My superb friend Karen and her superb boyfriend Ed capture sea life on camera when they scuba-dive. Karen took the photo from which my drawing was derived. I have her gracious permission to use it; and it will get further use below in its reproduction to illustrate the difference between Art and Life:
slumber rose off him like cold steam
he muttering “wig…thaw
and fluttering eyes made the muttering stop
she beside him propped on elbow leaned over him
and sight met sight and she asked him:
“what’s wigthaw, love?”
briefly he puzzled
then the browfurrow smoothed
“i said that? –it’s acronymical
they kissed and he continued,
“‘whatever is going to happen
has already happened.’ that’s spelled
dubya eye gee tee aitch
aitch ay aitch
and is pronounced ‘wigthaw.’”
they kissed again.
“you are odd-minded,” she opined.
“you had to say that,” he returned,
and kissed her again
as he must.
Stan Lee, like many of the superheroes he wrote comic-book continuity for, has feet of clay. He’s hyberbolic, a credit hog, and an attention craver. But any kid who grew up during the Silver Age of Marvel Comics could not help but be influenced by him. My sometime tendency toward wisecracking and alliteration may reflect this influence. So I devoted 73 seconds to doing his portrait.
Last I heard he was still alive. Excelsior, Stan! ‘Nuff Said! Except…as the pirate said to the Q-Tips: “Avast, ye swabs!”
Four years ago I kicked off my “Lives of the Eminent Poets of Greater Phoenix” with two of my favorite Valley Poets. One was Victoria Hoyt, with whom I’m co-featuring at the April 2014 edition of Balboa House Poetry. The other is the man I depicted above, Mr. Bill Campana, who, since George Carlin has passed, I am reasonably certain is the Funniest Man on Earth. Today is Bill’s birthday, and I wish him all the best.
Bluff, and stand-up-comical, and full of manic manna
It’s a wonder he’s still local–catch him if you can
Laudably SELF-AMPLIFIED: you will hear from this man
Las Vegas @ the Palace or perhaps the Tropicana
Bill commissioned a coffee mug from me, and says of my posted birthday wish for him, “thanks, gary. it’s muggier when i drink out of your coffee mug.” He uses lower case in his online communications, so as further tribute to him the title of this post is in lower case.
Last time I saw Bill was at the home of Julie Elefante and Robert Lee, and I took this picture of him:
Again–Happy Birthday, Bill!
When Truth and Beauty Got Married: a Febrile Fable
Once upon a time he said Wow are you Beauteous and she replied That’s me and us. He was taken and thus was she, and before Friend Time had much of himself to muse, Truth said I do even if sometimes harshly and Beauty said What the hell, count me in. They lived in a house called Upward, mixed it up in the Upward attic, and nine non-months later Rosie Roseglass was born a half hour in advance of her twin brother Duck F. Yuno-Wadsgudforyu. In no Time at all the twins divvied up the world, inadvertently separating their parents, and a good thing: they no longer got along, despite poetic propaganda to the contrary. The world was puzzled as to why half of it was just fine with horrendous conditions, while the other half was constantly creating and enhancing horrendous conditions. And they lived happily ever after, except for them. The And.
1. Grateful acknowledgment is given to Joseph Arechavala for the what-if that prompted this Fable.
2. Grateful acknowledgment is given to the creators of Fractured Fairy Tales, a feature of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, for influencing my child’s mind in the mid-60s. Without that influence this Febrile Fable would never have been written.
3. The illustrative sketch was done on a piece of cut-up scratch paper during my shift at the Village Gallery today. That is why there is faded reversed lettering on the image; it is from the other side of the paper.
4. After I did the sketch I looked at it and realized that I must have subconsciously modeled Truth after Arthur Miller and Beauty after Marilyn Monroe. Funny how the mind works…
Ansel Adams once said that were he confined to his house for the rest of his life, he’d still find rich and endless subject matter for his photography. Your humble narrator says that were he confined to the subject matter Spoon, Water, Glass, he’d find endless ways to beat a dead horse to the ground and beyond with those three elements alone. Luckily, this need never be put to the test, and shall not; and this day’s Evocation of the Three has a special guest with the reflectivity of glass, the fluidity of water and the wieldiness of a spoon.
Words, which may make more and more sense on successive rereadings:
Sipping’s an S-WORD that ends with a G
Parsing BANANAs divests them of peel
Ousting a despot brings more from the sea
Owning that Ownership has its rewards
Not the our s-words may morph into swords