Posts Tagged ‘Joe Cunningham’


Monday, December 28th, 2015

Play it where it lays.
Do what I says.
This is not a phase
but a way to stay and gaze
into the haze
of wasted nights and forgotten days.

Midnight in bed I plead and praise
for I fear the everlasting blaze,
but even more the endless craze
of knowing that there were ways
to avoid this cowards maze.

Suicidal poem
HCMC Crisis Unit, Minneapolis
February 2013

The Laziest Soldier

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

From atop his highest mountain, King Yat attacked. His wings bore him with an easy power which he flung as great sharks whip their tails. Thus he swam into a steep plunge, plowing downward; a driven nail. All his armies looked up in fear and amazement and they cheered, for the laziest soldier was about to die.

In the valley below, that soldier knew it at once as his comrades pushed away from him, fleeing in all directions. So he stood alone, encircled, and gawked about in terror at the sky. Down came Yat in a swoop, in a blink of flashing sword and was gone into the clouds. All that remained was an arm and a boot. The rest rocketed up, only to be caught by the hair at the apex of ascent and beheaded for all to see; the body dropping away into the distance.

The roar of applause was immense. It shook the valley. Yat felt this upon his wings and he raised the soldier’s head high with a sneer and then flung it, still living, into space. Then casually he flicked away low over the troops, just out of bow range. Arrows rose like prayers and followed him as he laughed, darting to and sweeping fro. His minions loved him and at dawn he would hurl them at his enemy, conquer and feast in the evening.

King Yat! They hailed him, and he knew, already, which was the next one to die. Fetch my spear, he mused.

A gift from the wind

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011


I stepped out Karl’s door on Tuesday morning to retrace the steps I had made the previous day when I photographed all the Adept stickers I could find on the Minneapolis streets with a film camera that could not focus on them closely enough. I really should have done it with my digital, so I brought that instead for the do-over. I really like them (those stickers) and as I shot the first one on Lake Street I remember thinking (or wishing) that it would be sheer happiness to find one on the ground that I could keep, but in all the months and miles I’ve wandered the city making pictures I’ve only once found a scrap of decent sticker graffiti unstuck and loose on the sidewalk. They almost never fall off. They’re called stickers for a reason.

Adept draws his characters with a caligraphic pen and a steady hand that seems influenced by Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, and Lucy in her Sky with Diamonds. Many of them are balding lumpy old men. Some, I assume, are of real folks he knows. Others are freaked-out wrinkled monsters. Some are erotic. Some are cycloptic. None of them fail to intrigue.

Clearly, I am not the only soul wishing to keep one. Peelers have tried and failed. Miserably. They’re called stickers for a reason.

To calculate the incalcuable odds against me finding one loose and unstuck on the sidewalk at all, ever, let alone on the very day I wished for it – on a day that I chose to walk several miles to capture them all before the rain and the sun could destroy them – one would have to start at 50/50, because if it had been face down I would not have spotted it on the Lyndale Avenue sidewalk. It is missing a corner and appears to have been tramped on a few thousand times, but it is perfect nonetheless. And I was right. It was sheer happiness to find it.

I, Colossus

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

The glistening mass of ants had been called to the surface by the fog. Its language had grown louder during the damp night, drawing the whole colony up and into a boil at the edge of the forest where the green ended and the world turned to featureless stone. As It spoke to them, they raced around it and over each other; the constant contact communally pleasing -communally informing. The ants at the very center of the pile were dead of course, though not from the struggle and the trample but from the strength of the signal. Oh to die in that glorious din. Oh to secumb to all that knowledge. Their spent bodies continually were squeezed to the surface of the scrum, rolling off on all sides like droplets.

Away from all this, at the edge of an abandoned tunnel entrance sat one on the outskirts. The fog spoke to him too, but he was smaller than the others – a straggler who probably wouldn‘t last. He was the only one who saw the colossi arrive. They approached on legs that were two miles high and stopped. Concealed in the fog, their voices thundered notes between each other for awhile as their enormous feet shuffled dangerously. Then without warning one of the gods reached down and began pouring a bright yellow river onto the seething populous. The small ant recoiled in horror and instinctively attacked without knowing why or what he could possibly do against creatures so high in the sky and wide that they could not be completely seen, and as he leaped down the steep stone face toward them he saw a mass of ants making the same descent away to the east. Hundreds caught in the new river and falling like hourglass sand over the prepice. As he tumbled to the bottom he skinned three knees but ran for it anyway. The river brushed past him sweeping up many, but he got out into the open and he never looked back or slowed down.

Racing across the wasteland to catch the foot of the colossus he could feel the colony behind him rejoicing over the catastrophic liquid. They were slick with it and a sudden energy gripped them all. Those who were too soaked immediately began killing one another in the puddles. Others crawled out and threw tantrums in all directions. The Voice has become pure liquified energy! cried the hivemind. Only one knew better, and he wouldn‘t be missed.