David Caskie - Performance Artist

Performance by David Caskie

Poetry by David Caskie


Sitcom characters are
friends of friends,
loud party hosts at parties
where everybody but them
sat on the couch
nursing a drink or three,
tongue-tied, or speaking ignored
as others laughed tracked.

Everybody was staring
at fragments of mirrors
sometimes finding resonance
seeing hundreds of things
friends meant for others.
Directors producers asked
for something more engaging
some bully so handsome
everybody would submit.
The bully thug may come,
but it's not me, buddy.


You're lined up
grinning with braces
I saw your dim eyes
glowing with hope
at the car-lot.

New to me
worn rings hidden.
When you were born
being a divorcee
was scandalous.


Tribal women in villages raised kids lovingly.
Men chased around beasts
and came home to cornpone and shellfish

Picture the first couple
branching to suburban caves or woods.
They must have seemed heretical
to the tribal family.

Now these puny miniature tribes
are a household word, warring civilly
over whom will be chief.

The global village so dear to McLuhan
stands with open gates, ready to join
people ready to love and give
and choose one another.


I'm one, baby.
My body of course a thing,
but also my mind,
a thing bigger than its parts.
When the barrage
of stories of things
of photos of cameras
and self-portraits of norms
saturates my attention
I return to my default
in-dividable one
familiarity breeds joy
with this thing me.

It's hard to control anything
my bodymind
my hodgepodge of things
especially the thing that's you.
You do things
such easy gestures
that make me squirm and whimper
and offer my goodies on a silver platter.


I'm really sorry
I was so pushy oficial adult
hyper, not even listening
to you saying
what I have waited five years
for someone to say
and look at you!
Seeing your heart tattoo mine raced.
And you approached me
offering to make art together
I thought I was cool
acting invulnerable
not letting on
that I would worship you
at the drop of a hat
and the art--
we could be like Mark Morrisroe
or Egon but better
bypass the university
ticket to New York
but I left.
You can teach me
a thing or 2 about friendship


It's some kind of continuum
a word thought in a head here
printed word here, spoken next to it
There's the speaker speaking, a real person
giving permission to stare into eyes
over here a quiet body hiding shy
here a photo of shy body wearing a stitch
there one which you would swear is shouting
it conveys so well "look at me."
there's a likeness of a person
3-d sculpture and pretty convincing
here a screen image but moving talking smiling
don't forget this photo, given with rules
memory controls how far imagination goes
in another photo I'm inviting you to think it all
hoping you will, safe in knowing
you can't hurt me even if that's what you're imagining
content that some power of loving protects me
if I'm beautiful and giving enough nobody
would want to hurt me
wouldn't need to take anything--
I'm giving it all
what else could you want to see?
what could you want? my time?
maybe to control me, break my will
to change what I want to the opposite
for sport


Just because
I'm pulling my own strings
ticling my fancy
doesn't mean it's not a media event.

There's an audience
and a performer
they happen to be the same person
master of all I survey.

It's the nature of spectacle
visual events are shown and seen
even when the seeing
is in the mind's eye.

Turn on all the lights
call the royal tailor
every part by heart
we do it all with mirrors.


You're into human sacrifice??
Me too, but I don't want any killing
crucifying, holding of breath to see
if someone resurrects then slips away.
Resurrection day should have been the first Gospel page.


Do robots really
pledge the quaint code?
Protect and serve humans?

Perhaps a volvo
folded for you
but some volvos
seen on TV
for the occasion
have extra bones welded in

Has the robot TV eye
saved as many humans with CPR
as it has bumped off onscreen?

When a human kills
its own imagination
or never had one
operating machinery
on the expressway
-or in bed, automatic
will a cyborg build
a stronger imagination
than we had?


At one end of your spine
dwells a bean, plump
with ideas coursing
at t'other a tube
inspired or jelly
a reliquary for the
balance which once
maybe was, a balance
no longer found as we tip
now this boss now that
the bean now king
the queen now, a
beat later running
the show it doesn't
know shows; bean
conscious, self-conscious,
oh, and handy with blinders


Can't see gamma rays
4 dimensions
never missed, they say

Can see 3D, 20/10
glossy sheen of rain
panoramic view
everything in view
Drink in the whole view
remember before I could see
Fill my eyes in case
Enjoy brown, grey, drab
and bright hues
Your bright eyes


Now or when
the hot iron
the crisp shirt
the slick shoes
courtly fashion
courting the club
presenting my best
ideas, compromise-ready
hoping for the
best possible result

Each time I seem
ready to belong
ready for the system
to work for me
each time more
able to accept
the psychic clue
we'll call you


It's like my apartment with no curtains
visible to World Trade Center and EPCOT Center
It's like a garbage truck on a windy day
leaving the Hallmark card factory in Lodi, N.J.
as the wind picks up the cards that misfired--
too sentimental---- and blows them
hither and yon

David Caskie's Email