©Vince Pawless 2019

The words got in the way. I might could have been a wiz at maths, but seductive words got in the way. The words got in the way of progress. The words got in the way of fairness. The words got in the way of intelligence. The words got in the way of influence. The words got in the way of the message. The words got in the way of understanding. The words got in the way of the communique.

The words got in the way of economy. The words got in the way of practicality. The words got in the way of the adventure. The words got in the way of ambition. The words got in the way of compassion. The words got in the way of empathy. The words got in the way of forgiveness.

The words got in the way of awareness. The words got in the way of judgement. The words got in the way of knowledge. The words got in the way of intuition. The words got in the way of mastery. The words got in the way of reason. The words got in the way of the conclusion. The words got in the way of the idea. The words got in the way of the meaning. The words got in the way of the opinion. The words got in the way of sympathy. The words got in the way of the significance. The words got in the way of the viewpoint. The words got in the way of the mistake. The words got in the way of the handshake. The words got in the way of harmony. The words got in the way of the meeting of the minds. The words got in the way of the discord. The words got in the way of the disagreement.

The words got in the way of the bus. The words got in the way of the jet airplane. The words got in the way of the weightlifter. The words got in the way of the rocket scientist. The words got in the way of the speaker. The words got in the way of the listener. The words got in the way of the band. The words got in the way of the wordy. The words got in the way of them that needed the words in the first place. The words got in the way when I tried another way. The words got in the way of authority. So what? The words got in the way of a solution. The words got in the way of clarity. The words got in the way of sanity. The words got in the way of power.

The words that got in the way were lost. The words that got in the way stood like a wall between what was true, and what was false. The words got in the way of the answer. The words got in the way of your thoughts. The words got in the way of the numbers. The words got in the way of the logic. The words that get in the way have their own logic. The words get in the way of creativity. The words get in the way of their own creativity. Y’know when it finally comes down to it, that’s why I never got in to maths.

The prize for not working hard enough
is more work.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Really? Really small. Really gone. Really like all the others. Really large. Really fast. Really slow. Really wasn’t, really was, really worth it, really not, really will, really won’t, really big, really far, really close. Really lost, lost, lost. Really doesn’t matter, really won’t make a difference, really can’t stop, really won’t go, really can’t do anything about it. If it wasn’t really good I wouldn’t have suggested it to you. Really the bomb, really the cat’s PJs, really the style, really doesn’t say it, really wouldn’t help. I really need your help.

Really out of the pale, really out of bounds, really a wonder, really a disadvantage, really a benefit, you really can’t do better than this. You really don’t know what I’m talking about, do you? Really can’t see, really can’t tell. Really, it was the last thing on my mind. There really is a hundred miles left to go. There really is no better way to do it, but there could be an alternative. No really. Really didn’t know what to say. Really didn’t know what to do. Really been better prepared. Really had a clue about what was going on. Really close, really short, really green, really sad, really forgotten. Really on top of the world. Really was my idea, but I didn’t have a flip to do with it. No if, ands, or buts, I really mean it. If I really thought that, you wouldn’t be here. The really hard part, the really difficult thing, the really worst of it. It looked good, but it really had some problems. If I can be really serious for a moment, maybe really obnoxious. The running commentary is really off the wall.

A dog will make you live longer.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Don’t tweet on me. Don’t tread on me. Y’call that a tweet? Tweet, tweet, tweetlededum. Tweet like that again and they’ll take away your priviledges. Leave the tweeting to the professsionals, the birds. At least they’ve been doing it long enough to know what they’re talking about.

Tweet with the vision of an Ostrich. While the world goes to Hell in a rucksack tweet, unendingly, like there’s no tomorrow. Tweet like you mean it. Tweet like Magpies. Y’know, I always thought Twitter was a hat size.


I am a self correcting mechanism.


©Vince Pawless 2019

When I got sick it was all I could do to just get well, chicken shit sick, very sick, not very sick, but might could be. Not sick enough to miss work, sick time, sick leave, sick wagon, they were sick, anything, but sick, I hope he doesn’t show up, he’s sick, the bassist is sick, so hire the flute player. If I wasn’t sick maybe I’d go, but I’m sick. Sick movie, sick show, sick town, sick world, sickness in the family. If it looks sick, maybe it is. 

Sickness beside a river, sickness on the tundra, sickness among the troops, sickness in the trenches. She was sickly, so I worried myself to distraction. But, the sickly woman took good care of me even being sickly. The sickest people are the ones that see sickness in others. That joke was sick, that scene was sick, treat the sick. Treat the sick with respect, it’s called a bedside manner, and it used to come along with the package when you got sick. Now you only find it in retail. 

The sick should be represented, the sick should be cared for. I would be the first in line if I wasn’t sick. If you aren’t sick, try to be sympathetic to those that are. Everyone gets sick sooner, or later, so don’t think you’re immune. Yer immune system may well make you sick these daze. Maybe it’s the shampoo, or the mouthwash, or both. Where did I put my lead plates? 

If you were sick I would take care of you. If I was sick she would heal me. The world is self absorbing like a sponge, so there’s not a lotta time for your sickness when everybody else gets sick, too. The sick people in this line, the sicker people in this line, the sickest people over there. Don’t work nights, after business hours, or weekends, much less all the holidays you can fit in a calendar. If that’s what passes for care, pity the sick. Sick out, sick list, sick ‘em, sickness is contagious, sickness is profitable, good business. 

Sickness is newsworthy, sickness is legendary, sickness can be transmitted. Sickness by the cubic foot of air, by the fluid oz. of water, by the direction of your sneeze, by nasty, little molecules, sickness by the millions. Sickness is green, sickness is not discriminatory, sickness is lucky, or the lack of it. 

The sick need yer help, the sick need understanding. The sick need the law to reign in the vultures in the health professions. You can take advantage of the sick, you can run from the sick, you can hide from the sick, you can ignore the sick, till you become one of them. But you won’t get sick, trust me. Getting sick costs money, and money might be the only thing that gets you well, or just kinda well so they have someone to treat forever. Curing the sick would be unprofitable. Now, that’s sick.

Writing is like a cat
playing with a bug.


©︎Vince Pawless 2019

Be quiet, go quietly, quiet as a mouse. The snowfall was quiet, the quiet in the air, the rain fell quietly. I thought you would be quiet. If you can’t be quiet, if you can’t be silent, then beat it. You don’t know the first thing about being quiet, shut the fuck up. I’d say you should have to listen to yourself, but that’s not near quiet enough.

If you could just be quiet. Wading through the quiet, the time was quiet, the noise was quiet, whimperingly quietly, the only quiet in the room. Just sit there and be quiet, stone quiet, deafeningly quiet, startlingly quiet, uncharacteristically quiet, unpredictably quiet, annoyingly quiet, anything, but quiet. Have you ever been quiet? Being quiet should be a law. Do you ever intend to be quiet? If you’re quiet, or if you’re not, the bliss of the following quiet is a repayment for investing the time in your viewpoint.

Quiet mumbling of the crowd, quiet time, quiet moment, quiet song, quiet desire, quiet about it, quiet in-spite of it. The quiet in her voice. A quiet town, a quiet ocean, a quiet beach, a quiet answer, a quiet guitar, a quiet wind, a quiet blue. The quiet in a thought. How quiet it was, quietly wishing, quietly working, quietly wanting. How quiet it could be, when the band stopped the quiet was a reward. The quiet in the forest, the quiet in the woods, the quiet was enveloping like the branches of the trees. The quiet was far away like the wind above the clouds.

Quiet was all that I wanted, quiet was all I got. A place for quiet, the crowd was quiet. A quiet time, a quiet house, a quiet dream. A quiet determination, a quiet resolve, a quiet anger, a quiet objection, a quiet retort. A quiet person, a quiet picture, a quiet painting, a quiet answer, a quiet book, a quiet bomb, a quiet opinion. A quiet fish, quiet like the bubbles in the sea. A quiet fever, a quiet rustling, a quiet recollection. The quiet of the vacuum surrounding the planet. The quiet music, the quiet down the hall, the quiet in her voice. A quiet came over the room, an over-whelming quiet, as I’m standing quietly where it was plain, old quiet…people are uneasy with silence, they don’t know what they’re missing.

In another part of town the
outlaws are the good guys.


©Vince Pawless 2019

She had a trashy smile that made her the envy of every woman. Yer cash ain’t nothing, but trash. If you can’t think of anything better to do, take out the trash. Don’t let the trash get outta hand. Don’t let them think of you in the same breath with that trash. Keep quiet while they trash the poor fool. Trash is a legacy.

The mountain of trash, the ocean of trash, the plastic trash, the biodegradable trash, the trash that will still be gyring in the sea in a thousand years. Digging through trash is a way to see how people live, hauling trash is a way to make a living. The trash is a home for some, so if you stack it right the trash becomes a wall against the rain. 

He trashed her, she trashed him, they trashed the others, the others trashed the comers newer than themselves. Trashy people, trashy neighborhood, trashy thoughts, cities made of trash, islands made of trash, seashores made of trash. Trash for as far as you can see. The largest man made structure in the world is a landfill. The secrets in trash, the logic to trash, the rationale of trash, he rhetoric of trash, the facts about trash. Ah-ha! Wanna se me pull a rabbit outta my hat? Look the other way and there is no trash. 

One man’s trash is another man’s cargo. So since you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t throw that trash away. Give it to me. I can make the next iPhone out of it. Taking out the trash is work, figuring out where to take the trash is genius. So where there’s people there’s trash, where there’s trash there’s people. The two are intertwined, if not the two sides of the same coin. 

Trash only stays wasted until you figure out what to do with it. Then it becomes part of the GNP. If trash is a problem you’re in luck. They MAKE problems for people. And finally, the plain truth about trash is trash is a resource. Trash is a treasure if you know what to do with it. Trash is slimy, trash is smelly, trash is toxic, trash is gross. Trash is the wrong thing in the wrong place. So, quit yer bitchin’ amigo, put itsomewhere else.

IMPROV will rescue
art from the arcane.


©Vince Pawless 2019

The only way to end this conversation is to leave. The only way to end this communication is to leave. The only way to end this infatuation… The only way to stop the bullshit is to walk away. The only one among the many, I only wanted for you to like me. You only wanted to follow some one else around. If I could only fly, if I could only get the hell outta here. If I could only start all over again. Only the lonely, only the few, only the lot of them. 

The only way to help is leave it damn well alone. The hardest thing to do… The only child, the only book, the only guitar, the only way of doing anything. The only road outta town, the only road inta town, the only girl for me. The only view other than first is of someone’s rosy ass. The only band you listen to in all the musics of the world. 

I only want the best for you. I’m only interested in your best. They’re only interested in getting by. My only interest is in staying a considerable distance away. Do yourself a favor, your only interest should be staying considerably away. Get it together. Only child, only girl, only one, only other one, only kind, only style, the one and only. The only way, the other way, another way, not today, but maybe not manana either. 

There’s no imperative you have to come ahead of the pack. You only have to stay out of the teeth of the lead dog. You will be enlightened for the experience. Now, should I be exhaustingly honest, the only reason to break a sweat is to stay out of the way of the herd.

I did it for a song.
And I’d do it again.


©Vince Pawless 2019

I can keep the ball up in the air longer than you, so follow the bouncing ball, keep the ball in play, stay on the ball. The ball is on the court, the ball is in the field, the ball is in a park, the ball is in a stadium, the ball is off the charts. The ball is round, the ball is ablong, the ball is magnetic, the ball is fuzzy, the ball is hard, the ball is foam rubber, the ball is in the water, the ball with the laces goes a hundred miles an hour. The ball is tethered, the ball is bounced, the ball is hammered with a bat, the ball is kicked with a foot, or two. The ball is in the scrum, the ball spirals through the air, the ball is on the field. The ball has dimples. The ball is about fifty feet from the flag, put it away with a wedge. 

The ball is in the glove, the ball is in the fairway, the ball is in the woods, but not for long. Hand me that driver, dammit. The ball is not your friend, the ball is the object of your immediate obsession. Though the ball is just the ball to both sides of the line of scrimmage, to both ends of the court, to all the batters at the plate, to all the big handed receivers that come down with the ball, to all the jolly fellows on the tee, to that scrappy, little water bug that fields the punt. First you gotta catch the ball.

The ball is coveted, the ball is dunked, the ball is kept away. The ball is handed off, the ball is fought for, the ball is protected, the ball is caught, the ball is thrown, the ball is over the goal line, the ball is through the uprights, but there’s too many men on the field. The ball is off to the side. The ball bounced outta bounds, the ball bounced off his helmet, the ball bounced into the third row of seats, the ball bounced off the backboard, the ball bounced off the scoreboard. 

The ball bounced into the stands, the ball bounced over the catcher’s head, the ball bounced into his hands, the ball bounced into the hoop, he bounced the ball before he dunked it, the ball bounced away on the plate, he’s safe. The ball bounced down to the one yard line. The ball took a funny bounce to get there, don’t touch it, maybe the ball will roll out of the end zone. First and ten from the 20, whew!

The pitcher brushed him back with his fastball, drop ball, curve ball, money ball, round ball, jump ball, foul ball, bunt it. New ball since the old ball went over the fence, the ball is a possession, the ball gets overturned, the ball arcs, the ball gets stuffed, the ball gets stolen by the guard, two easy points. The ball gets penalized, the ball gets handed off, the ball is in the air, the ball is in the middle of the field, the ball is out of bounds, the ball is over the line. 

You can fumble the ball, you can intercept the ball, you can throw the ball away. The ball is at the bottom of the pile. The ball is at your own 1 yard line. You can sneak the ball, you can hike the ball, you can fake the ball, you can hide the ball in your glove, you can run a counter play. You can hide the ball on yer hip, you can pump the ball, who’s got the ball? You can palm the ball and the ref will take the ball away. You can place the ball on a hashmark, you can tip the ball, you can knock the ball over the fence. 

You can shoot the ball from half court. You can shoot the ball from the free throw line. You can shoot the ball from the corner. You can shoot the ball from outside. You can pull up and shoot the ball from the post, or just lay it up. You can set up a pic with the ball. You can dribble the ball the length of the court, and back. You can dribble a ball with both hands. You can dribble the ball between your legs. You can dribble the ball between your opponent’s legs. ¿See what I mean?

There ain’t nothing in this crazy world,
but me and this girl.


©Vince Pawless 2019

The Sun & Moon & Stars make the wind blow. Sun up, sundown, sunny day, sunny outlook, sunny disposition. Son of god, sonny, sun rise, sun in my window. The disk of the sun, the pale of the sun, the strength of the sun, if not for the sun, the wonder of the sun, the loneliness of the sun, the warmth of the sun, the sun at high noon. The brooding sun, the oppressive sun, the frown of the sun, the glare of the sun, the smirk of the sun, the smile of the sun, the wink of the sun, the sun at the center of the solar system. If the sun comes out it won’t rain on your parade.

The gloat of the sun, the hand of the sun, the backhand of the sun. The sun turns your skin red, the sun peels the paint off your car. For want of the sun, for need of the sun, but for the sun. The sun’s gonna shine in my backdoor someday. Make the sun go away, too much sun, the eclipse of the sun, too little sun. Wait for the sun. But if you wait for the sun you could be here all day. 

The color of the sun, the glint of the sun, the only sun, many suns, does the sun go out at night? If so, where? With whom? Does the sun have a cell phone? Can the sun be reached? On Facebook? Is the sun something you can count on? Ask a cloud. The setting of the sun through the palms, the setting of the sun over the mountain, the sun setting down the alleyway. The sunset in your eye, sun beams, sun shines, the city under the sun, the desert under the sun, the civilization under the sun, the sun will scorch this side of town to a cinder. 

The sun bakes, the sun broils, the sun irradiates. Behind the sun, around the sun, like a solar wind from the sun, like a magnetic storm, like a blast furnace, like a nuclear fire. Like photons on the back of your eye, like a chain reaction, like the glow along the horizon, like the light in your imagination. 

The tears of the sun, the voice of the sun, the heart of the sun, a chariot in the sky. Like a blaze on the horizon, like a lantern in the night. The words of the sun, the silence of the sun, the outspoken sun, the theatre of the sun in the summer sun. The only sun around these parts, the only sun close enough to make a difference, we’re a long way from the center of the galaxy. The sun hiccups, the sun fumes, the sun neglects to come out. The sun forgot your reservation for the campsite in the forest, so it rained for daze.

The best kind of heroism is to be found
in the relentless practice of one’s profession.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Might as well stand yer ground if there’s no place to run. Might as well have a go of it till you know what’s going on. Might as well stop doing whatever you’re doing if all it does is cause you trouble. Might as well quit the lover if all they do is make you crazy. Might as well start out on foot if you don’t have a horse. Might as well saddle up that horse if you don’t have wheels. Maybe better yet, you might as well stick your thumb in the air. 

Might as well change your mind if you can’t have it your way. Might as well sit down since you can’t seem to stand up. Might as well figure it out since you don’t seem to know. Might as well hold on to what you got since you don’t seem to have a bucket to piss in.  Might as well hope the best when it might look the worst. Who knows? Might as well think positively when negativity is all around. Might as well be the one among the many. Might as well win the damned race if you have to run at all. 

Might as well give a care when no one gives a shit. Might as well read that book if you can’t get outta bed. Might as well hit the road if no one is home. Might as well give it a try since no one has been able to do it. Might as well be different when everything is so damn much the same. Might as well think your own thoughts instead of somebody else’s. Might as well have a celebration if you get fired. Might as well get comfortable if you’re back in jail. Though you might as well talk it up if no one will talk. Might as well keep to yourself if nobody is interested. Don’t let ‘em know who you are.

Might as well do your best if that’s the best you can do. Might as well drive all day if you can’t get there by dark. Maybe tomorrow. Might as well give it up if you have it to give. Might as well give it away if you don’t need it. Might as well let it go if it has become irrelevant. And maybe only you would know. Might as well forget it if you can’t recall it in the first place. Might as well help yourself since no one will lift a finger. Might as well save yourself the trouble. Might as well tell the truth if that’s as good as you can lie.

Being pretty doesn’t make you
sexy, being sexy makes you sexy.