©Vince Pawless 2020

Consciousness is not a size, consciousness is not an amount. Consciousness is not a prize. Consciousness is not a load, consciousness is not a burden, consciousness is not by the pound, or kilogram. Consciousness is like a traffic signal, it always works. Consciousness is not difficult, consciousness does not require a learning curve, consciousness does not require understanding.

Consciousness has limits like vision, but consciousness can see way the hell out. Consciousness is dimensional, consciousness is a thrill. Consciousness is a dawn like a new day. Consciousness is the familiar, or common. Consciousness is a quality, consciousness is blurry, consciousness is clear. Consciousness is automatic. Consciousness is nowhere to be seen.

Consciousness will lead you to the well, consciousness will keep you out of the well. You won’t worry about consciousness, you won’t lose consciousness, often. You won’t find consciousness under the door mat, or in the closet. You won’t see consciousness in yer choice of toothpaste, or toilet tissue. Consciousness is a good thing to have if you are driving a car, or flying an airplane, or reentering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Consciousness is considered, you acknowledge consciousness, you are drawn to consciousness, yer confident in consciousness. You can pride yerself on consciousness, you can possess consciousness for all the world to see, you can admire consciousness. Plainly, consciousness is user friendly, and will plug and play on most models.

All you can do is be understanding
and look the other way.


©Vince Pawless 2020

I’m not a realist, not a romanticist, not a hero, not a politician, not a first draft, not a good deal, not a good source of the news. Not a leader, not a follower, not a company man, not here for the music. Not here for the lecture, not here for screaming seminar. Not a beginner, not an old timer, not a child, not an also ran. Not a wisher, not a dreamer, not a dead weight, not a standard, not a boys regular, not one size fits all.

Not convenient, not easy, not even like-able sometimes. Not civil, not civilized, not interested. Not willing to contribute, not washed behind my ears. Not eloquent, not together, not turned on, not on top of it. Not down in the engine room, not in attendance, not at the front of the class. Not ahead of the curve, not dependable, not in control, not able to see around the corner.

Not able to see what’s in front of me. Not able to think of anything new, not able to keep the ball in play. Not leading the pack, not bringing up the rear, not even in the ballpark, not out of the ballpark. Not the lady’s pet, not the singer in the band, not a flat picker, not the teacher’s fav. Maybe not a lot of brains, not a lot of enthusiasm, not a lot belief, not a lot of fantasy…not a lot of regrets. Naw man, not a lot of nothing. I’m Vince.

If the shoe fits, buy both.


©Vince Pawless 2020

The strength of strings. Strong ties, the strength of words to do good. Strong love, strength like a quality. Strong arm, strength like a muscle. Strong stare, strength is between yer ears. Strength is in yer mind. Strength is the mental state of being strong. Strength will keep you well, strength will help where you are weak. Strength like the state of being strong, strength like what it means to be strong. If you have stamina you have strength. If you have determination you have a strength. If you’re of mental power you have a strength. 

A weakness can be a strength, an ignorance can be a strength. There are no stupid strengths. Strength is shared, strength is supposed by others, strength is a rumor most times, strength is courageous, strength is power, strength is luck, strength is serendipity. Strength is theatre. Strength is more than one pair of eyeballs pointing in the same direction at the same time. Strength is an army…of smiles, of agreement, of teamwork, of concern for someone else, of the will of yer heart, of the will of the greater good, of the will of any good whatsoever, of the desire to be strong in the face of tyranny, of want to be greater in yerself than you have ever known. 

Strength is potency. The strength of the plea. The strength of the argument. Strength against force, strength against language that may not be yer cup of tea. Intensity is strength, the power to rise above is strength, show strength, advertise strength, super strength, lack of strength. The strength of numbers, the strength of ideas, the strength of music to heal, the strength of words to understand. The strength of words to just say No. The strength of character to go another way. The strength goodness gave a singing cricket. You can manage that, now can’t you? 

Get serious, reinvent the wheel.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Love is economics, save some. Save often. Can you be saved? Do you even want to be saved? I would save you if it was the last thing I did on Earth. Sleep can’t be saved. Money doesn’t really care to be saved. You can’t save time in a bucket. The saving grace of yer benevolence, yer saving grace.

The endangered will be saved, the imperiled will be saved. The saved have been rescued, the saved have been liberated, the saved are joyous, the saved are grateful. If you can’t spend it, save it. Saving stamps, savings account, save it in a bank er a Presbyterian church. 

Save the whales, save the homeless, save the trees, save the living, save the children, save the politicians from themselves. Save them from us. If yer saved you’ve been delivered. If yer saved you’ve been sheltered. If yer saved you’ve been defended. If yer saved someone else is out of breath, er out of cigarettes. Naw man, don’t save that shit for me. You smoke it.

The smile in that photograph from the Culver Hotel saved me. Now, I’m gonna save you. Wanna see me do it again?

They been wailing on me,
but that soon comes to a halt.


This piece was inspired by Soo Sunny Park’s sculpture ‘Unwoven Light,’ a commission of Rice University, Art Gallery, 2013. Thank you, Norie Guthrie.

It was a dragon. The short, stout, powerful legs spread wide apart like stanchions, claw footed into the smooth marble rock. They were sharp as razors like battle axes in the mud. The tail whipping back and forth like an angry dinosaur leading to the broad cloth over the belly of the beast. And the groaning weight of the towering wings waving into the sky. Graceful arcs spreading to the heavens, revealing not one writhing, fire breathing inferno on the scaled stalk of a neck, but two. A dragon.

The dragon of lust, the dragon of old, the dragon of antiquity, the dragon of the fairy tale, the dragon in the picture book. The dragon of yer imagination, the dragon that could fly. The dragon in the well, the dragon in the dark, the dragon in the cave. The dragon in the clouds, the dragon out of the mist, the dragon in the ocean, the dragon right behind you.
The dragon between you and the pot of gold. The dragon you deserved, the dragon that just came along for the ride. Them that think themselves dragons, but er no better than dragon fodder. The certain dragon, the wanna be dragons, the dragons that have no choice. The dragon on the hill, the dragon on the mountaintop, the dragon launching out of the sea.
The shadow of the dragon. The dragon looking over yer shoulder. The friendly dragon, the erudite dragon, the eloquent dragon, the wise dragon. The wanton dragon, deliberate and without provocation. The dragons that wouldn’t be dragons if it wasn’t for the despicable sons of bitches that keep them on a halter of thorns.

I just need to be one thing to you…something


©Vince Pawess 2019

Wordplay is essential, wordplay is a boon. Wordplay is therefore good. Wordplay is entertaining. Wordplay is powerful ju-ju. Wordplay is recollect-able. Wordplay will stick in your mind. Wordplay will change yer mind. Wordplay will define you. Wordplay can represent a period of time. Wordplay can represent a time of yer life. Wordplay is words you can live by. Wordplay will make you wear long hair. Wordplay will make you cut off yer hair. Wordplay is clever. Wordplay sets the pace. Wordplay influences decision. Wordplay is serious, aw come on.

Wordplay is laughable, Wordplay is almost anything you say. Wordplay is advertisement. Wordplay will pull yer leg. Wordplay is tomfoolery. Wordplay is a joke. Wordplay is a come on. Wordplay is a turn on. Wordplay is a reward for paying attention in the first place. Wordplay will make you buy a different kind of dog food. Wordplay implies. Wordplay suggests. Wordplay capitalizes on wordplay, the most popular form of flattery is plagiarism. And wordplay inspires wordplay further. Wordplay writes books, wordplay tells songs. Wordplay is the magic that keeps a writer interested, probably.

But, wordplay can be seen as devious and wordplay can be enraging. You see, wordplay can’t be held accountable, so after you hear a little wordplay there’s a lotta finger pointing about what that really meant. If anything at all.  Bottom line? Wordplay is everything.

Ain’t daring you to understand
me, I’m daring you to ignore me.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Create something from nothing, that’s art. Create something with nothing, that’s serendipity. Create something for nothing but creativity itself, that’s adventuresome like IMPROV. Create something that no one else ever did, that’s ingenious. Create something new, that’s ground breaking. Create something likable, that’s popular. Create the score and you’ve written an opera. Create the outline and you’ve written a book. Create the time and you’ve made room for tomorrow. Create the viewpoint and you have changed the world.

Create the space and you have room to change yer mind. Create the sky and you can fly. Create the sea and you can swim. Create the scene and you have written the screenplay. Create the screenplay and you have written a movie. Create the movie and they will come. Create the land and you can stride. Create a different way of looking at things and you can remake the planet. Create a rationale we all can recommend and you create freedom to go another way.

Simply put, if you create the list you can do a set, create the brushstrokes and you can paint, create the notes and you can write a song, create the words and you can write a poem to go with the song, create the chords and you can play the guitar, or the piano. Create the love and you can cook, create the love and you can smile, create the love and somebody else will admit to knowing you. Create nothing, now, that’s typical.

Itz not that you look good in high heels,
itz that you look good in nothing at all.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Jump start, jump ship, jump off the roof of the world. Jump stakes, jump bail, jump higher than you have before, er since. Jump out of an airplane, jump out of your skin, jump the hell out of the way. Jump over the moon, wanna see me do that again? Jump to attention, jump to conclusions, jump up off my ass. If you prance you jump, if you strut you jump, if you sashay you jump. If you swagger you jump.

Diving is jumping, springing is jumping, flying is jumping. You jump if you parachute, you jump if you flinch, you jump if you twitch. When you startle you jump, when you wince you jump. The price jumps, the thought jumps into yer head, if it balloons it jumps, in size, or shape. If it blows up it jumps, a leap is a jump, a jump is a leap. Leapfrog is a jump. Jump the queue, jump the fence, jump over. If you assault, or attack you jump. You can jump on it, you can jump off the wagon, you can jump to yer peril, you can jump to yer benefit, it all depends on when you hit the ground. If you pounce you jump, if you descend upon you jump.

Saw two guys jump an unsuspecting man in the parking lot. Jump at the opportunity. If you know someone in the biblical sense you jump. If you hop you jump, if you bobble you jump, if you seesaw you jump. If you waggle you jump, if you bounce you jump, if you jiggle you jump, if you joggle you jump. If you free fall you jump. Jump from a ledge into a pool of water, get a jump on yer competitors. Evolution is a jump, progress is a jump, metamorphosis is a jump, a turning point is a jump, an upheaval is a jump. After all this, don’t get comfortable the future is a jump, too.

Musings on a matchbook.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Magic trick, magic hat, magic wand, magic word, say the magic words, I Love You. An illusion is magic. Sleight of hand is magic. What is up yer sleeve is magic. What is behind yer back is magic, wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat? An incantation is magical, if itz supernatural itz magical. Magic can drive sickness from the body. A wizard of great magic, his recovery was magical. A mystical influence is magic. A magic charm, a magic amulet, a magic carpet, a magic man, a magical touch, a magical dream, a magical place to hide from the rest of the unimaginative world.

The magic of music, the magic spell, magic beauty, magic dances. To create as if by magic. Quasi magic, to fly as if by magic, magical thinking, magic bullet, magician with a magical flute. A magician with an attitude, a magician of great alchemy. Magic lantern, a magic mountain, a magic number, a triangle is a magic, a liquid is a magic, fire is a magic. Enchantment is magic, fortune telling is magic, hocus-pocus is magic, magnetism is magic. Magic is otherworldly.

Sleight of hand is magic, the prophecy was magic, the occult is magic. Soothsaying is magic, witchcraft is magic, voodoo is magic. Spellbinding magic, smoke and mirrors is magic, sorcery is magic. Otherworldly magical, telekinesis is magic. Magic can be spooky, magic can be uncanny, magic can be wonderful. Magic is for sorcerers, spellbinding magic, magic is miraculous. And just when I thought magic had no place in my sad, little world I find magic is for kids. I’m saved.

The trick is to use the conventions
in your work to create an interpretation
that is like no other.  That’s art.


©Vince Pawless 2019

Well, yer a cowboy, mister. Yer a little early for cowboy church, so you must be here for the alcohol. A cowboy wears cowboy boots, sometimes. A cowboy wears a belt around those jeans like a cowboy. A cowboy’s mother has a buckle on the mantle from the last rodeo. A cowboy rides, a cowboy is a wrangler, a cowboy works cattle. A cowboy drives an F-150, a cowboy is a bronco buster, a cowboy is a vaquero, a cowboy is a gaucho, a cowboy can be a cattle rustler, a cowboy is a cow puncher, Ouch!

A cowboy is a stockman, a cowboy is a cowhand. A cowboy can be a rancher, a cowboy can be a cowpoke, a cowboy is a herdsman, a cowboy knows cattle, a cowboy knows the man that owns the cattle. A cowboy knows the quiet on the range, a cowboy knows the chuck wagon after a daze ride. A cowboy will ride till after dark, a cowboy will walk an old lady across the street. A cowboy will tip his hat to the cowgirls. A cowboy knows the movie set, a cowboy is in Hollywood, a cowboy is in the White House. A cowboy is from New York City. A cowboy will fix yer flat, a cowboy will buy you lunch, a cowboy can figure the tip. A cowboy will get up earlier than you.

A cowboy is a drover, some cowboys want an F-150, but can only afford an older model Dodge to get down to Tractor Supply. Sometimes the cowboy wears cowboy boots, other times sneakers. So who’s the stranger in the shades with the cowboy hat? If yer gonna spend yer money you might as well get a Stetson cowboy hat. Welcome to Texas.

The stockyards in Fort Worth are full of cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys, drugstore cowboys, Cowboys and Indians. Cow catcher, cow pie, cow cake, cow chips, cow country, cowboy country, cow jazz. No rain, no grass? Cowboys have to creep feed with hay. Not much of a cowboy, less than a cowboy, the lonesome cowboy, the stand up cowboy. Sit down with that cowboy, you might pick up something you can use. And just when you think you got that cowboy’s number, the cowboy will ride off into the sunset.

Don’t tell a woman how to boil noodles.