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This incredible, hand-painted skull came to me as an unexpected gift, March 2003. The artist, Mike, had just moved into our building; and seemed most eager to feel welcome, and show residents he's a good guy. One day, he heard me cracking one of my skull-fucking jokes in the he ran back to his apartment, to return with this incredible objet d'arte.

The photo does not do justice to Mike's fine, handpainted totemic symbols from the Northwest Native American tribes, Kwakiutl and Haidu. Very authentically done. I don't know if you can see this, but the dominant image is the eagle head (facing forward), whose bright orange beak focuses your attention. Well, I also see this eagle riding atop a motorcycle, with his little buddy in front. The eagle looks somewhat freaked out, like "Maybe we're going down this crazy white-man turnpike just a tad too fast!" His buddy seems to be equally concerned. But Mike, who painted this skull, never noticed the eagle-on-motorcycle before.

This lovely skull has inspired me to startling heights of poesy and prose, such as: "Ode From A Skull To Its Master," and "Grandfather & Grandson." But don't forget: it was my skull-fucking joke that inspired him to give me the skull in the first place! So read it already!