Thursday, April 16, 2009

State Street Poets and Painters

Photo by unknown artist

State Street Poets and Painters

the poets
and painters
on State Street
sit at the sidewalk tables,
drinking coffee,
smoking cloves,
and marching to their own beat.
“Being an artist in this town
is like being a deep sea diver in Nevada,”
said the man with the painted waterproof pants.
“I’m a traveling man; I’m a traveling man . . .”
said the suit wearing poet with the hat
the feather wore thin,
as if it agreed with that.
the painter’s and the poet’s leather skin
spoke of time, age, resolve, and wear
as if the sun beat down on them
time and time again,
as they sat right there.
free refills that keep them coming
and make them stay
day after day, after day.
the river as their view
all is the same for them
as they sit there, but you.
the painter wearing his art
and the poet reciting his verse
the audience looking on,
or not looking at all
as they rehearse.
people chart their own course,
so take heed . . .
even Nevada has Lake Mead

© 2009, Robbie Pruitt

Photo by unknown artist

Sometimes you just have to write down the poetry as it unfolds in front of you.

This was the case on my last visit to Columbia South Carolina.

A tradition on all our visits “back home” is to frequent a little café in West Columbia called Café Strudel, On this particular visit there were some artists hanging outside by the street and talking. What transpired was the poem that you just read. As I heard this particular quote about “being an artist in this town,” and the “deep sea diving in Nevada,” I immediately thought about a trip I took several years ago to the Hoover Dam in Nevada. On this trip I got to witness the massiveness of Lake Mead. It struck me that one could, indeed, deep sea dive in Lake Mead. It also became evident that you can do art wherever you want, because there is more than one way of getting it done, no matter your circumstances, or geographical location.

So the poets recite, and create, their verse and the painters wear their work on their clothes, and they dive into their art, even on a street corner in West Columbia South Carolina.


1 comment:

  1. I like this one a lot. Just followed a link from "You might also like..."