Spiel Photo (c) 2008 P. Welch

a/k/a  the artist Tom Taylor

a/k/a  the artist Thoss W. Taylor

Exhibitions and Events

Dirty Sheets

28 stories of passion, pathos and payback


by The Poet Spiel.

Published by Rain Mountain Press, NYC


Book Info

Consider Your Confine

March 4 – April 8, 2015 Solo exhibition of the artist’s legendary Confine Show. 45th anniversary of its creation in Los Angeles. San Juan Gallery, Pueblo Community College, Pueblo CO 81004

Show Info

Visit “SaatchiArt” online to view the artist’s current portfolio of paintings and prints which are for sale

View Portfolio
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.

Charles P. Ries

Excerpt from, "An Interview With The Poet Spiel

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.”

Don Winter

Excerpt from a review of Spiel's chapbook , "come here cowboy: poems of war"

“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

by the poet spiel, 2007
“the big quiet”  24″ x 48″  (c) 2007  by the poet spiel

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 mouth

The Poet 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.


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

The Poet Spiel


cast my ashes on agitated water where my enemy cannot surround them where my best friend cannot long to wake them 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


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

the end

i don’t think anyone cried on the first day but there was loud silence around 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 staring 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 dedicated 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 everybody-strangers 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

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.

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, Cliff’s Soundings, Covert Poetics, Dana Literary Society, Dream Garden, Fight These Bastards, Gargoyle, Gloom Cupboard, Happy, Iconoclast, Impetus, Iodine, laurahird.com, 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., 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

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Please note: permission to use Spiel/Taylor work in any form must first be obtained by specific request, per item, per usage.

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