I’m glad that you and Betty liked the graphic that corresponds with your poem. I would be honored and delighted to be the illustrator of one of your books---an anthology of poems, short stories, observations, profound tips, sexual fantasies, radical political ideologies, instructions on organizing and starting revolutions, recipes using only condiments, and the psychoanalysis of first reader primer author psyches (if you get my drift). All the art will be unoriginal---in fact it will be stolen. I have been breaking into homes the past 30 years (give or take), stealing refrigerator art. At first it was to furnish the theme for a doctoral thesis linking artistic expression to socio-edu-economic status.
Then it became a hobby, then an obsession, and then an end in and of itself. There is no black market for refrigerator art (I learned), but I will establish the first Museum of refrigerator art and I will call it The Museum of Refrigerator Art. There will be rotating displays of everything from pre-school finger paints to advanced work in oils and pastels by special needs pre-pubescent foster kids. We will also have reciprocation with Refrigerator Art Museums worldwide. Problem with the Third World countries is that there are no refrigerators. So, we’ll be accepting, discarded tires, corrugated boxes, shingles, and there will be a tattoo category. There is a psycho-social commentary that I hope people get and that I hope leads to a full hour interview on the Charlie Rose Show someday and perhaps a Nobel Peace Prize nomination. If not, suicide is always an option and a comforting thought.
My kneeling guy graphic was inspired by your poem. It inspired in me a naive, humble, genuflecting, faithful, eager-to-do-good-deeds-doer, man of faith, in a worshipful, humble, prayerful, vulnerable posture planting the future of his life in SHIT. Pure Shit (capital “P” capital “S”) SHIT, nothing but SHIT (and he doesn’t even know it). God bless him. I love him, don’t you too? Well, you should because you created him and I thank you.
That aside, I’m delighted about your discovery of the “Joe’s” in the work of Mr. Spillane. Your discovery has served to provide me with new hope. I don’t have to be just a “Joe Blow”, “Joe Schmo”, “Average Joe”, etc. Deeply buried and most profoundly in the literature of Mickey Spillane, is my “Real Joe—the Joe who I am, the Joe who I can and shall be—THE JOE WHO IS ME!
Now don’t be so quick to put down your own name, Rick. I think you should go to that art supplies store between Central Square and Harvard Square , and pick up some finger-paints, Crayola Crayons, Yarn, Elmer’s Glue, popsicle sticks, balloons, and an assortment of buttons. Play in these media without self-censorship or self-imposed standards or expectations of results. It’s the journey, it’s the process, it’s the means to an end, not the end to a means that takes you wherever (if you get my drift) you want to go. Do this, and I guarantee that your name will take on deeper meaning—deeper than Mr. Spillane could ever hope to realize.
I’ve decided that football games from now on will be a means of self-expression for me. I’ll start out with benign statements like “Defense” or “Get ‘em”, or “C’mon, Ref!”, or “My Mother could have caught that! “ Then I will very craftily and subtly, start to infuse some remarks like you suggested the other day, such as, “ U.S. get out of North America ”. That’s a good one I think for starters for sure. I don’t know what this will become or where it will go and I don’t care. So come with me next time and feed me lines from your socio-edu-eco-politico-historico-psycho-evolutiono agenda and I will be your mouthpiece.
The great thing about yelling obscenities and inappropriate remarks at an IVY League contest is that you can always assert your First Amendment Rights to defend yourself and they have no comeback, so I’ve learned. If they do, you assert your Second Amendment right to pull out your favorite fire-arm and carelessly wield it around in their direction as you remind them that you’re pretty passionate about that First Amendment Right thing and they might want to reconsider. That usually works.
Joe “Where ya goin’ with that gun in your hand” Owens