He stares at the painting on the wall
outside the meeting room
moves in close,
stretches over the table,
He tilts his head
to focus brush stokes
A thought catches his mind
and he walks backward
eyes focused on color
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
I wonder if people,
other than the woman in the gray suit
who watched from the corner of her eye,
her face radiating disappointment
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.
had I known of Pollock
in my impressionable years,
the balding, lonely man
making love to the hotel painting
might know my name.
Originally Posted Oct 2008