Be! Eugene Be! Creative

In January of this year I was applying for an artist funding program through the City of Tacoma.  On the application I was asked to list my business entity or, if I didn’t have one, I had to agree to create one if I received the funding.  As is usual with me, I was optimistic about my chances and so I founded Be! Eugene Be! Creative (BEBC) that same day. 

Although I didn’t get selected for the funding, I am still excited about BEBC as I work to position myself as an artist.  I feel that forming a separate business to represent me and my work was an important step in my artistic career.  The creation of a business entity, to stand between my artistic and my commercial endeavors, allows both sides to operate more effectively.  It allows my creative lobe to fluidly process in a way that brings it joy, and my analytical lobe to systematically categorize and compartmentalize commercial endeavors, which makes it happy.   

As the business entity on record for my artistic pursuits, BEBC is currently listed as a division of Blue Bungalow Glassworks, my wife Susan’s business.  Check out her amazing work, which is available at the Tacoma Museum of Glass and at Union City Market on the Hood Canal.  

In creating an ongoing concern, a real business, I published my website, created branding and positioning statements, revitalized my blog, and updated my social media presence to reflect the new entity (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).  These activities helped me to solidify my resolve to be serious about my art & writing.  They gave me a place to showcase my work but also to share my ideas and get reaction to potential projects.  I am sure some of my posts have scared more than one of my old friends, made them wonder what the hell I am doing, and maybe even mute me on their Facebook page, but it has been worth it!

Now that I am working on preparing for Arts at the Armory (October 16 & 17, 2021, 11:00am to 5:00pm), I am using all of these resources to create a unified voice for my art and writing.  It really is an exciting time for me and I hope you have a chance to learn more about Be! Eugene Be! Creative as you become more familiar with my work!

#TacomaArtsMonth

Casting shadows as light casts itself

The farmer, 

Standing at the edge of the field,

Watches the birds 

cross against the sky.

He points,

With a tip of his hat, 

To the tractor in the ditch and says, 

“Fucking machine is forever dead.”

Probably the most profound thing

The Luddite has said in a decade.

Sheet metal and booze for sale. 

We’re in Georgetown.

Red light runners unite 

Time to take out the green light runners.

Angry fixation with spare parts, 

And a bottle of bourbon.

Crawfish boy and the nuggets in his soup.

Pale yellow light casting a blob on the roadway,

Undefined shapes 

On the periphery.

Prophets, 

In the time of rebellion, 

Overthrow kingdoms with their wit.  

Cultures collide and the innocent 

Dissolve into the mix.

No one emerges unscathed.

Come to see the edge of our world,

The curled lip of our existence,

Hanging over open dead and silent space.

Collision and confusion and collusion,

Contribute to the downfall of our ways.

Anger tipped the scales, 

And brought an end to the peace.

Meet anger with something other.  

Be smarter than the angry mob.  

Smile and turn to offer your other cheek.

To the one who casts shadows without light.

Arrested Artist

Providence has an aroma

Like smoked fish.

The side of the barn where we met

Is paradise.

Come hither aloft and scrubbed

From head to tail.

Thinking the blinking might mean something.

Portuguese-Man-Of-War

Caught in your hair

Squarely positioned

Across the bow.

Poseidon drags a small boat

Across the bottom of the ocean.

Smoke on the horizon 

Blood red sun. 

Blunt rod son. 

Bent rim sin.

Caress the careless photographic spastic magenta giant squash blossom

At the bottom of the barrel.

Anchor to a Cadaver

Climate change and the Whoop-dee-doos

Marginalized potato farmers unite

There is always a potential 

For post pandemic prattle 

Oily appendage hidden in the sleeve

A form concealed but the outline reveals 

A semi-sweet shape 

Brandishing a toboggan 

To go ballyhooing in 

Soak up the gasoline in the rag 

And stuff it in the bottle

Try not to spill it on your clothes

As you remember to practice safe anarchy

Some may hate the jumbled world

I evoke with words of cascading determination

Saying, boo hoo, it makes no sense

But words are structures to hang ideas on

And, like wet laundry, 

Hanging them up dries them out 

And makes them starchy

And soaking rags in gasoline means 

I get my hands dirty from time to time. 

Spirits Filled the Space & Spilled Out On the Floor

Fear grips those 

Who struggle to understand,

But the ignorant are blissful 

And remain aloof. 

Some even enjoy themselves, 

Immensely.

Intensely.  

Irreverently. 

Duress in spandex, 

Causation and claustrophobia. 

A new way to smelter iron into ingots for barter. 

And smarter cars to drive farther into the desert 

To die by the roadside alone. 

And there they were eating pears on the beach.

As my throat closed 

And my vision grew dark.

Talking with Heads and Grateful to be Dead.

Assemble and cross-reference samples under glass.

Arrange in your mind so as to remember, 

The last thing you saw in the window.

For me it was a vivid image of 

Angels and Demons who’d come to tell their stories, 

As they smoked out back, 

By God’s immense dumpster.

As You Were, But Straighten Your Collar

Abounding joy,

The small miracle of an eye twitch 

At the appropriate moment.

Burning Man and a candle on the shelf,

Commemoration and formality aside.

At the outset we saw the fury.

At the origin it was there.

Clear and filled with promise.

The rage of the tree against the sky.  

Within an angry acorn, to behold.

Sometimes a mask hides the truth.  

Sometimes a mask is the truth.

Sometimes truth is a mask, 

We hide behind.

City of Seattle Busway, early morning – August 2021

The SODO sign. 

Trucks going to the port, 

Buses on their routes. 

Piles of trash, graffiti, and homeless encampments. 

Dried grass on the side of the road, piles of old railroad ties beside a building, stacks of pallets, 

A man on the train tracks in rags calling out to an unseen god. 

Tents, both small and large, 

Some by themselves on the sidewalk, 

Some built up on top of elaborate platforms of old mattresses, blankets, and boxes.  

Rows and rows of postal trucks parked, 

Waiting for the drivers to carry mail and packages across the city.  

Shopping carts tossed into blackberry bushes.   

Public art and half of humanity spilled out on the side of the tracks.  

Chain link fence and barbed wire on both sides of the road, like some zoo ride.

The buses lined up and ready to carry the other half of humanity away to the city,

Or points beyond,

Past the entrance to the bus tunnel that no longer admits buses.

Nude Food Revealed

Food for thought 

Makes us salivate.

Shepherd Pies and French Fries, 

Noodles and Strudels.

Think about it.

A Peanut and a Pineapple is neither

Whereas a Blueberry and Popcorn is both.

An Orange is.

A Horseradish is not.

Scones and Calzones,

Fiddlehead Ferns and Turducken. 

Food for thought 

We thought a lot.

Bon Appetit!

Cannibals in Brown Derbies

Quiltwork between dusk and dark,

As the moon rises over the blue mountains.

Broken shards of ceramic crockery,

Littering the mouth of the cave,

Ash and dried blood,

Are the only signs of a struggle. 

They, the Cannibals in Brown Derbies, 

Rose to meet us on the open plain,

In the Valley of Bones.

Swollen lymph nodes and a welt,

The wasp finds small pleasure

In causing great pain.

Dogs barking in the distant forest,

A murder of crows arose from the edge of the field,

As, in the moonlight, we began to see their pale faces.

From here it’s a long path back, 

To the side of the hill,

Where we buried our ancestors.

The flash of teeth and a silent scream,

Eyes on the unpinned and the foundering.

Death carries no hope in this place,

Only angry ghosts remain.