Copyright laws of U.S. & other countries protect all materials on this site.
                        Copyright laws of U.S. and all other countries protect all materials on this site.

                                 All content on these pages is copyright protected. Any use, reuse, downloading, copying, distribution, publication, or commercial exploitation of, materials on pages, in any format, electronic or otherwise, is prohibited unless sought from and explicitly granted by the artist. Permission to use Spiel/Taylor work must be obtained by written request, per item, per usage at: ____________________________________________________________

         Spiel Home Page 

       The Poet Spiel        
aka  The Artist Tom Taylor
aka  The Artist Thoss W. Taylor   _______________________________________________________________
     To consider the many original paintings and Giclee prints for sale by this artist, go to:              Saatchi Online.   Use the Saatchi "Search" box. Enter: Tom Taylor-The Poet Spiel                                  _________________________________________
Poetry, art and information about this writer/artist

                                    is distributed throughout 5 pages of this site.

                 The artist’s solo exhibition history is at the bottom of this page. 

                     To access each of these 5 pages, go to extreme top of this page,

                                                    then click page name.                            

                             To access information about Spiel's most recent book,
    "barely breathing,"
  click "Spiel Books" page.

Spiel writes with great range and passion. So much so that it is easy to hear and remember only his loudest shouts -- those poems in which he pounds the door and cries out for the injustice, the inequality and sorrow of this life. But flip these poems over and find a poet equally equipped to write soft, spare, musical poems filled with sentiment and yearning."
                                                                                          Excerpt from, "An Interview With The Poet Spiel" by Charles P. Ries, 2007


these are perilous times—


—when you don’t know if

you should teach your little ones

to sleep standing up with their backs

to the wall and their running shoes on


or if you should benevolently slip

quietly into their bedrooms and place

a pillow over their tiny faces then press it

downward til the frantic kicking ceases


                                    Spiel Photo (c) 2008 P. Welch
  The Poet Spiel was born out west to decent white farmers the same year the  U.S. entered WWII, a maverick child who made art which evolved as he matured intellectually through many lifestyle changes leading to considerable national exposure.
  But in 1996, traumatic life/death illness abruptly halted his career; then, when his life was spared, he became reticent and for the first time ever, uncreative --until the spring of 1999-- when he unearthed an urge to write. And this opened the pathway to become the Pushcart Prize contender, devoted author, known for often socially conscious, sometimes iconoclastic poetry, curiously human short stories, seductive spoken-word recordings and astute bits of visual art frequently published internationally in scores of independent press journals, both online and off.

"the birthing"                                     gouache, latex, acrylic                                     
                                  c.2012, The Poet Spiel aka Tom Taylor

"...(Spiel) challenges the current tendency of small press poets to do little else but reaffirm the pedestrian nature of life. Spiel refuses to produce small, tasty commodities that gloss, harmonize, and freeze frame. Rather than impose epiphany onto image, Spiel moves from image to social analysis. Therefore, 'Spiel Speak' is an audacious language of struggle, a language of talkback which invades, ignites, and possibly even transforms the reader."
                               Excerpt from a review of Spiel's chapbook, "come here cowboy: poems of war" by Don Winter. 
Spiel's war poem, "come here cowboy" appeared on the much-noted "Poets Against the War" site
. ( It appears on the "More Spielspeak" page of this website.) About this poem, Tom Conroy, editor of The League of Laboring Poets, has written: 

"Come Here Cowboy" is the most brilliant and direct anti-war poem of our time." 
Please note: permission to use
Spiel/Taylor work in any form must first
be obtained by specific request,
per item, per usage, at: 

aka The visual artist Tom Taylor

"Tom Taylor is like a human prism. The facets of his art mark achievements many artists fear as well as envy."                     
       Jennifer Heath, Rocky Mountain News

"Taylor consistently confirms my idealistic belief that the creation of art should be -- can be -- an act of integrity."                                 
          Nancy Clegg, Westword Magazine

"...with neither sentimentality nor cynicism, Taylor is proving himself a precocious master of perception for people as individuals. ...because his seemingly effortless technique lets the viewer concentrate on the subject, unconcerned about how its striking air of truth was achieved."     
       Barbara Haddad, The Denver Post, 1965 


                                                                                                    "the big quiet" 24" x 48"

                                                                                                       by the poet spiel, 2007


making pictures without mouths

    unloading griefs I did not know

in pictures without mouths

in pictures      rows of pictures  

stacks and stacks of pictures

of the children

            without faces

            without mouths

            to speak

to tell of all their needs  

to tell their stories

where they’d been 

why they stood before the houses

            without doors

            without windows

stood before those houses

could not speak  

those children without mouths

in pictures that i made

unloading griefs

that at that time i could not know

and at that time i changed my name 

to hide my blackened tongue

so blackened then

by griefs of secrets hidden there

behind my face

without a place to speak

and hushed by circumstance

beyond my naïve understanding  

sullen and in grieving

making pictures  

rows and stacks of pictures

without mouths

c. 2003 Spiel  This poem first appeared in Spiel's chapbook, it breathes on it own,
published by Pudding House Publications and is performed by Spiel on his C.D., "breathing back words."


 "without windows without doors without a mouth to speak"

(c) 2008 Spiel



                 i wish you were a chair      there

a soft open chair

i wish you were hair   there

as bright as ripe wheat where

i wish you were air   there

at dawn   its freshness of sky there

in my mirror there

me watching me there  

                resting on you as chair

combing through you as hair

inhaling you as air

                i wish you were a chair

                        me reclined on you there

in my mirror where

i finger you as hair

oh i wish you were air   here

                and i were a chair

(c) 2005 Spiel
Hear Spiel perform "chair" on his spoken word/music
collaboration C.D. with composer Jack Moss, "breathing back


           “short story with hoes”    Spiel,  © 2010                            30” x 40” acrylic / mixed media on masonite


                      “The Poet Spiel’s fecund imagination shapes rich clear imagery. He editorializes on our society’s misfortunes including hollow social promises, mismanaged religions and political aspirations that, when appropriated for ill, are changed into painful slogans festering in society’s gums like an impacted tooth.”                                                                   Dr. William Folkestad. Colorado State University, Pueblo


Spiel's writing can be found in small and independent press publications in The U.S.A, Canada, Indonesia, Nepal, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Britain, both on and offline, such as:
Abbey, Alpha Beat Press, art mag, Ascent Aspirations, Barbaric Yawp, Barking Dogs, Bathtub Gin,Big Intersection, Blind Man's Rainbow, Bogg, Buckle &, Broomweed Journal, Chiron Review, Cliff's Soundings, Covert Poetics, Cranial Tempest, Dana Literary Society, Dog Ear, Drama Garden, Fight These Bastards, Finding Our Voices, First Class, Free Verse, frisson:disconcerting verse, Gestalten, Gin Bender Poetry Review, Gloom Cupboard, Happy, Iconoclast, Impetus, Iodine, Jaw Magazine,, League of American Poets, League of Laboring Poets, Lilliput Review, little episodes, Lost & Found, Lucid Moon, LuVER Radio, Lynx Eye, Mainstreet Rag, March Street Press, Marymark Press, Misfit Magazine, Muses Review, Neotrope, Nerve Cowboy, New Verse News, nicestories, No Exit, Open Cut, Opium 2.0, Pass Port Journal, Parting Gifts, Pearl, Penhimalaya, Plain Jane, Poems-For-All, Poesy, Poiesis, poetalk, Poetry Motel, Poets Against the War, Pudding House Publications, Pueblo Poetry Project, Pueblo Chieftain, P.U.L.P., Quill & Parchment, Ragged Edge, Rejected Notice, Remark, RFD, Skidrow Penthouse, Slipstream, Small Press Review, Snapdragon, Storyteller, strangeroad, St Vitus Press, Sugar Mule, The MAG, Thunder Sandwich, TouchStone, Transcendent Visions, Unlikely Stories, Velvet Box, West Wind Review, Winning Writers, Word Riot, Zafusy, Zen Baby, Zygote in My Coffee, ZYX

breaking rules


breaking rules robs energy

i do not have the will to spare


i make my own instead    do so

not to appease your familiarity


but cast in light

to disrupt the core


of discomforts

we may share


for what we share in common

in our darkness


the burdens of our closets

is where we lift our care


                           © 2005 the poet spiel



forgotten heroes                                                     ©2010 Spiel

                                                                   30” x 40” acrylic on masonite


"...(Spiel) challenges the current tendency of small press poets to do little else but reaffirm the pedestrian nature of life. Spiel refuses to produce small, tasty commodities that gloss, harmonize, and freeze frame. Rather than impose epiphany onto image, Spiel moves from image to social analysis. Therefore, 'Spiel Speak' is an audacious language of struggle, a language of talkback which invades, ignites, and possibly even transforms the reader."
Excerpt from a review of Spiel's chapbook, "come here cowboy: poems of war" by poet/critic
        Don Winter. 

"chronic expulsion"  24"x36"  acrylic with nuts, bolts, mirror, fish line & hook on masonite                                                                                                      © 2009 Spiel

looking at the floor—


late eyes,

looking up only after you believe no one can see you;

your troubled throat, out of note, like a leather violin, 

not dormant, but forever muffled.


the lure of little voices, lingering within you,

wishing to inform you that without your cleavage

you would still be the child whose mouth

he shoved onto a doorknob

as he promised not to hurt you from behind,


not to tell on you, not to let your mama tell of what she’d seen

about your brothers taking turns on you.


little voices, lure-a-lure, black and blue a loo-a-lure,

insisting that you know you are maria, the woman now,

the lure of voices, all their tiny voices telling:


show your cleavage, show the world your breasts.

buy the distance you desire with their allure.


your little girls are safe now;

rose and angel, he cannot hurt them now.

stella, grace, and darling, your brothers cannot hurt them now.

gloria, pearl, florence, and the others you became:

each a blameless fanny, a variant voice, a tiny muffled voice,

a lure allure.


jesus was not there for florence;

could not hear her undeveloped voice

when she cried its lure-a-lure.

mary rests beneath the tulips where you buried her,

and stella in the marigolds before your mama cut them down.


it was darling whom your papa forced

to say that it was good

before he would withdraw,

just before you claimed your body back once more,

then told your teacher you’d fallen down a mountainside

and that was why your arm was broke.

a-lure a-lure all black and blue a-loo a-lure.


you sent gloria to your sky when they finished her.

their football team had won; she was their prize.

you still see her in your sky. still hear her from your sky.

you might use her voice when yours deserts you;


when you forget the tortured leather violin that is your throat

might resonate again,

if you need to choose to use the voice of any child that you  


to get away from carlos then,

to rise up to the ceiling, like when you swallowed all your teeth 

as modesto and your papa, devout catholics,

and the cadre of your cousins, pissproud abeytas and vallejos,

had their way with you.


ohh those little voices lingering.

ohh how they tease you now,

lure a lure:


you need not look down at the floor.

you are maria, woman, now.

show your cleavage.

it is your ticket to a man who will gift you with a child

for whom a doorknob opens doors.

the child will be you as you wished to be;

will adore you.

the man will love you,

lure-a-lure, allure. show your breasts now,

lure ah-lure 


This heart-heavy poem is performed by Spiel on his C.D., breathing back words, in a breath-taking collaboration with composer Jack Moss. The hour-long disc is available on the “Spiel Books” page.


the end

      i don't think
         anyone cried
      on the first day

there was loud silence
the kitchen table

dad phoned
the wheat threshers
told them
there would not be
no filthy sweat work

one out-of-hell
sweep of hail
had wasted his readied crop
one day too soon

no one wanted to talk
so i hid my mouth upstairs
just played and played my harry belafonte
til it numbed me dead

when i came to
my dumbed diamond needle
was banging
deep grooves in my head

my folks were still
in the kitchen
at dark

the dogs were scratching
our screendoor
and i wasn't sure if
the cows had been milked

            my dad had to quit
         a lifetime
   to farming

and we had to move
where our only harvest
was just a dumb little patch
of green grass where i rooted

a pussy willow cutting
hoping it might grow fast
to hide
the naked bathroom window

of a little white house
crammed between
who did not drive trucks

who made their lights
push through
my bedroom walls
after bedtime

and me just listening
to the slick-black street
where a kid could not
kick dirt

                                   © 2008 The Poet Spiel
From "once upon a farmboy," a Spiel chapbook published by MadmanInk, 2008.


who gives me life so also takes my life

acrylic on board                © 1985 Tom Taylor aka The Poet Spiel



cast my ashes on

agitated water

where my enemy

cannot surround them

where my best friend

cannot long to wake them

© 2005  The Poet Spiel

Spiel wrote his classic "epitaph" ten years after a team of specialists had (incorrectly) assured him his "time had come and he should get his affairs in order to prepare to die."


"Tom Taylor is like a human prism. The facets of his art mark achievements many artists fear as well as envy."                                                                             Jennifer Heath, Rocky Mountain News 1990

"agenda”                                                    Spiel © 2010      

                                         40” x 30” acrylic on masonite

Solo Exhibitions:

Tom Taylor

aka Thoss W. Taylor 

aka The Poet Spiel

Museum, University, Gallery, and Private Solo Exhibitions

In alphabetical order.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen, CO. 1981

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen, CO. 1989

Born Free Gallery, Evergreen, CO. 1995

Bradford Junior College, Bradford, MA. 1971 *

Brand Library Art Center, Glendale, CA. 1971 *

The Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO. 1995

California Institute of the Arts, Burbank, CA. 1971*

Center for Idea Art, Denver, CO. 1983 *

Charles Cowles, New York City, NY. 1971 *

Colorado State University / Pueblo, Pueblo, CO 2012 *

The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC. 1973 *

CORE New Art Space, Denver, CO. 1995

Dyer’s, Longmont, CO. 1995

Edge Gallery, Denver, CO. 1989

Edge Gallery, Denver, CO. 1990

The Eugenia Butler Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1971 *

First National Bank, Loveland, CO.1981

The Flanders Show, Longmont, CO. 1980

Fort Detrick, Frederick, MD. 1965

Gallery East, Loveland, CO. 1981

The Gallery at Hudson’s Bay, Denver, CO. 1985

The Gallery at Hudson’s Bay, Denver, CO. 1984

Gallery at The Loft, Pueblo, CO. 2010

The Gondolier, Boulder, CO. (First solo exhibit) 1964

The Gondolier, Boulder, CO. 1964

Hagnaeur Gallery/ BAC, Manitou Springs, CO. 2012 (May 11-June 10)

Harris Fireside Lounge, Longmont, CO. 1964

Hunter College, New York City, NY. 1971 *

Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, CA. 1971 *     

The Landmark Gallery, Longmont, CO. 1981*

The Landmark Gallery, Longmont, CO. 1982

The Longmont Museum, Longmont, CO. (A retrospective) 1989

The Moote Home Show, Ft. Collins, CO. 1980

Newport Harbor Art Museum, Balboa, CA. 1971 *

NFSC Show, Wheat Ridge, CO. 1995

Nova Scotia College of Art, Halifax, Nova Scotia. 1971 *

Pioneer Museum, Longmont, CO. 1971 *

Pirate – A Contemporary Art Oasis, Denver, CO. 1988 *

Pirate – A Contemporary Art Oasis, Denver, CO. 1987

Prince George’s College, Washington, DC. 1965

PST / WeHo City Hall, West Hollywood, CA. 2012 *

Reese-Palley Gallery, San Francisco, CA. 1971 *

The Rex Evans Gallery, Los Angeles, CA. 1970

The Rex Evans Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 1969

Royce Galleries Ltd., Denver, CO. 1996

Royce Galleries Ltd., Denver, CO. 1992

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. 1971 *

The San Juan Gallery, Pueblo CO. ( A retrospective) 2011

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA. 1971 *

Sotheby Park-Bernet/ Houston Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, TX. 1971 *

Two Squares Gallery, Denver, CO. 1965

University of California, Davis, CA. 1971 *

University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA. 1971*

University of Colorado Memorial Fine Arts Center, Boulder, CO. 1964

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO. (A retrospective) 1983 *

The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT. 1971 *

Wildlife Conservation Society of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia, Africa. 1980

Wildlife World Museum, Monument, CO. 1982

* Indicates venues where "Considerations of the Confines of Thoss W. Taylor" ("Consider Your Confines") is known to have been exhibited in full. Visit this site, dedicated to The Confine show: