Dan's Verse
Mosaic Moe
by Dan Shaw 3/9/2000

painted hubcaps
plastic grapes
pink flamingoes

Moe let his lawn become overgrown with weeds
It started with a novelty mailbox
Moses built the manger scene all out of bottle caps
Red white and blue stripes and targets
by August there were more than 100 wooden cows
-- then he painted the whole house white with black spots
even the satellite dish
His neighbors built fences 

He covered his car with beer labels
When he got tired of washing his silverware,
He’d throw ‘em out the window into the pond.

When the muffler shop closed down.
He put the 20-foot-tall muffler man and woman
Next to the hubcab totem poles.
It looked like a mini golf course

When the planning commission got involved
He built a 10-foot sign that said, 
"Catholic Bastards run city hall"
and a few other inflammatory remarks,
with upside-down 7’s
When he ran out of L’s.

He just wore down the city planners
And the blackberries grew over the sign.

Some folks drove the long way around to avoid it
Some folks came miles out of their way to see it.

He’d ride through the streets on his bike at two miles an hour
Specially equipped with a self-adjusting system of cables and training wheels
Covered with reflectors... and baskets
And he’d stop to pickup any scrap, and inspect it, and take it back home
For art supplies.

Moe believed in the right to free association
When Princess Di died
He built a 3-ton perfume bottle
Covered in Happy Meals toys

When the garage was full of individually labeled, paper maché figures
from American history
And his wife wouldn’t let them into the house
He divorced her

The miniature colonial village
Was almost completely covered in golf balls
When his lumbago started acting up

If you brought him something he liked,
He’d say, "Betty Ford thanks you,"
Or whatever figure he was working on.

Some neighbors brought buckets of paint
"The more paint ya put on the stronger it is," explained Moe.
If he didn’t like what you brought
He could lecture on and on
About people who don’t understand art,
Like those Catholic Bastards at City Hall.
I guess he was kind of lonely.

On Independence Day 
He had some extra red white and blue paint
So he painted stripes on the Virgin and three wise men
On Halloween they were orange and black

After Moe was gone
Some people said,
“Turn it into a museum.”
But it’s condos now

If you go down to the railroad tracks
You can see two of Moe’s creatures
Still standing in the tall weeds
Bigger than the world’s largest groundhog.
Standing 12 feet high and made of more than four tons of adobe
and 110,000 toothbrushes and lighters,
Popeye and Nelson Mandela armwrestling.

Moe’s been gone seven years 
And I finally threw out my collection of old toothbrushes I was saving for him

But I still go down to the railroad tracks,
And sometimes I’ll pick up a rusted bit of scrap,
And bring it home.

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