of green
speckles on an otherwise blank canvas.
But it’s an original, and it’s a Mudge Torfin,
from his early “blobbing” period!

It would remind me of clouds…
if clouds were a bit more abstract…
Instead I’m reminded of spaghetti,
which, by the way, is what 
I’m having for dinner today.
    
But what exactly was the artist seeing
when he passed it off as being
genuine artwork?  Hmmm...

Ah!  Perhaps he really was seeing 
a pink blob and little green spots floating
on a stark white square...
because he was hallucinating...
because he was on drugs... 
drugs that induce hallucination…

In which case, I offer this painting praise,
alongside the high-minded critics who 
commend it, for “Robots with Tater Tots”
is certainly the most accurate rendition
of the artist’s psychedelic vision. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Art Dies When Subsidized

Why should I care if the art class gets cut?
No, I will not buy a muffin, a T-Shirt, or a pencil,
and no I will not purchase a magazine subscription 
to the latest incarnation of the Daily Worker 
and I don’t want that magazine
and I don’t like that magazine.
Oh, you think that I might like that magazine?
No! I hate that magazine!  
It ought to be burned!
Turn away from my doorway, I say, before I burn 
that magazine, you ignorant, misguided, pompous teen!

I happen to know Mrs. Kritchly personally-
she’s supposedly the art teacher who supposedly teaches art-
her eyes burn bright with a violent red, that communist!
That whole school’s ran by a pack of communists! 
They’re trying to turn all the kids into communists!
Even the custodian carries a communist card!
He flashes it about while he's raking the yard!

Where are you going?  Please, don’t leave.
Wait, maybe I’ll buy your muffin.  Listen,
I have an interest in the de-ignorant-ization
of the rising generation.  I want you to bloom.

No, no, no, I’m not against art.
How could I be against art?
You think I’m against art?
Ha!  I might as well be against rivers!

Speaking of rivers, young man, the idea of rivers 
presently presents itself for use in instructive similes, 
like a worker bee arriving at a honey-dripping hive:   

Art, like a river, gushes through gulags, killing the communists. 
Art, like a river, gathers strength from the free-falling 
pitter-patter of raindrops, heavenly, heavenly raindrops.
Art, like a river, rises beyond her banks, engulfs a city
of corruption, and sets Beauty upon her rightful throne.
Art, like a river, guides the lonesome traveler home.
Art, like a river, cuts through earth to the heart of the earth, 
and then swells from the heart of the earth, turns, twists, grows,
and without compulsory means, gives life to those 
who stop by to drink, or perhaps to dip in their toes.

Let the school children learn art the way Elizabeth Cotten
learned art.  (Please, don’t let Elizabeth Cotten be forgotten.) 
She heard a freight train rolling through her North Carolina town,
wrote down some lyrics when nobody was around,
played on a banjo she borrowed to pluck out her sorrow, 
boy, she’d pick at that thing and moan and sing 
all night long ’til she broke a string. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Communists

If you believe in God
and seek to do His will
the communists will tell you
that you ought to remain still
in your home or in your church
for what they call your hate
and what you call salvation
is not tolerated by the State.

And when the Spirit moves you
and when you dare to spread
the everlasting love of Jesus
they will hunt you
they will find you
they won't stop until you're dead.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

If I Only Had Porter's Brain

Scene: BEN and PORTER are in a library, doing math homework.

BEN: (trying to do a math problem) Five, three, carry the seven- Oh! I’m terrible at math! Porter, I wish I had your brain!

PORTER: Had my brain? What an intriguing scenario, Ben. But, what would you do if you had my brain?

(BEN and PORTER begin singing the following song, set to the tune of “If I Only Had a Brain,” from the Wizard of Oz.)

BEN: I would wile away the hours
taking numbers to some powers
to see how much value the original numbers would gain.
do do do do do do do
All my cares would be dissolving
as equations I’d be solving
if I only had Porter’s brain.

I would open up a math book,
and then with only one look,
tell you the square mileage of Spain.
do do do do do do do

PORTER: With the homework you would finish
all your grades would not diminish
if you only had my brain.

BEN: Oh I, could tell you why,
the quadratic formula’s called a formula.
I would know which train got to California
if one left at seven,
and the other one exploded (BANG!)

I would not be just a dummy,
poking at my tummy
until I experienced pain.
do do do do do do do

I would answer every question
and be done with this homework session
if I only had Porter’s brain.

Originating At the Heart

When a man appears to you,
perhaps in the bathroom mirror,
perhaps beside you as you walk alone
along a roadway in your city,
(this will only happen when you are alone)
saying he has a message from God,
request him to shake hands with you.

If his essence is chiefly angelic,
he will shake your hand,
and you will feel his hand,
as you do when you shake 
the hand of any ordinary man.
He will then deliver his message,
and indeed it will be a message from God.
A deep, abiding, familiar warmth, 
originating at the heart, 
will spread inside you,
reaching to the tips of your toes 
and to the crown of your head,
and you will rejoice.

If his essence is chiefly demonic,
he will attempt to shake your hand.
He will reach his hand forward and
you will reach your hand forward.
The air around you will drop in temperature.
Yet, though the hands will appear 
to touch, you will feel nothing,
and by this means you will detect him.

Remember these instructions,
teach them to those who believe,
for today I have given you a grand key 
whereby you may test the veracity 
of any alleged fourth-level communication.