Just Business

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019. As a note, this is the last poem from the Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 – you’ve read the whole thing and seen all the art.

Just Business

i.
Yes, I am the proprietor of this establishment
I hope your experience was agreeable
and I so appreciate your business
Pardon me while I get back to
counting today’s takings
and please be quick about exiting
You have occupied that table for three hours
and everyone wants to go home now
and have a pleasant
evening.

ii.
Yes, I realize the smears seem to be
permanent
and I do apologize for the inconvenience
but you may remember
the estimate stated
such an occurrence
might occur. For which I am
sorry
not really but I have to say so
but we cannot accept any liability
as stated in our contract
absolutely not
I am so sorry
not really but I have to say so.
Pick it up and leave now, please!
That pleading won’t get you anywhere with me.

iii.
I’m afraid the exigencies of business
force me
to ask you to stop coming to work
a permanent unpaid leave
as it were
I’m firing you and pretending it’s a layoff
I will most certainly get away with it too
The severance plan is generous
I resent paying you even a dime
if you are not here working for it
but it’s the cost of
bigger profits for me down the road
so I will endure the pain
and exemplifies our feeling
we are all family here
it’s just business
It’s been a pleasure knowing you
once you’re gone you’re dead to me
and we wish you
the best
in all your future endeavors
(Weak handshake).

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 30

11/8/18
Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 3001

 

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

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Wet Afternoon in the City in November

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Wet Afternoon in the City in November

You run, but the raindrops run faster –
and you, the wind blows
your raincoat open in the front
so you shout back a few harsh words
to no effect –
and you, I will tell you
a sheet of newspaper
is not an umbrella and will resent
you for asking it to be.

Rain in the city
in the late fall and
cars rush at the puddles
with the sidewalks
full of passengers
taking the brunt
of the water’s recoil and –
wet legs all around.

Standing apart,
I watch it all
from the interior
of a good coat and sturdy
very waterproof
boots.

 

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2901

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 29

11/8/18
 

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

Shadorma 122

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Shadorma 122

Sure, sit there
scoff all you want but
we’re going
to find gold
or at least have a great time
while we are looking

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 28

11/8/18

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2801

 

 

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

Intercity Bus

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Intercity Bus

Oh my goodness look
long haul route double-decker bus
parked at curbside
luggage doors open
Load up those suitcases
we are going on a trip.

Look at that crowd
eddies of moving feet
of backpacks
of shorts and T-shirts and flipflops
in the summer morning heat.

Look at that blue-shirt driver
hurl those bags under the bus.

Look at those faces
the people already boarded
cheeks and noses
hard up against the windows
bored or tired or indifferent or
sharp and alive
to the scene they are about to leave.

Look at that city traffic
road and sidewalk
look at it squeeze by around this bus
with the everyday matter-of-fact
so what I still have to get to work
I’m not leaving town today

Watch that driver slam the bay doors shut
Watch that last old lady
that last young guy that lady and her baby
step up and
disappear into their journeys

Watch that driver squeeze the door together
start the engine that
vibrates up and down all the sidewalk

Watch that bus pull away from the curb
make its deliberate lumbering merge into
the everyday traffic
head for the highway and every inch
a loosening
a throwing off
the everyday.

Watch that bus leave.
I wish I were going too.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 27

11/8/18

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2701.jpg

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

Three Painters

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Three Painters

i.
Art exhibit
and I wonder why I look at these pictures
painted by some person or other
and why the painter went to all the trouble
tp paint the pictures in the first place
and I wonder whether I’d want to
do something of the sort myself

ii.
Art exhibit
the pictures painted by me
I wonder why I’d taken the trouble
to put my pictures into paint
and would I ever want to do it again
or why

iii.
Art exhibit
I pass it by
My thoughts are my own
They are just for me.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 26

11/8/18

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2601

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

After Everything Else

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

After Everything Else

I walk the
beach my eyes scanning
the sand and
where the waves
fade I watch my footprints fill
with salty green and

I stoop down
my hand out I pluck
a wide stone
polished smooth
lying in the heel of the
last footstep I take

(shadorma chain)
Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 25

11/8/18

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2501

 

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!

Prior Arrangements

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Prior Arrangements

The off-kilter way the situation stood
The slide of balance into imbalance
into the crescendo that confused me. I stood
looking up into the window
the silhouette of the man behind it
hard and dark
as I imagined our meeting might be
But I did not know. Yet. And I would not know
until I crossed the slanted pavement
opened the door on its unmatched hinges
pressed the worn-smooth elevator button
to ascend into the angled-askew upper floors
try as I might
unable to envision the hallway or the waiting room
except as dark and patternless spaces
and dim lights and thick air and
metal chair legs sunk into a well-worn carpet.

The hard and dark man
seated at the desk set askew
to the same window
he so lately abandoned
for the pen and paper he now held out to me
a weak ray of sunshine wavering through the window
illuminating my name. I sat down and began to read.

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018
image 24

11/7/18

Large Artist Sketchbook 2018 Image 2401

 

This poem is from my Large Artist Sketchbook 2018. Similar to my previous Large Artist Sketchbook 2017 and Small Artist Sketchbook 2018, I created artwork in a book over a period of time, 2017-2018, and later wrote poems to go with each image. All poems were published in the collection Unpredictable Hue in early 2019 (without their illustrations).

In the sketch book, the poems are on the facing page for each picture – here I am only showing you the illustration. Each poem is numbered according to my master list and the date refers to when I wrote the poem, not when the illustration was done.

Read and enjoy, and thank you!