Fall 2006

Shock Art


This far north the sun barely rises

above the horizon. It’s a strange,

November day in Scotland, clear sky,

frost sent hiding, and though I need to work

I’m cutting firewood after breakfast

knowing tonight the flames will fill the room

with brandy-colored light. I am living alone,

my wife and son across the North Atlantic,

and for the first time in weeks

I’m not afraid. Even the fleet-winged hawk

high above the hare seems more graceful

than severe. Joy for both is that moment

in the field, bright noon and shadow-free,

before the talon strikes.

I kick a stone down the yew-draped path.

A limb the size of my arm drops

into the river, and out of nowhere

the sky turns gray and rain begins to fall.

Too soft, I think. Too tender.

I find the heart ripped out by claws

less offensive than the slow wearing away

that takes its toll. Give me flash-floods

and lightning bolts, but not the patient

brook carving canyons in the glen.

There is no happiness in almost.

Memory’s filled with what we think

we’ve lived. Give me absolutes.

Give me the split atom and the big bang.

Give me the racing heart,

the hawk upon my chest, those two black eyes

the universe sent forth at its beginning,

and that great empty fist,

a flash against an iron sky.

— Rick Mulkey ’92                                                                                  

art by Ted Krone

"Rogue Wave"
W. Ted Krone ’73

Chairman of Friends University’s art department since 1989, Krone has developed an idiosyncratic style of free-flowing metal sculpture that is garnering national attention.

His work was featured recently in a  New York group show, and will be exhibited in Los Angeles next year.

Krone says his creative process once focused on control and order, but that "now I tend to think my mission is more about negotiating with chaos."








art by James Gross

James Gross ’74/81

Inducted into the American Abstract Artists group in 1982 on the recommendation of a New York gallery owner, Gross is honored to be associated with this pioneering collective of non-representational artists.

Founded in 1936, the group’s membership has included such art-history figures as Josef Alber, Laszlo Moholy-Nage and Piet Mondrian.

Gross works and  lives in Wichita and is an adjunct art instructor at Butler Community College.



Shock Art

A gallery of both literary and visual art, Shock Art showcases works by Wichita State University alumni, faculty and students.