2 Poems: ‘This Is Not a Journal’ & ‘From My Little Art Desk’

This Is Not A Journal

so I won’t get into it

but frustrations…

I want to be alone sometimes

now, for instance.

Nothing can cure this

but being alone.

Everything is so much easier

when I’m just alone.

I think of women:

I want to be alone.


I don’t think of them.

But these women though

they are the genesis

of stress.

They are where stress comes from.

Women ARE stress.

“Are you mad at me?”

If I say yes, it’s on me;

if I say no, it’s on me;

either way I pay.

Imagine a tangle

black sticky fatal tangle

like from a swamp

or an alien trap.

THAT’S a woman.

I want to be alone on Christmas day, even

because with me

there’s nothing to it.

To deal with anyone right now

that’s more than I deserve to deal with

and take care of

and coddle.

That’s more than I want.

But this woman

who I call

an alien swamp trap

she’s free to say the same of me:

never satisfied

always complicating

so it’s not about the battle of

the sexes

it’s not about “the others”

it’s just the way

it is

for someone like me,


I hate to bring an acronym into it

like clinical cyborg

but this is it

I guess

so simple

analysis shows

what I am, statistically,

and who I am

and how I came to be

I could choose this to be

mad about,

probably safer,

because dehumanization

will never ask

“Are you mad at me?”

I’ll end this riff

Christmas day 2013

but I hope you find it funny,

the frustration of man

(and woman)

because we’re only human

and I know this ’cause

I see our specie

right here

on the categorical tree


just above chimpanzee.


From My Little Artist Desk

From my little desk at the back of the living room

quietly drawing army guys in battles

between the crosses and the stars

with TV crews on the sidelines

reporting on the malay

and on thru the schooling years

when I refused to take art in middle school

because I knew better

I didn’t want to become


& up thru high school

where I made my art teacher cry once

with my snotty attitude

Mr. Platt I liked better

he was laid back

& would give passes during classes

(I got a blow job once on the way to Dairy Queen)

and the murals I painted

in hallways

yearbooks my art graced

and into college

when I took all the prerequisites

up until Life Drawing

which was exciting

but the model was

too skinny

and didn’t strip down

and then I quit

to start my airbrush shop

in Daytona

with my best friend

we lined up hurricane insurance

but it all fell through

and then at 23

I decided


I’d be an artist

no matter what

because I knew

it would be

an uphill, lifelong struggle

but I knew

this was me

Back to college

this time in Tempe

graphic design

a logical choice

all the while still painting


and that feeling

back then

in that most productive period

the feeling that

I’m doing this

and I’m in it

for the long haul

and this was just the


I’m proud that I could see it then

the revelation

that this would never end

And then

a gallery

perspective flipped

now as the middle man

to see

what we,

these artists,

were like to deal for

but mostly a view

of this job, this career

this is an industry

with tricks of the trade

which amount to selling high ticket luxury items

to the upper middle class

and intellectuals

The floor got ripped out from under me

How noble, really

was this shit?

To be an artist

granted, an American,

but still an artist

it had a veneer

even here

that doesn’t hold up

when you work on

pricing for the market

I looked back to the college years

when my appetite for knowledge

had expanded:

the stories from biographies

on artists

I revered

life saving

these stories

in getting to know artists

before me

gave me belonging

and recognition of the fact

that these were weirdos

like me

Ultimate heroes

to rise from the ranks

with their name in lights

and this all came back

to me:

it’s an ego stroking

the whole thing

Comfort food

And so then it was

that fishbowling

came into being,

a study in how comforts

effected my art

I became a wanderer,

a Saint Francis in mobility

renouncing all my stuff

and in that same timeframe

we started NadaDada

and it was in that

that I glimpsed again

what it meant to be

an artist again

in regard to community

and in just what capacity

the journey



We belong to a lineage

our creative output

is our family,

true, but those who come

after us

the creative makers

who have followed our lead

have a need

for the example we share

in finding

own power

This is the gift we give:

sharing the keys

to self empower

because this is a powerful thing

we do

to reflect and examine

through the power of passion

which is something

so nothing

so unrealized

and so unharnessed

in most

This power–passion–is dormant

in every moment

from within every point


it can be made

and should

this for multiple reasons

but to enrich

We take this energy

and we make it work for us


is the method

of transubstantiation

in the alchemist,

the artist,

and along the way


both poems by Chad Sorg, 2013


Imagine a story where he plans his wardrobe each year. He took an hour to plan out what he’d wear each day of the month and clothes in his closet were then categorized accordingly. The rest of the year he didn’t have to think about what to wear each day.

It was a good way for him to tell time and to remember which day an event took place based on what he was wearing. As time went on his mind became trained to notice this detail each day.

Eventually he became obsessed with the question of “which clothes will I be wearing the day I die.” He worried that they would not be appropriate.

Molezzo Effect Motor Lodge


Inspiration hit. Peeking out his motel window, downstairs, three pigeons flew diagonal past up against sharp blue backlight and at the same time in his field of vision 3 people seemed choreographed momentarily. The motel courtyard, trees shook, a woman with biker shorts too tight picked up a quarter and red jersey gold bracelet guy’s cigarette blew out. It was a flash.

So he opened the curtains.


A colorblind artist does not exist. I gotta’ finish this story some time.


The art event was over. A day after the public left and he was still in room 122. Anonymous here if you want to be so he was painting by the microwave and journaling by the window. Important things. The balance between red and blue and varied chapter lengths. He carried steady thought on how personal he might get in writing. He wondered how personal painting. Orange shadows, for instance, that’s personal.


And he told me that there’s a need for truth. Truth as we all see it. That kind of truth needs to exist he’s telling me, this man, this friend of mine the other night. We looked at his art and he told me that people need to believe that there is something beyond us. Quickly we got to that point in the conversation. It’s nice having old friends.


The stars over this desert at night cast unruly romantic ideas about her. It’s like he’s dreaming asleep but he walks the night to sagebrush too thick to assail in his waking. Alone, this trailer affords time to paint and to think of what’s missing. Rehash what was misaligned. Trash it all along. Alone, without the proximity to it all his judgement desireful.


The update of life surrounds minutes moments of the time, time. time.” He writes. “Innocent when you dream” he sings. Artist typecast like he’s on a mission. He’s inward and sitting in corners. Shut down to the outside.

“I’d be hoppin’ up and down like a boxer before the fight” crashing his gloves together making a pummphhk sound–pummphhk pummphhk. A small kid expresses himself passionately on the motel’s curb outside his window 122.

To title an artwork with long strung words is interesting and a certain choice. I wouldn’t blame anyone to dislike it. It concerns him how his artwork is talked about when he’s gone. This is why he listens when people talk about whatever they talk about.


The last art retreat I was on was more explicit. Everyone involved lived it the same way and with purpose to work. We stayed in an old hospital then. It had become an art center and art was central. This time it’s me on my own time on the shaded side of this motor lodge. It’s my own world I’m making and rough. I miss the pile of TVs outside. Also I’m not drinking so this brings something to it.

The detailed renderings come in spurts.


She showed me her posters screen printed and one featuring Hank Williams. Another one had Tammy Wynette. Who knows where she got ’em. She was hangin’ them in the motel office. They were done in a folk art style. Maybe by the Reverend Howard Finster, his style anyway.

The manager lives behind the office in her room that has a living room attached to the bedroom. She had a guy working on the courtyard the past week, watering the dirt. Planted some flowers. She takes pride in this motel. The owner, he’s a tight ass lawyer with car dealerships but she takes pride in this place.

A guy got shot here a couple weeks ago but that was just stupid I’m told.


Art takes us away. It’s the opiate for the masses but the masses found other opiates. It’s too bad. It is what it is. We think and think about what to do about it all to fix it all, but these folks are getting their fix elsewhere. Their drugs are putting them somewhere you’ll never be able to take them.

Art is for the stable in life. Art can bring to the stable instability and this is the excitement.

A woman stormed in to look at my art room and she had intelligent things to say. As she left me and my dude friend at the curb, she talked about liking art like this which makes her a hippy. She called herself a “hippy hooker” and walked away in tight shorts.

Blank stare, my friend turns to me “but how much? Wait… but how much?”

Sorg’s Back

Sorg's GhostReno, so markedly full of artists.. I wonder why that is. Creatives make a strong bond and the open flow of ideas is powerful here. In a word: optimism. Artistic life leads to optimism.

Goldfield? Not so much. There doesn’t seem to be much of that, there. Then again I didn’t move there to join a community. I moved there to be alone and apparently, it’s the same with everyone else there. As I said before, it’s a town of anti-socialists.

But yeah, I do still live in Goldfield, painting oils like a madman and writing.

It has become evident that working for a decade with the art community here in Reno has been an invaluable investment. People here know me from my past successes and in professional or creative relationships, that’s something that can be built upon, solidly.

I’ve put in the man hours. I’ve laid a good foundation. Since the days of Bleulion Gallery, the role I’ve filled is that of connector, promoter, publicist. I took on the role out of necessity–our necessity, as a member of Nevada’s art world and it seemed a natural position for me. People appreciate my commitment to the creative life.

Did assuming this role get in the way of my own art making? That’s a pivotal question. I can’t give a simple yes OR a no.

In an alternate procession of things, I would have just stuck to myself, developing in the vacuum that is an artist’s studio. That kind of scenario would have amounted to what originally attracted me to being an artist: solitary work. Socializing had never been my forté, or so I thought.

Eventually it was confirmed, what I was learning, and that is that the schmoozing, any blue chip artist will tell you, accounts for the largest percentage of time invested in laying down the tracks that lead to the palace of art world success.

There’s a speech I sometimes give to inspire artists toward developing a more collaborative spirit: “Me, Them & Us”. We evolve toward adulthood from the selfish & self centered perspective as if “I” am all there is–service me! Then we’re on to the independent phase, “I don’t need THEM!” But then, if we develop more fully, which some never do, we get to the stage of INTER dependence where judgmental competitiveness is left behind and we see the higher plane and the glory/grace of inter-connectedness.

So, did all this get in the way? No. I made the choice of collective involvement because I could see that doing my part in the community would help to advance alot of us, and not just me. As a consequence, I’d always belong to a community that would be supportive of my efforts too.

God knows I’ve tried to break away from this community but it always seems to suck me back in. I feel the love every time I come back to Reno and see a show populated by all my friends. They keep on going whether I’m here or not, which certainly seems to be the case with NadaDada, now in it’s 7th year!

See!!? Didn’t we tell you!?? NadaDada is its own beast–no one at the helm!

An ancient philosopher noticed two great desires of the human psyche: the need to belong and the need to stand out. Isn’t it ironic?

As any film maker can tell you, conflict is essential to good story telling.

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