Monthly Archives: September 2016

Last September 11th I got this Facebook message from my dearly beloved Aunt, Diane Householder Norrbom:

Hi Gary…this next weekend I will be in Sacramento for a celebration of Judy’s life and we will be spreading her ashes..I was wondering if you would like to write a little poem for me to share for you…she had a sweet connection with you on fb..123

I was gratified and flattered, and, being a girl who can’t say no, sent this back to Diane:

Aunt Judy Was an Astronaut

Aunt Judy was an astronaut,
The best one in our fam.
You don’t believe? I’ll tell you what:
She loved us to the Moon and back
With cheddar Swiss and pepperjack
And cut us all a mile of slack.

Her gorgeous smile made oxen quack
Her knick-knacks had a paddy whack
That kept our heartstrings in the black.
She was the Empress of our pack.

Three cheers and a SHAZAM!
I hope to see her soon,
When I go to the moon.

I begged Diane to tell me how to punch it up, but she said it was perfect as is. On Sept 20, Diane sent me this:

just want you to know your words were very much appreciated by all…123

“123” is family code for I Love You.

Today I thought it would be good to jump-start my second thousand blog posts with this page dedicated to my sweet and well-loved and -loving Aunt, Judith Lynne Cameron.


See you on the Moon, Judy!!



Long ago–late March of 2007 or thereabouts–I made three photocopies of the pages of a text-and-image journal I had been keeping since late December of 2006. I spiral-bound the whole ungainly messes with the title page SOUL. I gave two of the copies to my good and encouraging friends Katie Meade (now Katie Wood) and Karen Wilkinson (now, tragically, deceased).

My soul has changed, not only with five job changes, six changes of residence, a divorce, and two other breakups, but with altered physicality, involvement in the Valley poetry scene, and meeting and making friends with over a hundred people. And a huge way my soul has changed is with the loving toil I have put into this blog. It more than anything else I have done documents my life in terms of expression.

Enough with the introduction TO the Introduction–on with the Introduction.

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Most of my posts are a combination of image and text, usually of a poem and drawing all in pencil. The reason I called the blog “One with Clay, Image and Text” is that I had intended to showcase my ceramic works along with my poetry and drawings. I regret that my clay work has been put on indefinite hold due to my equipment being garaged due to all my bouncing around, residence-wise. I hope mightily to get back into ceramics soon. Here is an example of what I had been doing with Raku way back when:


Of my images, this is the one that has been seen the most, due to Roger Ebert’s showcasing it in one of his tweets a couple of months before he died:


These two studies of Frank Zappa, subject of the documentary EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS, are the two latest things I have done, though that will probably not be true before this post is over. These were done today while I was watching the documentary. I freeze-framed the video twice to draw these.


This first one included a double-acrostic, “FRANK ZAPPA,” bookending the poem, in which I tried to synopsize his two striking qualities, Oddness and Honesty.


In this second one I tried to pay tribute to Zappa’s wonderfully off-the-wall song titles by imagining a few that might fit music of his I have heard. The quotation, ” . . . give a guy a big nose and weird hair and he’s capable of anything,” WAS said by Zappa, but it is out of context: he was imagining what people were thinking after seeing him.

Ceramics, an image done almost eight years ago, and two done today–that’s a rather ramshackle Overview, but one which I hope gives a clue to how my soul has changed and how it has remained the same.


The subtitle of my blog is “A blog for the aggrandizement of Gary W. Bowers.” I am sorry to report that there is much truth to that. I have for the most part accentuated the positive and left out things I’m not proud of. I hope I haven’t been out-and-out deceitful, but some of the more embarrassing and shameful aspects of my soul, such as my incessant argumentativeness and pettiness, have not been showcased in this blog. I am flawed.

Comedy and Tragedy with Real-Time Update

I just took a break from posting to finish a page I’d been working on. It includes two poems I wrote the same day. I wrote “dole,” the first one, because I was discouraged and disillusioned by the shallowness I felt I was bringing to the poetry table at the time. I was feeling like a hack. After I wrote it I realized my real agenda in writing it was cathartic: being depressed, I was trying to express my way out of the depression. This made me think of Robin Williams, and James Lipton’s comparison of Williams to Pagliacci in an interview after Williams’s tragic death. How does one cheer Pagliacci up? Well, if you’re from Glendale, Arizona, you become Fuzziwuzzy the hairless bear and sit next to Pagliacci on a park bench, and then pretend you’re in the campfire scene in BLAZING SADDLES.

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is it a pineapple
or an allotment?

lack of togetherness
in an apartment?

is it a person
who once ran for prez?

is it a wrongness
when spirit won’t rise?

doleful the poe-taster
runs down the list,

sick of his cleverness,
sick of the mess.

pineapple wringing
and churchbells off key,

tears unreleased and
the rhymes wry awry

a bald bear cheers pagliacci

pagliacci was a clown,
fuzziwuzz a bear.
pagliacci wore a frown,
fuzz a lack of hair.

side by side en benche they sat,
fuzzi breaking silence
whoopicushionesque and that
gave his pal some smilance.

pagliacci said, “p. u.!”
fuzzi said, “such knowledge
fair astounds me: how you knew
where I went to college!”

since then they’re the best of buds.
heaven-made, this matchulance.
fuzz and pally, laughing studs–
no more need for flatulence.


Friends, it’s almost 1 AM. I now realize that to go further will not reveal much more of my soul that cannot be found in previous posts, which I fervently hope you’ll peruse, and I must be straining your attention span by now, if I haven’t already. More to the point, my soul is now at peace, and wishes to sleep. Thank you for sharing this one-in-a-thousand experience with me. I close with my beaming face.



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This is blog post #999.

This August 30 I turned 62. Before my birthday I told all my Facebook friends that I only wanted two things for my birthday: for people to wish me a Happy Birthday, and for people to make drawings of me with crazy hair. I provided a few photo sources for them to use if they wished.

The results were jaw-droppingly beyond my expectations. It made for a birthday to remember . . .


This was from my friend and co-worker Lucinda. I love the amber waves of grain on top and the corkscrew pasta on the sides.

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This wonderful, lively entry was from Denise Huntington, the woman I was lucky enough to call Sweetheart for more than two years. She wrote: “Happy birthday, dear artist/poet/friend! My inner Ninny did this just for you!  A (mostly) blind continuous line drawing with minor pen embellishments and oil pastels.” My reply was “I love it, Nin. You rock! Thanks!!” It felt good to call her Nin again, though we have both moved on.


Fellow GHS grad Suz Dykes gave me not only crazy hair, but a muu-muu and a pencil neck. She is playfully sarcastic sometimes, and golden-hearted always.


British actress Beth Porter gave me Andy Warhol’s Little Deuce Toupe . . .


. . . and superstar imagist from the Great Northwest, Nina Pak, did this Warholesque panel.

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Poster-parodist David Cooper bent my gender with a Doubtfire face graft. I have promised him revenge.


Activist/Archivist Clottee Hammons said, “I gave you dreds . . .”

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. . . while award-winning state fair artist Peg Tee, wife of my cousin Larry Doane, gave me “Flock of Seagulls” on steroids.

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My aunt Diane Norrbom, who has been known to call me Cupcake, rendered this cupcake with hair.


My gentle labyrinth-walking friend Suzy put me on a napkin and gave me a party hat and a balloon.


Carnegie-Mellon department head Terry Irwin drew my hair skyward with a Van de Graaf generator, then, remembering my fondness for the acerbic wit of William F. Buckley, added his words: “I would like to take you seriously but to do so would affront your intelligence.” Ouch! Smile!


Classmate Karen Garling Tornquist made a rendering remindful of Dr. Seuss.


Classmate Vicki Dube’ Curtis, a portraiture subject of mine, returned the favor.

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Classmate Dave Bills stuck my hare and eyes on the March Hare.

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My poet friend Victoria rendered six “serving suggestions,” and I love them all.

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Russ K, creator of AMAZING ARIZONA COMICS, did this send-up of Jack Kirby’s “Kamandi, the Last Boy On Earth” with “Garmandi, the Last POET on Earth.”

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The storied Barb Storrier gave me Pompadour and Circumstance, with a cherry on top.

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Talented Artist/Poet Heather Smith-Gearns coolified me big time with rock-star shades. “I’m ready for my Rolling Stone interview, Mr. Wenner.”

My friend, poet and Studebaker aficionado Bob Kabchef did the craziest hair of all–it was so crazy it left for parts unknown. He then, in startling anatomical detail, revealed a way to get it back via hair-in-a-can and vigorous electrostatic combing.

But the winner of the Palm d’Or of my Crazy Hair Cannes has got to be Dr. Beth Lindberg’s superb rendering below:


An absolute sweetheart, she sent me the original from her home in sunny Santa Barbara. Stay tuned for a blog post with Beth as a femme-fatale poisoner in the Noir tradition, in my Raymond Chandler forthcoming pastiche “Crazy Hair Beth.”

Lastly, I wanted in on the fun as well, so I conclude with a crazy-hair self portrait. Hope you enjoyed the show!

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This is blog post #998.

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Here are some random things about Dolores Gail Wager Quintero: She is petite, not topping five feet by much. I have known her since September of 1968. She has had two full careers, one as an agent of the US Treasury and one as a schoolteacher. She has an eye for good value for money when she shops at Goodwill. She is presently in the Boston area, though she lives in the Phoenix area with two dogs and a cat. She is a survivor of an aggressive form of breast cancer and is now proactively husbanding her energy, time and wherewithal in her continuing survival. She once managed to have two recliner chairs packed into her appropriately-named Honda Fit. The birth of her daughter was the happiest day of her life.

I had originally intended to make this a one-part post, but a combination of technical difficulties, mismanagement of time, and my realization of the importance of doing this RIGHT has turned this project into a multi-parter. How many parts remains to be seen, and when Part 2 will appear is anyone’s guess. I have Dolores’s permission to quote from her startling Facebook posts, and there is such a wealth there, from four years ago to present, that choosing what and how much of her words to present is becoming a project in itself. I hope I will do that right as well.

More than a year ago I wrote this playfully-intended limerick:

Dolores G. Wager Quintero
Is as HOT as a cut habanero.
I would treasure a date
Wrought with Pizza and Fate
But, alas! I lack Time/Space/Dinero.

I am happy to report we did eventually get together at Red Devil Pizza, and though the pizza was great, her company was so superb I hardly tasted it. It wasn’t exactly a date, though. We are not romantic (sigh).

Here are the words of the quadruple acrostic I wrote, based on her name:

Dolores Gail Wager Quintero

Deliver us a girl with Wit who wanders from HQ
Of shrewdness, Grace, and wherewithal and Gusto thru and thru
Let her stand up and be well counted, brave as Princess Di
Original and unaffected, gainful by design

RELEASE her inner wunderkind, expressive as Flaubert
Envelop her with lovingkindness gentle as a doe
Success will follow, hers and ours, revealing with a flair
Some wondrous folk shine alabaster everywhere they go