What Have They Told You Today?
David Wiley


January 2014

"What Have They Told You Today?" David Wiley Scene4 Magazine SPECIAL ISSUE "Arts&Politics" January 2014


Aux Barricades!
(for Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

What have they told you today?
That a new crop of shortages
is about to be harvested?
That your aunt-in-law will have
to fill out a form 747?
That TV termites
will eat your shoes?
That you should send
NO MONEY immediately?
That the dead fish in California
can easily be replaced
with live ones from Hudson's Bay?
That they are working on
a big project?
That they are transplanting
the timberlands of Siberia
to the Pacific Northwest?
That they are sending
America's reinforced concrete
to Angola and Zambia?
That soon our streets
will be filled with elephants?
That the holes in the ozone
layer can be patched
with seal skins?
That they are working on a cure for greed?
That they have allocated 99% of the budget
to the eradication of stupidity?
That the sands are shifting somewhere else?
That the newspaper and its accomplices
are about to be terminated?
That five years from now
poets will be writing the headlines?  
That whales are beaching themselves
because they want to live in downtown LA?
That halitosis means cancer of the breath?
Aux Barricades!

What will they tell you tomorrow?
That they have invented a
kissing telephone?
That the plains of Kansas
were put on Earth
to digest poisons?
That the tuba was invented
by Hannibal?
That we should make plans
to run trains on the highways?
That we should have more children
because they are
the only hope?
That the capitalist pie is not
a pudding filled with ants?
That the poor will have
new opportunities?
That there will be more jobs
in the breakfast food factories?
That cucumber waxers will be
in great demand?
That the legacy of the gun
is all explained in the movies?
That baseball is a
black Sabbath in disguise?
That somewhere in the
bowels of the post office
there is a conspiracy?
That 680 new languages have
been discovered?
That from now on all senators
will hitchhike?
That you don't have a price
on your head?
That ambition is still a virtue?
That all your records were
destroyed in a fire?
That you have nothing to worry about?
That everyone is okay?
That there are no monsters
inhabiting the landscape?
That Walt Whitman was an anarchist?
That there's a last time
for everything?
That the Bank of East Alibaba
owns Brazil?
That driving a car is a privilege
as well as a right?
That ground beef is the food of the gods?
That soon you can do everything
without moving an inch?
That free hammocks will be given
to everyone?
That Prometheus was eaten by a sparrow?
Aux barricades! mes amis
Aux barricades!

Art and Text Selection: Lissa Tyler Renaud

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David Wiley, painter-poet: graduate of U. Kansas; studied in Mexico and with
artist Ignacio Belen in Barcelona. Widely traveled, he exhibits throughout
California and abroad. Wiley has published two volumes of poetry: Designs for
a Utopian Zoo
(1992) and The Face of Creation (1996). Ongoing since 2005,
Wiley has received mural commissions in Arizona, Mexico and California. A book
about his work, The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
To inquire about David Wiley's paintings, click here.
For more of his paintings, poetry and articles,
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©2014 David Wiley
©2014 Publication Scene4 Magazine



January 2014

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