Tag Archives: art

The Return of Sterling Wormwood: A Tragedy in Three Acts

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Sterling Wormwood live at Surfin’ Cowboy in Capo Beach, California June 7, 2014.

Please remain calm! You are about to witness a tragedy in three acts (in the key of A minor). You will be terrified! You will be tantalized! You will be traumatized! It is not for the faint of heart (or squares). So stay if you dare! But remember… WORMWOOD WASN’T HERE.

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Sterling Arthur Leva on KX @One Laguna’s Spoken Word/Spoken Song Radio Show July 6, 2014

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Guest: Sterling Arthur Leva.

Click the link to listen to a recording of the radio appearance I made Sunday. I read some of my own work as well as one by Lord Buckley. We also discuss Beat poetry, Las Vegas airports, and the word “doldrums.” I enjoyed myself immensely and hope to do it again soon!

Screen shot 2014-07-08 at 10.12.53 AM

Waive That Flag

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Waive That Flag

It occurs to me that there
are far better things to wave today
than The Flag
(as if it’s the only one).
Things more indicative of the
overall State Of Affairs
in America,
things more representational of our
Many Freedoms
via American Exceptionalism.

For example,
Supreme Court Majority Opinions
opining that Bits Of The Bible
and WASP Hobbyists
are better than doctors
and women
(especially women)
because even though they’re
totally free
we can’t allow them to be
that free.
Wave that opinion proud, America
for you are free
for the most part.

Or perhaps
Unemployment Registries
at seven-point-who-gives-a-fuck percent
because Freedom does not apply
to the lazy
and the willfully dispossessed
which of course
they are,
right America?
Wave it proud, America
for you are free
for the most part.

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Wait For It

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Wait For It

People don’t pray to me too much anymore. Not like the good old days, at any rate. Mostly just the occasional dingbat or screaming loon seeking divine direction for some two-bit revenge scheme. Sometimes I provide it, sometimes I don’t. I mean, after all, I’m a god damn trickster god, dig? Unpredictability is part of my charm.

But ol’ Hermes don’t get called on too much these days. It seems the desperate are more inclined to take their business to the major players: Yahweh, Buddha, hell even Satan gets more clients than me. I just ain’t in vogue in this modern age. Maybe my asking price isn’t high enough– I’ve never been interested in collecting souls, just punch lines. I just love a good punch line. I ain’t shook about the lack of clients though, because every once in awhile I get a real gem of a gentleman caller, reeking of resentment and pettiness and malignancy, and it makes up for all the down time. Lee Harvey Oswald was one of my favorites– that was a hell of a punch line, wasn’t it? Told him I’d make his little assassination dream come true and provide a patsy to boot. I stuck to my word, didn’t I? I guess I may have interpreted the deal a little differently than he, but that ain’t my fucking problem.

There are some lesser known good ones too, some real unsung heroes of tricksterdom that I lent my services to. I remember Foster Conley and his rumblefish restitution racket. That was a real knee-slapper. You see, Foster had this wife that he couldn’t stand. She was always on his case about this or that, chiding him over house chores and salaries and keeping up with the fucking Joneses (who, incidentally, lived next door). Foster may have been able to bear all this horseshit off his old lady if it wasn’t for her god damn fish. You see, she had this expensive as hell aquarium with these prized rare fish sporting stuck up names like Goya and Francois that she coddled and cherished and it drove Foster nuts because she treated those cocksucking fish better than him.

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Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

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Welcome (Back) To The Grotesquerade

It’s a thin borderline
that separates me
(and me)
from a full-blown personality disorder.

Put Casanova
(or is it Nasa Cova now?)
back in a coma—
he’s awoken from his limp-dicked slumber
and he’s eyeing escorts
and flirting with friendlies
like a romantic in retrograde.
But at least he brought flowers,
right?

Take Cadillac de Bergerac’s
binoculars away—
he’s peeping on the ribs again
and what’s worse
has the audacity to refer
to women
as ribs
during his Evening treetop misadventures.
Just steal his fucking valve stems
and be done with it,
man.

But Johnny Warpath won’t make
like a tree at all.
Turns out he doesn’t only come out
when I drink my gin.
No—
he ain’t Dr. Jimmy, man.
He ain’t Mr. Hyde neither
and he ain’t hiding no more.

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The Return Of Sterling Wormwood

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The Return Of Sterling Wormwood

I will be giving my first live performance in over two years. If you are anywhere near Orange County, I would recommend attending. I can guarantee you won’t have seen anything quite like it before.

Click the flyer to hear music if you want a general idea of what to expect.

Wormwood Flyer

Nostalgia Is, Essentially, Temporal Epilepsy

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Nostalgia Is, Essentially, Temporal Epilepsy

I don’t have a checkered past—
It’s more polkadot
or pinstripe
or paisley
even.

Some of it I’ll never forget, but more of it I’ll never remember.
And thank heavens for that:
I’ve read the police blotters I’ve made cameos in
and if I can take their word for it
then I’d just rather leave certain things blotted, please.
How do I look on paper?
Well, that all depends on the paper.
(College transcripts and rap sheets, unfortunately, are two entirely different kinds of coverage.)

One of my finest moments:
Being asked by a cop what I was on probation for
and
without wasting any time
replying
“Bad grades”
and smirking in his stupid fucking pig face
because it was true
and I thought myself
oh so clever.
The moral of the story?
Hubris gets you handcuffs
and my answer to the same question today
would be very different, indeed.

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The Aesthete’s Lament

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The Aesthete’s Lament

He sees a pair of sweatpants and pants and sweats.
Has panic attacks over unpressed khaki slacks.
Grimaces over Christmas sweaters and jackets with letters, man.
He can’t spot a sports jersey without feeling queasy.
Someone’s got Crocs on and it’s making him uneasy.

He finds function over fashion a dysfunctional passion.
He’s all ascots and porkpie hats,
smoking jackets and backpocket handkerchiefs.
A dapper child of Oscar Wilde
getting sick at the wardrobes
from the Wal Mart aisle.

He saunters down the street,
glances sideways at a department store display
of perilous apparel and garments gone
astray,
and starts bleeding from his eyes,
leaks crimson on his finest peacoat,
collapses on the pavement,
and chokes a sob from his throat:
AESTHETIC IS DEAD.

Composed 2012. Gratitude to Michael Lohrman for the title. Read the rest of this entry

Clowns

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Clowns

I am a grown man and I collect clowns. Statues, dolls, paintings, photographs, knick-knacks, flower vases, ashtrays, coffee mugs, music boxes, picture frames: anything having to do with clowns, I dig. Now, I am fully aware that this is not typical behavior for a somebody my age, and if I had one clown item for every time a friend, family member, or girlfriend has voiced this sentiment, well, I’d probably have the same amount of clown items that I do now. Which is a lot.

I keep clowns everywhere. I have so many clowns in my room that people who know me have dubbed it “The Clown Room,” a title that I probably find more endearing than it is intended to be. I even have a couple in my car: a painted statuette of a magician clown nestled in my center console and a clown on a swing that I rigged up from the rear passenger window so that it actually swings while the car is in motion. The latter is an exceptionally cute little conversation piece:

“I just love your Cadilla—Is that a clown on a swing?”

“Yes. Yes, it is.”

“You know, where I’m going isn’t too far of a walk. You can let me out here…”

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Fukushima Fallout Blues

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Fukushima Fallout Blues

I’m seeing radiation loud
In standard issue fog clouds—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m walking the dog
With matching gas masks on—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m calling family and friends
Telling them I love them, but it’s the end—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m avoiding Pacific fish
And fishy pacifists—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

I’m flying a kite into that nuclear night
But that line’s been used and the core’s been fused—
I’ve got them Fukushima Fallout Blues.

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