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Spiel / Tom Taylor Home Page

                                                    Spiel Photo (c) 2008 P. Welch
The Poet
a/k/a the artist Tom Taylor
a/k/a   the artist Thoss W. Taylor
Poetry and visual images are distributed throughout 5 pages of this site.
To access individual pages, go to extreme top of each page & click page name.
Artist's solo exhibition history at bottom of this page.
The artist's Current and/or Forthcoming exhibitions and events:
Colorado State Fair, Art Gallery, August 28-September 7.
          3 Taylor/Spiel paintings on exhibit

"Dirty Sheets: 28 stories of passion, pathos and payback" by The Poet Spiel.
          Published by Rain Mountain Press, NYC

For more info about Spiel's new collection of quirky short stories,
          please click "Spiel Books" at the top of this page. 

Visit "SaatchiArt" online to view the artist's current portfolio of paintings and prints which are for sale. In the Saatchi Search box, enter: Tom Taylor a/k/a The Poet Spiel.


"Spiel writes with great range and passion. So much so that it is easy to hear and remember only his loudest shouts -- those poems in which he pounds the door and cries out for the injustice, the inequality and sorrow of this life. But flip these poems over and find a poet equally equipped to write soft, spare, musical poems filled with sentiment and yearning."
                                                                                           Excerpt from, "An Interview With The Poet Spiel" by Charles P. Ries, 2007


these are perilous times—


—when you don’t know if

you should teach your little ones

to sleep standing up with their backs

to the wall and their running shoes on


or if you should benevolently slip

quietly into their bedrooms and place

a pillow over their tiny faces then press it

downward til the frantic kicking ceases
                                                                             The Poet Spiel


       The Poet Spiel was born out west to decent white farmers the same year the  U.S. entered WWII, a maverick child who made art which evolved as he matured intellectually through many lifestyle changes leading to considerable national exposure.
       But in 1996, traumatic life/death illness abruptly halted his career; then, when his life was spared, he became reticent and for the first time ever, uncreative --until the spring of 1999-- when he unearthed an urge to write. And this opened the pathway to become the Pushcart Prize contender, devoted author, known for often socially conscious, sometimes iconoclastic poetry, curiously human short stories, seductive spoken-word recordings and astute bits of visual art frequently published internationally in scores of independent press journals, both online and off. 

"...(Spiel) challenges the current tendency of small press poets to do little else but reaffirm the pedestrian nature of life. Spiel refuses to produce small, tasty commodities that gloss, harmonize, and freeze frame. Rather than impose epiphany onto image, Spiel moves from image to social analysis. Therefore, 'Spiel Speak' is an audacious language of struggle, a language of talkback which invades, ignites, and possibly even transforms the reader."
                                         Excerpt from a review of Spiel's chapbook, "come here cowboy: poems of war" by Don Winter. 
Please note: permission to use Spiel/Taylor work in any form must first be obtained by specific request, per item, per usage, at: spielspeak(at)

aka The visual artist Tom Taylor

"Tom Taylor is like a human prism. The facets of his art mark achievements many artists fear as well as envy."                             Jennifer Heath, Rocky Mountain News

"Taylor consistently confirms my idealistic belief that the creation of art should be -- can be -- an act of integrity."                        Nancy Clegg, Westword Magazine

"...with neither sentimentality nor cynicism, Taylor is proving himself a precocious master of perception for people as individuals. ...because his seemingly effortless technique lets the viewer concentrate on the subject, unconcerned about how its striking air of truth was achieved."     
                                                                                                                     Barbara Haddad, The Denver Post, 1965


                                                                                                    "the big quiet" 24" x 48"

                                                                                                       by the poet spiel, 2007


making pictures without mouths

unloading griefs i did not know

in pictures without mouths

in pictures      rows of pictures  

stacks and stacks of pictures

of the children

            without faces

            without mouths

            to speak

to tell of all their needs  

to tell their stories

where they’d been 

why they stood before the houses

            without doors

            without windows

stood before those houses

could not speak  those children without mouths

in pictures that i made

                                                                                                                              unloading griefs

that at that time i could not know

and at that time i changed my name 

to hide my blackened tongue

so blackened then

by griefs of secrets hidden there

behind my face

without a place to speak

and hushed by circumstance

beyond my naïve understanding  

sullen and in grieving

making pictures  

rows and stacks of pictures

without mouths

c. 2003 Spiel  This poem first appeared in Spiel's chapbook, it breathes on it own,
published by Pudding House Publications and is performed by Spiel on his C.D., "breathing back words." 


 "without windows without doors without a mouth to speak"

                                                                                       (c) 2008 Spiel



                 i wish you were a chair      there

a soft open chair

i wish you were hair   there

as bright as ripe wheat where

i wish you were air   there

at dawn   its freshness of sky there

in my mirror there

me watching me there  

                resting on you as chair

combing through you as hair

inhaling you as air

                i wish you were a chair

                        me reclined on you there

in my mirror where

i finger you as hair

oh i wish you were air   here

                and i were a chair

                                                                                           (c) 2005 Spiel

Hear Spiel perform "chair" on his spoken word/music collaboration C.D. with composer Jack Moss, "breathing back


     the end

            i don't think
         anyone cried
      on the first day

there was loud silence
the kitchen table

dad phoned
the wheat threshers
told them
there would not be
no filthy sweat work

one out-of-hell
sweep of hail
had wasted his readied crop
one day too soon

no one wanted to talk
so i hid my mouth upstairs
just played and played my harry belefonte
till it numbed me dead

when i came to
my dumbed diamond needle
was banging
deep grooves in my head

my folks were still
in the kitchen
at dark

the dogs were scratching
our screendoor
and i wasn't sure if
the cows had been milked

            my dad had to quit
         a lifetime
   to farming

and we had to move
where our only harvest
was just a dumb little patch
of green grass where i rooted

a pussy willow cutting
hoping it might grow fast
to hide
the naked bathroom window

of a little white house
crammed between
who did not drive trucks

who made their lights
push through
my bedroom walls
after bedtime

and me just listening
to the slick-black street
where a kid could not
kick dirt
The Poet Spiel
From "once upon a farmboy," a Spiel chapbook published by MadmanInk, 2008.

    cast my ashes on
       agitated water
    where my enemy 
       cannot surround them
    where my best friend
       cannot long to wake them
(c) 2005  The Poet Spiel
           Spiel wrote his classic "epitaph" ten years after a team of gastro-enterologists had (incorrectly) assured him his "time had come and (he) should get (his) affairs in order to prepare to die." 
The Poet Spiel identifies himself as having been a maverick from birth, brought into this world by common white folk on a small farm out west, the same year the U.S. entered the bleak years of WWII.

      In 1996, a major confrontation with what was promised to be his imminent death, changed the course of his life. He abruptly dropped a successful career as a visual artist and became withdrawn and reticent. For the first time ever, he became uncreative. Then in 1999, an urge to write arose within him.  Since then, scores of independent press editors have published, in the hundreds, his often raw poems of conflict, his quirky, insightful short stories and his various and odd bits of art and photography. He is credited with the publication of more than one dozen chapbook and book collections of poetry and short stories.

     One of Spiel's letterheads reads: "Without your ear, I have no voice." Though he considers writing a deeply private process, he believes his work is not complete until it touches the thoughts of others--a holdover from the decades of his life as a nationally acclaimed visual artist, when, presenting himself under other personas and with various types of art, he was recognized with more than four dozen solo exhibitions, coast to coast, in galleries, museums and universities (see list below). His art has been published worldwide in a broad array of formats.

      Spiel is known for his work with socially conscious subjects and being unusually comfortable with taking us on journeys into the discomforts of deep secrets many may share but find too personal or too dark to reveal, such as the psychiatric disorders with which he has coped throughout his life, the injustice of government he observes daily, the nonsense of war, the perils of homosexuality, incest, the reality of suicide, the declining years and Alzheimers disease. He is masterful at risking an uncertain world where, harboring the visceral paranoia that accompanies surveillance at our every turn, we wish everything would turn out okay but we are too often disappointed to find that
it does not.


keep a hungry dog at your feet
to lap up the detritus
so no one will know
you crumble along the way
                                                                 The Poet Spiel

                                 Duck and Cover"
                                        (c) 1987  Tom Taylor
Spiel's writing can be found in small and independent press publications in The U.S.A, Canada, Indonesia, Nepal, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Britain, both on and offline, such as:
Abbey, Alpha Beat Press, art mag, Ascent Aspirations, Barbaric Yawp, Barking Dogs, Bathtub Gin, Blind Man's Rainbow, Bogg, Buckle &, Broomweed Journal, Chiron Review, Chordata; Cliff's Soundings, Covert Poetics, Dana Literary Society, Dead Snakes; Dream Garden, Fight These Bastards, Gargoyle, Gloom Cupboard, Happy, Iconoclast, Impetus, Iodine,, League of Laboring Poets, Lilliput Review, Lost & Found, Lucid Moon, LuVER Radio, Lynx Eye, Mainstreet Rag, March Street Press, Marymark Press, Misfit Magazine, Muses Review, Neotrope, Nerve Cowboy, New Verse News, No Exit, Open Cut, Opium 2.0, Pass Port Journal, Parting Gifts, Pearl, Penhimalaya, Plain Jane, Poems-For-All, Poesy, Poetry Motel, Poets Against the War, Pudding House Publications, Pueblo Poetry Project, P.U.L.P., QDA; Quill & Parchment, Ragged Edge, Rain Mountain Press, Remark, Skidrow Penthouse, Slipstream, Small Press Review, Snapdragon, St Vitus Press, Sugar Mule, The MAG, Thunder Sandwich, TouchStone, Transcendent Visions, Unlikely Stories, Word Riot, Zafusy, Zen Baby, Zygote in My Coffee, ZYX


Solo Exhibitions as the visual artist Tom Taylor aka Thoss W. Taylor aka The Poet Spiel

(as Conceptual Artist, as Wildlife Artist, as Political and Statement Artist, as Alternative Space Artist

Museum, University, Gallery, and Private Solo Exhibitions, 1964 to present, in alphabetic order


Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen, CO, (x2)

Born Free Gallery, Evergreen, CO

Bradford Junior College, Bradford, MA        

Brand Library Art Center, Glendale, CA

The Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO

California Institute of the Arts, Burbank, CA

Center for Idea Art, Denver, CO

Charles Cowles, New York City, NY

Colorado State University, Pueblo, CO
The Corcoran Gallery, Washington D.C.

CORE New Art Space, Denver

Edge Gallery, Denver, CO, (x2) 

The Eugenia Butler Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

First National Bank, Loveland, CO

The Flanders Show, Longmont, CO

Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD

Gallery East, Loveland, CO

The Gallery at Hudson’s Bay, Denver, CO, (x2)

The Gondolier, Boulder, CO 1964, #1 (first solo exhibit), (x2)

Harris Fireside Lounge, Longmont, CO

Hunter College, New York City, NY

Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, CA        

The Landmark Gallery, Longmont, CO

The Loft, Pueblo, CO

The Longmont Museum, Longmont, CO (1989 retrospective)

The Moote Home Show, Ft. Collins, CO

Newport Harbor Art Museum, Balboa, CA

Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Pioneer Museum, Longmont, CO

Pirate – A Contemporary Art Oasis, Denver, CO, (x2)

Prince Georges College, Washington, DC

Pueblo Community College, Pueblo, CO
Reese-Palley Gallery, San Francisco, CA

The Rex Evans Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Royce Galleries Ltd., Denver, CO, (x2)

Rubenstein-Serkez Gallery, Denver, CO

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

San Juan Gallery at PCC, Pueblo. CO
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Sotheby Park-Bernet/ Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX

Two Squares Gallery, Denver, CO

University of California, Davis, CA

University of Colorado Memorial Fine Arts Center, Boulder, CO

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO (1983 retrospective) 

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, Africa

Wildlife World Museum, Monument, CO