Mud People, No. 2

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Mud People No. 2 (2019). House paint on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The beret was raspberry and she bought it before anyone ever heard that song. She wore it on the back of her head in an ecclesiastical fashion, and she imagined the office of it all, the feeling of being separate, a tad off, different. On cloudy days like this her skin looked blue and she liked the way that complimented the color of her millinery find. To pump up the effect she wore raspberry lipstick as well, applying it throughout the afternoon within little vignettes she’d direct; next to the phone booth, bending to the chrome-framed side mirror of a parked car, in the window of the coffee shop where that beautiful man-child worked. There she’d feign absent-mindedness and linger a bit after she’d placed the cartridge back in her patent leather clutch, sometimes pulling at her sleeve a bit in an oh-so-cute way.  She imagined herself fifty years older and doing the same thing, in a version of the same ensemble, and still not knowing whether she and the man-child would ever be together. She’d feel a strange pain in her hip joint.

Time for a movie, she thought. She knew a way to sneak in through the alley, so she didn’t have to pay, as she wasn’t working. She only worked when she had to, and she didn’t have to, not with her imagination, her raspberry things, and a way to get into the movies for free. She’d eat the complementary happy hour food at the club, and then sew her landlady’s curtains for this month’s rent. She’d take the remnants and make herself a skirt, maybe dye it indigo. Raspberry and indigo; she liked that, cool names for two adorable children. She wondered if the man-child would like to have a family…

 

-Danny Grosso 

Mud People, No. 1

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Mud People, No. 1 (2019). House paint on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The early morning sunlight bleached the lines from his face even as it seared a precious memory into his soul. Not long ago, it was dark, and not just dark, but opaque black dark, the peculiar kind of darkness you find at 4 am in a club where the walls are painted black. Even then, amidst the abyss, there were signs of the light to come, where blue neon hints at the dawn sky, and the glossy black surfaces sparkle like morning dew. Even then, he closed his eyes against the breaks in the darkness, fighting to stave off what was coming, testing his resolve against the bringer of light, of mornings, of mundane responsibilities, job, commute, commitment. Of course, he would fail, but the burning of the smile lines and the crow’s feet from his young but fatigued face served a small victory, rendering him younger to the morning eye, a five minute victory over the onset of time.

She was here. He knew it before he saw the note she left for him with an arrow pointing west.

He lit a cigarette and stepped off.

 

Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XX

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The Benghazi (2019). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Benghazi

A Frankenstein monster of patchwork innuendo, mismatched parts and all, this pathetic creature fits within no accepted single branch of the animal kingdom. More acclaimed by horror novelists than zoologists or historians, the Benghazi was rumored to have existed in some form for ages but was dismissed as an improbable, silly, vainglorious fabrication of stilted imagination. Of late, the creature’s awful appearance has made its existence all too real for some. Its nature frustratingly straightforward in its crookedness, its habits awfully stubborn, it is a mind-numbingly plodding creation, stuck in the rut of its own making. Too dim and solipsistic to do much more than rehearse circular arguments with itself, the Benghazi mostly sits around developing sores that fester in time, leaving the creature, eventually, untouchable.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XIX

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Bork or Powell (2019). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Bork (or Powell)

A curious creature, the Bork, or Powell, as it is sometimes called, comes from a lineage so noble and environment so regimented that it cannot help but to follow the orders of its superiors. Unfortunately, this creature most often thrives in this circumstance just long enough to follow one order too many. As its superiors are often self-serving and otherwise careless, the ultimate order is almost always the one the destroys the career of the Bork/Powell, effectively ending its existence as a being relevant to anything but this bestiary.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XVIII

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Swamper (2019). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Swamp Creature

Immersed in its chosen milieu, the Swamp Creature is completely at one with its surroundings. Dripping with slung mud, bedazzled with the trinkets of emolument, the SC is beset by fleas from the dogs with whom it sleeps, and the taint of the corrupt partisans with whom it works. It is extremely nearsighted and nearly devoid of any sense of touch. It stumbles around its small habitat clinging to other members of its pack. Still, in its own way, the SC a very efficient species, enjoying a profitable existence guided by the limited but focused principles of self interest. More pest then good neighbor, the SC is difficult to eradicate once it has settled into its habitat. The advantages of incumbency have allowed this once migratory creature to approximate permanent residence in fruitful environments. Eradication seems unlikely. The only known pesticide, Term Limits, unpopular and thought to be dangerous by some, is not yet in widespread use.

 

-Danny Grosso 

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XVII

Blue Wave (2018). Acrylic on Paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Blue (or Red) Wave

Moving with some force after it gathers momentum, this creature also gathers a flock as it moves. Its crest, bristling with static electricity, accumulates all kinds of unlikely fellow travelers, and its coat-like tail feathers are known to carry lesser species to fairer weather. Migrating only in political seasons great change, the species arrives to roost in November and remains for irregular intervals that are seemingly governed only by instinct. It stays until it feels the political winds changing. The blue and red variations of the species are essentially similar, and aside from color, differing only in the affiliation of the stowaways attached to them.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XVI

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The Moral Imperative (2019). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Moral Imperative

Impressively muscled with a volcanic temper, the mercurial M.I. acts with abandon when aroused, showing an uncanny ability to destroy long held political niceties and norms. A fierce adherence to its own sense of mission makes it an irresistible force during times of legislative conflict, and an ascendant M.I. has sent many formerly intransigent legislators into political exile.

The creature appears irregularly, but sightings may be expected after electoral upheaval or military emergency. The M.I. is the flag around which disparate sets of partisans rally. Its sense of superiority is infectious to those that share its policy interests and to political thrill seekers wishing to ride the wildest winds of change. That said, its closest relationships are found among members of the media, who provide the M.I. with the fawning adoration it uses to fuel its very egocentric existence.

 

-Danny Grosso