A poem created by fellow doctoral student, John Dennis, for Rodney Chang following their acquaintance and friendship at a Union Institute faculty/learner retreat in Geneva, California. Dennis hailed from Chicago, Illinois and Chang from Honolulu, Hawaii. From this event, Chang changed his whole doctoral committee and finally graduated a year later. "Roger" is the late historian and art critic from Florida, Roger Orthmayer, Ph.D.

 

Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

by John Dennis, Ph.D.

1979

 

 

Geneva meant "peace" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Get that monkey off your back,

   Let him know it's not his year;

Klee, Picasso, stand in awe!

   Move aside, the doctor's here!

 

 

Geneva meant "change" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Sir Roger will support your flights,

   He'll understand your twilight song;

When you go sermonizing -- mad,

   Your new committee sings along.

 

 

Geneva meant "peace" for Rodney Chang

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

And what the hell is art, my friend?

   Can we perscribe a recipe?

An if you found a formula,

   How would you breathe? Where would you be?

 

 

Genvena meant "peace" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Dentist! Artist! Madman, say,

   Don't expect success -- parades;

Deep inside a trumpet sounds --

   From your soul come accolades!

 

 

Genvena meant "peace" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

 

A dialogue -- through time machine --

   With art and artists from the past,

May find a trillion thrilling threads

   To weave an answer art, at last.

 

 

Genvena meant "yes" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

The weaver's hands must fly like light,

   The shuttle shuffle into space;

And note the notes don't beat the beat --

   No waiting in this art-filled place.

 

 

Genvena meant "peace" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Oh Waiting Room -- a dating room--

   You can't bicuspids in a store;

And solar molars bite their bite

   As they go flashing on your floor.

 

 

Genvena meant "fun" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Oh, Disco Dentist, light my feet,

   And tiptoe gently 'round the pain'

Then shoot-the-moon to cool them off --

   Quick! touch the sun -- and back again!

 

 

Genvena meant "light" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Where do you go from here, my friend?

   And should you conquer "Go to hell!"

      And "Hope . . . tomorrow," all the while?

 

 

Genvena meant "hope" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

Too many words in volumes bound --

   (The Spirit never learned to read.)

Administer your happenings --

   Art is a mute who shouts when freed!

With sound and color -- take the lead.

 

 

Genvena meant "life" for Rodney Chang --

Chang! Chang! Boom-a-dee-bang!

 

 

                                          --- John Dennis

 

 

 

 

 

Geneva 1979

 

 

Art in a cavity

bearing bone away

to be replaced by "precious" metals

-- not paper to disintegrate;

Art fills that cavity

erecting a plaque

in the place of plaque;

meddling inprecious experiences

to disturb so gloriously

those paper dreams

that have no touch --

no sight.

 

                  ---John Dennis