This is an example of composition as balancing act. About forty years ago Professor Scott of the University of Arizona had us strip works of David (pronounced Dah-Veed) and Poussin (pronounced Poo-Saaan, sort of)¬† to the essentials of gestural lines. Presumably, if the sum of the angles relative to the bottom edge of a given painting add up to zero, or close, it’s a Good Composition.

I suppose it was an enlightening exercise, but it had all the excitement of diagramming sentences, and about as much practical use.¬† Then as now I’ll look at a drawing in progress and do my best to intuit how best to engage the viewer with the next enhancement (or, as with some erasure, disenhancement). I’d rather taste the soup of a drawing than diagram its sentence any day.

The acrostics remain without poetry. If the drawing is good enough to remake on non-scratch paper, I’ll do a remake and work out the words. If you’d like to collaborate with an obscure artist/poet, feel free to fill in some poetry. If you do, show and tell via comment, and you’ll make my day!

The Verde Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. In a way, though, it is one of the most depressing. What makes it so is the variety of dead creatures on the various roadways. Rabbits and skunks are quite common but javelina, coyote and fox I have also seen; and I in my truck have had near-misses with all five of them, and with deer as well.

Yet I keep driving, and so do my fellow Verde Valley residents, and so has all of the automotivated populace for more than a hundred years. We ourselves are the most numerous of the roadkill. “That’s a real shame,” we think as we pass another squished-in-the-middle carcass. But we do not indict ourselves for all of this carnage. We see it as too bad but inevitable; and that to me is proof that we and I have a long ways to go, ethically.


One reason there are lots of instruments in the cockpit of an airplane is that sometimes pilots cannot rely on their senses. Their semicircular canals tell them one thing, the view out the window another, and the instruments contradict both. To stay alive, a pilot often has to literally fly in the face of what the body says.

In life, a sense of well-being may just mean that the brain chemistry is literally on the high side of the manic-depressive cycle. Ingesting alcohol or other drugs often imbues the user with undeserved confidence. If you don’t have instruments, like a penlight for the Nystagmus test or a Breathalizer for the measurement of blood alcohol, when in doubt, don’t, no matter what wonderful sense it seems to make, whether it be calling that lost love at three in the morning or shaving/tattooing¬† your head or entering the wonderful world of amateur day trading. (Sorry to be so parental.)

Here are the words:

Fate denied me being pharaoh
And you say, it’s best that, Gair-O
Lap up your courvoisier
Lapdogs may include Sharpei
Salvage peace/shalom/La Paz
Serenity is no palazzo
Eternity by daw-do-zen
Ernest earnestly got bent
Rovers flying o’er alfalfa
Race past baffleds on El Al


Anyone heard of Trail Mix? Sure you have!

Anyone heard of Tom Mix? No? Well, he was a movie cowboy. He pre-dated, and paved the way for, John Wayne. There’s a book called TOM MIX DIED FOR YOUR SINS. When Robert Bloch, author of PSYCHO, was asked by Philip Jose Farmer if he’d read the book, he replied, “No, and I haven’t read JESUS CHRIST AT THE 101 RANCH either.” This not only made Phil laugh, it inspired some writing of his, including some in his world-famous RIVERWORLD series.

Anyone following my blog knows that I have a spoon fetish. Sorry!

Anyone heard of the MX Missile? No! We haven’t! Or we don’t want to! “MX whistles” are OK, though.

Here are the words to this double-double-quadruple super-duper Acrostic:

Tried a contrail’s atmospherics
Rode a comet’s utmost deep
Asteroids are poised to go
Is SPACE full of foistings? NO
Launching MX whistles–fun

nine the month eleven the day thirteen the years

hot fuel trickled down a building’s spine


crushed lives and complacency

a five-sided base of operations got slammed

a lovely meadow got scarred

ray charles sang in arizona

out of verse sequence

in his eloquence:

“o beautiful

for heroes proved

in liberating strife

who more than selves

their country loved

and mercy more than life…”

george w. bush threw a perfect strike to kick off the d-backs vs. yanks game

it may have been his finest hour

how his back must have itched

then we went to war

dealt a deck of cards with bad guys on them

got quite a few of them

stuck them on the edge of cuba

one group gets taken out

another materializes–isis?

wasn’t she a saturday-morning superheroine?

or is it isil?

they will be airstricken

and they will pay

and others no doubt

will come out of the thin air of the desert and the mountains

but we must do something

we must look at thirteen years of what we have done

and ask: what works?

what heals?

we must become a different creature

we must become a different world

wisdom is elusive

but mercy is in all of us

let us reward the merciful

yes let us defend ourselves

but may we be clever enough to do so

without attacking others

let it be our way

to never give up on mercy


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