Jesse Sublett, writer, artist at large

Minotaur, Undefeated, by Jesse Sublett. 24×24 acrylic canvas $475

Tonight’s art blog is a short one: I just finished the above piece a couple of days ago. “Minotaur Undefeated” is one of a number of Minotaur pictures I’ve done, with a new one on the easel this weekend also nearing completion. But the following is my first post in a new category I’m calling “the written word.”

Jesse Sublett, writer & artist at large

Me & an early attempt at painting grackles. Don’t ask why.

THURSDAY NIGHT, at the quarterly art salon called Tertulia, at the Continental Club Gallery, I read the following piece. The theme for the evening was “Hope,” which Tertulia curators Kellie Sansome and Gretchen Harries Graham expect the songwriters, writers, and other presenters to do with whatever they are inspired to do. [for a complete list of the presenters, go here.]

This piece was written while dictating to the Notes app on my iPhone. I write quite a bit that way, often in the car or while walking, which increases the likelihood that Siri will make some weird guesses at what was said. I often curse the app for the stupid mistakes it makes. I finally decided on this piece that the mistakes were kind of interesting. I also liked the lack of punctuation and the inane arguments I had with the app, so I left the thing verbatim, unedited except for length.

I thought I might try to pass this off as poetry, and said so before I started reading. No one really laughed at that line (maybe they were of the opinion that poetry is no laughing matter?) but they did laugh at others.

(One last note: Kellie Salome posted her fine essay on the topic, titled “A Letter to the Next Great Generation,” on her blog, and you should check it out).


So I was a blues singer in my past life anyway woke up one morning I was a graphical.

No not a graphical dammit a grackle you know a bird the trash bird

You see a car coming down the street is a pothole and the road is a blackbird picking up bassinet muddy water the car intentionally swerved trying to kill it probably the only bird people intentionally try to run over

That is a grackle


this isn’t some racial stereotype thing I was a white blues singer

there’s not the surly wrong with white blue singers but I could name some name

So anyway I never believed in reincarnation

There’s a lot of bullshit out there

My head was hurting hipsters everywhere I’m covered with black feathers I’ve got a worm in my beak

I’m taking a crap on these hipsters

all this yelling going out so like rusty saw blades wheezing back-and-forth on a 2 x 4

I hope you don’t consider Dave Matthews a blues singer if sure I want to know where you park your car

What happened to me I have no idea it’s a mystery

Saturday night I had a gig playing for the visiting firemen at the La Quinta

After the gig everybody in the emergency room I know everybody there pretty well was just surprised to see me I was on the operating table and woo hoo I just went out

they said they figured a guy with his many bullet holes is me should never made it to the hospital

That shit Bergerons poop quad

Correction that shit bird George Fuqua

claim that he copy of bed with his wife Elizabeth but that is a lie because I remember she hollered at me when I was in the bathroom to hurry up if I wanted seconds

George formerly classified as a good friend of mine

he pulled that 45 automatic not a nine millimeter like everybody else these days he is old school like his wife Elizabeth she still wears those Maidenform bras and vermilion color panties you know are a million like the sunset

except she wasn’t wearing any panties that night

Hey newsflash George by the way was run over by the trash track yesterday I know for a fact he is now a member of the same much disrespected species


Now George is officially a shit bird

And when I catch him

me and him will go round and round I will see that he is reincarnated as a feather bed at a fat farm

George years ago had a first wife fine looking woman he was preceded by her in death as they say her name is Susan Fairweather

she choose to prefer me to George too I don’t know if she got feathers on her tail these days or not but I know what she will be so happy to see me if she’s a bird or a basset hound or a zoo elephant or whatever

and not by nano she will be so happy to see me happy is a Mockingbird with a box set of Amos sumac records[1]

Going to go down to the Cadillac dealership give me a Cadillac demo to impress her with and I’ve done that many many times before both before and after this reincarnation bullshit

Or maybe you think I’m lying just because I’m a grackle

Anyhow on way over there and then a fly over to Ben Mike Boulevard boys in the next hackberry tree tell me the water burger down there is changing out their grease pit

party time

People ask me how I keep up my spirits because this may not be something to be crowing about

But Jessis morning in Zilker Park I was hollering at the starling fighting with him over a French fry

somebody’s Rhonda Brown

no dammit somebody threw down

And this sweet looking little Cedar waxwing gave me the you know the one eye on the side of the head thing

And I think she recognized me from back in the life and she remembered my socks

My songs dammit my song

Something about the way she swung her breasts around and shook her tail before she flew off and disappear

I take that as a good sign someday I will be reincarnated as a egg red cardinal or maybe a rooster at a breeding farm

anyway next time you’re down and out look out the window and see what the radicals are up to

Grackles not radicals dumbass

If a grackle can make it you can make it

Have hope have face your good fortune could be right around the corner as close as the next grease trap, or mud hole or opportunity to make a major artistic contribution to the world

Hey you with the plaid shirt and the Jerry Garcia beard where did you say you park your car


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