"Spoken Word"

"Learn To Draw"

wild cards book

cover "Identity"

book cover

"77 Beasts"

cover "Mirage"

"In The Field Where Daffodils Grow"

More books and comments on King books.

A country declares war on its neighbor and shoots civilians as they cross the street. She says she told him if he didn’t leave her alone she wouldn't hesitate she would kill him. He is dead. She joins the army and says she is opposed to oppression. She says she wants a plot of land and a house. She says she wants a table and a tablecloth. She says art offends her and she makes holes in the walls for windows.


Joseph Albers discards the hole
In the wall for a square
A bird flies into the square
And makes a nest
On a branch full of Green
The color of forgiving
Protrudes and the wall cracks
Rauschenberg’s white painting falls
Off the wall and is devoured
By suburbanites who are unable to digest
The mechanic who developed etiquette


It was 1950 and three high school art students Steve Solosy, Lynn St. John and Basil King were looking for a restaurant. Steve said we can’t go in there they have white tablecloths. Which meant it was expensive.


In the later medieval period spreading a high quality white linen or cotton cloth was an important part of preparing for a feast in wealthy European households. As eating habits changed so did the manner in which people set the table and ate their food.


The origin of the table knife is attributed to Cardinal Richelieu. He wanted to cure dinner guests of picking their teeth with the point of a knife. Later, in 1669, King Louis XIV of France banned pointed knives in the street and at his table, insisting on blunt tips, in order to reduce violence.


A man and a woman sit at a table
Without a tablecloth
Another couple sits at a table
With a white tablecloth
Both couples use knives and forks

“The White Tablecloth,” page 26, in The Spoken Word/The Painted Hand, from Learning to Draw/A History, Marsh Hawk Press, 2014


Each time I fill a full house
I am called to an album of family photos
Wild Cards
The towering Ace
Black Jack
Don´t call the accountants
Its too early people are moving
New structures are being built
Give me the egg
You keep the chicken
Each time the hand
Finds three of kind
Space equals the information
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
Scare Crows Blackbirds
Pumpkins and biting fish
Naples Trafalgar
In Venice there are canals
Ancient whorehouses
Torture chambers
Lady Hamilton
Giorgione Titian and Jews
Ladino codfish
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
The painter puts his hand
Through the canvas and finds
Wild Cards
Music Grass
A Dandelion gone to seed
Protracts the winds
Course landscape
And builds masks for everyone
Who has had their face shot off
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
Not everything can go into
One painting one poem
She said I am an actress
I should have seen through him he was acting

“Wild Cards,” page 198, in Learning to Draw/A History, Skylight Press, 2011