The Cowardly Artist


I just finished writing this, and I performed it for the first time last night (at 100th Monkey, at 5th and Ivy in Chico, CA, USA).  Enjoy!

Update June 13th, 2013: Added hyperlinks for some of the more obscure references.

 

The Cowardly Artist

Pierce was gallant,
and Pierce was brave;
and pierce who oft dropped
all his candle-staves:

He was an artist;
he was a man;
and one day he got noticed
by his “Uncle Sam.”

“Pierce!,” it said,
in letters written by Sam’s hand,
“Get yourself off of that fat old can!

“Your country needs you,
by golly, by Josh!
And you’ll get into our army;
and we’ll even pay you dosh!”

But Pierce was a tenor,
and a carpenter by trade,
and a painter,
and a writer,
and a maker of candle-staves…

Though none of the latter typically
made it to the Pick ‘N’ Save…

…But still, his arté—
better than shoddy
(at least, when he was at his best)—
put fires into his eyes,
and bellows into his chest;
and pins under his thighs;
And he’d typically be found,
tinkering, on this wise:

“Hmph…
powder of copper oxide,
for green…
or…yellow…
ah, crap;
another one for the scraps…drat.”

…But since Uncle Sam
was a bitter old coot,
he dragged Pierce in to boot camp,
and taught him to shoot,

…And to make his shirts tidy,
wherewith his pants and shiny boots,
could be found next to his bunk, ever-tended,
and his pants be found ever-mended,
and his potatoes peeled, if ever he trended
to do any thing which was not what was intended,

Until one day,
with his bunk-sheets tight and neat,
Uncle Sam, the mal-contented, said,
“Get your sorry backsides up-ended!
We’re going to no-where’s stink-hole
because our country needs being defended!”

So off Pierce went!

Of course, old Pierce,
he felt like a clown,
with his britches still too-baggy,
yet his “aft-pants” none too saggy;
he stepped his toes fairly lively,
and for fear of becoming bloody-nosed,
he kept his wise-aching pie-hole closed.

Then, finally, came Pierce
to those fierce enemy gates,
with his sword in hand
(as ever he imagined it for romance sake),
and with his buckler strapped on
(though having the strength of just paper),
and his satchel by his side,
and his fake military pride in his eyes;

He approached therewith to the enemy gates
but there being a man of much “finer” heart,
he decided to choose “the better part.”

“A shield is good; and like, a sword in hand,
but I don’t fancy them much as art,
so here, I’ll go and depart.”

So, fancy-free,
and with wise old feet,
the artist man,
he beat them fleet

…To the country-side,
with his ponch much a-swagger,
he departed—“À dieu!”
to those who called him a “tail-wagger!”

The country-side was fine,
full of old wine,
and fat old swine;
and that foreign bacon,
with some good rib-racks
was always pulled tastily
off those fat, old hogs’ backs!

‘Course, the captain-fierce,
was mad at Pierce,
and said of that old ar-tisan,
“If we find him, he’ll see the “mort-isian!”

But Pierce didn’t care,
so he grew back his hair,
and leaned back in his new chair,
and at the ceiling began to stare…

Until one day, he thought just a little too hard,
and figured,
“What about those things we call, ‘tran-sis-tars?’
I’ll bet if I take the wire, just so,
with a fourth lead, inserted top to bottom—parallel, but in a row,
and cram in a rectifier so that the direction we could know;
then, could not this new ‘tran-sis-tar’ count to,
‘do re me fa so?’”

Then, were the generals a lot less irate,
and came to Pierce, saying,
“Your court marshal can wait;”
and,
“let us look here, at this, your creation;
let us not hesitate!
For you’re still needed by your nation!
Would you like to return back, again to your state?
Where you can, once again,
exist without further perturbation?”
And Pierce said…

“No.”

So, to the ire of all those generals, and colonels and captains, too,
he released his design under the name of,
GNU:”

A General Public License,
like a thumbing of his nose,
toward those who scorned home-brew—
and used not 3D printers;
and his genius,
and his designs…rose.

But never did the generals,
nor the critics of GRU;
nor the “Rooskies;”
nor the Chinese;
nor the successors of Vargas, too

Make weapons with Pierce’s tech,
nor his body, nor his mind.
And though he was a traitor
(as it was most popularly defined),
his invention over-lasted
the guile of military minds.

Of course, Pierce was fat,
and still ornery,
and still cantankerous as a loon,
and still his many detractors said,
“He’s mooching off our spoon!”

But Pierce, with his inventions,
didn’t fade from moon to moon;
and his sky never darkened,
that untimely, but brilliant buffoon!

So, centuries later,
when we say the name of “Famous Pierce”
it’s the name of  one “Cowardly Artist”
that flows out,
into our ears!

–Dane Mutters, 2013

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3 thoughts on “The Cowardly Artist

  1. Hey Dane

    I love the poem. Do you know how good you are? That was awesome. I am proud of my gifted nephew. Hope you are doing well. Love you,

    Lisa

  2. Pingback: Government is Broken Because People are Broken–So How Do We Fix It? | Dane Mutters

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