Fast Poem: #11 Ego-trip Modification, 2nd Person in the Key of Fail

He stares at the painting on the wall
outside the meeting room
moves in close,
stretches over the table,
gets intimate.
He tilts his head
to focus brush stokes
through bifocals.

A thought catches his mind
and he walks backward
quickly,
eyes focused on color
and form.

He nearly collides with a woman in a grey flannel suit.
She and he wear name tags,
same color, same size, same meeting.
She avoids him.
He ignores her.
She swallows a greeting.

From the middle of the walkway,
forcing people to alter direction,
he studies gratuitous artwork.

What does he see?

What do people think of him,
this stranger staring at hotel art
as if he stood in a museum
or gallery?

I wonder if people,
other than the woman in the gray suit
who watched from the corner of her eye,
her face radiating disappointment
and slight
as she walked away,
notice him at all.

When I was young I wanted to paint,
to cover ground with arcing color
and emerging form
but in our little town,
visiting place of struggling farmers,
home to millworkers and fishing guides,
all the paint brushes were four inches wide,
all the paint latex or enamel.

I hadn’t heard of Pollock yet.

Had someone told me,
shown me breath-taking cosmic winds
spattered by wide brushes
over intentional canvas,
my world may have become
enamel, drop cloth and paint-thinner.

At least until my father found out.

I imagine,
ego mymemine,
had I known of Pollock
in my impressionable years,
the balding, lonely man
making love to the hotel painting
might know my name.

2008 Chromepoet
Originally Posted Oct 2008

  • Sharkey!

    “2nd Person in the key of Fail” – clever, but not appropriate for this piece IMHO. There is/was no failure here. When water is pushed to the east or north fork of the river, does the fact that it never traveled the alternate route constitute failure? Making the effort and not succeeding MAY constitute failure, but that’s not what my eyes read here.

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