Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ed Ruscha

New York had Warhol
Toss him a bouquet
But Los Angeles has
The artist Ed Ruscha.

His cool word paintings
Are sly, often jokey
(Ruscha, by the way, is
A bona fide Okie.)

“Art is something that
Makes you scratch your head”
Is something that Ruscha
Once memorably said.

Ruscha’s very first books? They
Were all DIY
Most bookstores didn’t want ‘em
Which is why

Ed asked a guy named Joe
To please give ‘em a look
And maybe put them on
Shelves of the Book Nook:

Joe’s teensy bookstore, just
A tiny part
Of Brentwood’s Brentwood
Country Mart.

Joe said okay and soon his
Customers did see
These most curious art books
Practically for free.

This guy who I knew way way
Back in the day
Bought every Ruscha book there
But gave ‘em away

To friends as hip gifts, totally lacking
The rationale to
Realize these would wind up as things
Of great value.

Good guess: I was that guy and this poor
Judgment broke my heart.
However, it later made me regard myself
As a work of Art.

What a dope! What was I thinking? I often
Want to yell. Still
If that doesn’t make you scratch your head,
What the hell will?

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