BEWARE: OLD MAN SEEN SELLING POEM
While the State goes to ruin, mountains and rivers remain;
while Market Culture grinds upon us all,
the artist builds a studio from scratch and rows it like a boat.
Patiently by passion—incorrigible, still breathing.
—J.B. Bryan, La Alameda Press
Oh, my gosh, that's Bobby Byrd on the streets selling a real live poem broadside: "PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN." It's a love poem, for God's sake. His wife Lee is at the stove in the morning, stirring the oatmeal. He says she grunts in her sleep. Oh, my gosh. But you get the picture, don't you?
The broadside is thanks to friend J.B. Bryan—the owner and operator of the oddball very independent La Alameda Press. J.B. is an artist, graphic designer, poet, zenster, whacko musician, good friend and print-maker extraordinaire. He built the broadside from the ground up. Including the linoleum block print of the pot of oatmeal. Byrd's selling the damn thing for $60 plus the shipping. Good luck with that, huh? But if you're a collector and just need to have one, call or write Cactus Mary Fountaine at Cinco Puntos Press.
Just to whet you appetite, we're pasting the poem below. It's from Bobby's new book, Otherwise, My Life is Ordinary—
Portrait of a Woman
She is simmering the oatmeal for breakfast
The early morning light
The wooden spoon in her hand
Her hips rocking back and forth—
The pink pajama bottoms, a white pullover
40 years we have found these ordinary rituals
A matrimonial dance
And at night, she is the warm body next to mine
We are happy to be animals together
That too is beautiful
Afloat on this side of nothing
Whatever you want to call it.
She snores some and some nights she grunts in her sleep.