Thank you to those who support me via my Paypal account: The government doesn't read my poetry. You do. Out of over 400 poems here on this blog by me, I hope you find one or more you like. Thank you for my readers. Thank you for your comments.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars

From the depth of the speckled sky
travelers arc through their lonely plans
The tumble becomes a lifetime
of senselessness in the dark
Nearer the glow of distant heat
they shed their insensitive skins
Their cells leave a trail of identity
some would classify as dust
The children of this body
ready themselves for their day
when they are seen in glory
crossing a sky giving vision
to a being who understands
the motherhood of gravity

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

After Receiving A Robocall in Chinese

After Receiving A Robocall in Chinese

(Possible translation)

American imperialist dog
we call you today
to thank you for
answering our call
We know you don't speak
our Chinese dialect
which means
you don't understand
a word we are saying
We could say we want
your eyeballs
to make our
five spice powder
We could say
we're ready to put
MSG on your privates
We could use your doctors
in forced labor
to make shoes
We offer our prisoner's
kidneys lungs and hearts
to replace your failed organs
Our waiters will treat
you like dirt
while you eat noodles made
of sawdust and ground dogs
Trip over the curb
because you stupid Americans
walk with your cell phone
in hand
listening to this call
and watching porn
buy five Uighurs or Kazakhs
for the amazing low price
of just nine ninety-five plus tax
Shipping not included.
Have a nice day

Barry G. Wick

Monday, December 17, 2018

A Vision

A Vision

I walk along the river
Sun sparks light up the surface
My friend will meet me here
His long black hair sways
with his stride of purpose
He has brought his sitar
Soon a woman with a tambura
and a young athletic man
with his tabla and rough fingers
A small tree hangs over the river
swaying in a gentle trill of air
This is where I am four days
Each day they show up to play
I forget to eat
I forget to drink
Finally my mouth dries
and my stomach is a burning match
Someone brings milk
Here is rice and vegetables
How do I repay this vision
How do I seal it to what is reason
These minutes beg my attention
as I cool my feet in imagined water
and the love of this universe

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Late Hours

Late hours

This head hangs low
as its eyes stare at the trunks
of  leg
All this rests on them
Later in the darkness of hours
they will pull this body
from bed with its sheets
creased into green on green
folds that mark this back
and the legs
Then to seek sips of water
to cool a mouth dried by breath
hotter than air that surrounds
a body uncovered by blankets
that lay pushed to the edges
kicked by dreams
of forests and holes so deep
they are unguarded
in the curves of roads
that scale the mountains
or jump to an apartment
looted by strangers
that wakes the sleeper
with screams of loss

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Fullness of Each Day

The Fullness of Each Day

Through trees
and on roads
up and down the hills
I walk in a dream
where I am always alone
There is no low whistle
of the wind in pines
no deer runs ahead
no stare of coyotes
at a distance
Once appeared
a lake I did not enter
a name I thought
from years behind me
Strangers stay away now
as I seem a wave to them
and they to me
Empty of bird song
and chirp of chipmunk
I go on through
but to where
I arrive at a day
when my eyes open
upon an everyday
also vacant until
I turn on the radio
that fills the room
with voices and problems
of the world
Hearing a phrase
I'll yell for no one to hear
my approbation or scorn
which seems to be
my acknowledgment of life
wakefulness away from sleep
I can not go to that forest
to that lake or road
even if they were just outside
waiting for my feet
without the cage I use
to tame this unsteady animal
So now I know
why I moved hundreds of miles
away from the place I dream
where I might drink away
my sorrows 
Here I am sad
engulfed in memory
at which I only yell
to push it aside
instead of drown it
As I rake the nails
of all my fingers
hearing violins
and staring at snow
though gauze curtains
each day becomes new
away from the old
where something must be done
to make my life
my life
the one I have
unencumbered by a past
where I tried to please
even a chipmunk
that I'd beg to like just me
when I wasn't sure
if the family of my birth

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Telling

The Telling

The sound of night
is traffic at a distance
with the rustle
of covers and breathing.
A radio is set
for the news
when the British
spread their world
before them.
The sleepless
who toss and turn
try to find
a space not as lonely
as it always is.
For some there are tears
of recognition
or resignation
to the end of life,
painted with colors
that dim at sundown.
Many touch their skin
to find comforts
no one else will give
to lips limited by age,
now bitten to stem
the rage of memory.
Then, kisses were plentiful
as the photons
of street and star light
that beamed through a gap
in the curtains.
The bed was warmed
by the bodies of two
whose lips touched
by accident and plan
in the center of heaven.

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, November 10, 2018

First Snow

First Snow

Snow from a dark sky
upon the leaves
as their colors rot
upon unraked grass

There's no exit
until the sun's melt
starts on the porch
salted and sanded

An old movie meets
a popcorn afternoon
when butter drips
from a gray beard

Even the vampires
want a handy toothpick
as gray hands reach
to stain this sofa red

Lines drawn upon carpet
stop approaching zombies
Popcorn ball brains will
form from the next batch

Barry G. Wick

Friday, November 2, 2018

Global Something

Global Something

Warm seas send
mackerel farther north
with the tuna that follow
Man grows corn
at the poles
on domed barges
Wars for survival
will end
in the deserts of Iowa
Survival will depend
on one man in a loincloth
another in swan's down
The tilt of the world
gyrates like a die
thrown only to spin
on a corner
never to settle
on a blank side
Cheer up
When it gets to then
you'll watch bees pollinate
ceramic flowers
in museums

Barry G. Wick

No Guilt: Bits and Bobs

No Guilt:  Bits and Bobs

“Too much of a good thing can be...wonderful.  Too much of a bad thing can be even better.”---modern proverb partially attributed to actress Mae West

There is no sun today
Dark clouds of all kinds
surround the measures of music
Mozart cries
dreaming of someone
named Lenny

One man drinks
another eats too much
One man uses opiates
another doesn't exercise
One man throws salt
another slips and falls
One man reads a book
another writes it later

Friendships begin
then end quicker
than the time it takes
to burn toast
There is a taste
of black crumbs
deeper than spitting lips

Words typed as
ones and zeros
will sit in electric vaults
chipped by the cosmic rays
of Michelangelo
in search of any David

Aliens searching
a crisp earth
will find one thumb drive
filled with poetry
that will take
a thousand centuries
to decipher

e e cummings
will represent earth

Barry G. Wick

Monday, October 29, 2018

Wee Hours

Wee Hours

There is no sleep
when an old brain wakes
There is no dream
when the dark night breaks

Each sound spins up
when the ear grasps creaks
Each mouse ear jumps
when a wide yawn peaks

No drink will calm
when poured in a glass
No marks are made
when a scratch meets ass

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, October 27, 2018

We Bring You This Message

We Bring You This Message

The wind enjoys its command
as it is slowed by the mills
just long enough to be seen
like a bird on the sill
the small dance of fluffed feathers

We belong to the sky
as we parade on the ground
our floats gather no attention
as children creep to doors
costumed in hopeful colors

Trumpet jazz centers
a singer between the eyes
clarinet fingers
More fires blaze with smoke
a saxophone army at war

There a piston jumps
the snap of walnut seeds
Under a bridge of bones
wrinkled mayors hang
nominations cease

What are the conclusions
of a grape with no leaves
Jackalopes storm the walls
in a season full of bricks
volatile napkins cover dolls

Barry G. Wick

Monday, October 15, 2018

The Morning Sun

The Morning Sun

The morning sun peeks
above the  trees in fall colors
lower to the south

Winter chills begin
with its rude expenditures
of relentless frost

Radio talkers
moan with hidden emotion
in leaf-dry voices

Outside travels slow
with thoughtful preparation
mindful dark lengthens

Warmer socks come out
coats from the back of closets
they puff up with pride

Mice rustle at night
in search of hard won meals
evil traps readied

Stores sell snow shovels
ready new holiday lights
covered shoulders shrug 

This change demands dreams
there is a summer ahead
beyond winter's chill

Don't count these photons
useless larger numbers fly
their wings clipped at dusk 

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Gray Leaves

Gray Leaves

My black plastic brush
with black plastic tines
topped by purple beads
needs the hair cleaned
from the puffed surface

I use a handy scissors
to lift the hair
above where it's rested
for weeks until today
as I stare out the window

October is outside
with a cool temperature
Rain has knocked leaves
to the lawn of green spears
that becomes mostly yellow

Hair now sits above
the brush as I clean it
It's a tangle of gray
that belongs to this month
as these two befriend the fall

Barry G. Wick

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Shopping List

The Shopping List--(not necessarily in order of importance)

Peace on earth
The Beatles come to visit
a book publisher
a better attitude
towards small poetry journals
a new paradigm
a couple of artificial knees
without all the pain
a friend who comes to visit
more money than I know
what to do with, and not
THAT much
a sunny day
a real house with a fenced back yard
for a small dog
politicians who are nice to each other
who think of the people they
represent and not the next election
motivation to tie-dye
an Indian classical music trio come to visit
for a private concert with friends
who would like it
patience with myself
time with my children and grandchildren
            and being important to them
to so something nice for distant friends
            who have been generous with me
a gathering of deeply-missed relations
            who are no long with us
a life of regret-less memories
            without mistakes and bad decisions
a concert grand piano
a giant theater organ and building to hold it
better dreams
a lack of desire for things
appreciation and gratitude for what I have
             for where I am and what I do
a much smaller shopping list
             filled with my deepest thoughts
a peaceful and pain free last day
             filled with laughter and people I love
no more lonely tears

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Iowa Rain

Iowa Rain

A million fingers tapping on my roof
I decide to shop for groceries
when there is a roar in the store
from the ceiling
with the rain at its heaviest
After checkout
I sit at a gray bench by the door
waiting for the drops to slow
I am patient
only to decide
I don't want to wait
for myself to stop being silly
ready to enjoy the dark puddles
shiny with rippling targets

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Black Cape of Fall

The Black Cape of Fall             

((remembering the good times with the devilish Bob Fraser and his beloved Bev))

The season has found a chair
at night in this room
It watches drowsily
as its air pours
through a four inch gap
on the double hung window
that normally keeps the summer
at bay with its argon-filled panes
Cool air that flows
along the ducts
has been ended
with a painful trip
down this walker-stuffed hall
to the thermostat
where electric savings
diminishes the summons
for payment that stings
a hot checkbook
with all the force
of the daubers
that circle the door

At last
he may sleep beneath blankets
to hide from the scratching
of fearful mice
who begin their assault
on this fortress
with all its snapping defenses
plus a healthy dose
from a Borgia's ring
upon something yummy
at a table of horror
for these mammalian munchers

As this villain perceives
the growth of a snore
he sets his black top hat
upon the night table
twists his mustache
one last time
before all his life-long dreams
of evicted old ladies
Pretty Polly tied to tracks
and a baby's stolen candy
begins to give a chill
that forecasts frozen rivers
where packs of red-eyed canines
with sharpened teeth
pull a sled to the next
victim of his happiness

Some unrefined pianist
embellishes each scene
on a badly tuned
upright of evil
This melodrama
proceeds beneath the eyelid of sheets
where no audience can afford
peanuts to throw


Barry G. Wick

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Silent Loaves

The Silent Loaves

It's an old movie
from the 1950s
Famous actors
in a farce
about the daughter
of a private detective
who uses her father's files
to find and fall in love
with an older rake

The daughter tells her father
“I love you.”
He says
“I love you more.”

Ever since I saw that film
I can only think of people
to whom I want to say
“I love you more.”
They are my children
and best friends
who still support me

I was mildly shocked
to have someone with whom
I chat regularly say
“I love you.”
I said nothing

I am still a child inside
and I don't recall my parents
ever saying they loved me
until late in their lives
My mother once said
her own mother was cold
Hard Norwegians
Germans and Scots
are my heritage

Emotion is often beat
out of people 
much as bread is kneaded
People become pliable
to the whims
of paymaster chefs
Bread pans form walls
that shape dough
People also get shaped
by hot walls of opinion
oppression and lack of opportunity
Many a poor chef forgets time
burning the bread

People get burned

I'm going to try
to say what I want to say
“I love you more.”
If I do
it's to thank you
for the love
you give so freely
It's my last soft crumb
inside a blackened crust
of a discarded silent loaf

Barry G. Wick

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Monarch

The Monarch

thou didst afix thy chrysalis
to mine abode
down Iowa way

Green it was
and like new mown grass
ahangin' there attached
beside my walk

Methinks the spring
will come
for me to see
what you will become

Since I am not
of the entomologist strain
I dare not speculate
your springtime...whoops
in only ten or so days
you emerged
changed for fall flight
to a Mexican forest
as a Monarch butterfly

Gather all your colorful friends
attach threads to your bodies
thence to our would-be “monarch”
to tug HIM south of the border
whereupon we SHALL
build the wall
to keep HIM out
whilst you continue
to fly o'er it
in spring
to bring lasting beauty
and peace
to a great-full nation

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Rubbing Up Against the Edges

Rubbing Up Against the Edges

this is raw
tension in the glass shards
surrounding this minute
light in glints from each
how can I beg this to stop
and still pretend
I live inside the rainbow
a rainstorm of tears
thunder inside my heart
lightning ends at my skin
never grounding
always pounding sound
across this razor prairie
where are you
where is your hammer
that will break me free
from the sharp corners
these are the judgments
that sift through memory
edged dust honed to perfection
wake up wake up wake up
this slicing dream
leaves tattered remnants
upon the second hand

Barry G. Wick

Friday, August 31, 2018

Pending Restart

Pending Restart

Now comes the end of life
distressing to some
fear of what's next
fear of nothing
fear of the dark
too many fears to handle

Believers don't have this problem
but so many aren't believers
Then come those
who believe in reincarnation
Buddhists and such
Now think of reincarnation
as a chance to get a new body
a new life
a new way of looking all of this

I prefer to think of reincarnation
as a black screen from the maker
with the words
Pending Restart
I'll stare at it until something happens
Perhaps it'll be something like
Don't turn off your life
We're downloading your update now
ten per cent
twenty per cent
forty-five per cent
one hundred per cent
Then all of a sudden
everything gets bright
as I'm pushed down
my new mother's vagina
or whatever will give me
a new life
Perhaps I'll just break out
of an egg or something like it
and if there's this giant
blue screen
I'm gonna scream

which will please the doctor no end

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Dear Mr. Vivaldi

Dear Mr. Vivaldi

There you are at your simple desk
putting notes of music
on expensive paper until it's full
I listen to your thoughts
with the drops of rain
hitting the window on this morning
I feel like dancing
to these percussive strings
playing melody
with gentle turns of the bow
the Concerto for Violin in G Major
I could never listen
to anything else
Never and for the rest of my life
You scratch your head
for just a second
as we both stare
waiting for the next measure
Both you and I know
you won't waste much time in thought
There's too much music
bouncing across you skull
enough for ten lifetimes
speeding through your pen
to paper to the score for the conductor
to the parts for the musicians
The river of ink flows
through the speakers in my livingroom
to my ears
none of it dripping
into my breakfast
I hate cleaning up
piles of misshapen notes of music
of modern musicians
I'm already looking forward
to out next meeting
I'll make a fresh pot
It's good to have the best company
come to visit
Tony Tony Tony
write eight bars of whole note rests
you deserve it

Barry G. Wick



memories of the past
dreams of impossible events
thoughts about today
none are real

former lovers
wanted lovers
and no lovers
always with and not

a breeze
a gale
the emotions
of living alone

Barry G. Wick

Friday, August 24, 2018

Mental Mush(perhaps next year)

Mental Mush(perhaps next year)

It's after breakfast at the hospital
where it's the annual visit
for the national research study
that occupies my life
every day and every three months

I've had my coffee
eggs and toast
orange juice

The nurse starts testing me
for mental cognition
At sixty-six the cogs
are a bit worn
even after coffee

I have a minute to give her
all the words I can name
with a set a rules of course
words that I'm not allowed to name
words that begin
with the letter “F”
A naturally nasty poet
like old numb nuts
ought to have a number
of such nouns
Did I say it was morning?
Two small cups is not enough
“Flagons” of coffee are necessary
to start the engine's “fires”
on the mental railway
that cogs up and down this “Fatterhorn”

I “fail”
a word I didn't mention

She's disappointed
and says a poet should do better
My muse doesn't work that way
I think to myself
Words must be chewed
often a hundred times
like a “faceful” of brown rice
for the macrobiotic crowd
And there are times I must stare
at my wrinkling hands
before putting my “fingers”
on the keyboard
another word I didn't list
plus some words I “fabricated”

Days later I wake in the night
boiling in “F” words
My muse is asleep
I'm wide awake
I try to think
if I have any dishes to wash
My bed becomes a “flatform”
which doesn't exist as a word
This is better than morning coffee
I think “fortuitously”

Next year the same thing
though I don't know what letter
she'll select for the test
I promise myself to read
every dictionary
in the next year

My muse just laughs
He says he'll “flash”
all the “fancy” words
I can “facilitate”
to “feel” my way
though the “fields”
of poetry
I “fawn” over his
“felicitous” humor
as I “fixate” on the next dream
“falling” to sleep
“full” of “phantoms”

Barry G. Wick

Monday, August 13, 2018



My weekly pillbox
reminds me of the music staff
In each box in the spaces
are the notes of music
prescribed by my doctors
I take them with “water music”
Most of them are whole notes
I only take one half note
splitting a pain pill
that gets me to the library
without my knees drumming
that makes me sing loudly
for all to hear
It sounds oddly like screaming
A modern music
as old as human suffering
I take my notes
with breakfast
at lunch and dinner
and at bedtime
The older one gets
the more others sing along
with this chorus
Drug companies do all the applauding

Barry G. Wick

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Gaols (Jails)

Gaols (Jails)

Being old
Having a walker
Being in a wheelchair
Being too fat or two thin
Always eating too much
or too little
Missing someone taken away or lost
Lying in bed
Connection to breathing machines
Living with someone you don't love
Living with someone who loves street drugs
Living with someone who loves alcohol
Living with someone who loves someone else
Living with someone who just loves sex
Living with someone too committed to work
Living with someone who only loves money
Living with someone who won't spend money
Living with someone who doesn't like play
Living with someone who only likes pornography
Living with someone who eats too much
Living with someone addicted to self-help groups
Wanting someone who doesn't want you
Wanting more than you will ever have
Living where there are bad neighbors
Living where there are no neighbors
Living in fear of arrest for no reason
Being harassed for just being the wrong color
in a different color neighborhood
Always feeling or being naked
Wanting shoes or simple clothes
Living with a dead-end job and life
Wanting love when you don't have friends
Wanting a friend when you have none
Living alone for years
Wanting to be touched and hugged
Living in a nation that hates you
Living in prison
Living with the memory of your dead family
Living with too much stuff
Having family that doesn't want you
Living in a loveless family
Being blind and not coping
Being deaf and not coping
Neurological and stroke effects
Living without electricity
Living with electricity that costs too much
Always needing water
Floods and fires
these and many more “gaols' (jails)
that citizens of this planet find themselves in
being on a planet
so far away from other life-producing planets
that we'll never know
in our lifetimes
or potentially the lifetimes
of our descendants
the jails other beings live in and upon
their planets

The universe creates, captures and destroys
everything in it
the universe is in its own gaol (jail)
unable to get away from itself
and its obsessions
which means
the creator
is in great need
of psychological counseling
eons of it

Barry G. Wick

Monday, August 6, 2018


I'm crazy
not raving crazy
not violent crazy
not silent crazy
not wide-eyed crazy
not washing-my-hands crazy
not constantly-itching crazy
not naked-and-running crazy
not obsessed-with-another-person crazy
not obsessed-with-hate-or-love crazy
not chew-my-nails or pick-my-nose crazy
not praying-to-gODD or church crazy
not telling-others-how-to-live crazy
not drama-involved-and-excessive-emotion crazy
I'm crazy with crazy
I'm opened-eyes-seeing-the-world crazy
I'm aware crazy
I'm not-aware crazy
I see-too-much-and-not-enough crazy
I read about crazies and people who think they aren't
Many people think I'm crazy
They're always wrong twice a day

If I were to tell you I was crazy
I would not be
If I were to tell you I wasn't crazy
I'd be lying

Now you understand the problem
and I'm completely wrong
in that assumption
and that just drives me crazy

I insert a (((sigh))) here
because it's a kind of intake
and exhale of air
that brings clarity to everything that's confusing

honestly, I'm really fond of skin
especially my own
entirely my own
which is probably why

Barry G. Wick

Friday, August 3, 2018

Song of the Chicken Canner

Song of the Chicken Canner

Pressure won't you grow
Treasure won't you glow
It's been two long hours
and I'm just about done
Chicken for the winter
Chicken in my pot
Twenty-four quarts
and that's not a lot
Time to make the noodles
Eggs and flour and salt
These processes keep on
and who is John Galt?

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, July 22, 2018

'Note to Poet "J.G"

Thank you for sharing your poem "Speaking to Imagination" with me the other day.  More importantly for me is that I have met one of my readers.  I'm truly honored.
Your poem is directed at your imagination.  For some writers the imagination is one of the muses:

  "Here again, Calliope (epic poetry) carries a writing tablet; Clio (history) carries a scroll and books; Euterpe (song and elegiac poetry) carries a flute, the aulos; Erato (lyric poetry) is often seen with a lyre and a crown of roses; Melpomene (tragedy) is often seen with a tragic mask;Polyhymnia (sacred poetry) is ...."from Wikipedia

This quite a group of powerful muses.  If this group of muses is to whom you are speaking then heed my warning.  Respect them ad nauseum.  Telling them that you are the "...King." is tantamount to insurrection...or insult.  
Love them.  Stroke them.  They give poets powerful words and ideas.  I am in love with all of them despite their jealousies with each other over me.  Juggling my attentions on them is done with great difficulty.  I often start to write something and find I am hearing an argument over which muse is going to help me complete the project. Some learned people think I am just hearing voices in my head.  It's an awful thing when I am in the library on the computer, listening to music on the internet,  writing something and suddenly, I hear a bunch of women screaming in my headphones.  Then, I launch into often loud conversation trying to calm a group of arguing muses.  These "ladies" are giving me a bad reputation here.  It's all very strange for a gay man to hear women in his ears arguing with each other.  People don't believe I hear these things.   After a few minutes they discover that they have embarrassed me.  There are no apologies.  There are clear thoughts filled with the words I need to complete something under the fingers typing on the computer.  Now, they've gone quiet.  They aren't speaking to me because I am writing about them.  My dears, I am so sorry, but I have to get another writer to respect your respect my dear sweet ladies who often ramble through my head like a hundred St. Bernards in search of a lost skier.  So even though you have gone silent because of my words to this potentially fine writer, I know I shall hear your singing once again.  So, J.G., you did have my attention and I hope this note is an explanation of my viewpoint that surrounds your poem.  Please write some more for me and I hope to see you again soon.   Your devoted reader, Barry.

On the Moon

On The Moon

I'm here
I'm not running out
of anything important
like air food or water
This is the crater
I live in
It's a two bath
three bedroom crater
with a well appointed kitchen
with enough rocks
to pay monthly crater rent
To be honest
I don't know
who gets the rocks
I sew my own spacesuits
but they leak
so I don't spend time
looking for junk
that falls from the sky
The parts I've collected
make a nice porch
that beeps every
fifteen minutes
It's annoying
but at least
it keeps me company

The internet is helpful
at the crater three miles away
where the Russians lost
a load of books
or was that the Germans
who didn't want to burn them
I just hope my moon buggy
gets me there in the coming years

The moon is gray
Music I listen to
comes from the rainbow
Now I hear Etta James
“Stormy Weather”
over and over
“It's keep rainin'
all the time.”
but that's the moon
in the summertime
James P. Johnson
at the keyboard
“Snowy Morning Blues”
All I have here
are micrometeorites.

The government
sends a supply ship
every month on the third
Supplies mostly run out
by the tenth
so I have to be careful
until the next ship arrives

Mahalia Jackson sings
“Just a Closer Walk with Thee”
On the moon
it's just a closer skip and hop
with thee
but everything on the moon
is far away

I've been to the dark side
That's usually the last
three of four days of the month
or after I visit the doctor
with all the gadgets
I hook up to me
so she can tell
if I'm gonna be around
for the next supply ship

Louis just walked on stage
with Mahalia
The applause won't stop
Now he's singin' with her
I'm foggin' up my helmet visor
A closer walk with the saints
that come marching in
leaving footprints in the dust

That's it from here
on the moon...wait
Louis now sings
“Mack the Knife”
Who'd have thought
would have made a hit
by the Germans
lyricist Bertolt Brecht
and composer Kurt Weill
But then Americans
landed on the moon
thanks to a German designer
of big rockets
named Wernher Magnus
Maximilian von Braun
member of that political party
he said magically appeared
on top of him
Eventually everything
comes from Germany
even the political system
now infecting
my former homeland
I might be the only
person on the moon
but I've designed
a political system
that nobody can beat
It's called “Just-me-ism”
I leave everybody alone
and everybody leaves me alone
It only catches on
when you're old
a complete outcast
from family and
all of the world
that's impossible to walk to
when using a walker

Stanley Jordan plays
“Willow Weep for Me”

Where's a willow
when you want one
It doesn't help
if you live on the moon
I'm not feeling sorry
I just feel the rocks in my....
this is a family crater

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, July 12, 2018

News Flashes

A power outage drives me to my porch
with three improvised lighted torches
made from empty jam jars
with punctured metal lids through which
the wicks of rolled and sewn gauze peek
The fuel gives off smoke to keep bugs at bay
Several moths go down in flames
their last flutters within feet of me
Moths are a disorganized lot
unlike their bug cousins:  the fireflies
They form a flying message
Hundreds of fireflies linked together
above the darkened lawn in the trees
behind my home
It's almost as if a neon sign
glides over this tender scene of loneliness
Where they have learned this word
is anyone's guess
yet here they are flying in formation
presenting their request
to any bug or person
who will read
or answer their request
This strange ghostly flight
of a word has me in tears
because I know how they feel
how lonely these gentle insects
who have joined arms in protest
to tell the world
their great need for what
their message glows
in the star-filled sky
three letters that make up
one word
powered by thousands of wings
soundless in their presentation
to explain their intimate desires
I cannot help them
except to beg them to stay away
from the flames that illuminate
my bare feet to my head
Here they are
far from my three breeze-twisted flames
their three letters
flickering now
every two seconds
damn, I love Iowa

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The Long Train of Suffering

Jesus was a beggar
who invested his income
He didn't make his fortune
in his father's
furniture shop
He kept the government
from taxing his capital gains
made on the goat market
by using an offshore account
It's the Christian thing to do

Won't everybody be surprised
when they have to take their turn
as Jesus in another life
Your reincarnation
only with a different body
is surrounded by the tools
of cruelty and crucifixion
Somewhere in that limbo
the cross
now forged titanium
will have been recycled
through the many lives
that have to go through
government sponsored torture

For that time
some disfavored race
will sit on the sidelines
with rating cards
ranging from zero point zero
to ten
How well did this Jesus suffer?
Six point seven
The audience applauds
Someone yells that
the judges needed to raise
the decision
Apostles are never satisfied
Those judges were Dyacks
from Borneo
who will now have to be
persecuted and wander for centuries
because they killed this Jesus
They didn't really
It just makes them the best
loincloth tailors and rag merchants
in the next history

The tomb is a refrigerated morgue
Some Mary will march
through the doors
with an entourage
in her furs and jewels
Including a blonde bimbo
they call The Mag
only to find the bin
Now how did he open it
Oh yes it's magic
The auditorium is silent
when the announcer
taps the mic
It's “Jesus starring in
'Houdini on Ice'”

This Jesus runs around
showing everybody his holes
entrance wounds made with lasers
so he can be hung on the pegs
No more of those pointy spikes

this Jesus says
boy was that a trip

Jesus rises to heaven
since by this time
anti-gravity is as simple
as healing the sick
The Apostles split up
This show is over
The audience is restless
for the next Jesus

Okay kid
get some Apostles together
No you can't use the ones
the previous Jesus used
Their off writing their memoirs
starting churches
Some will be such a pain
in the ass
they'll be crucified
It's a tough world kid
but you can do it
Now start pitching
that stuff
being about
your father's business
Oh insurance
That'll make an interesting
chapter in a new testament

Risk assessment
how to avoid being
the next Jesus

I can tell you this kid
You're gonna wind up
on a cross
No two ways about it
There are benefits
This time you don't
have to drag it through
the streets
like the first Jesus
The whole thing
has been simplified
They just hang you
on the pegs
You die
save the world
and go to heaven
easy peasy

Barry G. Wick

Saturday, June 30, 2018

This and That


Slippery vision slippery thought
It is what it is and sometimes not


Sometimes the squirrel
barks at the dog
Sometimes the snake
is et by the frog


We stand by a tree to sing a song
and all the while the tree's asleep
It hates all singing, it thinks it's wrong
the prettiest melody makes it weep


Given time to observe
everything's a learning curve
A rope is tied deep in our mind
Untie the knot and you might find


Sit and watch do not expound
keep your feet upon the ground
Let no word take glorious flight
until it's certain that it's right


The thing we buy the thing we try
is likely something to make us cry


The look of love is oft desired
but then it gets unruly mired


Beware what's writ on glowing screens
and what's said in Ways and Means
Politicians want your vote
not what's writ in a four page note


We beg the stars to keep their shape
to stay the same for children's sake
What stories will the sky tell then
in twenty thousand years or when


We dance around this planet
as if the universe we own
until we realize it's size
we're just a seed that's sown


Surrounded by convention
we think it is quite normal
even if our clothes are ripped
it's truly all quite formal
Someone wears a loincloth
someone underwear
It's all really just the same
that we refuse to bare
In the jungles deep and dark
people wear no clothes at all
You envy them their bodies svelte
and gym yourself a bill that's tall
So to the jungle with you now
and shoot down monkeys from the trees
No clothes at all is you at birth
Swim in the river and dry in a breeze


You there in your suit quite tidy
thinking you're all high and mighty
Without electric this and that
the dirt accumulates
And everything you wear
will soon entomb your fate
A spot upon your tie so fine
will grow so green with mold
and everything you own
will look so shabby and quite old
Don't criticize those upon the street
whose bath was weeks ago
They're human and complete
and know something you don't know
Civilization isn't planned
it's a train wreck pure and simple
Tomorrow's world infection
begins with just a pimple

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Lawn in the New Day

Is there anything
more disheartening
than sitting on the edge
of a bed rising from dreams
filled with people
who are supposed
to be everyone that's inside
only to wish
there was someone outside
who would hold the hand
that stops a fall to the floor
as tears of amazement
refract the glow
of a green lawn
that sifts through raindrops
on a screen

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


The campfire of love
and the love of campfire
can both be extinguished
by a bucket
of cold water

Campfire belonged
to early man
who begged woman
to make dinner using it
which is why
baked rat is rarely
on the menu

Burning wood
could pop sparks
from the campfire
onto lovers
sparking in front of it

Campfire in a dream
can feel warm
just don't try
to pee it out

Wolves won't go near
a campfire
yet rhinos
will stamp and pee
to put one out
Rhinos call wolves
and like them fried
or baked in wine

How many campfires
have there been
upon the silk road
just enough
for the worms to weave it
without moonlight

Ever notice
that nobody cares
how bad you sound
singing around
a campfire
which is why
there's always a candle
lit in church

Men wearing
only loincloths
who sit near
roaring campfires
are called masochists

The crackle of a campfire
will mask
the sound of farts
only when alone

A group of women
sitting around a campfire
late at night
was called birth control

Trying to light
a campfire
in pouring rain
lead to the invention
of gasoline

Man put stones around
all campfires
to stop it from escaping
which is why
no campfire has robbed a bank
a second time

Early man never
announced himself
when coming upon
the campfire of others
This lead to the multiple
independent discoveries of
disposable loincloths

Genghis Khan
personally refused to create
“campfire surprise”
because he preferred
the smell of camels

Barry G. Wick

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