Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blinded By the Light

I wrote this poem inspired by artist Luis Alves' pice titled "Blinded By the Light."

“Blinded By the Light”
Handmade Collage
36” x 24”

Artwork copyright Luis Alves and may not be used without the permission of the artist.

Blinded By the Light

Hold my hand 
and we will make it through this world
of vivid colors
shadowed eyes 
and caterpillar lashes.

This world that they want 
us to join
of questioning morals
renegade artists
and wastely ways.

Stick with me 
as we start our journey
but be aware. For they are out 
to hook you with their promises 
of democracy, freedom, and bikinis. 

Keep your feet grounded and face covered
and do not expose your self.
For we will finish this passage
that our forefathers foretold. 
And we will remain golden.

— Robert P. Langdon

poem copyright Robert P. Langdon. Poem may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"The Night You Got the News

Patrick Hammer Jr. created this awesome poem for my image "Messy Love." 

 The Night You Got the News

 I saw you leave the house,
 your head down, your face full
 of tears. I saw you

 wander lonely streets until
 you found a ragged metal
 wall full of rivets

 up the center.  I saw you
 slice open your finger,
 then another and

 another until your blood
 flowed as much as 
 your tears.  I saw you draw

 two hearts side by side and two  
 messages of   L O V E   like
 a double gift Robert Indiana.

 I saw you draw your
 breath and smear one heart
 with its message until

 they were just a bloody Rorschach.
 Then I saw you walk away 
 the night you got the news.

  — Patrick Hammer, Jr.

Poem inspired by the image Messy Love

Poem copyright Patrick Hammer, Jr. and may not be used without the permission of the poet.

“Messy Love”
Robert P. Langdon
14” x 11”

Image copyright Robert P. Langdon. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.


Artist and poet Michelle Greco perfectly captured my poem "Malled" in the work she created for "Ekphrasis"


The Disney dream is a lie. Bambi has been rewritten.
No longer is it the danger of flames and firearms. It's crossing
a four lane highway and being trapped against a median.
A warm blood Flower streaked by the wipers of a Humvee.

The roads are littered with animal parts
scattered like pummeled puzzle pieces.
Turkey vultures claim their day — an overkill of death —
their feathers defying the cars zipping by.

Displaced crows pepper the sky above Walmart
soaring around the naked tree branches or
feeding off discarded fast-food French fries.
Their guttural caws — thick with resignation — trumpet the air.

Woodland creatures claim a piece of their space
that has been replaced with snow-specked cement,
white-washed fences and air-pumped Christmas
decorations big as the SUV sentries standing guard.

We have raped the land. Stolen the forest
and rebuilt it with doors and bay windows.
We have given the mountains a mastectomy.
Condos and spoiled children sprout up like mushrooms.
Fungus much too wild, too rich, and much too toxic to the touch.

— Robert P. Langdon

Poem copyright Robert P. Langdon from the book The Candied Road Ahead: Poems & Stories
Poem may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

“The Disney dream is a lie”
Mixed Media
11.9” x 9”

Artwork inspired by the poem Malled

Artwork copyright Michelle Greco. Image may not be used without the permission of Michelle Greco.


I am double honored that two artists connected to my piece "Vanity" and decided to create work inspired by by poem. Thank you to Gail Winbury and Kathleen Heron for creating such wonderful art for the "Ekphrasis" exhibit..


They found you sprawled across the bathroom floor.
Your wrinkled face brushing smooth tile.
You didn’t have time to put on your wig.
It was on your nightstand lovingly placed
atop the styrofoam stand-in awaiting tease and spray.

Did you forget about your appointment that morning?
If you had remembered, would you have kept your wig on,
wrapped it in toilet paper and slept on your back
with your hands folded over your bosom so your elbows
would keep you from rolling over onto your stomach?

If you had known, would you have made yourself pretty
to be made prettier the way you did before visiting the beauty parlor?
Applied mascara to your brittle lashes so that each time your gay
hairdresser flirted, they would appear strong and supple
when you batted them? Outlined your lips above their sagging crowns
and colored between the lines with the red of desire?

If you had known about your appointment today,
would you have put your life in order like the nail polish organized
by shade? Spent your last hours with your children and their children
offering one lasting hug and ‘I love you’?
Or would you have mixed yourself a Tom Collins and spent that time
looking into the mirror, fussing over yourself, and getting ready?

— Robert P. Langdon

poem copyright Robert P. Langdon from the book The Candied Road Ahead: Poems & Stories

Poem may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

“She Sat Alone”
Oil and Pearls
35” x 38”

Image copyright Gail Winbury.  Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.

“Monument to eternal beauty”
Drawing / Assemblage
12” x 12” x 5”

Image copyright Kathleen Heron. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.

"The Tale of a Wonderfully Curious Romance"

I am so honored to have one of my favorite artist, Amy Puccio, create a piece for my poem about the two princesses. I'm floored with how she so perfectly brought my poem to life for the "Ekphrasis" exhibit..

The Tale Of a Wonderfully Curious Romance

Once upon a time
is the way most tales begin
but this one is a little different.

In a pink palace, nestled away on McKenzie Avenue,
lived a young princess some called Little Joan.
Unlike most princesses, this sovereign girl
dressed in leather and defiantly changed
her lovely locks from honeyed gold to Jett black.

She realized early that she would rather rock out than frolic
in a field, as most princesses tend to do. She built a music chamber
in her dungeon, where, instead of picking petals, she picked
a guitar. She tutored herself in the arts of Townshend
and Honeymann Scott until she found her own groove.

She never allowed herself to be wooed by the pursuits of gallant
princes but instead invited a dandy one to the ball.
There, they exposed their true selves despite
the traditional corsage and boutonniere
they pinned to one another’s bodies.

Over the years, this maid grew into a maiden.
Her virgin skin gave way to a magnificent tapestry
that included dancing skeletons and Sir Ozzy with Rhodes.
Her golden locks returned but the cut was rumpled
and too un-princess-like for some with traditional taste.

A series of doomed loves and failed musical troupes
only seemed to strengthen this maiden’s resolve
for finding her own unconventional fairy tale ending.

A few provinces away, in a different garden in this same state,
lived a daintier princess. Unlike the rocker one,
this noble maid followed a more time-honored path.
She harvested great joy tending to her gardens
giggling and frolicking among her flowers.

She held an affinity for horses, as many maids do, and fell
into popularity among the youth of her kingdom.
She cheered on the masters at the royal games
and acquiesced to the courtships of noblemen
with a titter and coy flutter of her fan.

She adopted the classical veil of princess by tossing
a bouquet into a hopeful crowd of maids and by dutifully
ruling over a nobleman’s castle. But this contentment was short lived
for she found herself trapped in a tower
built of tradition and Tupperware.

She found this storybook life was one unworthy
of her pursuit and escaped this stifling stockade. She, too,

embarked on a pilgrimage for finding her own unconventional fairy tale ending.

One princess preferred the grating of rock-n-roll
while the other preferred the twang of country,
so it may come as a surprise to learn that it was music
that bound these two together.

One maiden’s resting quarters renovated into a music
chamber for the other. And one maiden’s horse power
gave way to the power of another’s horse.

In time, their love-at-first-sight renewed into a love
usually only reserved for the conclusion of fables.
The daintier and rocker princesses found in one another
the happy ending that they were searching for.

On one picturesque day, these two princesses stood before
their court and expressed to one another a devotion
built on truth. Those present were enchanted forever by what
they witnessed that day and by the knowledge that
sometimes it’s not always a prince that rides in to save the damsel.
And that sometimes it’s not always a horse drawn carriage,
but rather a horse powered hog, that carries them into
happily ever after.

— Robert P. Langdon

poem copyright Robert P. Langdon from the book
The Candied Road Ahead: Poems & Stories
Poem may not be used, in any part, without the permission 
of Robert P. Langdon

“Up the Neck”
Mixed Media

Artwork inspired by the poem The Tale of a Wonderfully Curious Romance

Image copyright Amy Puccio. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.


Artist Erica Resnick submitted her piece 'Come" and I was inspired to create a new poem inspired by this piece for the "Ekphrasis" exhibit.

Erica Resnick
Mixed Media 

24” x 24”

Artwork copyright Erica Resnick. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.


I’ve travelled through the shades of red —
the pink of birth and the blush of adolescence.
The candy of passion, the rose of love
and the scarlet stench of loss.

I’ve swayed with the blues all of my life —
the electric coolness of cobalt. The back and forth
mania of indigo calming itself down to an azure
and finally finding peace in the tranquility of periwinkle.

The yellows have always energized me — 
they feed me the sun and keep me smiling. I have gone
one on one with butterscotch but can sometimes be a whole 
grain mustard. I am part sour lemon part sappy honey. But all golden. 

The greens have always been a challenge — I’ve protested 
the army and hunters. Chopped the basils and mints. 
My toes have been tickled by moss and my senses
titillated by chartreuse. The greens have been friend and foe. 

But these days the colors are beginning to blend and create new hues. 
My footprints have oxidized into a mixture of vibrancy and grey. 
Darker patches streaking and stroking beckon me to come. 
But they took that away from me. I can’t anymore. 

— Robert P. Langdon

Poem inspired by the artwork Come

Poem copyright Robert P. Langdon may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

The Hunter, the Bear & Little Red Cape"

I am so honored that artist Ericka Resnick was so taken by my poem "The Hunter, the Bear & Little Red Cape" that she created a brand new assemblage for the "Ekphrasis" exhibit to accompany my poem.

The Hunter, The Bear and Little Red Cape

You may think you know this tale. But you don’t. 
That you’ve heard it as a child. But be assured you haven’t.
It may sound familiar, but there is no big bad wolf 
or grandmother. Just a flirty girl in a red cape. 

Once upon a time there was a hunter –– a gatherer really, for he preferred 
animals as companions rather than food –– who lived in the deep of the forest.
He was always on the search for a wolf, for he thought these magical 
and sleek animals were the most beautiful of God’s creations. But alas,
wolves were scarce in his part of the world and he began to abandon hope. 

One day the hunter came upon a black bear tangled in a trap. He rescued the awkward 
animal, nursed it back to health and kept it for himself. The two slowly built a companionship 
and understanding, and before he realized it, four years had dripped through the hour
glass. The hunter always knew deep in his throbbing heart that this was not what 
he wanted. But he found comfort in the bear’s company. And that would suffice for now. 

There were things about the bear that annoyed the hunter –– his social clumsiness,
his dozing at inappropriate times. They would cuddle by the fire, but the bear’s fur 
was too bristly and his belly too big for the hunter’s liking. He would put on a smile
and whisper what the bear wanted to hear, for he knew the bear liked these together 
moments. The hunter only wanted to make his friend happy, for he truly loved his bear. 

The beginning of the end of the hunter and bear came one virgin spring 
day in the form of a seductress. The hunter returned to his cottage earlier than usual 
to find a young girl talking to his pal. She wore a long red cape that flittered
behind her when she moved from foot to foot and carried a basket of goodies.
The hunter hid behind a wise tree and watched the exchange unnoticed.

“What beautiful fur you have,” purred the girl slowly caressing the bear’s back.
“All the better to keep you warm on a cold winter’s night,” replied the bear with a wink.
“And what a handsome belly you have,” she gaped rubbing it and batting her auburn lashes.
“All the better to cushion your head with my dear,” flirted back the bear. The girl stuck her hand in the basket and pulled out a finger. The bear licked at it gluttonously eliciting a spur of titters.

“You’re cute,” giggled the girl, turning away from the hulking animal and moving toward
whence she came. Before dancing away, she turned once again, tossed the bear a kiss, 
then skipped off humming a foolish ditty. The bear smiled from ear to ear,
then began rolling around in the clover and humming the tune the girl left him. 
The hunter watched his friend magically come to life before his eyes.

The bear was oblivious to his approach and sniffed ravenously at the air savoring 
the disappearing scent.  “Who was that?” asked the hunter trying to contain the rollercoaster 
in his voice. Soured butterflies rebounded off his gullet frantically searching for a way out. 
“A girl on an errand,” tepidly replied the bear. “She stopped to say hello.” He went back
to wobbling in the clover, ignoring the hunter, who reluctantly went to his cottage.

The next day, the hunter returned from his routine only to find the bear nowhere
to be seen. He called and called but there was no response. He spotted a tiny pot
at the foot of the wood’s trail. It was empty, turned on it’s side, and the sticky remains
bled onto the earth. Honey –– something the hunter rarely fed his bear. “Of course,”
he told himself, tears –– like realizations –– welled in his eyes. “Bears love honey.”

The hunter didn’t leave his cottage –– not so comfy anymore –– for a full week falling
into a deep depression at the loss of his bear buddy. He couldn’t eat –– for all food tasted
of drained pine needles. He drank flagons of mead to drown out the jolly memories
of his simple friend and to erase those of the bitter boff of the girl in the red cape. He couldn’t
shake the image of the bear licking her finger. But on the last day, it all became clear.

The girl was the true hero of this tale. Not him. She freed his bear from a life of hoping
and hanging on. She made him feel special in a way that the hunter never could. Adored
the things about him that the hunter never did. He took a deep breath and wiped his dry
tears. He dressed in his freshest finery, opened the door, and once again began the search 
for his wolf. The bear and the girl found it. Now it was time for his own happily ever after.

— Robert P. Langdon

Poem copyright Robert P. Langdon and may not be used, in any part, without permission of Robert P. Langdon

“Faire des Choix”
Erica Resnick
Mixed Media Assemblage
32” x 16”

Artwork inspired by the poem The Hunter, The Bear and Little Red Cape

Image copyright Erica Resnick. Image may not be used without the permission of the artist.