Purple Mark… Being Vincent Van Gogh

 

Being Vincent Van Gogh

 
On the day before the Parade:
I fastened the handles on the golden Frame
with great difficulty, gilded the protruding screws,
located and steamed the turquoise velvet outfit,
and found the sunflower brooch.
I had previously grown out the side parts
of my beard out and dyed it orange in order
to be Vincent Van Gogh: a walking painting.
 
I had thought it would be great if a group of Artists
were to come as either their own artworks
or other famous paintings or sculptures.
We would be an Artwalk where instead of the people walking
by the Art, the Art would walk past the people.
 
On the day of the Fremont Solstice Parade,
the make-up was truly like oil paint as
I built up the layers into a reasonable
facsimile of Vincent’s self-portrait
with brushes which gunked up,
sponges that disintegrated,
difficulties with hair-sprays
and a bobby pin which despite
the efforts of many people resisted
all attempts to restrain my beard or
remain invisible during my time as
Vincent. At last I had to be satisfied
with my efforts and began my Walk.
 
I walked downtown and curiously enough
very few people looked my way or even looked
like people trying to get to the Parade,
I chose a number Fifteen bus to Ballard,
(instead of my usual number Seventeen
walk across the bridge along with the throngs)
and walked another mile along the Burke-Gilman
to join the colorful chaos of the staging area.
 
I found the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
first and then I saw others that I knew
finally my friends with the Emerald City
Social Club that I usually walked with appeared,
but not unsurprisingly none of those
I had invited to be a Work of Art with me.
 
Margo made me look comparatively tame
in comparison with her Electric Blue body suit
which had 1200 Fluorescent Green earplugs hot-glued
to it in addition to her Fluorescent Pink heels
and two bubble guns, only one of which worked.
 
She got the majority of attention after we jumped
in following the Phoenix group and before
a Dance & Drum group because we’ve found
that it’s necessary to have good music going
to keep everything moving along pleasantly.
 
Vincent and I had our admirers among the crowds,
most of which got who or what I was,
though some called me Picasso or Miro
and I had to correct their mistaken impression.
I was repeatedly told that “I had been framed!”
and of course, I got the thing about the ear.
 
With the Frame, I was able to coax out a few people
from the crowd and be in the picture with me.
This included children as well as adventurous
teens and adults who enjoyed the opportunity
to be part of the action if only briefly.
 
The handles on the Frame were not so easy
on my hands which cramped-up and the sly brass
numbed my fingertips and even on the next day,
my left index finger remains partially numb
and wasn’t the only consequence of my Parading.
 
The Fremont Solstice Parade is about two miles long
and by the time my section of it had reached Gasworks,
I was glad I didn’t have to hold up the frame anymore as
my fingertips were now numb and my feet were buzzing
with that peculiar energy which comes from dancing,
standing still for the cameras and just being part
of the whole extravaganza.
 
As was my Solstice tradition, I walked back along the
Parade route to view those acts which had followed mine.
Then having done my bit to bring in Summer, I left Fremont
and the Fair foregoing the no doubt lengthy
waits for packed buses and began my long walk
home by way of a path next to Lake Union with
the Frame digging its way into my shoulders.
 
I went through the new-to-me Maritime Park,
past the geese, over a bridge, past a Naval building
now shuttered that I had welcomed one New Years Eve in,
by the Center For Wooden Boats and it’s seemingly
attendant Orange canopies in a Park still in formation.
 
From there I made my way through the Mercer Mess
up Fairview contemplating finding a meal, but those
places I found along the way were either closed,
uninteresting or nonexistent and I continued on up
that last and steepest stretch: Denny Hill walking
8 ½ miles altogether for the day all in the name of Art.
 
Then I hung out with friends to give my feet a rest
while they wondered why I didn’t remove my make-up.
Having had nothing to eat except cereal, I planned
to go out one last time to a well deserved dinner as
Vincent Van Gogh complete with my Frame, I chose
Julia’s on Broadway as my spot to hang out at.
 
Unfortunately, they had no Absinthe with which
to add that touch of verisimilitude at the Green Hour,
so I had a Lemon Drop instead and a pasta dish
to satisfy my appetite and energy needs though
like earlier in the day relatively few even glanced in.
 
I had learned a few years back to avoid eating the food
at the Fair after having been blessed with Food Poisoning
from improperly made or cooked Crab Cakes which caused me
to projectile vomit and pass out three times each,
I had also learned the futility of eating in a
well-established restaurant there which were packed with
Fremont Fair-Goers and had their own harried staffs.
 
On the way back from Julia’s, I found a pack of
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence outside of C.C. Attles
where my Frame provided numerous Photo Ops
for everyone who wanted to get into the picture
one last time. I went home and began to bid farewell
to Vincent Van Gogh with cleansing pads and a bath.
 

Purple Mark aka Mark Wirth courts way too many Muses: Chocolate-Making, Costuming, Millinery, Photography, Painting, Drawing, Novel-Writing and Poetry. In College, he was the Art Director for the MSU Literary Annual for 2 years and an issue of Scimitar: Illustrations, Layout and some Poetry. In the Seattle area, he worked on Mythos in a like manner and provided additional photography as well as short stories.

 

Copyright © 2012 by Purple Mark

 
 
 
 
 
 

Jennifer Roush.. The Jazz Trumpeteer

 

The Jazz Trumpeteer

Cheeks of pink, eyes of blue
I loved the jazz trumpeteer.
A gentleman; always in tune.
Never drained spit on a peer.
 
Takes my hand, asks, “hey Jen!
Go out with me today?”
“We can hide, we can seek.
Practice all day in the caves”
 
“Here’re my friends”, gleefully
Strange, the looks on their faces.
Try to run, try to flee
In my head I win these races.
 
All his friends took their turns
What they did wasn’t just jerking
I shift my butt, it still burns
But nothing’ll stop their circling.
 
Day the next, in the class
I play every drop of fear.
He, speechless, I “goodbye”
Motherfucking jazz trumpeteer.
 

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Roush

 

In this particular piece, the author, Jennifer combined 2 Lines with the 111 words of anything goes. Notice how cleverly she wove the prompt lines “the girl shifts her buttock, but they keep circling,” in her narrative. Her use of crass language is reminiscent of the author of those two lines, Charles Bukowski. All in all, good work for a few minutes of time.

Click here if you would like to participate in the WRITING CHALLENGE.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Michele Alice… DC Circus

 
 

DC Circus

 
 

I.

 
Golden rod
       is so pretty, I wonder–
has it a fragrance?
 
 
 

II.

 
Who needs Ringling
Brothers when we’ve got
Washington?
 
 
 

III.

 
New Economics 101
 
Debt
is
stimulating.
 
 
 

IV.

 
The Paul Krugman
       Equation: You’ll know it’s enough
when it works.
 

Originally from Detroit, I spent my college years studying Philosophy at the University of Arizona (Tucson) before escaping the heat and ending up in the Berkshires (Massachusetts) where I support my writing by working in a museum.

 

Copyright © 2017 by Michele Alice

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lindsay Diem… Playing House

 
 

Playing House

 
her tiny fingers clasped a diaper wipe
and pressed it to my nose
she loudly instructed for me “blow”
and waited inquisitively
 
she wiped my face delicately
the way mommy and daddy do it
and blotted my eyeliner
with a look of disdain
 
she didn’t know what to do with the ugliness
the long black streak of make-up
her eyes, wide and innocent
baffled
by imperfection
 

I teach tenth grade English at Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn, MI. I graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2006. I spend my free time writing poetry and painting. My daughter is my inspiration for my art.

Copyright © 2017 by Lindsay Diem

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Simon Perchik… Five Untitled Poems

 
 

     – 1 –

There’s still a chance, sit
so you can’t see the tunnel
fanning out behind you and the sky
 
that knows so much about it
lowers this train to the ground
still falling back, tormented
 
by something overdue, the seat
half firewall, half
some hollow mound moving away
 
without the others, high above
the evening you are looking for
though you turn your back
 
the way your eyelids are used to the dark
at home in your hands, no longer
uncertain when to close and grieve
 
–all these years reflected in the night
your face gives off, clouded over
with glass, holding on, sleepless
 
–arrive unexpected! grown over
with weeds, with the hidden mountainside
around your shoulders and emptiness.
 
 
 

     – 2 –

They wait for this match
to let them in all at once
–these stars need more time
 
smothered by how quiet the sun
waits in the darkness
this candle knows by heart
 
–it’s your usual match, half wood
half some mountainside
breathing again and rock by rock
 
rescued by the simple flame
that looms over you as smoke
broken open for rain and falling back
 
–such is the need for a face
–the ground almost asleep
kept warm, expecting you.
 
 
 

     – 3 –

Katherine is reading this
and in the slow rain between each word
she hears her lips closing in
 
the way a love note is folded
kept for years alone in a drawer
half wood, half as if its darkness
 
is after something else on the page
she can’t remember touching before
vaguely, if someone older says so
 
though a star can be born and die
before its light reaches her eyes
holding on to these dim shapes
 
that have no sound yet –it’s too soon
–she will forget how far and you
what she hears at every chance.
 
 
 

     – 4 –

Once into the turn it spirals up
as if your lips are clouding over
breaking free from your face
 
the way the ground allows a hole
to rise, spills out its shadow
without any darkness
 
–it’s just a donut, a trace
though the sugar too is cold
dangerous, flying up-side-down
 
sleepless and in the far off snow
that remembers you, reaches across
tries not to promise you anything.
 
 
 

     – 5 –

Though it’s familiar this flower
doesn’t recognize the breeze
wriggling out the ground
 
as that distance without any footsteps
–its petals have no memory left
no scent that can expand into mist
 
prowling for more darkness
the way moonlight tries to remember
once passing through the Earth
 
on all fours, sniffing for stones
hidden from where your fingers
will clasp each other sideways
 
and the dirt still close by
–will smother all that happened
has no past, means nothing now.
 

My poetry has appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, The New Yorker and elsewhere.

Copyright © 2016 by Simon Perchik