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Showing posts from January, 2010

Paul Tumey Comic Book: Goodbye to the Factory (1990)

In 1990, I was living in Leominster, Massachusetts with Susan. We were soon to married. This was my two years of experiencing blue collar America. This comic book shares my experiences and feelings about working in a factory.(Click on each image to enlarge and read)

Record Review: Paul Simon's Graceland Blows My Mind in 1986

(Record Review)"Simon's Graceland: A Masterful Musical Meld
by Paul Christley Tumey
First Published: Capital City Magazine #24 (Nov, 1986)

Where were you when you first heard Paul Simon'sGraceland?
It's one of those events where things are different ever after... especially if you were listening in the fall of 1986, when the record first entered the world. It was like nothing else we'd heard.

I was 24 and living with a 44-year old lovely lady. She procured a copy on a cassette tape and lent me her Walkman (remember those?). The music heralded both a new optimism and realism in my life as I matured into a freshly minted adult American.
(Click on the image at left to enlarge and read. )

It's my belief we become different people when we listen to some songs. Graceland's new sounds subtly made me into someone new. Part of that newness for me was becoming a published writer.

This article was one of my first published articles. My buddy Frank Young was the editor of a…

New Painting; "Center"

As I grow, I see ever more clearly that the essence of staying centered is to allow yourself to constantly shift and reconfigure.

This set of four square panels I painted in December of 2009 is designed to fit together in any orientation and sequence. The paint was applied on each panel using a different tool and technique, brush, rag, sponge, and fingers. The design was inspired by a cool toy I picked up at the Chicago Art Institute in 2008.

The word "Center" is written on one of the panels. Can you find it?

Here's three random configurations (click to make larger):

The Pretty Pony and the Lonely Window Washer

A bedtime story
by Paul Christley Tumey (with help from Reid Christley Tumey)

Once upon a time there was a lonely window washer. Every morning he would set out with his buckets, wipers, ladders, ropes and pulleys. He washed the windows of short and tall buildings, the circle windows of brick mansions, the large plate glass show windows of department stores, and the stained glass windows of churches. He even kept the little square windows of his glasses gleaming and spotless.

He worked for a sourpuss named Mr. Doctor Professor President Commodore Octagus, who owned a company that cleaned everything. These titles were all self-bestowed, because Octagus felt he deserved to be looked up to, since he was such a successful businessman. Mr. Doctor Professor President Commodore Octagus was never satisfied with the lonely window washer's work. "Cleaner! Brighter! SPOT-less!" the Commodore would command. His voice, however, was squeaky and high, and he had two big tufts of wild hai…

Tumey's List

by Paul Christley Tumey

Tonight, home from the gleaming
new shopping center, I am thinking of the poem
the one I didn't write
about that stand of trees
It would have been a lot better
than this, less artifice,
truer to a tree than to a tree missed
I would have said (I remember
walking home to your brown arms
late one night through them) the tall pinetops
were green chandeliers
The woods the most
haunted of mansions
where every night
the wind bands played to thousands of dancing
I would have said
we were all millionaires

The trees are gone now
The few acres I would shortcut
to work through to be in the woods
before I was in the weeds
They saved me but I could not save them
I swear I saw hobbits
and leprechauns in the gathering dusk
And once I made love to you
in the moonlight your back against
the strong thighs of a magnolia
They saved me

The town started ten blocks away
a hundred years ago, so
it's a confound progress did not commence sooner
I think the stand was an …


by Paul Christley Tumey

I once stepped out
into the mushy forest,
I once did.
Everything is without logic.
The Han Nee Mulls
touched all around
and spoke:
"Put on this fur and
these feathers,
Change your diet,
and we'll all be
that much better."
Grizzlydigs! If only
I could. The fur fit
and I could live with
the sneezing and tickling -
"Take your eyes
away from the front.
Change your diet
and the manner of your hunt."
Yak! I stopped looking front
and that was quite a change,
But see the point?
My diet, I could not change.

Goodbye to the little Han Nee Mulls
scampering away
playing and laughing.
If my world ends --
It certainly won't be their fault.
I know we'll always be kin
For I hear the growling within.

Leominster,Massachusetts - 1986

Sketchbook Drawings 1

The State of Things

 by Paul Christley Tumey

We throw our lives together in a messy way
Like panic at sea, confusion with life-lines
Grope: find my hand
It's there,
Holding down my highway line
Dividing devotion and despair
But in a messy, messy way

- Tallahassee, 1983

Deep Snow

A song in standard tuning by Paul Christley Tumey

(First verse)
G               Em           Bm
John Prine walked in deep snow

G           Em                   Bm
On time mail delivery to people we know.

G                      Em                     A                                  D
   He saw.......a lonely senior...... John Prine was sent.... a song.......

                    G                             A
from the vi---brating air -- called "Hello In There"

Em             G            Bm
John Prine walked in deep snow

(Fingerpick break)

(Second chorus)

D                         G
Was there a blizzard in your heart?

D                         G
Were things fall - ing apart?

D                       G
Did you have nowhere to go?

D                                       Bm
Were you walking through deep snow?

(verse two)

G              Em             Bm
Lou Reed dreamed in deep sleep

G               Em                     Bm
Deep sleep forget about her until you meet

G       …

Louisiana Boy

The catawbas croaked till morn
When we go in fishing?
Percy's asleep on his steering column horn
Dreaming, searching, not thinking and wishing

I stepped on a nail barefoot
But I had to hurry up
I worked the yard as hard as I could
If I was late Percy would have pups

He held up his charm of magic
But would never let me see it
When the sun sets it is tragic
All the catawbas go into a croaking fit

When we go in fishing today?
Truck ain't broke down or nothing
All the catawbas have pillars for bait
But Percy got drunk and started cussing

It was late afternoon so I went normal
Tried to keep tangent from the things I saw
This time the sun did it formal
I guess it felt like dressing up for no reason at all

- Boston, 1990

Constantly Being

A stick fell of me
It stuck in the ground
became a tree

A leaf fell of a book
Proved well
Memories need loving

Ten things I willed
To my past self
I am graceful in the rain

A word fell to my fingertip
I put it to my ear
Whispers my secret music

A splendid breath arose
To become rain-heavy cloud
And to breathe me out

- Seattle, 2010

My New Son in the Morning

by Paul Christley Tumey

Last night your mama
dreamed about you.
You're only three months old
but she could see
your whole life in front of you.

Welcome home son
We'll have a lot of fun
I'm your Daddy
You made me

Last night your mama
dreamed about you.
Your hair had come in
and your eyes had turned.
You could use your hands
and your heart had learned.

Last night
your mama
dreamed about you.

- For Reid, 2000

The Song of the Train

by Paul Christley Tumey

As I lie next to you,
the train comes.
Though I have lain with them open
since the owl last asked his question
and it is now time for the robin to report.
I close my eyes
to see better the train.

I see it on the horizon,
separating earth from sky,
sex from sex with a steel line
as thick as the tension in my spine
as I lie next to you.

I see pistons and fulcrums
steam and smoke
and I know that's my heart
pounding like a sledgehammer,
and smoke the light in my eyes
that see only the train on the horizon.

I am the train,
and I no longer lie next to you.
As you sleep on into the hot night,
my slotted wheels hug the silver track
and I sigh from relief with new purpose and direction
as urgent as the pounding of pistons and fulcrums.

The train calls
and the house shivers.
The engine and the cars clank on by
like slaves in a chain.
And you awaken and though the night
is so hot you find my warmth
and hold me close. I am the train.

And the train leaves,
sleep comes o…