Admiral Grey

Cheap & Plastique Magazine

Admiral Grey photos by Violet Shuraka

Admiral Grey is an artist, musician, playwright, and performer who creates music and extraordinary live spectacle.Heather Morgan, painter extraordinaire, interviewed her for issue #11 of Cheap & Plastique

Heather: Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of your work.  When I feel frail and overwhelmed by the grind of artmaking in the metropolis, going to see one of your boundless creations is as revitalizing as a trip to Xanadu.  What are some of the sources of *your* inspiration, what goes into the stunning array of characters you create?
Admiral Grey: I have been stockpiling each and every experience or person or moment or artwork I’ve ever witnessed into an enormous Atlantis deep within my consciousness. I build the inner city with these materials. A beautiful castoff seen on the street, a stolen moment or expression on a stranger’s face…

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Tastes Like Ashes & Dry Blood

Bloody miserable

Nearly bled to death

In the downstairs bedroom.

Read pretty worlds but the signals won’t fire

Dark city.

Touch beautiful women

But the peak won’t come

Its left for the clouds.

Ménage a trois, boredom, dépression

And addiction.

Drain the life out of glass eyes

Stop eating and take to the dream world.

Nothing left here.

Nothing left.

I am a walking disease

Poison shivers, chemical twist.

Necrosis spreads to the heads

Of nearby friends

And their thoughts drizzle polluted rain.

I don’t want to hurt you


I couldn’t live with destroying you.

TJ Brown 2014


Princess is somehow lost

By Deja

She hides in her own world

Full of dreams

Just like Disney

Trying to forget this tragic thing

People call reality

In her mind

He’s her Prince Charming

And she’s his Cinderella

Dancing the night away

In pretty dresses and tuxedos

But love like that

Only exists in stories

When you’re young,

They continue to say

Instead of a ball room

It was the stands screaming

His name and number

With all the air

Her lungs could take

But somewhere in the back

Of her broken mind

She felt like she wouldn’t

Actually couldn’t

Be his typical dream girl

Blonde hair, hazel eyes,

Pale skin, small waist

With a butt that

Truly absorbs her pants

She just didn’t know that he was

Fighting to be let into her heart

He earned it with

Killing the demons

Who tore her down

With words of self hatred

While she’s in the dirty stands

Crowded by people

And the mixing smell

Of popcorn and must

She hides in her dreams

To where she is his princess

Dancing at the ball

When in reality her feet are glued to metal benches

And a mouth so dry it feels like she’s chewing cotton

The only thing the same

In both totally different worlds he was still her

Clumsy knight in shining armor of shoulder pads

And green jersey and she was his Princess

In a black shirt and dirty green shoes.


23 at Ten in the Morning in the Sundown of Society

Television is seeping into reality,

Starting to dominate and control it.

Inevitable Idiocracy coming up

Faster than our worst nightmares predicted.

Everything, everyone has become so dull,

So boring, so predictable.

Is it just me, or is it really happening?

There’s a reason it was called the American dream.

Writing is like playing guitar,

You can learn every song off by heart,

Hit every note in a pleasing sequence,

Command every chord,

Or take a page out of Lou Reed’s book

And throw away the book. Teach yourself.

Inspiration is key, inspiration, experience, nature.

A good writer absorbs the world like a sponge,

Subconsciously filing away ideas and impressions.

Write every day they say. T.S. Eliot barely wrote a poem a year.

The Lyrics to Blowin’ in the Wind took Bob Dylan five minutes to write.

What happened to the spontaneity? The fires are burning out.

Everybody’s having babies and pretending to be grown up,

Parent’s drug habits preserved in pictures

For pretty much anyone to see. You must be proud.

Lying in bed strung out rambling going nowhere making no money.

This is the life of the voice of the poem.

I make no apologies. I bury my regrets.


Tj Brown, August 11, 2014 10:03am


I Wanted to Start a Novelty Band.


“I wanted to start a novelty band, but I wasn’t creative enough to start a novelty band, so instead I started a four-piece guitar band. Fuck you Eddie Vedder, listening to Pearl Jam made it impossible for me to start a novelty band.

My four-piece guitar band wasn’t working out too well. We couldn’t get past playing slowed down covers of Mumford and Sons songs. As a result our output was rather boring. I started thinking about what to do next but was side tracked when I began to worry about how vegans intimidated me. They make me feel ethically inconsistent. Hi my name is Holly and I’m ethically inconsistent. Hi Holly. Things often affect my thought process like that. One day when I was trying to write an essay on Political Realism, I told you Eddie Vedder had stolen my creativity, I started thinking about whether my desire to meet an alien had something to do with my being an atheist. Like my atheism had made the world too boring, too rational, too scientific and my belief in aliens was a reaction to that. I couldn’t get my mind away from this topic for hours, naturally the essay on Political Realism didn’t eventuate and I still haven’t met an alien.

I eventually left the four-piece guitar band to become a painter. They didn’t seem to mind too much and told me they planned to continue as a folk pop trio. Painting has a romanticism to it that didn’t exist in my four-piece guitar band.

I was quite a good painter; I used cardboard and off-white paint almost exclusively. I would begin the day with a coffee, black of course. I would then watch an episode of Seinfeld. Following this I would paint. Every now and then I would watch two episodes of Seinfeld and be sidetracked by wondering where I could find clothes like the ones Elaine wears in the early seasons, you know the big long dresses and huge jackets.  Anyway, once I had finished a painting, I liked to paint fast so I would often finish 3 a day, I would leave them on the street for someone to find. I hoped this would create a little buzz. I figured soon enough everyone would be talking about the mysterious artist who keeps leaving his or her paintings on the street. I did this for two months; I thought that was enough time to create some significant word of mouth. I then approached a gallery. I walked in, acting very nonchalant and said, Hi my name is Holly and I’m that elusive, mysterious painter who keeps leaving their work on the street. The gallerist just looked at me with a blank expression and turned to greet another visitor. My plan had failed; maybe I should have waited three months. To add to my woes my four-piece guitar band turned folk pop trio had just signed a record deal.

At this point I had become very disillusioned with painting, with the whole notion of being an artist. I blamed Eddie Vedder. He did this to me. I needed to find him, to tell him what he had done. I went to Google and tried to figure out where he lived. The search engine had nothing for me; apparently it didn’t know where he lived. So I turned off my computer and watched another episode of Seinfeld. I had reached the later seasons by this stage, the ones where Elaine dresses in tighter, more basic clothes. I suppose this was somewhat of a consolation as now I wouldn’t have to think about where I could find clothes like the ones she wore, you know the big long dresses and the huge jackets.”

By Holly Keys


Have you ever stared into the eyes of a dying man?

Watching them cycle through emotions so rapidly by the time you blink they have moved on to the next. Fear, anger, sorrow, happiness, repeat.

If you watch long enough you will witness something you cannot fathom,

The dying eyes will become clear pupils will dilate and the face will become slack and that’s when it happens, ataraxia fills their eyes and cold air fills the room. Your body tingles and your mind will race trying to comprehend what is happening. The dying man has accepted his fate and serenity has been found. They exhale slowly, a sound that cuts your souls and leaves you with a melancholy taste in your mouth. They have passed away and left no answer only more questions.

Death is a sickly sweet, greed filled, beautiful creature. -Tokala