Friday, December 31, 2021

Shop Talk (a continuing series)

“The end of art is peace.”
Seamus Heaney 

Double Portrait of the Artist in Time, by Helen Lundeberg

Why continue to do this? 

As they say in the media: Thank you for that question.

Seriously. I’m thrilled as the writer to know a) someone might have read the piece and b) it might have evoked a reaction (laughter, hopefully), perhaps even a response. I try to provide enough substance to make reading significant, but my DNA is more entertainment oriented than literary. I look at what I’m doing as first entertainment, then literature. 

I know what I enjoy, and I write things that I will enjoy. And because I’m no different from billions of other people, I hope some of the potential readers will find a similar enjoyment in what I have written.

The gap between award winners and the short listed is like the gap between what I think I’m posting and what gets pointed out to me later.

I’ve been on a Toshiko Akiyoshi binge, her work with small groups (e.g. the Toshiko trio circa 1955) as well as the iconic, if not transformational, big band she led with Lew Tabackin. Composer and musician, Toshiko swings. 
I’ve also been looking at two art styles, or movements, or whatever you want to call them.

The first is California light painting, the Light and Space movement that is mainly attirubted to artists in southern California, maybe from santa Barbara to san Diego, and is generally placed in the time period 1960-1980. The practionarers and artists are many, here’s an overview: 

Light and Space Movement Overview | TheArtStory

The other movement is more widely known and practiced: surrealism. And I have been using the internet to watch slide show videos of early surrealism by Leonora Carrington, and on the later surrealism used by Helen Lundeberg. I muted the soundtrack on the videos and played my own choices for viewing and contemplation enhancing music, in a recent instance:  Stuart Dempster ‎- Underground Overlays From The Cistern Chapel (full album) - YouTube

The magazines I read had me running the trails recently: Clara Schumann (Germany) to Anton Bruckner (Austria); William Kentridge (South Africa) to John Muafangejo (Namibia); ); John Muafangejo - Wikipedia

I also noted these two sour observations:

Number one.

“In some niche areas, such as literary magazines and graduate schools of education, the idea of merit as separate from identity no longer exists.”  (George Packard, Atlantic, July /August 2021)

Number two.

“…immersive installations that have become museums’ most popular attractions in the last two decades create environments where art is not an object of contemplation but a backdrop for self-actualization, where the collectivity of the museum public breaks down into the individualities of selfie-taking ‘museum users.’ In becoming more ‘democratic and accessible,’ [Janet] Kraynak writes, the museum becomes indistinguishable from other venues of the experience economy, rather than ’an active productive public sphere.’” (from an essay in the Los Angeles Review of Books, by Brian Droitcour)

Closing with the breezy high interplay in Charlie at Full Speed by Anthony Carelli, and then Joan Retallack hits a walk off home run.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.


Saturday, December 25, 2021

Calling All Madriguys and Madrigals

“Surf life every sweet second.”
Tom Morey.

Saffron and Sage Salon and Massage.
Affordable and practical.

One of the seven superfoods for a better night’s sleep:
World’s best jerky.

Cinnamon trees dreaming in black-market starlight.
Gooseberries dew bathing.

Jacqui, Claudia, Zu.
Hue ecru.

The lightbulbs that used to go off in people’s heads
Are inefficient anymore. 

Check the end to make sure it’s square
And then lop it off.

He put his foot in this one
A day early.

Most profiles on dating sites are fake or predators.
Believe it or not.

A martyred bull reddening the plaza St. Sebastian
Takes me back to Shinjuku.

Heart-shaped koi and sharp-edged lily pads
Make for crimson waters.

A magnificent hot air balloon

Subscription heal thyself.
This shit hits.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Things We Hold Dear as Californians

(Newsom cast the rejection of the recall as a vote in support “of all those things we hold dear as Californians.”)

Australian herding dogs.
Totally Australian.
Steak and seafood.
Value fulfillment.
Checks cashed pay day advance.
Rotary encoders.
Liquor stores.
Illuminated pushbuttons.
Total auto care.
Strollers, walkers.
Dedicated control dynamics.
Factory showrooms.
Falcon Hill at Shadow Ridge.
Motorized faders. 
The particle physics of waiting at the train
For the beach to arrive.
High-speed plugins.
Global headquarters.
Scribble strips.
Original packaging.
Bar graph meters.
Toy haulers. 
Exaggerated handclapping.
Multicolor display.
Institutes of Massage.
Cleaners, dentists.
Happy hair and nails.
Anything actually,
Anything where we need to check our phone
And involves user i.d.s and passwords,
Search engines we can’t resist,
Cones, satellites, video updates,
And in a way that makes sense to us.
We don’t want to have to sit there a pack a bowl, 
Californians just want to push a button, and that’s it.
Si se puede.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Rewards for Living

Opting in is easy.
Visit us.
Stay current.
Stop in.
See why.
Find the nearest.
Get rewarded for all your spending.
We can help.

Check out.
Access rewards fast.
Earn and redeem.
Fast fast fast.
Fast fast fast.

Apply today.
IM me.
Ask me.
Ask an agent.
More savings.
More fun.
Your future awaits.
Live life pain free
And take an additional 50 percent off!

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Friday, December 17, 2021

We Are So Please


Not a joke.
I really mean it.


Two different information.


You are responsible for
Presnit Bidn his failure.
He hates you.
He also gave you candy.


Blame it on the eclipse.
Blame it on the boogie.


We will hunt you down
And make you pay.


To have those feelings.


Reading an advises like this should be necessary
To know what step should be done. 


Dear heavenly father
I admit I am a sinner.
And I need your forgiveness.
I know that I cannot save myself.
Thank you for saving me.


Present Biden is the only doorway.
There is no other way.


Help me how to raise my boy Presna Biden.
I don’t know how to be a parent.
You da best prent, so tell me how.


Can anyone happen to be so nice to anyone?
We are so please.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.


Saturday, December 11, 2021

Tayn It Up

All pro and juxta.
Dual density.
Hokus pokus.
Inherently interdisciplinary.
A flagrant intra compound of dreamboat dentists,
The best in their field, as well as
Plumbing heating and air,
Tall boys and low riders,
In every shape under the rainbow
On God’s green Earth known to humankind.

A charm of luxury friends,
Counterfactual ceilings higher than mine,
Judging by the looks of them,
Motor skills grosser and finer,
Validated parking.
A feel-good ingathering about to be only too happy.
Combined with
Warehouse pricing, and
Saving the best web view for last,
God on your side, just for being nice.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Friday, December 10, 2021

A Flourish


I see’t ‘loft.
What haps--a flourish!


Like AC/DC’s Thunderstruck.
The depth of Mann’s ground game.
Like steroids on steroids.


Been packing wallops nearly all my life.  
Empowering other wallop packers.
80 percent of the world’s wallops? 
Packed right here.
Like an orchestra fully vaccinated
That’ll, I tell you what,
Play some lights out Mahler.


Brings you closer to the people and the things that you love.


A billion views.
Flat-panel display.


Pineapple juice’ll
Make it taste better.


No, that’s Inez Montoya.


She dye her hair red?
I thought well.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

I Was Like You Want to Know Something?

She answered I was thinking 
When I asked
Are you OK?
You appeared to be in 
Agony I said and she said
Thinking is agony.
But the wait is finally over.
Even Euclid had to take it in the end.

The call went out and
I was like save some consciousness for me.
They held a guitar to my head.
I knee jerk against stuff like that.
And then I said,
In a really long aside,
Did you do gymnastics
Or anything similar?

Because the future is curved in four different directions.
The second of which
There’s a way we can make it 
Magic for three hands.
But as soon as the price of gravity dips
You thought the market was crazy for discriminating minimalists?
You won’t be able to afford an energy bar
Even if you can find one.

© 2021 Randy Stark
Please visit my website at
My books are available on Amazon.

Friday, December 3, 2021

"While the Drowsy World Dreams On"

The reupholstered chair of the Select Committee for Accurate Symbolism
Was interrupted by next level sequencers
Making major announcements.
My inner straitjacket tells me there are no new symbols
Only new combinations.
Handcuffs around my waist remind me
Middle management is no place for
Command sergeant majors
Out herding cats with
Oat milk on their tongues.

A gaggle of legit luxury brands
Teeming with reward credits and wedding pictures,
Relentless, reinless,
Redeemed by mantras chanted on beads
Streamed along inroads 
Veering into very very land,
Got suckered into bearing honor
Not even gravity is heavy enough to endow.
The less attached the more
You are likely to swing.

Flirting with a barista in Buenos Aires.
Taking on the person of a character in a fantasy world,
I’ve already tagged the culture
Using one of the five best languages to fail in.
As though to say
I live in Active cash,
And my accounts are linked.
So repeat after me:
(In the same breath as Newton’s first law)
Always be refreshing.

© 2021 Randy Stark

Please visit my website at

My books are available on Amazon.