Archives for posts with tag: Street Art

Banksy-Umbrella-Girl
ONE TINY MISSTEP
by Roz Levine

Because it takes only a tiny misstep
I check blankets for frayed wires
Examine feces for blood clots
Search for carjackers in my Honda
I sniff out gas leaks for toxic fumes
Scan the mall for kidnappers
Carry a whistle on dark streets
I map my breast for new lumps
Keep a packed bag on my nightstand
I’m always ready for an earthquake
Always on the lookout for death

IMAGE: “Umbrella Girl,” street art by Banksy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Roz Levine is a Los Angeles poet who has written poems since the age of eight. When she retired several years ago, writing became her number one passion. Words have helped her navigate cancer and helped her maintain her sanity in a not-so-sane world. Her letters to the editor on issues of national and international interest have appeared frequently in both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. Her poetry has appeared in a range of publications, including Cultural Weekly, Poetry Superhighway, Silver Birch Press, Pulse, The Sun, On The Bus, FRE&D, Forever in Love, Deliver Me, and The Juice Bar.

Author photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher.

trumpet
i am the king of the world (excerpt)
by roy anthony shabla

i

i am a king
i am a clown
i am a bum

i am an angel i am not a saint not a sinner
not forgiven not forgotten
i am a buddha do not rub me the wrong way
i am a stranger and who could be stranger
i am a stranger who depends upon kindness
what kind is this

i am a t-shirt and blue jeans fresh from the wash
but looking worn
are you wearing shoes today
pretty feet are happy feet

i am a bad dream in the harsh light of day
i am invisible
i am a bad xerox do not copy me
copy this copyright copy right copy trite

within the world
i am a bug i am a flower with thorns i am the city dump
o how the city dumps

without the world
i am a television screen playing snow let it go
an empty room the echo and the flat air

within without with ice no neat thank you
i am a criminal locked away
what kind skin to be within

i am a joke and it is not that funny
i am a carnival freak a contortionist a bearded lady
i can kiss my own ass blow my own horn

i am a loser with everything lost and nothing found
find me a sliver
are you around

i am a key with no lock a lock with no key
i am a tool with no use a useless tool what a tool what a fool what a rule

i am a king with no crown king ding a ling
king kong the stitch has bled
i am a clown with too many balls in the air and big shoes
and a squeaky horn a horny squeak
i am a bum with a guitar and a story who needs a bath
five cents five dollars five lifetimes
here is the story here it is

i am a song
you are afraid to sing la la la

ooooo ooooo ooooo

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is an excerpt from a longer, deconstructed poem that incorporates several languages. It is an important part of the sound art performance piece, babbel, first performed at Stay Gallery in January 2014.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: roy anthony shabla is a painter and poet who lives in the Los Angeles area. He was just appointed the director of collections for the Downey Museum of Art, and currently has thirteen books in print.

IMAGE: “Trumpet” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984).

nancy_crandall
WIND ON THE HILL
by A.A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan Alexander Milne (1882–1956) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for his children’s poems. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

ILLUSTRATION: “Girl with Kite” by Nancy Crandall (mixed media: acrylic on 16×20 Canvas; kite created from paper cut into triangles, yarn as string and cut bows glued to string), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Inspired by street artist Banksy and his artwork of a girl with a balloon.

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When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” JOHN LENNON

Art: Jef Aérosol

Photo: Bixentro

nancy_crandall
WIND ON THE HILL
by A.A. Milne

No one can tell me,
Nobody knows,
Where the wind comes from,
Where the wind goes.

It’s flying from somewhere
As fast as it can,
I couldn’t keep up with it,
Not if I ran.

But if I stopped holding
The string of my kite,
It would blow with the wind
For a day and a night.

And then when I found it,
Wherever it blew,
I should know that the wind
Had been going there too.

So then I could tell them
Where the wind goes…
But where the wind comes from
Nobody knows.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alan Alexander Milne (1882–1956) was an English author, best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for his children’s poems. (Read more at wikipedia.org.)

ILLUSTRATION: “Girl with Kite” by Nancy Crandall (mixed media: acrylic on 16×20 Canvas; kite created from paper cut into triangles, yarn as string and cut bows glued to string), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Inspired by street artist Banksy and his artwork of a girl with a balloon.

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“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.”

JACK KEROUAC (1922-1969)

Photo: Dan Allison (Street art in Boulder, Colorado)

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“There is a certain embarrassment about being a storyteller in these times when stories are considered not quite as satisfying as statements and statements not quite as satisfying as statistics; but in the long run, a people is known, not by its statements or its statistics, but by the stories it tells.”

FLANNERY O’CONNOR (1925-1964)

Illustration: Flannery O’Connor street art, Chicago, photo by Billy Craven, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Note: Who would have thought that you’d find a street art portrait of Flannery O’Connor? Shout out to my beloved hometown Chicago — as always, you are one classy place!  Above, I’ve noted Flannery O’Connor’s years of birth and passing. Yes, she only lived to age 39 — and many of those years she had to endure intense pain from lupus. Yet, she always found a way to write. As she put it to a friend, “I have enough energy to write with and as that is all I have any business doing anyhow, I can with one eye squinted take it all as a blessing.” 

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Street art featuring Jack Kerouac‘s handsome face pops up all over the world. In the one at right, he implores us to read more books. Merci, Jean-Louis! Tu nous manques!

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“Girl with Balloon” by Banksy

Find out more about street artist Banksy in the 2010 documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop. Lots of interesting info in this New York Times article.

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HEARTBREAK HOTEL

written by Mae Boren Axton, Thomas Durden & Elvis Presley

Well, since my baby left me
Well, I found a new place to dwell
Well, it’s down at the end of Lonely Street
At Heartbreak Hotel

Well, I’ll be
I’ll be so lonely baby
Well, I’m so lonely
I’ll be so lonely, I could die

Oh, although it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken hearted lovers
To cry there in their gloom

They’ll be so
They’ll be so lonely, baby
Well, they’re so lonely
They’re so lonely, they could die

Now, the bell hop’s tears keep flowin’
And the desk clerk’s dressed in black
Well, they been so long on Lonely Street
They’ll never ever look back

And it’s so
Well, it’s so lonely baby
Well, they’re so lonely
Well, they’re so lonely, they could’ve die

Well, if your baby leaves you
You got a tale to tell
Well, just take a walk down Lonely Street
To Heartbreak Hotel

Where you will be
You’ll be so lonely, baby
Well you’ll be lonely
You’ll be so lonely you could die

Oh, although it’s always crowded
You still can find some room
For broken hearted lovers
To cry there in their gloom

They’ve been so
They’re be so lonely, baby
Well, they’re so lonely
They’ll be so lonely, they could die

Illustration: “Elvis,” street Art, Berne, Switzerland. (Photo by desatur8.) Elvis stars in street art all over the world. He is universally loved!

Thoughts: Elvis left the third rock from the sun on this day in 1977 — and embarked on an endless rock party across the universe. Blessed with talent, looks, charisma, a killer smile, and about the best voice ever, Elvis graced us with his presence for 42 beautiful years. My favorite Elvis tune is “Heartbreak Hotel,” originally recorded in 1956 — it was his first number-one hit and first million seller. What great lyrics! What a great melody! What a great beat! What great singing! What great guitar work!

Nearly a half century after it hit the airwaves, Rolling Stone magazine declared the tune one of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Keith Richards recalls hearing “Heartbreak Hotel” for the first time: “I’d never heard…anything like it. I’d never heard of Elvis before. It was almost as if I’d been waiting for it to happen. When I woke up the next day I was a different guy.”

Listen to Elvis sing this classic song here.