CAN OF WORMS

Things that bug you, the things that annoy you. The things that you left on the table. The thing about it is, the thing I just can’t get across. The thing that made a difference, the things that make a difference. If things were equal, if things were the same. This thing, that thing, those things, things that make you smile, things that make you happy, things that piss you off, things that pass you by.

Things could be better, though things are just fine. Things change, the constant of the universe, things don’t stay the same. Things make it difficult to do other things. The thing I can’t figure, the thing we all took for granted. When things are the same, when things are only, when things are across town from you, when things are working against you, when things don’t go your way, when things are running away from you, when things are off the wall, when things are out of control. If things escape you find another way. If things don’t do what you want. Live with it till you can make a change, things don’t run your life, you do.

Things don’t hold sway over you, things can’t keep you down, things are what bother other people. Things can get dicey, things can get out of hand, things can get away from you, things are just that, things. The only thing stopping me from punching you in the mouth. The thing that makes it so real, the thing I wanna say. What is that thing? Good at making things.

Avoid fatty things like donuts and potato chips, respect living things, a miraculous thing. It was the worst thing that could happen. The common thing to do, the best thing to do, the only thing to do. I wasn’t thinking of a thing, I wouldn’t know a thing, don’t make a thing out of it, it was nothing, but they said it was something, so I gave it my everything. I gave it my all. Anything would do, anything would get it, anything you could do would be appreciated, anything you could say would help us out, any one thing, anything at all, what is that thing on the floor?

A miraculous thing, a dumb thing, the most beautiful thing, the whole thing, are your things packed? Such a thing, this sort of thing, a thing, or two, you did the right thing, grab your things I’ve come to take you home. Check every little thing, things are improving, a terrible thing, the only thing, expect great things, not a thing to wear, not a thing to depend on, not a thing, get that thing away from me.

What a thing to say, what a thing to think about, bring that thing over here. The one thing is, the one thing I hate is being lied to, and another thing is, get back up on that damned thing. Anything but, anything goes, anything I say. Anything he says is good for me, plaything, that thing, that thingamabob, that thing that nobody mentions, that thing that got put away, those things, things that resonate, things that go bump in the night.

Wild thing you make my heart sing. Things around the ranch, the things that matter, the things that won’t make a difference, the things that will make a difference. Things no one knew were there, this sort of thing, that sort of thing, may even be a good thing, a powerful thing, a standard thing, that thing has no handles. The thing that came out of the sky, the monster from out of town.

A thing, or two, the first thing that pops into you mind. How do you work this thing? Expect great things, every little thing, just the thing, not a thing, nothing at all, music is my thing, words are my thing, how do I use that thing? Many things, the thing about it is, build things, the thing, do their own thing, the thing is to get well, the writer’s thing. Check everything, couldn’t get a thing out of him, that thing was impossible, that thing was far and away. All things being equal, this kind of thing happens all the time.

The first thing I bought, a precious thing, hide things, among the things, the most important thing, things I have to do, a lot of things, this kind of thing. Rest assured, you won’t feel a thing. Do such a thing, done such a thing, the same thing, the same old thing, the stupid things? Finally seeing things, the one thing, there are some things, things that don’t matter, things that won’t make a difference.

Worrying about things, better things to do, better things to say. Such a thing, one, or two other things, use these things, kind of things, it is one thing to make a plan and quite another to carry it out. One thing I’ve always wanted, taking all things into consideration. The last thing I need right now is something else to worry about. Things change from time to time, the kind of person who says one thing but does another. Try to explain things, patch things up. Among other things, getting the hang of things, one less thing, the number of things, things like this wouldn’t happen. To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.

Atrocious things, many things. He often shuts himself up in the study and writes things like this. Awful things, so many things, the same things, interesting things, interested in the same things. Learning to ignore things, one thing, and then another, the hardest thing, the right thing, the first thing, the important thing, the only thing, keep doing things, a wonderful thing. Get things done, worry about things, keep doing things, even things up, several things, about things like that, take things down in longhand, all things considered.

Know a lot of things, stupid thing to do. I can do things that I’ve never even thought of doing. The things that he had seen during his trip. Try to explain things, got better things to do, hand things over, saw a lot of things I never noticed before. thought things would get better. She often leaves things behind. Remember things that never happened. Certain things about Mary.

Didn’t say a thing. Rushing things will cost you more time in the end. So many things seem strange, the kind of thing you can laugh off, two separate things. Every person views things differently. Things that can’t be changed, forgotten all the things one has learned, says the weirdest things. First thing in the morning, most essential thing, the hang of things, getting things done right, getting things together. Some things are better left unsaid, minor thing, major thing, unnecessary things, everyday things, some of my old things, insists on things being right, sold things at cheaper prices, every living thing.

D’jouevernotice? The new things, and new ways are as funky as the old things and old ways. New things are just as much a ripoff as the old things. I mean what’s the difference if you’re getting the shaft from one, or more of the drug companies, or Facebook? Hostage syndrome. Once they’ve taught you the drill the view never changes.

The thing about things is that nothing much has changed. The ceiling fan still comes with the wrong screws. The remote control still comes without the batteries. A computer the size of your hand is impossible to operate without a 90 dollar an hour computer guru. Finding things in the library is still a mystery. Who goes to the library? Finding water, and a pressure gauge at a filling station is lucky. Software things are a can of worms because that can of worms won’t be updated further, or isn’t compatible with the system you are using. If things were different, if things were another way. If things you depended on deserved your dependance it just wouldn’t be the same old can of worms. Now, would it?

WORTH LIVING FOR

Standing around minding my own business. Stand at ease, woah! big fella. Stand by your guns. Stand a chance. Stand by your man. Standing on the corner, stand on the moon, standing on a postage stamp, standing on a corner of the rug, standing in the swimming pool, standing, ever standing, standoffish. I can’t stand it, You couldn’t stand the thought, neither could I. If you can’t stand the heat get the hell out of the kitchen. Stand on top of the mountain, you’ll deserve the view. Stand for it, stand, because you should. Stand up, be counted, stand up guy, stand up woman, I could stand for that. Stand aside, in the standings, in the stands, in the grandstands. I could barely stand the noise.

But I can stand a little rain, I can stand a little disappointment, I can stand most anything, I can eat fifty eggs. I stand corrected. Stand tall, stand still. Stand back, the stand of trees, stand alone, stand by, the stand of theives were different from the stand of good guys, the stand of flowers, a stand of forest in the middle of the field by the side of the road. The stand of reeds by the river. Stand up comedy.

Stand on principle, stand on conscience, stand on a boat, stand on the bridge like Spock. Stand down, stand fast. Stand in, stand in awe. Stand for…something. Stand guard. Stand off. Stand the sight, stand alone, stand to reason. Stand in good stead. Stand on your head, stand on one leg. Stand off. Stand on ceremony, stand on that brake. Live with a higher standard, take a stand, make a stand, guitar stand, stand your ground, don’t sacrifice your standards, don’t think your standards would look good on someone else. Standard bearer. Standard of living. Standards. Everybody lives by a different standard, it’s what makes it worth it, that’s what makes it interesting. Welcome to Earth.

Stand down, but, don’t stand for such treatment. Stand out, stand pat. Don’t stand it, pass it by. Don’t worry about standing it, go the other way. Don’t stand it for a minute. If you can stand this, then…stand that cocker spaniel off.

Stand for being the best, stand for it even if you’re not. I could stand here all night long, I just might. She was a fan of my stance, so to speak. Standing on top of the world, standing for something worthy, standing for something. Standing for those that cannot stand, standing for those that got tired and had to sit down.

You can stand it, you can handle whatever comes your way, anyway that’s the rumor. Stand tough, stand proud, stand for what you believe, stand for good. Stand sometimes, sit down every once in a while yourself. I hear they’re saving a seat for me. No thanx, I’ll stand. Standing would make you uncomfortable, standing made me uncomfortable, but just not bad enough. I stood when others sat, I stood when I got the call, I stood for one, and another, I stood for you, too. I stood beside you just like I said I would. These are some of the things worth living for.

NEVA’ WEA’ UNDERWEA’

Never say never. Never you mind, never is a long time, never rolls off your tongue, never is bravado, never is an end point but hard to draw with a ball point pen. Never welcome in my house again. now, that’s not hard to understand, is it? Never is an opinion, never is a conviction, never is a principle, never is a rule harder to keep than you might think. Never is a fancy, never is a brag, never is big talk, never is advice, never is a dream, never is a location you may never get to despite your best efforts. Never is a whole lot longer than forever.

Never mind, never tell, never want for anything, never get paid, never get happy, never get along with anyone. Never stop, or never go. Never stand for anything. Never be, never see, never once, never again, never make, never made, never belong, maybe better than to ever belong. Never there, never go, never believe, but it could be worse. Never ending, never taken for granted, never stand in the way, never get something for nothing, never get the chance. Make your own chances, look elsewhere.

Never-never, never more, never-never land, Michael Jackson. Never walk under a ladder. Never stop to take a photo in the middle of an intersection. Never smile, never care, never wish something bad on anyone that doesn’t deserve it. Never be bad, never come to grips, never give up. Never sit. Never hold anything against anyone, what a bore. Never put your friend at risk. Never put yourself at risk anymore than you must.

Never sell yourself short. Never pretend you’re anything you’re not. Never give somebody a hard time unless they ought to get a hard time from you. Nevertheless, never have the problem again. Never let them walk. But, never cause grief, never think you’re above it all. Never want to do that again.

Never put anything else in the gas tank. Never put 30weight in the wiper fluid, or the radiator. Never tell the road manager you don’t know where the gig is. Never go down that road. Never play that club. Never let the bass player’s girl go along, unless she drives, and carries his rig into sound check. Never put your strings on just before a set. Never spit on the front row, sing into the microphone. Never be late for a gig. That kind of never makes a good impression even if you do sound like shit. Never take checks for the gig. Peace in the band depends on it.

Never drink, and you’ll be like the cocker spaniels at the AA meeting. Wouldn’t trust a man that never took a drink, every once in a while. Never spend money you don’t have. Never lust, take what you will, take what you can and be happy with what you get. Never grin and bear it, much harder said than done. Never stand on your accomplishments because the world just might pass you by. Keep pushing.

Never think, because if you start thinking, then Geoff will start thinking. And if Geoff starts thinking then David will start thinking. And if David starts thinking…well, David is a professional. Never thought it mattered, oh well. Never could remember, never will forget. Never buy a lemon, but how can you tell. Never had anything like that, never been treated that way, never be treated that way again.

Never went so far before. Never stood on the moon. Never been in Africa, never took the space shuttle anywhere. Never gone down that road, never had it to worry about. Never asked anyone for anything. Never want when you could have what you will. Never seemed like it would ever happen to me. Never try, just do. I was never so embarrassed. I was never so mad, I was never as livid as I was when that pencil dick kept pestering my wife. So I never went there again.

So I never even thought about it, so I never gave it the slightest, so it never bothered me at all, it never came across my desk again. So I never told her, so she never came around, harrumph. He’ll never pay me what he owes me, she’ll never give it a thought, so never worry about it, never give it another thought. Never again. Never tell what you don’t want to have to deal with down the line. Never is harder to do than you think it would be. Never is a lot of things but sometimes never doesn’t cover it. I never leave the neighborhood. I never put my wishes ahead of others, but that’s what my mother always said.

Never be the last in line, if you can help it. Never forget to say you’re sorry. Never forget to say something good, or say nothing at all, my mother was all over this stuff. Never stop counting. Never quit. Never thought you would. Never had it in me. Never the same. Never anything more. Never was not my intention, never was not my style, never wanted that to happen. Never would believe, never would recommend. Never would’ve said that. Never saw such bullshit in my life.

Never can tell. Never was so heartless as that lotus bitch. Never challenge that creep, stay out of the deep water. Never come up for air. Swim on. Never stand in the way of progress. Never had the intelligence goodness gave a cricket. Never drink Coke, never drink Pepsi, never start a cross country trip without a diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of M&Ms.

Never been to the Grande Canyon, never been west. Never going again without water, but you can never go home, you can never see that far. You can never make it up to her. So never be obnoxious, never be cute. Never be the person that never says hello, elevator talk to elevator types. Never be left behind. Never quit when you’re ahead. Never liked you in the first place. Never could rely on her, but I did.

Never stand for it. Never come down out of that tree. Never stand alone. You are your own best friend. Never came back. Never come back. Never thought to look. Never had any idea, never thought it would make any difference. Never will. If you never try you’ll never know. If it never could, if it never would. What if you never gave it a chance? What if you never gave it a second thought? It might never come to pass.

Never is a solution, never is an ultimatum. And never is an answer, and never is an excuse. Never only comes around every once in a while, so you won’t run into never on the bus, unless you stand in front of the line. You’ll never get away with that. You’ll never get away with speeding through stoplights in the city, for long. Never is a belief that nothing can go wrong till that wheel comes off your wagon. Trust me, that never happens.

Never is a promise. Never is a hoodwink. Never is a boast, never is a lie, though never just about covers it. Never be the only one complaining. Never be the only chicken in the yard. I never did get it. I never would’ve told you. I never thought it was worth the cover charge. Never go away. Never wear out you’re welcome. And never stop for gas at the corner of Kirby and the southwest freeway. And if you just got the job, never be the last fellow to a meeting. Never can tell.

“I neva’ wea underwea,” she drawled between sips of her gin and tonic. Just about closing time I asked this belle of the bar if she was free. She rolled her eyes, and groaned dismissively in my face, “neva’, sonny… lest I seem unkind, lemme rephrase that. When HELL freezes ova’.”

COMING DOWN

Words are like photos
Words are like a code
Words are off the cuff
Words are off the beat
Words are like a joke
Words are like straight dope
Words are like sharp notes
Words are whispered in your ear

Words are like a sign
Words are like a cry
Words escape notice
Words betray the lie
Words enhance your aim
Words are on the wire
Words come with dispatch
Words are information

I’m never coming down out of that tree

Do you get the clue?
Do you hear the truth?
Words are far apart, but
Words are to the point
Words were all we had
Words were big magic
Then the words were mine
But the words meant everything

ANY IS MORE

If you have character you have the world by the tail, just doesn’t get better than that. Character is reputation, reputation is character, the kind of reputation you would like to have. Character leads the pack, character is going where the pack only dreams of going. Character is an end game, character is a desire, character is a vision, character is a wish, character is coveted, character is like a new pair of shoes, just feels good having them on your feet.

Just feels good having character in the way you live. You’re never alone when you have character to rely on. Character is a direction, eventually forward and onward. So character is a companion, character is a destination, character is a logic, character is a place. Character is not for the faint of heart, but character is a signpost in the middle of nowhere, maybe the only signpost. Character shows up when you least expect it, character shows up big when you’re losing. Character is under a microscope when you win.

Character won’t lead you astray, but character might just lead you out of the woods. Character won’t cut and run, character won’t leave you flat, character won’t forget your name. Character can’t be lost behind the fridge, or in the garage. Or left in a cab. You can wear your character on your sleeve, you can wear character like a hat. You can wear character with any kind of clothes, you can wear character anywhere you damn well please. Because character, as free as it is, is not common.

So character truth be told is, actually, not free. But character is worth whatever price you have to pay for it. You work for character, you strive for character. You think you are charactered like no one else, but you might be surprised to find character is shared among more than you ever might suppose. Character makes the world a better place, character makes the world go ‘round. Character is a prerequisite to respect, the character comes first, the benefits come later. The character goodness gave a cricket, crickets with character are righteous bugs. The character of a people, the character of a place, the character of a kind. The character that she left in the dressing room, he was some kind of character. Whatever it was it probably was worth it, because character is sublime, and character is golden.

When you need character, character is a breath of fresh air when there is no character to be found. But there is no limit to character, there is no amount of character, you either have it or you don’t. Character is black and white, so there is no quality of character, only confidence of character and that makes you a little taller that day. Character is a sidekick, character is a buddy when you’re lonely, character is a way out of the deepest voodoo. Like a life jacket, like a flotation, like something that will help you keep your head above the water line, so to speak.

Character is essential to a goal of most any kind. Character will help you do another lap, character will help you go the extra mile, character will help you finish the race. Character will help you do the deed, character will make short work of the worst job. Character will stand you when nothing else will, when the shit hits the fan. Character will make you a better leader, character will help you keep that lead. Character will make you a better follower. It takes character if you finish first, or last. Sometimes it takes more character to deal with a loss than a win.

Character might tell you when to quit, character might tell you when to step aside to let another character as worthy as yours take things to another level. Character is a piece of mind, a little character is like a lot of character because any character at all is enough, character times character equals character. If you have character it shows, if you don’t have character it shows.

Character doesn’t stop at the property line, character doesn’t stop at the city limit. Character is what makes it worth a flip, character is a goal to be pursued. Character is not a surprise, character is a surety. If you enjoy character, you enjoy seeing your character work to help, somewhere, anywhere. Character keeps the wheels turning, and the boat floating, the clockwork ticking, and the world turning.

Character will keep you from worrying about character at all. People with the most character talk about it the least. Character is a comfort, character is a confidence, character is an advantage, character is the best advantage out there. Character is subconscious. So it works anywhere, even when your battery is low. Character will help you from regarding character too seriously. You can try too hard to show your character. You can profess to have more character than you really have, even though any is more than enough. And while I’m at it, character beats talent every time. My mother gave me my character, my father tested it.

BETTER LATER THAN

Better later than to have never loved, better later than to have never tried, better love on that girl, better get off your duff, better stop, better start somewhere. Better quit, better my ass, better be good, better not, you’re better if you’re bad. Better if you don’t sing, better if you don’t say, better if you don’t stay. Better when your done, all the better, better get on out of here, better than the rest, better than none, better because you say so, better if you’re there.

The crust is better than the pie. Better if you have a cat, better if you have a car, better not wiggle, better not cry, better not breathe, better not leave, better if you tag along. Better if you take the lead, better if you settle down, better if you get along, it sounds better, because it is better. Better to bed, better to rise, better to take my hand, better than that, better than the Joneses, better than the rest, better in the warmer time of year. Think better, live better, love better, think better of me, think better of myself, feel better.

Better not shout, better and better, better than not, better than some, worse than others. You better go now, better with a beer, better on toast, better on principle. Better be better, better not pout, better be good, better quit being jealous, better not let them know who you are. Better than, better off, better said, if it’s better, wish it would be better, but that it was better. Better when, better if, better not tell, better and better. It’s just better, for want of a better solution, better seen and not heard, because it better be good, better, or worse, better is better, the original is better, but I’ll never tell.

Better to be on the road, better to be out of range, better to be on top of it, better stay out ahead of it. Better guitar, better piano, it’s better if you think it is, all you have to do is think better of it. Quit fucking around do it better, better stand your ground, better think better thoughts, better stay out of jail, better do something about it, better jump on it. Better in the morning, better when the sun shines, better late at night, better at sundown.

More expensive is not necessarily better, love is not better, or worse, it’s just better, so don’t miss it, feel better, look better, sing better, be a better person, be a better husband, be a better wife, be a better companion. Come on down when you feel better, if you do what I say you’ll feel better, if you do what I want I’ll feel better, maybe. Better hat, better shoes, better than last year, better than you’ve ever heard, better on the face of it.

Feel better inside, I hope your foot feels better, better them than me, better is a feeling, better is a placebo, perhaps. Better get out of the way, better not stand on tradition, better get to moving, mo’ better, better is better, better than that, better than you think, better than you might want, better than you could handle. Think better, live better, say better things about one another, feel better, better than beans, there is nothing better than beans. Better than anything I’ve ever had before, better on the run, better at home, better than you think, better than you know, better for you, better and better again.

Better when you smile, better when you laugh, you feel better when you give it to somebody that could use it. Don’t let it get the better of you, those were better times, these are better times, keep at it and it’ll get better. If you thought you could make it better I’m sure you would, or would you? If you tell me I can make it better, don’t you wanna feel better?

Better hold on to what you got, better make a change in your attitude, better if you try, better things await you. It will just be better, better isn’t necessarily better, if it’s not any better, it won’t get better, he doesn’t think it will get better, but what does he know? Better not miss the boat, better get your reservation early, better show up early, better not be late, though it’s better that you are on time. See you when you’re better, I’d like to go when I’m better, or when you’re in a better mood.

Better is a quality, better is something to strive for, better is how you should think of yourself, better is how you should think of others, and in so doing make the world a better place. So glad to hear that you’re doing better, let’s work together to make it better, because we’re a team it just makes it better, better is a belief, better is a faith, do it even if it doesn’t look like it will make it better, it might just make it right.

UNIVERSITY

Work the program, find work in the city, work it out, work on it, work it down into something manageable. The work was the reason, the work became the reason only after a lotta work. Work place, got it working again, make it work again, make it work one time. It worked like a clock, it worked like a charm.

It only worked, it might have worked, it wouldn’t work unless you did it the right way, lemme show you. Don’t work, didn’t work, stopped working just when…should work. If it doesn’t work send it back. I thought it was supposed to work, that only applies if it works, they got warranties for that kind of nonsense.

The workings of a clock, the workings of the machine, iron works, cement works, rock works, bring a friend to help you get it in the car. If I could find work, work’s not hard to find, doing work is the hard part. If you think about it, it’s more like a fear of labor than the labor itself, funny planet. Work will save you money because you can’t often find time to buy things when you’re at work. At least something works.

Complete Works, Selected Works. Recent Works, abysmal works, required works, test on Tuesday. Work will keep you alive. Work will keep you awake, work will keep you busy, work will keep you involved, work will keep you engaged. Work will pay you for doing the damn work in the first place, eggcellent. Work is expected, work is daily, work is on the books, work is on the way, work is a good time, work is shit, work is on time sometimes.

Work is a drag, work is a pit, work is a dream, work is a daydream, work is a bore, work is a trade off, work is a bargain, work is vacation if you do it right. Work is a job, work is a fire truck, work is hanging on the side of a building cleaning the windows.

Work is building a dam, work is fixing the dam. Work is, work time, work for, it works, but the second hand is off. Worked for a few years, only worked when I thought about it, and that was all the time. It was working so we left it alone, if it ain’t broke.

So I wrote a show of spoken word and musical improvisation in Santa Fe, NM and played it with three other musicians in New York City. Just wrote another one. It’s all over except for the work. Even though it might not work, shit work, funky work. Work that doesn’t pay, work that passes you by, work that someone else does. I probably wouldn’t do that work. But, work is heroic, work is admired, work is for the working stiff, working is the best part sometimes.

Work makes you feel good, work makes you feel wanted, work gives you something to do. Work takes up the time you’d rather spend somewhere else. A little work won’t ruin your life. A lack of work is good work for no one. So honor work, look for work, stand work, do away with work altogether, and the beer is free. Strike work, good work, yeah, do it again. I only hope my work is as good as yours.

Work with your head down, work with your heart, work with what you got, work with determination. Work on your stamina, work on your game, work on that backhand, get back to work, get a better job. A lotta work, a little work. Don’t think this through, just do the work. It’ll take a lot less time.

No work, hospital work, something works, maybe, work both sides of the street. Work both ways, work ethic, work force, work in progress, work into the ground, work like a beaver, work like a charm, work load, work of art, work off, work on. Work yer fingers to the bone. Work yer nerves, work your tail off. Work order, we can work it out, work over, work down, work someone over, work someone out of he picture, now that’s art.

This just won’t get it, but we can probably work something out. But don’t count on it. Work station, work stoppage, work till the end of the set, then you might be looking for work. Looking back at your work, looking forward to work, send the kids back to school. The glory is the work, especially when you do it again, to be able to do it again. Coffee before work, ride with you to work, working at work, imagine that.

Work through it, work it up, play it at your next gig. The work was magic, the work blew me away, the work blew me through the wall. My work, your work, our work, great work, do it again. Do it for as long as you like, do it for as long as you can, same diff. Known for your work, your work precedes you, noted for your work, adored for your work, forgotten works, sloppy work, tired work, slow work, shop work, poor work, top work…stop work.

The most important thing in an artist’s life is the work. The closest thing in an artists life is the work. The most time spent in an artist’s life is the work, the most mysterious thing in an artist’s life is the work. The worst thing in an artists life is the work, the hardest thing in an artist’s life is the work, but the most rewarding thing in an artist’s life is the work. The only enduring thing in an artist’s life is the work. So, work your life away, bravo. Work before play, work before love, work. Work before you eat, work before you put your clothes on, work when you’re trying to sleep. Work before you leap. Work before anyone knows your work. Work if you never find work at all. Anyway, I hope this works.

And unless you’ve forgotten how to do a little work, even if it doesn’t sell your novel, work might still end up in a worthy place like an archive at a University.

BIG ENOUGH WORD

Did I not say it loud enough? Or maybe I should repeat myself: No. Was I not plain as the nose on your face? No. Did I not make it perfectly clear? No. Hell no. Don’t get me wrong, no is not so much what I say as what I mean. But people just wanna see how you say no. People can’t believe you’d say no. We have no people. We have no bananas. We have no kitties.

No is a convenience, no is a protocol, no is a social norm. No is the easiest way to end a conversation. No is the easiest way to end a relationship. No just might start another. No walking on the grass, no spitting on the sidewalk, no pissing in the yard. No quibbling, no stopping, no speeding, no standing, no parking, no waiting, no money, no help, no information, no dancing, no problem. No can do, don’t argue, no noise, no talking in line, no sharps, no flats, no encore, no election, no leaves in the winter, no shade in the summer, no halftime at the Super Bowl.

How could you say no to a lady with obsidian eyes?

No is not a negative, no is a civilized game changer. No can be delivered somewhat casually, but no is serious business. No wonder, no body’s business, no water, no wildlife, no art, no guitar, no musical instruments of any kind. If everything got mixed together there would be no vein of gold. No sweat going to hell cause itz all downhill. None for me, not a dime. Not an answer to be found, not a person to be found, not a penny to my name. Never say no, never say never. No is an excuse.

No more, no time, no daylight savings time. What time of day is it? No watch. Not around here, no ski lift, no breathing underwater, no color in her face, no is final, unless it’s not final. No dumping, nobody gives a care, anything is better than nothing, no way, no how, no deal, another no deal. No vote, no lo contindere, no confidence, no support, no is neither a negative if you say it like you mean it. No is an opinion, no is a quick way to turn you off. No paper in this can, no bottles in this can, no household garbage, no bikes on the sidewalk, no walkers on the thoroughfare, no cans, no jars, no breaks, no rest, no rest for the weary, no right, no wrong.

No was what she said, no was what she meant, there was no love left in her. There was no love in the city, there was no love anywhere, no flowers please. No armbands at South By. No freebies, no backstage pass, none of you will get in here, no exceptions. No will put a stop to that short and sweet. No putting your hands in the cage, no putting your hands in the machinery.

But there’s always something from nothing, even if they say no we’ll climb over the fence, even if they say no we’ll drink from the well, even if they say no you might not hear them, so just go on about your business like nothing happened. No cats, no dogs, no children, no one over 65, no one under 65. No dinner, no sleep. No, but maybe.

What is it you don’t understand about no, what is there to misunderstand about no. No is the end of the line, no is a new beginning, have the character goodness gave a cricket, just say no. It won’t get any better until you say no. Stop saying no all the time, stop saying yes when no is what you really mean. No is a relief. No says more about him than his whole damned book.

Nobody, no one, no time, no way, no sound, no smile, no laughter, no hope, none for me, none for her, no flowers, no bad thoughts, no good intentions. No thinking you’ve done the right thing. No one got told what to play. No one got told when to say it.

I said, no thinking. If you start thinking then Geoff will start thinking, and if Geoff starts thinking then David will start thinking and if David starts thinking…and David is a professional. No way out, no way in, no way around it, no is the only word you’ll hear from me on the subject, no frills, no extras, no coupons, no interest for 90 days. No drugs, no alcohol, no just might be the only way out of here. There is nothing left to say, but no.

No just won’t get it. I can’t get no. No, no, no. No doesn’t mean anything, but no. Screaming no, know your enemy, know your opponent, not at all. No means no. No small amount, nothing, no right back at you, nose job, nose in someone else’s business, know where you are going, going nowhere. Know where you’ve been, know the ropes, know the time, know which way is up, know how to get to town, know how to get your ass out of town. In space there is nothing, well, not a lot of much of nothing.

No is the last straw, no is the end of the line. No, but you can never tell. No, but if you wait around for a while they might just change their mind. None of the above, none of the aforementioned, nothing of anything at all, no back, no sides, no dessert, no coffee, no carbs, no smoking, no cutting in line, no gluten, no night shades, no crackers, no bread, no red meat, no eating anything with eyeballs.

No health plan, no income, no more patience, no more time, no more. Just when you thought there would be no more, no video, no audio, no place to put anything, no air, no water, and all the boards did shrink. No land in sight, no horizon, no sun, no rain, no wind, no food for the poor, no food for thought, no stopping the monster from outta town, no means no, no to hatred, no to greed, but I digress.

And even though no just might say it, no is not a big enough word.

STORM THAT MAKES NO SOUND

Storming into a bar, again. And I been storming all week. I just need to get off this tack. Storm clouds, storm front, storm in the sky, storm on the wind, going and blowing, storm indeed. Rain? Man, this is a storm. Get outta the storm, pal, if it storms, when it storms, will it storm? Just when you begin shearing the long grass it storms.

Stormin’ and swearing, swearing and stormin.’ Storming into town. Close that door, man, it’s storming outside. It’s storming in here, it’s like a hurricane between my ears, storm in the wind. It was storming so I could not see, it was storming so I could not hear, it smelled like a lightning storm. I was madder’nhell so I stormed off, and that pissed me off too, so I stormed some more.

I was in a sandstorm, the sandstorm was a wall of dust, you drove into the wall of dust, the lights went out and it got really quiet, a sandstorm near Ludlow in the Mojave, when the dust cleared I drove away from a junkyard of debris, a pile of potpourri, and sixteen tons of twisted steel.

Global dust storms blanket Mars. It was storming so it was hard to breathe, the storm was black, but the storm was yellow around the edges like a tornado, the storm swirled, the storm pushed, the storm rode, the storm shuddered, the storm stuttered, the storm lay in wait. The storm whimpered, the storm whined, the storm wandered.

The storm will tear the roof off of your home, the storm will tumble your car down the storm drain. The storm will ruin your weekend, the storm will ruin your life, the storm is powerful ju-ju, the storm is big trouble. The storm scowls, the storm tickles before it stings, storm tickles before it stickles. The storm blows itself out.

A storm huffs and puffs until the storm is blue in the face. Storming eliminates complacency, storming keeps you wide awake, it may be a little desperate, but at least it’s not boring. The storm in someone else, the storm in you. A storm of sunshine, a storm of flowers, a storm of laughter, a storm of sadness, a storm of welcome, a storm like an Olympic sized swimming pool, a tempest in a teacup, a storm of gaiety.

The storm is in your head, the storm of indignancy, the storm of the righteous, a storm of reality, the storm before the calm, the calm before the storm. Storm of all storms, the mother of all storms, the seventh sister twice removed of all storms.

Storm of noodles, the storm in the noodledome, a storm of happiness, a storm of a celebration, a storm of well being. The storm will flood the streets, the storm will cut the power off, the storm will poison the water, the storm will storm like cats and dogs. The storm split for the coast, the storm out on the water, the storming of the waves.

The storming of the drums in a Japanese orchestra, the storming of the drums out on the battlefield, the storming of the drums will jet you up, the storming of the drums. Storm alert, waders in the storm, writing in the storm, trying to get to the club in a storm, trying to get a cover charge in a storm, I hope anybody will show up, no one came last time I played a hurricane.

Heat inverted huge storm. Biblical storm, bigger than that storm, stand in the storm, from out of the storm, away from the storm, face the storm, the center of the storm, can’t get away from the storm, can’t get relief from the storm, can’t get a break from the storm. What storm?

That storm. Inside the storm, beside the storm, running from the storm in a car, running from the storm in a bathrobe, running from the storm on a freeway, so is everyone else. A towering storm, a storm like no other, a storm in her heart, a storm in his eye, a storm over the scene, looks like a storm coming. If it wasn’t for the storm, I’d be outta here.

The storm will rain your plants to the ground, the storm will rain your hopes to the ground. The storm speaks, the storm hides, the storm runs, the storm stalls, the storm slides, the storm grinds, the storm waits, the storm grates, the storm pauses, the storm sits, the storm parks itself right over your tent.

The storm scared the hell out of ’em, the storm was spooky, the storm has a nasty personality, the storm is conscious, the storm is out of it’s mind. The storm strafes, the storm rakes, the storm makes, the storm quits, the storm goes the other way. The storm doesn’t know where it’s going, the storm ain’t telling where it’s going. The storm is sneaky, the storm ravages, the storm demolishes, the storm breaks, the storm kills, the storm is responsible, the storm goes south, the storm goes where it wants to go, the storm is a loner. But storms get together, and turn into bbigger storms.

The storm will stop. The storm thrashes, and crashes, but then all of a sudden, in the echo of thunder like a sigh, the storm stops. And when the storm is over the sun comes out. Nothing makes a sound, but leaves dripping, and the noisy clear water torrent in the creek.

THAT’S ART

Art is invisible, art is a myth. Art is a rumor. Art is untouchable. But for the art sale, art barn, art walk, art market, flea market art, bargain basement art, cheap art, art for free. We’ll pay you to take this art. Art today only, art on Sunday, drive down Canyon road and see some art, art in a retail outlet, art is a hobby, or it’s a reason to believe unless it’s not, art store.

You really don’t know what art looks, or sounds, or feels like until you see it, hear it, touch it. Water colors, finger paints, art on the wall, art on a turntable, art like a silk tie with the painting of a bird or a naked lady on it. Art is a pretty girl, art is a car, art is a quilt, art is a waste of time, though it takes time to make art.

Art is everything to someone and nothing to some others. That’s not art. Art is jealousy, and art is big business. You call that art? The art went sailing over their heads. Art is a scrawling on a rock wall in the dark of a cave. Bring a flashlight. Art is a reason for doing it at all. You can never tell who might think this is art. Art on a back street, art on the side of a building, art on the Santa Monica pier, art in a foyer, the old gas station is a piece of art, the Brooklyn bridge is art.

The arrangement of flowers is an art on an easel. Or you can tour the Louvre in a quest for art. Many arts. Art for art’s sake, art is in the eye of the beholder. Art reaches out, art strives to, the art means something, art hangs on the wall, art stays in the background, art is upfront and personal, art is an insult, art presupposes, art considers itself the end all, beat all.

Art goes to the heart of the matter, art goes to the art of the affair, not everyone can do art, or sit up close to the blackboard, not everyone cares if it is art. Art is the expression of a lower life form. Art on a subway embankment, graffiti on a train, art like a landfill, art where you least expect it, art because you can. The art of tomorrow is trash today, trash today is art tomorrow. Garbage in garbage out.

Someone’s art is someone’s throwaway. Is there a measure of art? How do you know when you’ve had too much art? Can you get enough art? Can you sell enough art to pay the rent? Is art the only way, is art the place, is art a place? Is art for you? Do you like art? Is art a secret only they know? Would you tell me if it was art? Would you know if it was art? Can you bear to just look at art without copping a feel? You are art. Yer a babe, I just happen to have a background in art. I just wanna touch you like I just wanna touch the Mona Lisa. But I’ll tell you truly, I only like the Mona Lisa because she smiles at me.

But art is for others, though some is for us. Art for the masses, art for the individual, art for the army, art for the navy, art for the arty. Art wouldn’t matter except for the crap that people pass off for art. But who really knows art? Who would you you buy art from? Is art the same for everyone?

Are all Van Goghs painted equal? Are all Van Goghs as famous as all Van Goghs? When was the last time you saw a Van Gogh? Art for art’s sake, art for my sake, art for all of us. Art that makes a point, art that leaves the point over in the corner. Art for no damn good reason. Art for all the right reasons. Art doesn’t matter, except where there is no art. The art was lost. The art was found in an attic in Beaumont, at the bottom of the sea, in your closet, or in your minds eye.

In your eye my ass, write it down, paint it, make it look like something it’s not, make it look better than it is, don’t change a thing, enjoy it for what it is, if it ain’t broke… Let someone else decide if it’s art, I mean, what do you know? What can be said about art? What needs to be said about art? The art was right, the art was all wrong, but don’t cry over it, because there will be more art tomorrow coming from places you would never suspect, from places you don’t know exist anymore than they know you and your art…exist.

A ball of yarn, a ball of art, a ball of thoughts all tied up with an arty little bow. Cartoons are art, pen and inks are art, oils are art, cars are art, guitars are art, tools are art, severing tools that go down drilling pipes are art. In other words, if it’s not an art it’s probably a protein.

And lest I forget, women are, perhaps, the highest art, oh yeah. The way the wind blows can be art, the way someone breathes can be art, the sky is art everyday when the sun comes up, or goes down in the evening. Waves are art, the child is art, the mother is art, the good fellow is art, the smell is art, the color is art, the way you move is art, the sound is art, a smile is art, the frown is art, but who’s to notice?

The boat is art, the landscape is art, Paris is art, Oslo is art, pizza is art, when in Oslo have the pizza. Museums are full of art, schools teach art, big business supports art of some kind. Everybody wants to be an artist, what they don’t know won’t hurt ‘em when everybody is an artist anyway. If the good lord wanted you to be an artist he’d a growed one on yer thumb. The musical set you play is art. There is no standard of art, there is no monopoly of art, there is no quality of art, there is no field guide to art, there is no map of art, there is no one place where art is from.

The way you do business can be art. The way you tell off that accelerator pedal with a pencil dick can be art. The way you work alongside others can be art because they are such assholes. Insects are art, spiders are art, breakfast is art, dinner is art, grandma is art the way she can make a pecan pie from nothing but flour, baking soda, and lard, you are art. When I grow up I’m gonna be a artist, and inspire others to be as arty as me.

When we speak the words come out like a painting. Silly art, art is art, industrial art, sanitized art, art for the masses, art for a political party, art for the party on Saturday night. But just because I say so, does that make it art? What about anybody else? So if everyone is an artist in their own right, why are there reviewers to read to tell you what art is? Are you just lazy, or arty.

Art can’t, art won’t, art ain’t, art is. Do some art, some do art, display your art, stand up for your art, reach for the art, go out of your way for the art, pay for the art. Pay the artist, get him off your back. Recognize the art, recognize the poor fool that did the art. Give your friends art for a special occaision. Art is an enrichment. Art is an opinion, and an opinion can’t be wrong. But, and this is a big one, deny there is any art to it and somebody will beg to differ just to show how clever they are, and how wrong you can be. That’s art.