Eric Boyd


My parents and I were at the Carnegie museum. We’d moved to Pittsburgh, from Charolette, less than a year earlier and we were just now beginning to explore the city. There wasn’t much, at ten, that I could enjoy—Pittsburgh has something like twelve bars for every 10,000 people—and the museum was free. Or at least they only asked for a ‘suggested donation’ at the door. Which meant it was free.

        There were many fine paintings. My parents were excited about all of the crap related to the steel industry. Landscapes of smoky mills and portraits of black-dusted men staring out of the canvas. All of them realistic and well-made.

        My father, Daniel, pointed to a large black and white photograph of a man working on a ship. Daniel read a little card next to the picture. “It’s called Ship Worker.”

        I said, “Well duh.”

        Daniel looked at me and narrowed his eyes. “It’s from the War, smartass, and it’s from here. That’s the old Christie Park missile factory. That guy’s working on a destroyer, probably.”

        I had no idea what any of that meant, but I knew that I didn’t care because I didn’t care about any of that. It didn’t make any sense. I could look at that stuff any time. That was the real world and I hated it. That was going to school; that was scraping my knees, being scared of the dark and the woods—which I knew held a witch—surrounding our new house; that was my father’s drinking and my mother pleading with me not to tell anyone about the things that happened at night because it would ‘rock the boat’, whatever that meant. didn’t want to see any of that. I wanted to see dream-things, to escape what I already knew about.

        Those paintings were lies because they made ugly things beautiful for no reason. They weren’t really beautiful, though. They were made to be.

        The rest of the day was like that. When we had gone in the museum it was daytime and when we finally left the sun was nearly gone. My mother held my hand and Daniel walked ahead, turning around every few steps and telling us to hurry up because the Steeler game was about to start. As we left the main lobby, a painting caught my eye.

        “Wait wait wait,” I shouted.

        My mother stopped. “What is it, Fredrick?”

        I broke from her and ran toward the wall the painting hung from. It was long and ran along the top of the entire wall. I read the info card for the painting. It was by someone named Christopher Wool. The painting was plain white with blocky black letters.


        I looked up at it for a long time. It was ugly and I had no idea why it was in a museum with all of the crap I had been looking at all day. Maybe it was there because it didn’t belong there. Something about that was good.

        Daniel watched me staring at the painting and snorted, “I guess they’ll call anything art these days. It’s not even pretty.”

        “That’s why I like it,” I smiled.

        It was beautiful because it wasn’t beautiful and never tried to be.

        Many things made sense just then.

This is the second in a series of posts where we asked tumblr writers to make something based on one photo. Today’s post was done by Eric Boyd; last weeks was by Erica D Price. Look for another guest post next Friday.

Hurt, Being Hurt

Two fists held up, guarding my face
It is a school night, I’m tired
The front door’s open, unhinged
I just want to survive this night

It was my birthday recently
I do not remember my age
My father says he has no son
Something that I knew years ago

My mother on the floor, bleeding
She gets up, runs to the kitchen
He reaches back, big haymaker
I will not hit him, I’m scared to

I brace myself but he falls down
My mother holds an iron pan
He tries to get up, I pin him
Watching as tears dot on his face

[submitted by ericboydblog]

The Opposite of a Message in a Bottle

The waves you sent to me are rotting my teeth to the core.
The post dropped them on my doorstep,
ribbons trembling, stamps peeling,
and I wanted so badly to stop their endless roaring
but they worked their way between my teeth like taffy made of saltwater and sand.

I hate to tell you, but loving your words is tiring.
The tension separating your lion heart from my birdcaged lips is breaking; I can hear it flooding down the halls, and baby it is electric.
It’s wrapped in cellophane that mirrors the way water casts shadows on the ocean floor

And it’s the kind of beautiful that if you don’t watch it;
If you don’t notice the hands behind it’s back;
It will take you straight down to the bottom of the line
and Dear,
the water is so heavy there.

- Art-not-Logic

Take back the feature

Hmm, that wasn’t an easy thing to do but here goes:

1.Favorite prose:

      ode to having a moderate touch of mental illness, by processproduct

 It really offers an interesting and new perspective on the matter.

2.Favorite spoken word:

      blind dog, by eric boyd

 Listen to it and you’ll know why it’s in this list.

3.Favorite poet:

      loqui            I can’t give you a title

    all my favorites from him have been featured, I’m sorry dudes!

4.Umm, and here are two by me (I can’t narrow it down any further)


     Dystopian worlds

Trace over me like you did when you tried to memorize the wallpaper of your weathered home
Because I am the old under the new but still the warm over the looming and when nostalgia isn’t enough to take the pain away and rather makes you ache for home,
I will remind you of that yellowed wallpaper and how sometimes it’s best to let those kinds of things peel away.
THE BROWN HAT Set List (2/25/13)
  1. Hoe Down- Aaron Copland
  2. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door- Bob Dylan
  3. Fucking Around in Double Drop D- Eric Boyd
  4. Complaints of the Skeleton to Time- Allen Ginsberg
  5. Break 1
  6. Tekno Love Song- CocoRosie
  7. American Sarcasm (a reading)- Eric Boyd
  8. Until the Water Goes Down- Beasts of the Southern Wild OST
  9. Disaster- the Besnard Lakes
  10. God Only Knows- the Beach Boys
  11. Break 2
  12. Swing 41- Django Reinhardt
  13. the Promise of Living- Aaron Copland
  14. Break 3
  15. Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It)- Dangermouse & Sparklehorse [feat. David Lynch]
  16. Worried Shoes (Live, 2009)- Daniel Johnston
  17. Main Title from Frankenstein (1931) OST- Bernhard Kaun
  18. Break 4
  19. Nightmare- Artie Shaw
  20. Bach- Mario Maccaferri
  21. Nighty Night- Yvonne King & Alvino Rey