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Saturday, June 23, 2018

Tinkerbell Fascists

Rising above the castles of Washington,
winged beasts with their cannon wands
spray sparking red, white, and blue
fairy dust for all the media to marvel,
behind which, lies have only obfuscation,
midst the corpses of unemployed immigrants,
desiccated women of forced pregnancy,
the new babies to be slaughtered or starved
into the smiling skeletons of children,
bullet-riddled, laying upon school floors
or the dusty, bomb-scarred, oil-pumped plains,
as their puddling tears dry in sandy echos,
unhooked by a hypnotized-while-blind public:
who pray each evening to  their flat screens
in the hope that GODD will materialize
just long enough for them to crowd-cheer
His golden hair flying from the fans
placed for His closest media angels
that He excoriates to the knowing smiles
of those who pray to His heroic majesty,
unfazed by Zeuses like Eisenhower,
Grant, and Washington who could*
out-hero even the tiniest ghost riders
in pure, white, black-holed sheets festooned
with flaming blood-soaked crosses
marking the spot where dripping pussies
should be grabbed in public and adorned
with spinning, sparkling swastikas,
and a gun club membership card
entitling one, full, and free magazine fired
at the nearest scattering school children
who dare to imagine in their deepest thoughts
any liberal, democrat, or foreigner
who lives now or is a demon of the past
who failed to wave a ripped Old Glory
and give the Bellamy it's proper angle
above the bleeding putti who encircle
His gold coif that sparkles from this new Son.
Crawler Headline:  America drowns in fairy dust.

Barry G. Wick

*Author's Note:  Eisenhower shook hands with Spain's fascist leader Franco, Grant wasn't well-liked by Native Americans(under-statement), and Washington had more connections to Great Britain than King George III....!


Across the space
between us
our eyes meet
your dark deep eyes
that need to be filled
with this love
that only an empty man
can generate
and I'm smitten
such a smile
and wishing
my fingers through
your black hair
There are many years
between us
does it matter
does it

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Morning with Joni Mitchell

We're on the sofa together
She's in Memphis
with the other Egyptians
who built pyramids of music
She says she's sitting in a cafe
and I remind her it's my couch
in sight of corn and beans
in Iowa

I'm thinking about the news
and how I don't miss it
glad the currency of daily life
doesn't gloss over my eyes
I don't know what has happened
in the last four days
and this morning
the world still full of fools
fighting for everything
“A woman must have everything.”
I know about that Joni

I'm beyond it all now
peeking from time to time
into the abyss
falling more slowly
than I did years ago
when I was a young journalist
in college during the war
following the march against
in the middle of wheat and lentils
in the great Palouse
Up and down the hills
filing as it happened reports
just like Edward R.
did from London
except I'm not on CBS
just the college station
wired into the dorms
with 8 listeners
who are reading Shakespeare
and Mao in the same language
from red books
I'm preparing for the day
a cop and a bunch of people
are murdered in Gillette
northeast Wyoming
when I go to the hospital
and am the first to report
live on the air
the policeman is dead
the killer is dead
and a pile of others
as this nut drove
across the town
spreading death
as easily as I put
the eggs on my toast
and the sweet stuff
in my black coffee

You still with me Joni?
You're fading out
as the summer heat of Iowa
makes a cloud fall
out of my freezer

Joni is traveling again
and I think of all the miles
between wherever
that are now so much
wasted dinosaurs
as we head for the end
of civilization that was never civil
as I stare at the changing screen
pictures that change every minute
three boys wrestling
in bright red breechclouts
at some rendezvous of trappers
their parents probably
What do you think Joni
of my tie-dyed loincloth
Yeah nobody cares
as she says “I'll be thinking of you.”
Oh sure babe
She's in her 70s
I'm in my 60s.
“Will you still love me
when I get back to town?”
I'm too young for you sweets
and if I'm looking at guys
in their malos
on some Pacific isle
then you might not be
the right person to cuddle with
“I've got the blues inside...”
Sorry, I know you had your heart set
on me as your man
We both sigh
me in my lonely Iowa
and you in your British Columbia
singing to an old nobody
writing some words
on a glowing screen
ready to get another cup
of Folgers
the only coffee I can afford
and you probably
with those beans
shit from the ass
of some odd cat
expensive beans
ground by natives
with their carved-rock
mortars and pestles
sitting in their loincloths
or is that poi

It doesn't matter any more
I don't know what's going on
as you travel
spilling your words
in ones and zeros
from my computer's CD player
hissing at summer lawns
please my dear
be nice
at least I'm wearing something
and you're jumping
out of my speakers
as naked a poet
as there ever was
while we're kissing in cafes
kissing on main street
rollin' rollin' rock and rollin'

 Barry G. Wick

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Poem of Summer 2018

Call me Sebastian
It's a honest name for me
since grandfathers
back in time had that name

Tennessee Williams wrote the play
the movie
Suddenly Last Summer”
identifying the dead Sebastian Venable
as the major character
we see without his face
late in the movie
He has no face
yet we know he likes boys
and he's getting older
he's getting older
a bad sign for gay men

Cousin Catherine
now replaces mother Violet
for Sebastian
in his travels
to procure for him

To Mrs. Venable
is the be-all end-all stylish poet
His last trip to Cabeza de Lobo
with Catherine
he gets eaten by crowds
of boys driving him to the top
of the highest hill in town
It's a fag-bashing sure enough

There I was sitting in the back
of a Pontiac station wagon
at the Pines Drive-in
at a young age
with only my mother
in the front seat avoiding
my father for the night
to see this movie
and I stared
at the tight swim suits
on the beach boys
as Elizabeth Taylor
recounted her character
Catherine's terrors
the summer she escorted
Sebastian on his travels
in place of his mother Violet
Catherine suffers
post-traumatic stress disorder
as a result of what happened
to Sebastian
and says horrible things
Violet wants cut out of her mind

Sebastian didn't write
his poem of summer
according to his mother Violet
because Catherine
could not give him what he needed
lots of hot boys to stimulate him
they way he needed stimulation
Violet Venable wants
a lobotomy for Catherine
because she tells the truth
Violet lost her ability to attract
so she blames Catherine
for no Poem of Summer
to have been written by
Sebastian who writes
one poem a year
in summer

My mother was my Violet
dragging me around town
to the dress shops
the fabric stores
the shoe stores
her dress maker's
chin wags with her friends
baby sitters ad infinitum
the local television station
to the piano teacher
and put tears in my eyes
demanding I practice
refusing my desire to play baseball
putting me on every stage
and local television show
to play

I hid in the trees
to hide from you Violet
Any self expression
on my part
any outburst at school
was met with shame
shame shame shame
I treated girls
with great courtesy
polite courtesy
mustn't touch them
must treat them as untouchables
like your all-powerful mother
who trained you
from the age of four
to be a slave
to her desires
to eventually write the poems
that were never written

Get me a lobotomy mother
to take away all these memories
of not knowing who I was
of not knowing what I wanted
of only knowing what you wanted
of growing old now
an old queer
with no one who loves me
who kisses me on every occasion
I turned everybody away
who loved me
because I was suppose
to love only you mother

I'm far away in my own
Cabeza De Lobo

Here endeth my Poem of Summer
now let the boys eat me
Here's a bottle of hot sauce
and a tub of potato salad

Barry G. Wick
May-June 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Leafless and Loving

Let us remember
that each sex
has skirmished
or warred
against the image
of each other's bodies

Men owned magazines
ad agencies and more
that presented an image
of women
that wasn't the reality of them
The image of “bullied” women
was always created by men
who were governed by doctrines
founded in other nations
by men who subjugated
their partners
writing rules
that all men should follow
rules that have followed men
to the new world that now
looks strangely old and outdated

Women also decided
that men could not be men
proud of their bodies
as they are
much as they opposed
native American men
from wearing only loincloths
into western towns
without first wearing
red long john underwear
red supposedly being
the color of their skin
Men have been “cowed”
into passing laws
against themselves

Every image
of Adam and Eve
is a lie
since leaves obscure
of what each
is most proud
and never at liberty
to reveal

We can vote
but we can't be equal
(just let that sink in)

These are just a few
elements of the war
between the sexes
By denying the other sex
permission to be themselves
each loses their hegemony
in an endless and useless war

Each sex has become
a forest of frosted branches
trees without the leaves
of a following spring
covered in sack cloth
and the ashes of war
Ashes from the leaves
hastily grabbed
to cover the “embarrassment”
of having eaten an apple
told by an obviously male god
to be poisonous
to the good order
of “his” garden

The sackcloth now comes
in bolts from China
India and Indonesia
but that's a different poem

But it does bring us to
the topic of clothing
which is why god
made winter
to rob Adam and Eve
of leaves
so they'd have to get
their clothing
from the Salvation Army
Goodwill Industries
St. Vincent d ePaul
and Filene's Basement
giving rise to the argument
between them
that Adam could
cover himself
with any old rag
but that Eve
had to wait
for the fall fashions
It only made sense
to her
but she ended up
Yves Saint Laurent
since his first name
sounded like hers
despite her inability
to read the tag
tags she saved
to put in her own
hand-made clothing
so her friends
would be wowed
Her clothing was limited
due to the restrictions
Adam placed on her
household budget
From that stems
all the anti-women crap
that men put out there
The truth is that Adam
got tired of weaving cotton
and cleaning sheep's wool
and good-lord
have you ever tired to
coral silk worms
He appealed to god
to help him with the worms
to which exclaimed
'For that kiddo
you'll need leaves
and I'd like you two
to suffer for a couple
of cold winters
No dice'

Adam didn't understand
the dice reference
so Adam invented them
and god got good and pissed
at all the gambling
going on the garden
which was the real reason
he expelled them from the garden
Seven come Eleven
just didn't sound
like a good beginning
for a prayer

Barry G. Wick


My Grandmothers Ella and Florence
were born
when women did not have the vote
or much of a say in anything
until they were grown
with families of their own
Men decided
pretty much
just as men now
when women want sex
when women need health care
when it's time for dinner
who should visit
how to iron a man's shirts
the why of anything

The nation is still ruled
by books brought
from old countries
that say women
belong to men

This is a new nation
not the old world
yet men are raised
to treat equal citizens
who now have the vote
like dogs and cattle

Get out the whip Maude
it's time for your punishment

How many votes must be taken
before women finally control
the nation
if only for two or four years
enough time for men
to think about real equality

Here now
a time when an autocratic man
who treats women badly
is elected by many women

Come back my Grandmothers
to teach this world again
how men and women should be
in a new nation
conceived in liberty
marching in the streets
for equal rights
and other important stuff
like that there

Barry G. Wick
April-June 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

The American Acolyte

Each person elected
to office
has chosen to preach
the best of this nation
whether they do so
or not
They are democracy's priests
The political activist
even just a common voter
assisting each leader
to provide
the spiritual growth
to advance
the causes of the people
love hope charity
sharing sympathy and empathy
success and failure
for those two potential outcomes
of life
are brothers
even as many familial brothers
cannot conceive of helping each other
physically or emotionally
Those elected
must recognize their need
to communicate
with even the lowliest element
in their area of influence
for each
high and low
to each other
are acolytes

Barry G. Wick

Monday, May 21, 2018


I keep thinking
that someone I'd like to see
will knock on my door
or that someone
I've recently met
will call me on the phone
It doesn't happen
I now know what
old people
have always lived through
the lonely years
after a partner dies
or whatever life dishes out
to anybody
So I will talk with no one
We shall have a fine talk
about whatever
Whatever is a big topic
these days
I hear people dismiss
each other
with that word
Maybe that's what I feel
some days
and then I think
of the friends
and readers I do have
goes far down the list
of topics
I become grateful
for the conservation
for the little time I do have
with friends and family
then I don't feel
missed or otherwise

Barry G. Wick
May 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

All The Beautiful

All the Beautiful
to ya Buddy
whatever year this is
Symphonies tapestries clothing
sculptures and laced covered buildings
gold-leafed alters
with marble tombs of the famous
paintings of fawns and faeries
landscapes of flowers
ships with bare chested ladies
leading their sailors to discovery
and Shakespeare's drifting and lifting
Words weren't created
by people who stared
into glowing screens
of television
or cell phones
Beethoven never wore
earbuds blowing out
his eardrums
no sirree

Today I listened
to Schubert's 1st Symphony
he wrote when he was fifteen
I'll post this for you
so you can read this
on a glowing screen
because I doubt that
it'd have any meaning
for you if I didn't
Then your mind
will throw it away
like so much plastic
to end up in an ocean
of ones and zeros
only to be eliminated
by an electric pulse
or wayward solar flare
that switches off
everything we think great
so we can go back to
creating beauty for the world
for awhile
that lasts as long
as the pyramids
or The Parthenon
or a diadem of gold
that graced the head
of a Queen
or Miss Destiny in drag
and her new hustler boyfriend
Zack with all the muscles
who won't be remembered
except by the long-dead guys
he did the nasty with
for a quick thrill
five minutes after
he left the sex stall
of some future Pompeii
destroyed by something
they'll dig out in twenty thousand
and nineteen
and nineteen
and nineteen
when the screens
get reinvented
the books will fall apart
Michelangelo Squirtboy
can't get
The Holy Holy Miss Molly
to give him the money
for the ceiling he painted
in the
Crutch of Arnold the Divine
the word church long forgotten
proving once again
what religion was
and always will be
a group of old drag queens
welshers and chiselers really
who won't pay
what art is worth
The stained-glass windows
briefly flicker
with an audible “Oh no!”
heard throughout the pews
Spirituality rekindled
at midnight en masse solipsism
God can't be seen
if the screens flicker

Siddhartha has his one mouthful
of rice with pine nuts and onion
with an infantile Cabernet
He takes off his necklace
of clay beads
spattered with reds and yellows
then hands them to me
I have nothing to give back
putting down my pen
to start crying
with my head bowed
looking at
the orange breechcloth
up around my fat stomach
I pull on the threads
coming undone on the front
that hangs down mid-thigh
I'm thinking of gratitude
and Squirtboy's plastic bottles
of hand-ground oil paints
squeezed at the ceiling
with extra drops
falling into his eyes
A couple of bitches sing
something amazing
from the Marriage of Mozart
It only lasted 16 seconds
All that remains
this far in the future
That was that.”
says the announcer
Hey, we found 27 seconds
of someone else singing something
on a broken hard drive,”
he says with amazement
Nothing but the greats
on this station

You plead with me
to let you go
I'm getting tedious
you think
Preserve your memories,”
I say
They're all that's left blank.”
I may have the quote wrong
but it doesn't matter
I tried
Remember this was free
did you think
my space in your head
was worth anything
Me neither
Switch it off
and read a book
printed on special paper
signed and numbered by the author
while it lasts

Barry G. Wick, May 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The True Path

This advice to babies
just out of the birth canal
start breathing
then ask the following questions
What the hell is this
Who the hell are you
Why am I screwing around here
How do I get through
this ridiculous thing called life
When will you
listen to me through this crying
(since all crying is an urge to listen
to the person crying)

The parent now says
just listen and learn
changes the dirty diaper
feeds the baby
helps them walk
gives them clothes
Generally after that
they're on their own

Then the parent
quits listening
quits asking questions
dirties a diaper
needs to be fed
stops walking
and cries from loneliness
until the urge to stop breathing
to go away from it all
overcomes everything

Barry G. Wick

Monday, May 14, 2018

American Murder

This is set to music
Maurice Ravel's Bolero
At the first of the music
he buys his hopped-up
semi-automatic rifle
made to hold magazines
containing up to 30 bullets
each neatly on top
of a brass shell
containing a fast-burning powder
ready to be lit by a primer
in the base
when the firing pin is released
by the trigger

He carries six magazines
in his vest
with one magazine in the gun
He has over two hundred bullets
ready to be fired
in the direction
of his sworn enemies
which are his family
his friends
his neighbors
doctors and nurses
school children

There is no thought in his action
unlike the saxophone player
and the trumpets
that slowly build their anger
at the composer
who is making them
repeat the melody
over and over
The violins are plenty miffed
They fire their notes
softer than the timpani
but still in Ravel's direction

Our hero steps
from the door of his rusty pickup
carrying his weapon
at the entrance of the mall
Some shoppers see this
and start screaming
as his finger plays it's melody
on the trigger
sounding strangely
like snare drums
with their raspy thump
The music swells
as people fall
with each report

First its an old lady
with her grandson
then the grandson
Behind him is a baby
in a stroller
with its parents
who fall screaming
He turns to see a store clerk
behind a counter
adjust the earrings
on a display
Down she goes
shot in the chest

He advances further
past stores filled
with the world's merchandise
ready to fill the pockets
of the poor and wealthy alike
with monetary bounty
People scatter before him
trying like ducks
to fly from a pond
spooked by the sound of a gun
It's open season on Americans

Soon the tally grows
to ten or fifteen
he's lost count
in his murderous fun
Now he's in the main hall
filled with shoppers
on this Saturday
Many look in the direction
of this explosive noise
wondering what it might be
Then seeing the flashes
with widening eyes
Their day on earth is ending
Their stories streak
across the mall floor
in red rivers

He is in a crescendo
building the inevitable
pile of victims
that has become a regular
fixture of freedom
There is no stopping
his switch from an empty
to a full magazine of death
All the musicians are falling
having spent themselves silly
in an orgiastic economy
falling one by one
fueled by oil
fueled by gas
fueled by explosions
fueled by printed paper
fueled by greed
fueled by need
fueled by the seeds of hate
fueled by the deeds of fate
fueled by the reaching
fueled by the teaching
fueled by the sinister
fueled by the minister
fueled by wild hunger
fueled by this violent thunder

The tally flashes on his screen
for less than a second
twenty-six dead and thirty-one
wounded and crying
A mall guard steps from a store
behind him
to put a bullet in his brain

America is saved
America the brave
America secured
America inured

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Required Response

When is this going to change
my love
I've been waiting for you
in my dreams
in my waking hours
when I'm involved with minutia
I've asked others
to look for you
though neither of us
knows what you look like

I've tried over and over
to find you
and every time
others have put themselves
between us
Sometimes I've been too critical
perhaps pushing you away
or being cruel
That's a specialty of mine
I know that others
have not approved of your kind
or my kind
giving me a reason
to let you go
knowing full well
I'd have to look for you again

Looking through music and art
and books I've read
you're not there
I've scanned thousands of photos
hoping to see you
but the ones I see are out of reach
for a man my age
for a man my size
for a man of my qualities
for a man who is deperate
for a man
with whom to be
throughout my day

This message is being sent to you
in the only way I now know
My door is open
to greet you
who has
the required response

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Dear Mother 2018

Four and half years ago
I was with you
when you left
a hole in my heart
one of many you gave me
over the years

Your dreams for me
were never fully realized
In your zeal to produce
a pianist
you never saw
who you forgot to see
My college professors
found the stiffness
of my playing
was the resistance I created
to your forceful desires
Music should be a joy
discovered by a child
without tears and fear
Obedience and the need to please
were created
rather than the wild abandon
of a wondrous melody

The desire to create
was never connected
to me
It was on a chain
through your shoving
me to the piano
plus your insistence
I play for everyone
to pet your ego

It is my later years
I truly discover
the joy of music
Now I hear

Still I am grateful
to push aside all bitterness
to find my soul
can dance
despite my octopus knees

As Mother's Day
approaches in my 66th year
your better qualities
are remembered
so that I can miss you
so that I can forget
that you forgot who I was
always and
in your last ten years
when I cared for you
when I kept you
in your own home
to see
the changing seasons
along the creek
in the black mountain hills
of Dakota

Barry G. Wick

Poem of Night to Day

The night rain
sparkled on the screen
Tornado siren memory
from the early evening
kept me awake
until the peace of night
returned me to sleep

Morning brought
the popping of leaves
across the barrier of trees
that had allowed the moon
to procure my gaze

Summer has arrived early
with winter's abrupt end
“Tapiola” by Sibelius
with its storms and resolution
brings the lush green
of this new season
into a tepid focus

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cruel Memory

The past in all its permutations
The loss of word
Friends who should have been kept
Friends who were tossed away
Temporary loves
Long term loves
The never loved and wanted to love
The punches of regret
Things wanted to be forgotten return
Things wanted to be remembered disappear
Ripples of time that change memories
once truth become lies
then lies become truth
Cruel memory is a criminal
that murders what we think
and destroys what we are
from then on

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Here is the myth
that doesn't believe in me
There are magic legends
that surround it in amazing colors
It is sometimes a feeble blue
on the edge of purple
I'm not orange enough
for it to accept my myths
that cling to my hands and feet
They clash like demons
at the edge of my driveway
that send a shower of sparks
alternating numbers from one to five
I keep repeating the legends
but never get to see the myth itself
I want it to be red
but that's me
I dance in my breech cloth
that is patterned
in orange and yellow
Jealous natives who dance
in their ghost suits
pat me on the shoulder
in expectation of some new legends
that create a different set of numbers
This is the essence of the myth
It can't accept me yet
This is what shames me

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Haiku of Thanks, for all who donate

Two friends gave money
at this time of silent need
Rainbow Washingtons

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mouse Style

There are mice within my walls somewhere
wearing little white underwear
I've seen them scamper across a room
I laugh so hard it breaks the gloom
It is a wonder why they chose
this simple color of underclothes
I know they hear me when I tell
that other colors the stores will sell
When summer comes and heat discomforts
I'm at the pool in my red shorts
Certainly they follow my lead
to cool down quickly when they need
Red is the color I now suppose
mice swim in skimpy Speedos

Barry G. Wick 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018


It snowed Saturday
A bewildered robin sits
where orphan grass slumps

Barry G. Wick
March 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018


In my dreams of starless nights
I leave my vacant studio
through anechoic rock hallways
to walk shadowed incomplete streets
that sift their compressed sand
of my hometown with tool-scarred homes
outside to never enter unfinished doors
chiseled signs of nameless business
then turning roughened corners
onto melt-water sidewalks into unrevealed bars
with tasteless alcohol
No Moses in these stones

No matter how much I wish
that place to go away I'm there
in black-mooned dream
this smoked bacheloric memory
No familiar address no home comfort
no place to reshape my dull tools
There the jagged remains
littering the pyrimidine base
of granite mountains buildings and people
carved by my hand each night as I seek
something familiar friendly or loved
upon this faceless Rushmore world

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Foot Voodoo

Herr Doctor
surveys these pink balloons
at the end of my soiled legs
holding oceans
He asks about pills
to make the stream flow
Not from the witch I say
whose hut is
on the same floor
Her magic has not conjured
that option as she dances
around the fire typing
I reveal my failure
since my last visit
to heed his mojo
to couple his ointments
with my lower digits
only twice in seven days
“I'll take it” he grunts
through his oval mask
“Something is better than nothing”
He shakes his rattles
as he clips away the evil
“Four months”
He turns away
in a cloud of sparks and smoke
His footsteps sound strangely
as if the toes of a leper
were falling
into peaceful water

Barry G. Wick

Reading Another Writer's Poem

The words are a jungle to me
To talk to me in my time
leaves and vines must be
hacked away to get to
the writer's hooch
many stanzas from here

There is a thick bark
of experience surrounding
dripping green emotions
Sunlit images rattle around
inside my head
monkeys in the trees

Suddenly the writer appears
ahead on a well-used path
in a golden loincloth
Visible tan lines show
what the sun sees
I am lost in the depth of them

Here I jump from the page
into the clutter of simplicity
Beethoven's page turner
licks fingers for an empty page
I no longer hear the howlers
only Ludwig's memory

I need to read silently
without background radio
This distraction cost me
the possibility of the writer
seeing my arousal then dress me
in his own mystical garment

Barry G. Wick
March 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Sacred Discovery

A small range of hills
runs through the center
of my hometown
the town where I grew
the hill where I played
the hill was my yard
There was no family right next door
they lived down the hill
and I could hit the roof
of Mrs. Bradski's house
with a rock
I just threw rocks
I soon learned
that throwing rocks
can be more physically painful
than throwing words
It was a lesson
I learned from my brother
The scar is beneath
my right eyebrow

The sand rock
at the top of the hill
is named Hangman's Rock
since the hill is Hangman's Hill
next to Dinosaur Hill
where great cement dinosaurs
sit created in the 1930s
From the top
I could see both sides
of my town
and the roads
that ran through the gap
in the hills
between the two halves

Around me sat the ghosts
of so many who came
before me
to the top of this rock
to sit and gain wisdom
from seeing the prairie
to the east
and the Black Hills
to the west
I was not alone
as I felt
or feel even this day

After school
Mother made me practice
the piano
performing her dream
that I did not choose
instead of baseball
or sitting in silence
Jiddu Krishnamurti says thought
creates gODD
and silence of thought
creates the sacred
Very little was sacred in my life

I learned to please others
and never please myself
except with food
or the vacancy of approval

Hangman's Rock
was once the bottom of a sea
or the shore of that sea
a great sand rock outcropping
certainly older than the cement dinosaurs
that pretended to show history

Sitting on the top of Hangman's Rock
was my connection to history
my connection to the sacred
I won't fully understand
until the moment of my death
when I join the small animals
body upon body
that created the compressed sand

Hangman's Rock
is privately owned
a fence now blocking access
just as so many block access
to Krishnamurti's sacred silence

I give every lonely boy
who became a lonely man
the top of Hangman's Rock
in my last will
because it will be mine
until my last day

Barry G. Wick
February/March 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upon Re-hearing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles

It was 20 years ago today
or more
since I heard
this music
My 66 years old ears
surprised how positive
and hopeful
this sounds.
Sparked by the Viet Nam war years
new recording techniques
a budding culture of self-awareness
wrought by drugs and meditation
Hindu Buddhist Christian
all religions and practices
this diamond joins
Jimi and the Airplane in my heavens

It was a time when youth
sat and listened to music and poetry
instead of dancing
to everything with a good beat
Music was splitting the world
cleaving it into facets
different diamonds for different people

there seems to be nothing positive
that sounds across the world
as bright as this was then
War and the murder of children
drains art into salt shakers
that season this bitter soup
while we wrinkled magicians
search out old rabbits
to revive our crushed top hats
Our moth-eaten capes
stuffed into the holes
where the tears get in
that keeps our minds wondering
where we are all going
without you
without everyone
the strings cut to our kites
that once anchored us
to the sky
now filled with
too many loose diamonds
a cacophony that strangely
appears in a final chord
that never ends
that never ends
that never ends

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dinner at 80

Barking thunder
from the dogs of heaven.
There is no help
behind the fence.
Don't stop,
it only upsets them.
Don't go in.
Pretend they're nice doggies.

It's the ability
to lie
that makes some
want to go in.

Whispering to the owner
won't help any.
Yelling, too.
The owner has these dogs
for a reason.
Their barking covers up
all the begging and pleading
believers manage to do
since they started walking
by the gate.,
It's the way
the owner wants it.
Glance, but never stare.

There is an invitation
though hard to get
when the owner
steps out to shop
only to run into someone
next to the frozen peas.

True applicants to heaven
have to be clever
about the package
or something they see
gODD is wearing.
If they only get a smile
it's failure.
Next time:
wait near the Jell-o,
gODD always needs Jell-o.
After all,
how many Jell-o salads
does one see at a large gathering
of religious ladies
from the circles?

Better still,
sit near the toys for dogs,
wear an unusual hat,
a cat skin,
and let a parrot
perch on your shoulder.
Let gODD start
the conversation.
It may be as simple as
“What do you think
of spaghetti
with your dog food?

Now we know
why religious Republicans
want the old
to eat what their government
serves them.
If you are old
and smell delicious to a dog,
the old won't get
to the front door
of heaven.

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Several months of recording
my favorite radio
for the time of no internet.

Poems of life and death?
Poems of radio!
My friends and companion
with music,
classical and jazz,
as I write or read
to Mozart or Horace Silver.
Their emotions
of time and place
counterpoint to this moment.
Their genius in quavers,
passions in piano and forté.

There may be many
whose ears are stone,
but they weep for me,
who cannot fully see
minute expressions
in a person's face,
who has failed
to find someone closer
than a steel tower,
electrified and pulsating,
the waves undraping themselves
inside magic boxes,
pouring their nakedness
into my life
through boxy mouths:
their magnetic teeth
sculpting Beethoven's brain
beside that of Bill Evans.

From these vibrations
I am pounded
as if I were a piece of hot iron
that began in distant childhood
lying on a sofa
in the dark of night:
a lonely little boy
out of contact
with any babysitter,
with any parent,
neither interested
as I connected
with the Lone Ranger
or Sergeant Preston
and his dog, Yukon King.
I saw them all
in my imagination
that relays
these images to you,
my companions in the radio,
surrounding my body
with their love
no person has duplicated
in my presence.

So now,
you know the truth
why I can't connect
to anyone
why I'm unable to see the nuances
in the crevices of a face
in the creases beside the eyes.
It all passes through
my imagination
created years ago
in the living room
of a new house
in the 1950s
on a light, gray-green sofa,
that imagination of a world
no more real
than the fantasies
I lay before you now,
an emptiness,
a canyon with no walls,
a tundra with no snow,
characters both good and evil,
dog sleds and silver bullets,
word vibrating
through the memory
of a little boy
who never got up from the couch,
who stiffened with every gun shot,
who heard the wind
and the blowing snow,
the barking dogs,
horses hooves on the prairie,
and the crackling of a warm fire
that was never there
except as cellophane
in a sound man's fingers.

Nothing around me seems real;
it's all just radio
that I turn on and off.
Volume up.
Volume down.
Join us again next time
as boots break the ice
or stab a stirrup
and we're sent through
time and space
in waves of energy
pulsing through walls,
through bone,
through the intangible,
the unending
billows of a sofa

Barry G. Wick

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Arrogant Young Men

I see you in the picture
certainly proud
you do look amazing
for your age
better than I ever looked

Then you note
your dislike
for creepy old men
Well that's me
and I arrived here honestly

It's easy to get here
Parents die and divorce
wrinkles and accidents
arthritis in those
well-exercised joints

Enjoy sunning yourself
on that gorgeous beach
then despite all your preventives
I'll watch your nose
lopped off

Barry G. Wick

Monday, January 15, 2018

This Winters Day for The Magic of Love--(Manuel de Falla “El Amor Brujo”)

Some tardy leaves swirl
across the top
of a thin snow
Knuckles of the apple tree
can be seen wishing
a warm palm
would be welcoming
A small clutch of sparrows
circles concrete
under a roof
more protective
of a black car
than their anxious circus

Is there some kind of seed
upon this barren shelf
of an open air freezer
It's hard to tell
as some move in and out
under a sculpted evergreen
or in search of something
beneath the apple
though these singular hoppers
refuse to stay
where there is nothing
Though there is no sun
it seems too bright too cold
to leave the curtain open

Manual de Falla
wrote this music
for the warmth of Andalusia
We could use a Ritual Fire Dance
today in Iowa.
We wonder which of these birds
are in the passionate flame
behind this libretto
a Scarlet Tanager
which doesn't seem to belong here
at this time of year
arcs by the neighbor's storage shed
This is the misplaced fire of winter
that dodges snowflakes
as easily as the magic of love
slips between the notes of music

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Simple Plan

A bag of garbage in the hall
sat there demanding
in charge of all it blocked
ego-inflated plastic
the used and useless
in haughty perfection

The hand extended
plucks this maniac
from its perch
as the door opens
to reveal its partner
the snow and sleet-covered porch

The conspirators of spoiled odor
once again deny extraction
to this hallway commander
its access to a bin of waste
as fear of slipping foot
foils a simple plan

Barry G. Wick