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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


News has reached the world
that an unnamed island nation's citizens
have supported the right
of some disenfranchised couples
to marry

Up pops an unnamed official source
from an opposing organization
who says
this was
a great loss for humanity

As tongues poke through
lips around the world
air is forced over the tongue
causing a ripple
of the upper and lower lips
named after a bush fruit
often red or black
unnamed for this report

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


It's the kind feeling
that any writer gets
if he's got a few muses
that don't seem to put
much effort into their jobs,
kinda like the writer himself
who can't seem to get
off the sofa and go back to work.

He'll come across a piece of writing
that'll simply blows the doors
out of the walls he's built
to keep himself from being successful.

Yeah, that kind of writing.

So all of a sudden he realizes
that's he's never been
entirely grateful
to the muses he does have.
He's got to say thank you
for even the crappiest writing
he's ever done
because somewhere,
someone will find something
he's written that'll blow the doors
out of the walls
of some other writer
who is going through
a crisis of muses.
He'll spend part of his day
thinking how he'd like
to write better
and then he's reminded
that he couldn't give up
the muses he does have
for the ones he doesn't know.

They'd be strangers.
Damn strangers running
around in his head
tapping words he's forgotten
to play with for awhile.
Some of those words
wouldn't fit into any keyhole
of the locks in the doors
now laying on the floor.

So, with a grateful heart
he picks up the doors
to rehang on the frames
that've been damaged.
Get out the screw driver,
the hammer, the chisel,
and the drill.
It's time to go to work
and quit laying
on the sofa
thinking the typer
will put those unfamiliar
words to work,
when the old, comfortable ones
from the muses he knows
will do.

The project will be a mix
of the old and the new.
Adding a muse will mean
finding some new colors
with which to paint
the repaired doors.
How about cerulean.
It's a color word
he's never used
from his new muse.
The old muses are scratching
their beards the way
old men who've let themselves go
stare into oblivion
thinking about something
they've never encountered.
OK, they say, we'll run with it.
The writer pauses to thank
his small committee of helpers
then proceeds to pelt his page
with bravado.
Please people, he writes,
the color was fine, but must
we be celebrating with bravado?
Stuttering, the new muses
and the old muses begin
their next moments
with an “uh, uh, uh!?”
in a combined chorus
that gives the writer
a chance to think
about his next move.
Okay, thank you, thank you,
we're bound to find out
the next phase

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Just Along the Highway

((a poem for those interested in Unidentified Flying Objects))

We stop and pick up some fruit
on our way to the western shore.
South Dakota is a long ways
from California, so we think.
Perhaps, that is what all the fuss
is about when people see
disks, tubes and triangles
floating soundlessly
through our beautiful skies.
Other folks, well, not really folks,
stopping by our planet to buy
some fruit, fill up on water,
whatever it is we have to offer.
Sure, they could have stopped
in an invisible mode,
but that's how they pay us
for the stuff they take from us:
cow parts, photos of our colons,
recordings of our screams,
cherished video of our astonishment
they get to play to their brood
of whatever the heck they are.
They've started a whole industry
of book publishing and photo swapping.
Experts collect a few coins
from personal appearances.
Old soldiers get to tell
what they weren't supposed to tell.
Autopsies, not withstanding,
are probably one of the many reasons
they don't set down
on some Washington lawn.
After all, who wants a cold or flu.
Have you ever seen one of those things
with chicken pox?
I suspect for them
it becomes condor pox
with a side of cow pox
from which they grow horns
that drop away when they're healed.
“Don't pick at your horns, dear.”
We've broadcast
dozens of Hollywood horrors
during which our hero
eliminates planetsful of oozing
monsters, which to them
seem more like neighbors
with whom to share a barbeque
of abductee. Yum.
Be sure to remove all those trackers
and little whatevers
you insert in our brains
through our noses.
We wouldn't want the kids,
if they are kids,
to choke on one,
necessitating a trip
halfway across the galaxy
to a hospital for care
where parking one of those
big triangles has to be
a serious problem.
You think the notes you get
are nasty when you park
your Chevy in two spots,
just imagine crop circles
in fifty million
languages and every word
describing the nasty
things they'll do to their colons.
It may also be a reason
they come to earth:
free parking with no wait times:
Cow Parts and Colon Pics,
open 24 hours.
We accept your
Universal Express Card.

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Recording of “Bleeker Street”

Listening to the recording
of a jazz group:
guitar, drums, bass,
trumpet, piano, and tenor sax:
Houston Person on tenor,
his session for an album called
Moment to Moment.
The tune is Bleeker Street.
So why do these old players
keep playing:
because once in a while
the muse attacks
dropping a bit of magic
on a recording or a line or melody
that makes the musician wonder
where it came from.

He'll think,
“Not me,
but I've just been blessed
with the touch of eternity."

How many times does it happen
on a musicians riff,
a painter's canvas,
a line of poetry,
for someone really great?
For pros, it happens more often
than you think.

Most listeners
won't hear it,
won't see it,
won't read it.

The artist keeps moving
from note to note,
session to session,
club to club,
in the hopes of finding
that feeling.
Oh, they'll repeat their finery
they know is perfect.
It's how they make
the loaf of bread
everybody needs to butter.

For the common artist
it might not happen so often,
but when it does
they might not make their crust,
but all that practice of bad notes,
writing of senseless phrases,
painting that seems like the sides of a building,
yeah, all of that
will shrug off like so much dust
that suddenly turns to silver flakes
mixed with gold,
and a few diamonds
for good measure.

Nope, it doesn't happen often,
but that's how
Person looks in his pictures,
with common notes whitening his temples
and gray phrases pushing out his mustache;
trying once again to find
that quavering shower of electrostatic staffs
notated with holy water.

Houston Person
is the cleanest tenor sax player
on the radio this night,
and I've just been washed
after his notes went
down the drain
on top of me...
oh Lordy, my soul is rinsed.

Barry G. Wick

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Supreme Declaration of Speech (Dedicated to Citizens United and David Bossie with the perfect name)

Sometimes the couch
has just enough
to buy the day old bread
from a store whose employees
barely feed themselves.
There are days of only one meal.
There are days of none.
From the bottom of the nation
no voice is heard
because there is no money
to make it heard
above the broadcast shouts
of well-fed men
who pound the table
with their meaty fists,
to complain about
they who have sallow faces
or the most hated color
of today's empty stomachs.

Off to war go the children
of the poor
who send home bread
or themselves in a box,
to make the pockets bulge
of the hand slammers
and the lip vibrators.
More rockets than empty pockets.
More bombs and hungry moms.
More guns to stun the runners
who have no limousine
in which to preen.
Money speaks loudly
high above the proud
who force themselves
to beg a dime from orators
who shine so brightly
on the nightly news.
If lassitude is crass
it is because the masses
cannot speak above a thirsty whisper.
This sound echoes in an empty tin.
Thin is in and pants fall down,
hand-me-frowns from facial muscles,
racial tussles about which
the white men crown themselves
with high and mighty words
for a hungry child
in the wilds of dying city.
It's a pity they can't speak louder
with the freedom of speech
their fathers never earned
on the minimum wage.

Too many rules spoil a conversation
and so does too much money.

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Glow the Bag

He leaves the store in the hand
of a recent widow dressed
in black with bright orange shoes
Her veil obscures very little
of the grief behind her dark glasses
It's not often a bag gets a poem
for in parts of this nation
similar items are called sacks
His name is Glow you should know
and if his poorer cousin the sack
should get the same publicity
the bag would be on her head
and the sack upon her body
Such are the wars between
the sacks and the bags
The sacks would remind you
they are usually made of paper
The bags are of oil-based plastic
For the sack a tree must die
For the bag a whatyacallapus
has decomposed deep in the earth
We can't name the sack here
because the woman only had a bag
and as we all know
bags and sacks get their names
when someone takes one home
Bag names are quite pronounceable
whereas sacks receive their name
from the sound they make
when the clerk pulls one from a shelf
As since each sack has a different sound
most humans can't make it
with their teeth tongue gums and lips
As for the widow we are confined
to earthly descriptions as she
saunters through her sequins
whispering her name to a bag
that needs to know who cradles it
in her arms soon to be en-robed
in what only a bald vicuna
will allow from a store in a bag
with the idiopathic name of Glow

Barry G. Wick
Is Poetry Dead???  Washington Post Article

If poetry is dead, then I'm dead and the people who gloriously visit my poetry blog are dead.  We're all dead, my dear friends.  And we're having lots of fun being dead...dancing our dead dance...reciting our dead poetry in the dead moonlight.  We consume dead coffee and dead scotch.  Dead art hangs on our walls as we listen to dead music....and "Dead" music.  We smoke death.  We eat dead cookies and dead cake.  We talk about dead Jesus and dead Buddha.  We share dead books by dead authors.  And if my health sinks any lower, I'm gonna be alive sooner than I'd like to be.  Damn, and here I thought I was gonna be dead my whole life.