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Thursday, March 22, 2018


In my dreams of starless nights
I leave my vacant studio
through anechoic rock hallways
to walk shadowed incomplete streets
that sift their compressed sand
of my hometown with tool-scarred homes
outside to never enter unfinished doors
chiseled signs of nameless business
then turning roughened corners
onto melt-water sidewalks into unrevealed bars
with tasteless alcohol
No Moses in these stones

No matter how much I wish
that place to go away I'm there
in black-mooned dream
this smoked bacheloric memory
No familiar address no home comfort
no place to reshape my dull tools
There the jagged remains
littering the pyrimidine base
of granite mountains buildings and people
carved by my hand each night as I seek
something familiar friendly or loved
upon this faceless Rushmore world

Barry G. Wick

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Foot Voodoo

Herr Doctor
surveys these pink balloons
at the end of my soiled legs
holding oceans
He asks about pills
to make the stream flow
Not from the witch I say
whose hut is
on the same floor
Her magic has not conjured
that option as she dances
around the fire typing
I reveal my failure
since my last visit
to heed his mojo
to couple his ointments
with my lower digits
only twice in seven days
“I'll take it” he grunts
through his oval mask
“Something is better than nothing”
He shakes his rattles
as he clips away the evil
“Four months”
He turns away
in a cloud of sparks and smoke
His footsteps sound strangely
as if the toes of a leper
were falling
into peaceful water

Barry G. Wick

Reading Another Writer's Poem

The words are a jungle to me
To talk to me in my time
leaves and vines must be
hacked away to get to
the writer's hooch
many stanzas from here

There is a thick bark
of experience surrounding
dripping green emotions
Sunlit images rattle around
inside my head
monkeys in the trees

Suddenly the writer appears
ahead on a well-used path
in a golden loincloth
Visible tan lines show
what the sun sees
I am lost in the depth of them

Here I jump from the page
into the clutter of simplicity
Beethoven's page turner
licks fingers for an empty page
I no longer hear the howlers
only Ludwig's memory

I need to read silently
without background radio
This distraction cost me
the possibility of the writer
seeing my arousal then dress me
in his own mystical garment

Barry G. Wick
March 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

My Sacred Discovery

A small range of hills
runs through the center
of my hometown
the town where I grew
the hill where I played
the hill was my yard
There was no family right next door
they lived down the hill
and I could hit the roof
of Mrs. Bradski's house
with a rock
I just threw rocks
I soon learned
that throwing rocks
can be more physically painful
than throwing words
It was a lesson
I learned from my brother
The scar is beneath
my right eyebrow

The sand rock
at the top of the hill
is named Hangman's Rock
since the hill is Hangman's Hill
next to Dinosaur Hill
where great cement dinosaurs
sit created in the 1930s
From the top
I could see both sides
of my town
and the roads
that ran through the gap
in the hills
between the two halves

Around me sat the ghosts
of so many who came
before me
to the top of this rock
to sit and gain wisdom
from seeing the prairie
to the east
and the Black Hills
to the west
I was not alone
as I felt
or feel even this day

After school
Mother made me practice
the piano
performing her dream
that I did not choose
instead of baseball
or sitting in silence
Jiddu Krishnamurti says thought
creates gODD
and silence of thought
creates the sacred
Very little was sacred in my life

I learned to please others
and never please myself
except with food
or the vacancy of approval

Hangman's Rock
was once the bottom of a sea
or the shore of that sea
a great sand rock outcropping
certainly older than the cement dinosaurs
that pretended to show history

Sitting on the top of Hangman's Rock
was my connection to history
my connection to the sacred
I won't fully understand
until the moment of my death
when I join the small animals
body upon body
that created the compressed sand

Hangman's Rock
is privately owned
a fence now blocking access
just as so many block access
to Krishnamurti's sacred silence

I give every lonely boy
who became a lonely man
the top of Hangman's Rock
in my last will
because it will be mine
until my last day

Barry G. Wick
February/March 2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Upon Re-hearing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles

It was 20 years ago today
or more
since I heard
this music
My 66 years old ears
surprised how positive
and hopeful
this sounds.
Sparked by the Viet Nam war years
new recording techniques
a budding culture of self-awareness
wrought by drugs and meditation
Hindu Buddhist Christian
all religions and practices
this diamond joins
Jimi and the Airplane in my heavens

It was a time when youth
sat and listened to music and poetry
instead of dancing
to everything with a good beat
Music was splitting the world
cleaving it into facets
different diamonds for different people

there seems to be nothing positive
that sounds across the world
as bright as this was then
War and the murder of children
drains art into salt shakers
that season this bitter soup
while we wrinkled magicians
search out old rabbits
to revive our crushed top hats
Our moth-eaten capes
stuffed into the holes
where the tears get in
that keeps our minds wondering
where we are all going
without you
without everyone
the strings cut to our kites
that once anchored us
to the sky
now filled with
too many loose diamonds
a cacophony that strangely
appears in a final chord
that never ends
that never ends
that never ends

Barry G. Wick

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Dinner at 80

Barking thunder
from the dogs of heaven.
There is no help
behind the fence.
Don't stop,
it only upsets them.
Don't go in.
Pretend they're nice doggies.

It's the ability
to lie
that makes some
want to go in.

Whispering to the owner
won't help any.
Yelling, too.
The owner has these dogs
for a reason.
Their barking covers up
all the begging and pleading
believers manage to do
since they started walking
by the gate.,
It's the way
the owner wants it.
Glance, but never stare.

There is an invitation
though hard to get
when the owner
steps out to shop
only to run into someone
next to the frozen peas.

True applicants to heaven
have to be clever
about the package
or something they see
gODD is wearing.
If they only get a smile
it's failure.
Next time:
wait near the Jell-o,
gODD always needs Jell-o.
After all,
how many Jell-o salads
does one see at a large gathering
of religious ladies
from the circles?

Better still,
sit near the toys for dogs,
wear an unusual hat,
a cat skin,
and let a parrot
perch on your shoulder.
Let gODD start
the conversation.
It may be as simple as
“What do you think
of spaghetti
with your dog food?

Now we know
why religious Republicans
want the old
to eat what their government
serves them.
If you are old
and smell delicious to a dog,
the old won't get
to the front door
of heaven.

Barry G. Wick

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Several months of recording
my favorite radio
for the time of no internet.

Poems of life and death?
Poems of radio!
My friends and companion
with music,
classical and jazz,
as I write or read
to Mozart or Horace Silver.
Their emotions
of time and place
counterpoint to this moment.
Their genius in quavers,
passions in piano and forté.

There may be many
whose ears are stone,
but they weep for me,
who cannot fully see
minute expressions
in a person's face,
who has failed
to find someone closer
than a steel tower,
electrified and pulsating,
the waves undraping themselves
inside magic boxes,
pouring their nakedness
into my life
through boxy mouths:
their magnetic teeth
sculpting Beethoven's brain
beside that of Bill Evans.

From these vibrations
I am pounded
as if I were a piece of hot iron
that began in distant childhood
lying on a sofa
in the dark of night:
a lonely little boy
out of contact
with any babysitter,
with any parent,
neither interested
as I connected
with the Lone Ranger
or Sergeant Preston
and his dog, Yukon King.
I saw them all
in my imagination
that relays
these images to you,
my companions in the radio,
surrounding my body
with their love
no person has duplicated
in my presence.

So now,
you know the truth
why I can't connect
to anyone
why I'm unable to see the nuances
in the crevices of a face
in the creases beside the eyes.
It all passes through
my imagination
created years ago
in the living room
of a new house
in the 1950s
on a light, gray-green sofa,
that imagination of a world
no more real
than the fantasies
I lay before you now,
an emptiness,
a canyon with no walls,
a tundra with no snow,
characters both good and evil,
dog sleds and silver bullets,
word vibrating
through the memory
of a little boy
who never got up from the couch,
who stiffened with every gun shot,
who heard the wind
and the blowing snow,
the barking dogs,
horses hooves on the prairie,
and the crackling of a warm fire
that was never there
except as cellophane
in a sound man's fingers.

Nothing around me seems real;
it's all just radio
that I turn on and off.
Volume up.
Volume down.
Join us again next time
as boots break the ice
or stab a stirrup
and we're sent through
time and space
in waves of energy
pulsing through walls,
through bone,
through the intangible,
the unending
billows of a sofa

Barry G. Wick