has a new look

Go to the new

Poetry/songs/spoken word by William Benjamin Stuart 

Will Stuart, a spoken-word artist and performance-poet has been writing, performing and self-publishing within the Pittsburgh area for over six years. Most notably, Will had been the lead song-writer/MC for Pittsburgh band Roughly Speaking.  Afterward, Stuart returned to his solo spoken-word presentations, but ultimately spends most of his time as a ministry professional.  Among his future prospects is an album of spoken word material or an illuminated manuscript, novels, essays, short-stories.  A recent chap book, Reverie Scrivenings/Little Fictions, was recently published.  Stuart lives and works in Ohio with his wife, Shelley --"an amazing woman who, amazingly, puts up with me."  Their first child, Lily, was born in March 2004. 




© 2002  William Benjamin Stuart




I Am The Missing Link...In Too Many Ways


Sampson Had It Way Too Easy


(a rant by Will Stuart)


                        Y'know, a lot of people complain that they're turning into their parents (a legitimate beef --particularly depending on what type of parents you have).  I'm kind of in the same boat, but the difference is, not only am I beginning to look more and more like my father (not that my dad is a bad guy --he's a saint actually, but he also happens to very closely resemble a certain saint: St. Nicholas), but the real rub is that I think I'm starting to de-evolve.

                        I'm not kidding!  I used to have decent posture (I could walk upright), but now I'm hunched over at the shoulders and I'm beginning to sprout hair that no one other than an Alaskan sled dog needs.  I've got the early signs of arthritis in my wrists and knees and I'd think I was a werewolf except for the facts that no one I ever bit seems to complain of my symptoms, nor have I gained night vision or any other cool lycanthropic abilities.

                        Most concerning of all though, is that, while my body, chest, neck and facial hair are slowly becoming indistinguishable from each other, I'm going bald.  I've got the Count from Sesame Street's widow's peak, the Berring Strait in back and some thinning dead center --pretty soon I'm going to have a clown wig for a hairline.

                        So, that's why I shave my head, but even that is not without its own travails.  It's an experiment really --an odyssey in grooming: the hair-care equivalent of the Quest for Fire.  See, in shaving my dome, I've attempted every variable conceivable: from product to product and technique to technique, from using clippers (it doesn't leave the hair short enough and requires far too much upkeep for a lazy person such as myself) to any number of straight razors (though I've found this to be the most preferable avenue, it too entails great preparation and, if one isn't careful: blood loss).  Heck, I even tried a depilatory crème.  Now, mind you, I didn't do so rashly.  I researched; reading articles and labels, talking to friends and beauticians, 'cause I wasn't about to rush into it, nor was I going to use Nair (even Nair "for Men").  That prospect brought to mind unpleasant images of Chihuahuas and hairless cats.

                        So, after seeking-out the appropriate brand, I read and followed the directions thoroughly (an unheard of practice for me, but when dealing with the well being one's cranium, one cannot be too careful).  Anyway, when I finally employed a well-studied hair-removal agent, I did so with a product purporting to have been designed for both facial and head hair.

                        "Apply well-mixed crème to areas intended for hair removal.  Allow agent to saturate hair for 5 to 8 minutes.  Gently wipe crème from face or scalp using a hot and damp washcloth..."

                        Generally, such direction would prompt me to wait 10 to 15 minutes and use a dry rag, but I wasn't taking chances.  So, after a mere 4 minutes and 45 seconds, I began to remove the crème with the prescribed washcloth and the hair, true to the product's claims, came away with the first swipe.  Yet sadly, and much to my horror, so did the first few layers of my precious cranial epidermis.

                        At this point, while my hair was most certainly removed, I began to question whether this particular depliatory had not, in fact, originally been created to strip the chrome from old cars because, not only was I missing a chunk of skin, but my entire scalp was beginning to slightly sting and from whence I had wiped emanated an acrid, chemical smell.  On top of my whole head tingling, the area from which I had removed the crème now felt as though it were literally on fire.

                        As I stood staring in shock back and forth between the washcloth in my self-abusing hand and the carni-freak reflection staring back at me in the mirror, a bothersome realization gripped me: the depilatory was water activated and if I wiped away the remaining and then-presently dormant lava, it would no longer remain dormant, but if I allowed it to remain, the end result would be far worse (as it was slowly seeping into my very skull --perhaps even my brain).  So there, on the precipice of madness on one side and certain (if only then impending) agony on the other, I became convinced that the Marque deSade had also been a bit of an alchemist and one of his recipes had been unearthed and was now being mass-marketed to a painfully unsuspecting public: a public of which I was a member.

                        Then there, with no other recourse, no other choice of action, I moved --like lightening to remove the demon-putty from my head; all the while screaming petitions to my God that my torment might end quickly.

                        Well, I survived (obviously), but the end result entailed months of red patches on my otherwise normal-pink skull (prompting any number of people to beg the question of whether or not I was in the process of receiving another tattoo "up there").  And my dear wife, out a sense of marital love, philanthropy, pity for such a poor and stupid creature as myself (?) purchased for me a high-end electric tri-foil razor.  That remarkable device does wonders on my beard, but in respect to my head...well, let's just say that I have coined the term "high-speed plucking" as a means of describing the experience.  Plus, the tri-foil leaves red welts on my already bruised noggin and ego.

                        So, I continue to shave --like one of Pavlov's dogs choosing the bowl of lemon juice over that of water surrounded by mechanisms of electric shock.  Yet, there's an upside to everything: soon enough my eyebrows will be so long and bushy that I'll be able to just comb them straight back over the bald spots; and I'm going to have to 'cause if I don't, I'm gonna look like a sheepdog with a skullcap.

                        Yes, I'm turning into a sideshow attraction: "The Dog-faced Man"...and no matter what I try (even when I work-out vigorously) and begin to gain definition in the muscles of my chest, back, arms and legs, my midsection continues to distend.  Shortly, I'll be swinging from an old tire at the zoo while passers-by chuck apples and bananas at me.  So, worse than turning into my father, I'm actually becoming my father's father's father's, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...pretty much I'm becoming one of my Cro-Magnon ancestors, but I guess that's to be expected.









All work is copyrighted and property of William Benjamin Stuart.



[back to top]  [home]


© 2003 SubtleTea Productions   All Rights Reserved