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Spiel Home Page
The Poet Spiel
aka The Artist Tom Taylor
aka The Artist Thoss W. Taylor _______________________________________________________________
A retrospective exhibition
Colorado State University / Pueblo
aka The Poet Spiel
aka Tom Taylor aka Thoss W. Taylor
November 5, 2012 - January 18, 2013
38degreeslatitude / Contemporary art group show
including work by The Poet Spiel
Pueblo Community College
February 20th -- March 15th, 2013. Opening nite: March 1st, 5-7pm
Poetry, art and information about this writer/artist
is distributed throughout 5 pages of this site.
The artist’s solo exhibition history is at the bottom of this page.
To access each of these 5 pages, go to extreme top of this page,
then click page name.To access information about Spiel's most recent book,
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________________________________________________________________________________________
Spiel Photo (c) 2008 P. Welch
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.
"the birthing" gouache, latex, acrylic
c.2012, The Poet Spiel aka Tom Taylor
"...(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.
Spiel's war poem, "come here cowboy" appeared on the much-noted "Poets Against the War" site. ( It appears on the "More Spielspeak" page of this website.) About this poem, Tom Conroy, editor of The League of Laboring Poets, has written:
"Come Here Cowboy" is the most brilliant and direct anti-war poem of our time."
Please note: permission to use
Spiel/Taylor work in any form must first
be obtained by specific request,
per item, per usage, 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
to tell of all their needs
to tell their stories
where they’d been
why they stood before the houses
stood before those houses
could not speak
those children without mouths
in pictures that i made
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
rows and stacks of pictures
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 words."
“short story with hoes” Spiel, © 2010 30” x 40” acrylic / mixed media on masonite
“The Poet Spiel’s fecund imagination shapes rich clear imagery. He editorializes on our society’s misfortunes including hollow social promises, mismanaged religions and political aspirations that, when appropriated for ill, are changed into painful slogans festering in society’s gums like an impacted tooth.” Dr. William Folkestad. Colorado State University, Pueblo
Be certain to Explore the multi-faceted
SPIEL SHOWCASE / click here
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,Big Intersection, Blind Man's Rainbow, Bogg, Buckle &, Broomweed Journal, Chiron Review, Cliff's Soundings, Covert Poetics, Cranial Tempest, Dana Literary Society, Dog Ear, Drama Garden, Fight These Bastards, Finding Our Voices, First Class, Free Verse, frisson:disconcerting verse, Gestalten, Gin Bender Poetry Review, Gloom Cupboard, Happy, Iconoclast, Impetus, Iodine, Jaw Magazine, laurahird.com, League of American Poets, League of Laboring Poets, Lilliput Review, little episodes, Lost & Found, Lucid Moon, LuVER Radio, Lynx Eye, Mainstreet Rag, March Street Press, Marymark Press, Muses Review, Neotrope, Nerve Cowboy, New Verse News, nicestories, No Exit, Open Cut, Opium 2.0, Pass Port Journal, Parting Gifts, Pearl, Penhimalaya, Plain Jane, Poems-For-All, Poesy, Poiesis, poetalk, Poetry Motel, Poets Against the War, Pudding House Publications, Pueblo Poetry Project, Pueblo Chieftain, P.U.L.P., Quill & Parchment, Ragged Edge, Rejected Notice, Remark, RFD, Skidrow Penthouse, Slipstream, Small Press Review, Snapdragon, Storyteller, strangeroad, St Vitus Press, Sugar Mule, The MAG, Thunder Sandwich, TouchStone, Transcendent Visions, Unlikely Stories, Velvet Box, West Wind Review, Winning Writers, Word Riot, Zafusy, Zen Baby, Zygote in My Coffee, ZYX
breaking rules robs energy
i do not have the will to spare
i make my own instead do so
not to appease your familiarity
but cast in light
to disrupt the core
we may share
for what we share in common
in our darkness
the burdens of our closets
is where we lift our care
© 2005 the poet spiel
forgotten heroes ©2010 Spiel
30” x 40” acrylic on masonite
___________________________________________________________________"...(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."
looking at the floor—
looking up only after you believe no one can see you;
your troubled throat, out of note, like a leather violin,
not dormant, but forever muffled.
the lure of little voices, lingering within you,
wishing to inform you that without your cleavage
you would still be the child whose mouth
he shoved onto a doorknob
as he promised not to hurt you from behind,
not to tell on you, not to let your mama tell of what she’d seen
about your brothers taking turns on you.
little voices, lure-a-lure, black and blue a loo-a-lure,
insisting that you know you are maria, the woman now,
the lure of voices, all their tiny voices telling:
show your cleavage, show the world your breasts.
buy the distance you desire with their allure.
your little girls are safe now;
rose and angel, he cannot hurt them now.
stella, grace, and darling, your brothers cannot hurt them now.
gloria, pearl, florence, and the others you became:
each a blameless fanny, a variant voice, a tiny muffled voice,
a lure allure.
jesus was not there for florence;
could not hear her undeveloped voice
when she cried its lure-a-lure.
mary rests beneath the tulips where you buried her,
and stella in the marigolds before your mama cut them down.
it was darling whom your papa forced
to say that it was good
before he would withdraw,
just before you claimed your body back once more,
then told your teacher you’d fallen down a mountainside
and that was why your arm was broke.
a-lure a-lure all black and blue a-loo a-lure.
you sent gloria to your sky when they finished her.
their football team had won; she was their prize.
you still see her in your sky. still hear her from your sky.
you might use her voice when yours deserts you;
when you forget the tortured leather violin that is your throat
might resonate again,
if you need to choose to use the voice of any child that you
to get away from carlos then,
to rise up to the ceiling, like when you swallowed all your teeth
as modesto and your papa, devout catholics,
and the cadre of your cousins, pissproud abeytas and vallejos,
had their way with you.
ohh those little voices lingering.
ohh how they tease you now,
lure a lure:
you need not look down at the floor.
you are maria, woman, now.
show your cleavage.
it is your ticket to a man who will gift you with a child
for whom a doorknob opens doors.
the child will be you as you wished to be;
will adore you.
the man will love you,
lure-a-lure, allure. show your breasts now,
i don't think
on the first day
there was loud silence
the kitchen table
the wheat threshers
there would not be
no filthy sweat work
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 belafonte
til it numbed me dead
when i came to
my dumbed diamond needle
deep grooves in my head
my folks were still
in the kitchen
the dogs were scratching
and i wasn't sure if
the cows had been milked
my dad had to quit
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
the naked bathroom window
of a little white house
who did not drive trucks
who made their lights
my bedroom walls
and me just listening
to the slick-black street
where a kid could not
© 2008 The Poet Spiel
From "once upon a farmboy," a Spiel chapbook published by MadmanInk, 2008.
who gives me life so also takes my life
acrylic on board © 1985 Tom Taylor aka The Poet Spiel
cast my ashes on
where my enemy
cannot surround them
where my best friend
"agenda” Spiel © 2010
Museum, University, Gallery, and Private Solo Exhibitions
In alphabetical order.
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen, CO. 1981
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen, CO. 1989
Born Free Gallery, Evergreen, CO. 1995
Bradford Junior College, Bradford, MA. 1971 *
Brand Library Art Center, Glendale, CA. 1971 *
The Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO. 1995
California Institute of the Arts, Burbank, CA. 1971*
Center for Idea Art, Denver, CO. 1983 *
Charles Cowles, New York City, NY. 1971 *
Colorado State University / Pueblo, Pueblo, CO 2012 *
The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC. 1973 *
CORE New Art Space, Denver, CO. 1995
Dyer’s, Longmont, CO. 1995
Edge Gallery, Denver, CO. 1989
Edge Gallery, Denver, CO. 1990
The Eugenia Butler Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1971 *
First National Bank, Loveland, CO.1981
The Flanders Show, Longmont, CO. 1980
Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD. 1965
Gallery East, Loveland, CO. 1981
The Gallery at Hudson’s Bay, Denver, CO. 1985
The Gallery at Hudson’s Bay, Denver, CO. 1984
Gallery at The Loft, Pueblo, CO. 2010
The Gondolier, Boulder, CO. (First solo exhibit) 1964
The Gondolier, Boulder, CO. 1964
Hagnaeur Gallery/ BAC, Manitou Springs, CO. 2012 (May 11-June 10)
Harris Fireside Lounge, Longmont, CO. 1964
Hunter College, New York City, NY. 1971 *
Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, CA. 1971 *
The Landmark Gallery, Longmont, CO. 1981*
The Landmark Gallery, Longmont, CO. 1982
The Longmont Museum, Longmont, CO. (A retrospective) 1989
The Moote Home Show, Ft. Collins, CO. 1980
Newport Harbor Art Museum, Balboa, CA. 1971 *
NFSC Show, Wheat Ridge, CO. 1995
Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 1971 *
Pioneer Museum, Longmont, CO. 1971 *
Pirate – A Contemporary Art Oasis, Denver, CO. 1988 *
Pirate – A Contemporary Art Oasis, Denver, CO. 1987
Prince George’s College, Washington, DC. 1965
PST / WeHo City Hall, West Hollywood, CA. 2012 *
Reese-Palley Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 1971 *
The Rex Evans Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1970
The Rex Evans Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 1969
Royce Galleries Ltd., Denver, CO. 1996
Royce Galleries Ltd., Denver, CO. 1992
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. 1971 *
The San Juan Gallery, Pueblo CO. ( A retrospective) 2011
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA. 1971 *
Sotheby Park-Bernet/ Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX. 1971 *
Two Squares Gallery, Denver, CO. 1965
University of California, Davis, CA. 1971 *
University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA. 1971*
University of Colorado Memorial Fine Arts Center, Boulder, CO. 1964
University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. (A retrospective) 1983 *
The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT. 1971 *
Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, Africa. 1980
Wildlife World Museum, Monument, CO. 1982
* Indicates venues where "Considerations of the Confines of Thoss W. Taylor" ("Consider Your Confines") is known to have been exhibited in full. Visit this site, dedicated to The Confine show: thosstaylor-theconfineshow.info