Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Days of Blood and Starlight (or Llama, Llama Time to Share)

3rd grade, mars rover

'It's tacky," she says
as we pass the house

a six foot Campbell's soup can, out front,
a seven foot-tall flip flop toed in the grass,
four foot lighter, flicked, in flame
and a light pole turned fifteen foot cigarette

each month another piece of art goes up
in their yard, the next is lime green & yellow
but can't tell what it is yet

'i dunno, its kinda cool,' i've never seen
the artists, only the petition to remove them
an eyesore, endangering property values

Yes, yES - let's
admire the drab, keep it blACK
& wHITe with standard shutters, snuff
starlight, crab on crab-no one gets out

and what of the man, driving around town
in the van, with bloody abortion pics
on the side panels. where is the horizon

when a stone in your hand,
means more than fingered words
in the dirt & who gets the invite
for Thanksgiving dinner? (hey mom,
this is...errr.)

'how about a large blender
in the front yard?'

'no.'

'a giant grilled cheese?'

'no.'

'okay, fine.'


The title(s) of this piece are from the bestseller list. I have read neither so can not endorse their content, they just had cool titles. Llama, Llama is by Anna Dewdney and Days of Blood and Starlight is by Laini Taylor.

Written for Poetry Jam

66 comments:

Mary said...

One

Mary said...

Ha, I guess everyone has a different definition of what 'tacky' means and how to deal with the 'tacky' things of life.

I think a giant grilled cheese would be kind of fun myself. Ha ha!!

JANU said...

So, am I the second for the first time?
I too felt the same way for the Modern art. But, everyone has their own perception and ideas of creativity.
Good observation.

izzy said...

It was so clear in the beginning- the "art" on the lawn. I think to myself
tacky or not ( like my neighbors)
at least: humor and some creativity!
( looking for positives you see)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Daniel said...

Who decides what is art and what should be displayed? Something to think about.

kaykuala said...

Some neighbors can be 'real tacky' and obnoxious if they want to. We have to adjust for them which may seem unfair. As long as there is no physical intention to hurt it's better to just tolerate them.

Hank

Pat Hatt said...

Even with the art
All about the money cart
Can't have such sights
Ruining black and white lights
But fun is still grand
Just look at the bush with the tush in my land haha

Lorraine said...

it's quite inventive, and I love junk and stuff they're my two favourite words, lol you rock

Grace said...

I am not a fan of those art pieces or ads, it seems to me ~ I prefer the landscape of nature ~

Have a good day Brian ~

Annmarie Pipa said...

in our neighborhood everything on a front lawn has to be approved by an architural control committee...can you image? we just got a large American flag at a gala..hope it doesn't offend anyone.

Shadow said...

art is so in the eye of the beholder... but strange sights abound in every neighbourhood...

farawayinthesunshine said...

One man's treasure is another man's...

A giant Campbell's soup can? I don't know how I'd react if it was what I get to look at every morning...:-)

atothewr said...

Tis the season to be tacky. I love this time of year - just to see all the outrageous stuff people put in their yards.

Grandmother said...

If someone is making art and someone else is reacting to it viscerally, it's a good thing. Made me smile.

Pat said...

My granddaughter is a Llama, Llama fan. Art is in the eye of the beholder. If we all conformed to the same thing, life would surely be boring!

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Days of Blood and Starlight (or Llama, Llama Time to Share)"
Hi! Brian...
Thanks, for sharing [the image:3rd grade, mars rover]and your very poetic words:"Yes, yES - let's
admire the drab, keep it blACK
& wHITe with standard shutters, snuff
starlight, crab on crab-no one gets out"

...as you look at people who judge, and people who march to their own drum-beat...Henry David Thoreau, said,
...Brian, here wishing you, your family, friends and readers a very Happy Holiday Season.

deedee :)

hedgewitch said...

The drab always seems to win, and the grim hate seems never to give up. We had a rather authority-drunk Homeowner's Association here when we bought the house--everything was measured--how many feet from the street, what materials you could use in outbuildings, and most importantly, RAISING PIGEONS WAS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. About a year later, the old people running it passed, and no one else has taken up the banner, thank god. Now we feed a lot of wild pigeons that have crossed with doves at our bird feeders, from snow white to coal black--they are beautiful.

Um, I also liked your poem. ;_)

manicddaily said...

Ha! Why couldn't he have just settled for flamingos????
And maybe a gnome or two?

Fun poem. k.

Daydreamertoo said...

I wouldn't mind looking at a can of soup in a neighbours yard, as long as it didn't block my day light :) One person's art is another person's junk.

Jody Costa said...

aaaah i love this! and i love lawn art ;)

Brandee Shafer said...

The roadside architecture sounds delicious. (Send me an address so I can check it out next time I drive through.) The van, not so much.

Random question: how much coffee do you consume? And do you think it helps more b/c of its caffeine stimulation, or b/c of its warm relaxation?

Brandee Shafer said...

P.S. The llama books are among the girls' favorites.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

I'm with you - I'd rather the freakshow than the conformity factory. Great write - and have a Happy Thanksgiving - thankful for you, my friend.

Mama Zen said...

The very thought of that van makes me shudder!

Sue said...

Tacky is as tacky does, I guess.

(that means absolutely nothing)

=)

Claudia said...

if art provokes, it's not bad at all i think, challenging us to think outside the box...ugh on the bloody abortion pics though..for me that has nothing to do with art..

Eva Gallant said...

I think it's great if things are interesting! We don't all have to live a cookie-cutter existence!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I am drawn to bright, colorful tacky...won't put it in my house or yard but GREATLY admire those that do...something about living in the "box" all these years restrains me even though I try to buck the "box" NOW.


:)

Myrna R. said...

This brings up so many philosophical questions - What is - art, beauty, junk, judgment, right, wrong? And what should we be grateful for?

Have a happy Thanksgiving Brian.

Laurie Kolp said...

Wow... you should take pics of that yard. I really like:

where is the horizon

when a stone in your hand,
means more than fingered words
in the dirt

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Like Annmarie, the subdivision that I live in controls even the color of the fences in my neighborhood!

SaraV said...

Hi Brian!! Such an excellent point--what offends thee, right? Love the art in the yard, at least it makes you smile or wonder--I had a hard time picking just one title too--very fun.

Jenny Woolf said...

I just hate those coordinated colour schemes for whole neighbourhoods.

Tracie Skarbo said...

You must live in one heck of a neighbourhood! Sounds like great fodder for stories galore! I am always on the lookout for great folks like those you mention who bend the rules, they often turn out to be such interesting folk.

rosaria williams said...

So, budding artists are getting the neighbors upset.LOL. How else will we know what the important issues of the days are?

lifeisaroadtrip said...

Hi, Brian. I know I am behind, but I wanted to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving! xo

The Borg Poet said...

Ouch!!!Very visual...

Peggy said...

I think your poem did carry the spirit of the titles. I think the Watts Towers in LA started out like this in someone's yard. Thanks for continuing to share your talents!

Syd said...

That kind of stuff would be outlawed down here. I like free expression. But I guess art is subjective and relative too.

Cloudia said...

sloppy giants for neighbors?


Warm Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

><}}(°> ~
~ ~ ~ <°)333><( ~ ~ ~

Loredana Donovan said...

Interesting, Brian. Fine line between art and trash sometimes. But who defines tacky? And what about freedom of expression? So much to think about. Smiles :)

Alice Audrey said...

Andy Warhol brought back to life?

Vicki Lane said...

I'll put up with tacky and even trashy before I'd live in a place that mandates no clotheslines or the same color mail box for everyone. Or the places that don't allow growing vegetables in the front yard... not for me. Happy Thanksgiving, Brian!

Joanna Jenkins said...

It's so funny that you write about this today...

Not far from us, on the fancy boulevard lined with upscale hotels and a long fountain dividing the traffic, they just put up a bunch of bronze statues of life sized mountain lions and deer-- not exactly the kind of animals you see in this 'hood and "tacky" was the first word that came to mind when I saw them. The second was "One man's trash is another man's treasure." So, I totally relate to this one and am soooo glad my neighbor didn't put these animals in their front yard.

But a giant grilled cheese and I'd have to rethink my opinion of "tacky" ;-)

Happy Thanksgiving to you, T and the boys. jj

Tara Miller said...

I'm thankful that we don't live next to the house with the tacky art (in my opinion) display but I'm glad they can express themselves and display their art for all to see. Good write, my love!

Hilary said...

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Janice said...

Interesting write...I just rewatched Tim Robbins' "The Cradle Will Rock" yesterday. I am feeling that your post links nicely with that film. You are a thought provoker, as always.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fred Rutherford said...

Cool piece Brian. You know this reminds me so much of a vignette I saw on a show where this couple had been doing similar things in their yard and the neighbors were all up in arms. That story always stuck to me and I never agreed with the town, that the people should be allowed to shine their individuality. That is, until this guy at the end of my street decided never to mow his lawn. Let me tell you, the area I live in isn't landscaped every house, but most are kept up, this guys front lawn was measured to be 11 feet tall, it was crazy. In this day and age it surely would've made it on line someplace. Funniest thing was that it shouldn't have bothered anyone, myself included, but for some reason it did. Don't know why.

That story ended weird. Some neighbor took it upon themselves after a rat ran past their kids feet and mowed it themselves. Well, the guy sued them and won, go figure right. The town was fining him every week for doing it, he was paying it, and then they fine the guy who mows it. Funny on a bunch of levels.

Have a happy thanksgiving to you and your family.

Valerie said...

Each to their own, I guess, but I have to say that I dislike some of the Christmas monstrosities that adorn people's houses. A giant can of soup would be better... smiles.

Valerie said...

Forgot to wish you a happy Thanksgiving day.

Valerie said...

Forgot to wish you a happy Thanksgiving day.

A Cuban In London said...

I love that first verse. It's like a proper guitar riff:

"a six foot Campbell's soup can, out front,
a seven foot-tall flip flop toed in the grass,
four foot lighter, flicked, in flame
and a light pole turned fifteen foot cigarette"

Beautiful.

Greetings from London.

vbreverb said...

"each month another piece of art goes up" says it all--for you, the pieces have artistic merit, and hopefully, some of the neighbors will allow themselves to enjoy the view.

Cressida de Nova said...

I know everyone has their own ideas of what is tasteful or not.
However white greek columns on suburban red brick houses causes me to break out in a rash!
I do like the three flying ducks on a wall and giant pineapplesin a garden.

Dave King said...

a six foot Campbell's soup can -- been done! The other bits you mention SOUND okay, but I guess it's how they LOOK that matters. A new line, though: art bringing property prices DOWN! I shall have to watch it!

ayala said...

Cool piece, Brian. :) Happy Thanksgiving !

Helen said...

I vote for artistic freedom .. unless a guy puts airplane parts, bathtubs, a 20-foot statue of the naked backside of a man (at least it looked like a man) in his front yard ... all true. He actually was jailed for a time when he refused to remove his 'art.'

Helen said...

... oops, forgot to wish you and family a Happy Turkey Day!!

darkangelwrites said...

Land of the free… free to conform. :) Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and yours Brian. I've been writing but not posting… perhaps today?

Steve E said...

You have a very real talent to put lots of unrelated topics into the oven and meld them into a delicious put of amazing and satisfying reading, Brian. I'm just in AWE--now, don't go strutting around the room--grin!!!

About that neighbor's yard/playground-hobby:

I really believe (don't you also?) that neighborhoods should put a stop to Peeps walking around and talking with one another right out in PUBLIC! UGH!

Front doors should ALWAYS be closed--and curtains--and garage doors. SOME Peeps even cook in their back yards. What the hell do they a kitchen is for, hmmmm? I have lots more to say on this topic, but PLEASE Brian, stay indoors, and keep your family in also. Don't mess up the "picket fence" paintings.
PEACE???
--grin!

my heart's love songs said...

maybe the cigarette is in poor taste these days, but a Campbell's soup can became art how many decades ago? {smile} those ARE great titles!

thanks for joining in at Poetry Jam!

sreeja harikrishnan said...

the art thing sounded funny... but I think I didn't get the whole picture..oops... embarrassed..but I like the 5th para....it is cool...

Karen said...

I just finished your Preparation H poem and then this. Both have me thinking about art and beauty, the art of beauty, and then Keats and truth. Quite a bit to get from "ass cream" and yard art! Thanks for waking me up this morning!

Margaret said...

... Far too many people are far to NICE! Do NOT put crap decoration like that in my neighborhood! (I'm serious)

As far as the abortion photos on the side of the van... I understand the sentiment behind - but believe there is a better way as it doesn't have the desired effect on most people. I believe their "compass" is pointed in the right direction, but the means to get there is wrong. (Paraphrased that sentiment from the new "Lincoln" movie.

Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!

Robyn Greenhouse said...

Sometimes you do wonder where the idea for the art pieces came from!

Mary Ann Potter said...

A unique slice of life here, Brian. So much of our life is full of what we think is ordinary; it's not ordinary at all. I like the way you include realistic conversation with your philosophy!