I Was a Teenage Sketchbook

The sensual, the surreal, the beauty we overlook on a daily basis, the dark urges, the exotic escapes; words and images by American artist, John Goss.

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John Goss was born in Santa Cindy and was raised and lives in Asia/Pacific. Learn more about John at Siamorama

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Next Season's Spaceship Designs

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Confessions of a Monster Kid

Halloween clutched at my kiddy heart when I was three years old. I wanted to be a witch, and my modern parents, without fussing about gender appropriateness, conjured up one of those luridly boxed costume sets that included a pointy-hatted hag mask, glitter-tinted cape and harvest colored apron. I made my rounds of the neighborhood and fell in love with all the styled spookiness scented by smells of burning jack-o-lanterns.

Every birthday thereafter (since I was lucky to be born merely 10 days before All Hallows Eve) had found it's theme. Each year a patient birthday cake baker heard my long wish list for icing: a haunted house on a hill with bats and a dead tree moon shining through bare branches over a graveyard with emerging skeletons pumpkins creepy crawlies and BLACK ICING.

When I was five years old, I saw a movie trailer for a Coming Soon attraction: Jason and the Argonauts. I wanted so badly to see it but it took (what seemed like) forever to arrive in theaters so that I completely forgot about it until one night my Dad packed me into the car and drove us off into the night for a surprise screening. I was thrilled.

As the Wonder Bread metamorphosis sped me towards puberty, I met my closest friend yet, Luke Osteen, who showed me my first ever copy of Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine and introduced me to the secret boys' world of sleepover dinosaur flashlight comicbook latenight thriller B movie bunkbed moonscapes. We were stay-up-late-into-the-morning outlaws awash in hormonal tides that amplified our ravenous cravings for the creative energy spun off by monsterous make-up, nostalgic silent films, gruesome tableux styled by fantastical filmmakers, and tempered by a built-in safety valve of rioteous laffs at rediculous puns by Forrest J Ackerman and Stan Lee.

Belonging to an extended family of other monster magazine collecting kids around the world was much headier stuff than being in a Webelos pack. My gang included werewolves, mummies, vampires, ghouls, and aliens. That world of crazy creatures inspired me to build, paint, draw, invent, perform and film. The inclusive universe of monster makers not only nourished my own budding talents but showed me ,time and again, that it was OK to be different and misunderstood; that there was a brilliant community that valued imagination over brawn and forgave girly softball throws and misfitness.

Monsters saved me from the train wreck reality of teenagehood in the midst of the social upheavals of the late 60s/early 70s and the unholy gore of the Vietnam War. They also primed me to appreciate the extraordinary renaissance of American art and pop culture that was in full bloom at the same time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Drinking Companion

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


You are the kindest creature! Cradled

you will not let me see the eye

that's skipped a season, frosting.

All my dreams are clogged there, dull

dish of milk. The sallow moon locked

in cycle, dead ash of numbers.

All my wishes whisper to a fizzle

you hear as animal sound. Indistinguishable.

"Hope" as foreign to you as "death."

One early ripening. Alert to life

you purr, part of you gone to winter.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Holy Art School Doodle, Batman! #3

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Journey Down

When I come to, I see again the sad face of my mother. Her features float beside me, neat as if cut from the family album. She has no body, no limbs to wring or fret with, no finger to point, just the sad expression of a mother who's seen her son go rotten inside and out.

There are other mothers here, keeping vigil above sons and daughters. They hover thin and hopeless, our only company on the slow journey down. Even though I'm puking, I am fascinated by this perverse technical achievement. They are a perfectly effective punishment. I am consumed by guilt.

Our dark capsule is filled with pleas for forgiveness, childish denials and soft, wet sobs. Petty crimes are evident: soiled beds, dirty magazines under the mattress, sheets yellow with urine or stiff with semen or blotched with blood, dim flashlights, forbidden cigarettes, and secret diaries.

Someone stumbles up, fist whistling through his mother's shocked visage, tripping over her empty purse.

This could be any forgotten sci-fi film -- I am one of the hundred chosen to survive, crowding around the window of our spaceship for one last look at our doomed world -- only the film is running wrong and we are falling back to a planet blossoming in agony. The motherworld laboring in reverse.

"I'm so sorry, Momma."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Why the Long Face?

Friday, August 18, 2006


Imagine the slow shelling
Of ourselves, sped
To a frenzy by a globe
Hotter than hormones.

Snake and onion, our bones
Have had enough of us.
They are lush in a second
To their marrows.

Rivulets, kite skin,
Carnelian as we rub,
In the garden
Trailing like snails.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Well Hung

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Page From a Russian Novel


Arlene Dinosaur, Isadore Unlearn, Sour Adrenaline, Redial Unreason, and Nonreal Residua are all anagrams for Laurie Anderson. "O Anus Perm" was, perhaps, her biggest hit.

Now, which career did Natasha Readings pick at the job fair?


Paris sounds divoon. I have fond memories of my nights at The Lido when I was in charge of re-glittering Josephine Baker's bananas. Jerry Lewis was still in diapers and every Frenchman spoke reverently of "ze Laurel" and "ze Hardy". The Eiffel Tower was still made of marzipan, and nights were spent "Yanky kissing" Resistance fighters traded Picassos for chocolate bars which they made into souffles using Zippo lighters. Merde, life was cheap then!



Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Failing Engines of Gravity

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

For Yeats

August's end we meet

on road in woods

berry ripe; so heavy

trees threaten

to skin themselves.

Air sweats, sky drags

around our heads.

Lives shift, turning over

on full stomachs.

Even the road moves--

on fat worms,

one layer on all the others,


We are thick with silence.

Summer tongues

ready to fall,

words purpled for picking.

A chainsaw wails across miles.

Whatever limb severed

crashes hard on all the years

and makes no noise.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

You Keep Lyin' When you Oughta be Truthin'

Saturday, July 29, 2006

I Feel So Roman

These die SEXY. They ingest varieties of drugs suited to this form of termination and then are lined up in groups according to their estimated potency.

Academic sorting aside, they are all similarly displayed. The men have been given baby blue gowns soaked in a litmus-like solution. As they spit and ejaculate, broad orange expressionistic streaks stain their robes. Grids are superimposed by projection to aid in arousal.

The women have been attached to video screens displaying, in much the same way as a 1960s hippy color organ, the terminal intensity of their emotions, edged towards explosion by over-administration of hormones.

My top pick is a man who has been injected with a concentration of his favorite cologne. I massage my scrotum, the vibrator cooled in liquid helium.

My prick is up, searching for some hint of originality, some condensation of creativity, to make this expensive show worth it.

I feel so Roman, though I still don't think I could comfortably vomit up my dinner (the chief activity of sex-death by food).