Saturday, June 19, 2021

A&T

 


A DOLLOP OF YEAST ON A GNU’S BEARD 

And you could be the owner of an exclusive handbag!

 

THE TEASE 

Goldfinch in the rosemary.
Hummingbirds at the purple sage.

 

A NEW YEAR MEANS MORE REWARDS 

Arrive. Dine. Play. Stay.
And be white about it.

 

THE LAST TEMPTATION CENTER 

We waive the fees!

 

A BLAND EDEN 

Book early.
Cancel anytime.

 

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER 

Pentagons, octagons, ziggurats.

 

A WETLANDS 

Pronounced har yu.

 

THE MONKS OF THE MONASTERY OF BRO TOTALLY 

Beautiful on the inside and the outside.

 

A LOT WITH LOTS OF OCELOTS 

He don’t need to come back here.
He’s got all his homeboys out there.

 

THE REVEAL 

Capture points plotted with sidewalk chalk.

 

A GOOD SHOOT 

Worthy of the name.
Made some noise.

 

THE COMMON TATER 

I commentate, therefore I am
A common tater.

 

A SQUIRREL CHIRPS IN SPANISH 

“And you think my shit raggedy?”

 

 

 

© 2021 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.

 

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Embodied Practices

 
"Vampire," by Edvard Munch

CAN’T SEEM TO LET YOU GO 

My body is dematerializing.
My car is disintegrating.
And still they call it felony evading.

 

THAT’S CUTE 

What is it?

 

TESTING TESTING 1-2-3 

Is there a She-Ra in the house?

 

EMBODIED PRACTICES 

I’ve been single all my life.
She married the same man three times.

 

PISSING ON PAYWALLS

So gangster and chill.
In subzero temperatures.
It freezes as soon as it hits.

 

AND I THOUGHT 

Of all the times.

 

OTHER THAN THAT 

To be honest
It’s just hey.

 

IS THERE A LIMIT? 

No there is no limit.

 

PRIVILEGING SUCCESS 

Ranked #1.

 

DON’T HANG ON THAT 

And that’s why.
Right there.

 

TAKE IT DOWN 

Like let it be up for three days
And then take it down.

 

YEAH BUT SEE 

If I just do…
If I just...Wow!
Did you see that?

 

SO FUNNY 

I saved my mother’s chonklas
In order to self harm.
She delivered her own elbow smash.
Four million grandkids

 

THERE’S A VIDEO 

That’s nothing but trash
Trucks. He loves it.

 

I MAY HAVE SAID THIS ALREADY BUT 

It’s not too late to save.

 

 

© 2021 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

I Love That This is a Thing


MARKED MAN

Bullseye on my back,
Bounty on my head,
And an ex on my ass.

 

HERMOSA BEACH

Forward slash nice wezza,
Forward slash cute dogz.

 

ZOOM SEX

A series of burns.

 

APRIL PARTNER OFFERS BRING MAY

Earn after spending promos.

 

HELLA FULL MOON 

Double the madness.

 

THREE EASY STEPS 

You show up,
You test,
You go on your way.

 

BIKINI BOWFISHING 

I love that this is a thing.

 

CAMELS AND ZEBRA 

Stay standing longer with anti-fatigue mats.

 

FIRST DAY OF SPRING 

Where’s my VapoRub Plus?

 

GLOBAL MARKETING ANALYST 

Never had no formal training.

 

RUSSIAN VODKA WITH MEXICAN 7 UP 

To help you crush your wellness routine.

 

BATTLE CRY 

Look at me!

 

POET LAUREATE 

Is this seat taken?

 

MUSTARD SEEDS 

Limit two.

 

AFK 

Ink pen, cocktail napkin, college ruled.

 

FUTURE TENSE 

I’m not tense now,
But I will have been.

 

THE WORLD I LIVE IN 

Hate = Virus.
Love = Vaccine.

 

EGG 

Pre-deboned chicken.

 

© 2021 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon







Saturday, May 29, 2021

The Influencer

 
Utami Hayashishita, photo by Dynamite Kansai

Drinking a smoothie, reading her device.
Stabs the straw right into her forehead.
Grimaces like a large metal wash basin.
It’s funny because like
Her livestream is so perfect.
I touched her, she felt like a screen.

Though I never forewarn a screen
That I’m going to touch it.
You can’t be too careful or correct.
Mere affection is so suspect these days.
“I’ll wrestle with you in strength of love.”
Made her laugh and bounce on the seat.

She’s thicc, but it’s all cloud storage.
Super self-aware, super cute and extra,
Smart, strong and bold.
Her legs a visionary pairing.
Her body a recharging station.
She influences me to hit Enter.

Wedge pillows and pillow rolls.
Dakimakura and bolsters.
The bed is a map of the Tokyo subway system.
We've got all-line passes.
Willing to shed tears on a first date.
Super huge fans of relentless.

 

(Quote from Antony and Cleopatra, by William Shakespeare)

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Oh, What a Time!

A little while ago I thought it was Friday night.

Just now I thought it was Sunday night.

It’s actually Tuesday night.

PDT.


Here’s today’s post from WUTR:

Two poems with longish titles — Write Up The Road Media

Here’s a photo by Allen J. Schaben

from a Los Angeles Times article about cruising in the San Fernando Valley.

Get the photo and zoom in. It's great. Such life! I emailed him a kudo. 













Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Ask Evonne


ZEUS 

Satchmo in Greek.

 

LUCIE GREEN 

Leasing agent.

 

JESUS SET ME FREE 

If you’d be so kind.

 

TERI AVILA 

She’s chubby but she works out.

 

MY COUSIN DERRELL 

I don’t want to say he got a girl pregnant,
But he did.

 

ARIADNE 

Follow the thread.

 

BILLY 

He’ll come right out and tell you
He played with dolls as a kid.
Imagine what his girlfriend’s Mom thought.

 

CECILIA 

Good for her, man.
If it makes her happy,
Good for her

 

GREGORY SAN MATEO 

I wrote porno movie reviews for a porno magazine.
My girlfriend was the editor.
Her sister was an actress.
Hi-jinks ensued.

 

KHADY 

University professor,
Instagram fitness model.
One urge leading to the next.
Salary plus tenure equals merch.

 

JAELYN’S ANOTHER ONE 

Oh, she will.
She’s just like her mother.
Her mother was like that.

 

THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS 

Safe!

 

ASK EVONNE 

It’s whatever Evonne wants.

 

WALT 

Walt won’t wait, where
We will.


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

 


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Inspiration

 

photo by Zanele Muholi

The following is not a set of steak knives. It is the Cadillac El Dorado.

Music 

From two different composers—Duke Ellington, Miles Davis—and performed by these brilliant musicians: Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter, Tony Williams.

It Don’t Mean a Thing (If  It Ain’t Got That Swing)

Milestones

Visual Art 

Zanele Muholi

Writing 

Diane Seuss

 

 

****************

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

The Adventure is Unstoppable

 
Yeah it’s crazy what’s going on out there:
Man gets 212 years
For driving off wharf,
Killing 2 autistic sons.
Shapeshifters seize pet adoption service.
NASA sends food truck to Mars.
And the next thing you know it’s
Roadmaps and blueprints,
Living trusts and limited offers,
Super modified NFTs,
Four minutes closer to eternity,
No time to lose,
The body and blood of Christ in bulk,
But its hard to find shoes. 

Whatever the bishop says I’ll roll with it.
The resistance has never been more than
A charm of goldfinch using burner accounts,
A circus subsidized by the rich and privileged,
Humans ridden bareback,
Humans dancing,
Humans dressed like chimpanzees.
The adventure is unstoppable:
Surprise parties on yachts,
Walking on red carpets,
Our team, your success.
Everybody keeps telling me
You know who has a lot of size eleven shoes?
And they bring the showroom to you!


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

 


Saturday, May 8, 2021

Choice Bits (a regular feature, savoring the best)

 

From Measure for Measure, by William Shakespeare 

“If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.” 

“’tis the cunning livery of hell.”

 

From The Man Who Was Thursday, by G.K. Chesterton 

“ticked and terrified the nerves of a neurotic population.”
“ [a hornbill is] a huge yellow beak with a small bird tied on behind it.”

 

From Walk Through Walls, by Marina Abramović 

“I was sitting around the fire with some tribeswomen when I noticed that they were talking in my head.”

 

From A Week with a Miami Don, by Zarkia 

“The woman sized her with a stank look on her face.”

“Tell that bitch if she wanna thump, I’m with all that shit.”

“Her hand came up just as quick as she slapped the shit out of the woman before jumping on her and beating the dog shit out of her right in the lobby of Dunkin Donuts.” 

“I treat all my bitches with respect and shit.”

“A nigga been through a lot yo, that’s why I am the way I am.”

“The sisters decided to get lost in a series on Netflix and accompany it with wings and wine.”

“I don’t get this shit.” Jovan expressed.

 

From The Afterlife of Stars, by Joseph Kertes 

“And then she kissed me and left, pulling the warm air with her.”

“We left our bags and stepped into Hermina’s salon, which was like stepping into a French pastry, all billowy with creams and pallors, marzipan and peach.”

“...it rained tables and chairs...”

“Did music live in the mind of the Lord up until the day he wrapped feathers and wings around it?”

 

PLUS!

 

From “O Sea, That Knowest Thy Strength” by Effie Lee Newsome  

"The thing in me that is the Sea,
        Intangible, untamed,
        Untamed and wild,
        And wild and weird and strong!”

 

 From “Ex(ile) by Desiree C. Bailey 

"...a nail sick with rust..."


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

 

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Clinical Trial

 

DESIRECTOMY 

Where they remove your desire.
That Closed for the Season feeling
Year Round.
Or your money back.

 

LIKE MOST PEOPLE 

I wear experimental shorts.

 

PROGRESS 

I’m not saying tomorrow.
I’m saying directionwise.
And she says the same thing.

 

SYLVILAGUS BACHMANI 

Western White Ass.
Nibbling the leafy wind.

 

CLINICAL TRIAL 

Half were given al pastor.
The other half chorizo.

 

CERTIFICATE OF PARTICIPATION 

This confers upon you the professional title of
Poet
And thus all rights associated with this title.

 

PROMO 

Buy one Moorish entrance,
Window or door,
Get one Moorish entrance,
Window or door.

 

THE HOSE 

That’s the best hose.
I love that hose.
Have you used that hose?

 

DIASPORA 

He talking about he didn’t hear the noise.

 

WRITER’S BLOCK 

How many pages constitutes an attempt?

 

7-ELEVEN 

I miss it.
I miss it so bad.

 

DETAIL GUYS 

They know the weather.


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.
My books are available on Amazon.

 


Saturday, April 24, 2021

Dr. Dre Ed-ucation


 Warning: this is nasty and mean-spirited. It is also funny and a work of art.

Dr. Dre - Ed-ucation (Lyrics on screen) - YouTube

 They say, uh, a black man is a pimp. Well let me tell you the biggest pimp on planet mother fuckin’ earth… is her momma. It’s her momma that told her, “Get a man that got a good job, girl. Make sure he got a good car, girl. Make sure he can take you out and buy you something girl.”

Whatever happened to just fallin’ in love with a nigga with a bus pass? Just cuz ya loved the nigga. But I’m the pimp motha fucka. I gotta be the playa.

The biggest hoes on planet earth… are walking through the mother fuckin’ neighborhood… you knew when you got with the nigga he already had a woman. You knew he already had a family. But you fucked him anyway. And then you thought you gonna lose the nigga, you went and got pregnant… didn’t ya bitch? Didn’t ya? The old keep-a-nigga baby. And then when the nigga ain’t around… what do ya tell the child? “Oh, that nigga ain’t shit. That’s why yo daddy ain’t here. Cuz that nigga ain’t shit.” How bout being a woman and telling the kid the truth… that yo momma… you was a hoe. Tell the kid, “momma was a hoe, I was weekend pussy, I had you to keep the nigga, it didn’t work out… that’s why he ain’t here.” But he a good nigga… cuz he take care of his real family. I was just a dumb bitch.

–Dr. Dre (Ed-Ucation- 2001)


********************

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Jackie McLean


Jackie McLean was among the best of the golden age of American jazz, late 1940’s through the late 1960’s. He was also one of those who continued performing and composing beyond that time; in Jackie McLean’s case into the 21st century. 

I read this about him recently: 

“McLean was a heroin addict throughout his early career, and the resulting loss of his New York City cabaret card forced him to undertake a large number of recording dates to earn income in the absence of nightclub performance opportunities. Consequently, he produced an extensive body of recorded work in the 1950s and 1960s.” 

It’s not funny but you look at the lists of him at this site Jackie McLean - Wikipedia and its true: as a leader and as a sideman, he was everywhere, and he performed and wrote for his fellow giants of that time. I mean look at those names. 

Two of my favorites albums: as a sideman on this Charles Mingus work of art Pithecanthropus Erectus (album) - Wikipedia and then as a leader A Fickle Sonance. 

Thankfully, Jackie McLean overcame his addiction and, as mentioned, continued to perform well after the late 1960’s. Here’s a link to a 1986 performance with Mal Waldron’s unit MAL WALDRON & JACKIE McLEAN - YouTube 

And there’s this bootleg (circa 1970?) of his own group Jackie McLean Sextet Live @Music Inn (Roma) Bootleg - YouTube 

I think the titles of two of his albums are a good summary of Jackie McLean: 

Lights Out!  Destination…Out!

************************

Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.


Thursday, April 15, 2021

A Thursday in the middle of National Poetry Month Special

 


Grounds for sharing three recent works from the Head Light blog at Write Up The Road Media. 

Woman with a Fan

Special Announcement

Mythology


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com.

My books are available on Amazon.

 

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Langston Hughes


It’s been on my mind for years, trying to find the name of the writer of the “Off the Corner” column that appeared in The Facts, a weekly black newspaper in Seattle. It would have been the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. And I’m curious if the columns have been collected, as a book or in an archive, or if they are otherwise accessible. 

I was thinking about “Off the Corner” heavy this past week as I was reading through some of Langston Hughes’ prolific and prodigious output of literature, specifically an autobiography and a book of poetry from early in his career. 

The poetry is The Weary Blues, cover by Miguel Covarrubias. 

Here are two of my favorites: 


SUICIDE’S NOTE 

The calm,

Cool face of the river

Asked me for a kiss.

 

AFRAID 

We cry among the skyscrapers

As our ancestors

Cried among the palms in Africa

Because we are alone,

It is night,

And we’re afraid.

*******

The autobiography is The Big Sea. 

The title refers to the time Hughes worked on freighters, and there are interesting stories that run counter to my impression of him as strictly an urban being. In addition, there are amusing and lively descriptions of his life in Mexico as a young man. But, being an aficionado of the Harlem Renaissance, I was thrilled by and most enjoyed Hughes’ plentiful anecdotes from that time, about the people and the events, artsy and gossipy. He was right there in the middle of it, a big name among big names. 

There’s also a story about traveling through the South with Zora Neale Hurston (apparently during a happier period of their relationship) as she was collecting anthropological studies and artifacts relating to voodoo and other alternate practices and customs of the rural folk. 

*******


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.


Saturday, April 3, 2021

Sarah Vaughan


 There are singers, there are song stylists, but Sarah Vaughan is in another category. 

Online you’ll find Sarah Vaughan kicking it with Hef on Playboy’s Penthouse, or Sarah killing it with Count Basie in a concert at Carnegie Hall. 

I’ve listed a few random links below. But there are a ton more, to performances and studio sessions, from early in her career in the golden age of jazz, 1945-1965, and into the late 1980’s. One in particular, After Hours, I’ve praised in this space before. The last link is to a documentary film about her, a rough copy, but you will get additional information about her and her place in the history of jazz and American song. 

The best has already been written about Sarah Vaughan. Take time to read the insightful comments at some of the links. I’ll just add that she sings like an avant-garde artist, like something new in the world of music and lyric is suddenly being revealed, a new ism, a post neo something that just lights you up. 

Sarah Vaughan - Somewhere Over The Rainbow - YouTube 

Sarah Vaughan - live Sweden '58, Holland '58, & Sweden '64 (Jazz Icons DVD) - YouTube 

Sarah Vaughan "The Divine One" - YouTube

 

*************

 Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.

 

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Living in the Intermediate World

 JESUS LOVES YOU

He just doesn’t remember your name.


WHERE I GET MY HAIR CUT

They changed barbers.
It’s all women.


COMPARING

McDonald’s fries to Wendy’s fries
Is apples and oranges.


HAZARDING A GUESS

The baby daddy is the mother?


THE OPEN GATE

The gate has been open quite some time now,
But the view hasn’t exactly been of
Your ass driving up the driveway.


DUH

I want my financial advisor to live better than I do.


THIS IS A SPECIAL REPORT

Syrup or jelly?


ME NEITHER

When I bought mine
I didn’t know what I was buying.


CELEBRATED STREAMER

Hi guys.


NOW OPEN

Free beverage.
Free wings.
Great gas prices.
Visit today!


THE OTHER COUPLE HERE AT THE LODGE

Hog farmers from France.


ADJUSTING THE ANGST

There should be a little thing there.
There’s also a little button.


LIVING IN THE INTERMEDIATE WORLD

I just saved
USD$15.00
Va va voom!


BUT THANKS FOR ASKING

She’s buried up at the top of the hill.
Her choices are limited
Is how she’s doing.


AND I TOLD HIM I SAID

Y’all got anything y’all want to add?


BIRDS AT THEIR BATH

Drinking their reflections.


ODE TO MY PLAN

The Devil thought she had me
But I got away
By dint of talk, text & data.


TENDER AND JUICY

Albeit inchoate and labile.


KEEP PADDLING

I’ll check my credit score.
You keep paddling.


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Palabras Clave

Heavy lifting.
Party rentals.
Party rolls.
Land starved.
Striking points.
Perfect attendance.
Inmate copy.
New strain.
Annabel Lee.
Wryly winsome.
Enemy compound.
Poor Clare.
Spooky smart.
Game bundle.
Status quo.
Onion rings.
Saturn’s rings.
Getting comped.
Flaming yon.
Eeencohn tacks.
Personal pizza.
Personal hell.
Climbing structure.
Mad rush.
Silk pajamas.
Vivian don’t.
Shooting texts.
Social warriors.
Guest bloggers.
Who doesn’t?
Who can’t?
No rehearsal.
Coyote flats.
Meal plan.
Good fortune.
Partner offers.
Structural damage.
West Virginia.
Leftist movements.
Pet carriers.
Manufacturing engineer.
Mechanical engineer.
Blackmarket cannabutter.
Magnetic forces.
Gagging noises.
Unlimited access.
Survivors benefits.
Hot sauce.


Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Gesso and Gossip

BOWLING ALLEY COCKTAIL LOUNGES

Were among the best places to drink
When you still had
Twenty more years
Of wrenching ahead of you.


MULTIVERSE

The first person I meet in the street
Is actually probably the second.


PRACTICE

If I fall on my butt like I did last time
I’m going to cry so hard.


REVISIONISM

Yesterday is attached.


STUDIO VISIT

Gesso and gossip.


CHEESE SPARROWS

200 bonus points when you buy two.

 

HAWAIIAN MENTAL HEALTH

Aloha Eli Lilly.


VISION STATEMENT

Her legs.


MISSION STATEMENT

Gonna make me lose my mind up in here.


PHYSICS

I order.
They ship.


EMAIL

From the service department manager.
They’ve missed me at the dealership.


LANDMARK LEGISLATION

But you have to hold it up to a mirror to read it.


ODD BEHAVIOR

He walked home from Loretta’s one night.
Why would you do that?
It’s five miles.


JAPAN

50 words for rain.
100 yen stores.


ATHENS

The Paris of Greece.


EPIPHANICS

Wet wood gets smoky.


BONDAGE

I tried reaching out
But my hands were tied.



Please visit my website at www.randystark.com and my page at Write Up The Road.

 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

A This and a That


“There are not many American writers for whom style really is content. We’re too earnest a nation, too attached to making our art about messages or lessons, and usually, easily digestible ones. The American authors who take style as something close to an ethics of writing are quite often the most elegant. Think of W. M. Spackman’s slim comedies of erotic manners, the bespoke mordancy of Frederick Seidel’s verse, or of Raymond Chandler, whose style fought it out with his moralism and beat it two falls out of three. Southern, whose elegant prose exists amid the chaos and rut it’s describing, is such a stylist. Saying the right thing — even if it is the most outrageous or obscene thing — in exactly the right way is the only morality at work in his work.” —Charles Taylor, reviewing a novel by Terry Southern, LARB 1-26-2021

 Or as Shakespeare put it: “Good pasture makes fat sheep.”

 Or as señor Vladimir Nabokov put it: “Lolita, luz de mi vida, fuego de mis entrañas.”

(It wasn’t until I’d gotten home from the library that I realized I’d checked out a Spanish translation of the novel. Because I’m a pathetic monolingual loser, only fluent in one language, I got less out of it than I’d hoped, and it got less out of me. There was the time, monolingual fool that I am, when, after dinner she says she would like me to stay the night. I don’t understand French, so I respond in English: “Well, I have to be getting home.”)

 Tarfia Faizullah said of one of her published pieces: “I decline to explain or contextualize this poem. If you, reader, get something from it—that’s all that matters.”

I thought I was being tough when I manifestoed: “I am opposing and flouting centuries of tradition by making this declaration: If there are any websites, magazines or other platforms who wish to publish my writing, simply email me (randystare@yahoo.com) and I will return to you a selection of work from which you may choose. What I am pretty much going to STOP doing is cold submitting work to random venues—which are diminishing anyway, fallout from the covid quarantines. In other words, contact me if you want some work for your site or magazine and I’ll be happy to respond immediately. Otherwise, reading my work can easily be accessed at www.randystark.com and http://writeuptheroad.com/.”

 A Review in Verse:

 To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han, 2014
There’s Something about Sweetie, by Sandhya Menon, 2019

Too life affirming for my liking.
Magically multicultural
But otherwise like watching "Saved By the Bell."
Watching "Saved By the Bell" and eating French toast.

And finally, I recommended reading Meg Elison, especially The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, the first of her trilogy, a franchise with female protagonists driving it. Somebody blurbed: “Elison offers a troubling yet hopeful vision of the future.” Uh, excuse me, no, she doesn’t. This is post-apocalyptic despair at its best. I live in the same shithole city she once did, and I drive the same make and model car as she does. This may or may not be a lost planet, I don’t know, but maybe we drank at the same bar, if she drinks. 

With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino.