Sonnet Challenge #31

This sonnet has been something of a challenge – in that it is the first poem I’ve written in over three months.  Some things been going on in life that just take the stuffing out of you sometimes.

A poet friend of mine, Larry Jaffe, once wrote a poem that all poets connect with.  It had no lines, just a title: “I lost another f****** poem in the shower.”

Losing Poems

I lost a poem in the shower today –
as water flowed, it ran right from my mind.
It formed and then the liquid washed away
the verse, leaving no residue behind.
I lost a poem driving down the street –
blanking my mind, the idea began to sprout.
I listened to it, it really was quite neat
but by the time I’d parked it’d fluttered out.
And in the doctor’s waiting room one time
I couldn’t find some paper fast enough
to get it down a pen and catch the rhyme,
my turn was called, it vanished with a puff.
And I’m sure there’s many a poet that has said
They’ve lost a masterpiece, snuggled in bed.

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Tales from the field #18

We are having a cold winter, that’s for sure. At least, that’s how it feels.  A couple weeks ago at the Art on Main in La Quinta, there’s was no getting warm at all.  There is a coffee shop in the center of Old Town which is very good, but the line is always long there.  I didn’t want to leave my booth for such a length of time.  That’s when you need someone who is a real fan of your work and understands the problems of a freezing artist.

Delicious hot cocoa

A fan will tell you they love your work. A REAL fan will go stand in line for 15 minutes to fetch you a hot cocoa!

Tales from the field #17

There are many challenges that the art fair artist experiences.
Usually the worst is weather. Sometimes it’s as distressing as the porta potty company letting us down on the delivery on Friday night and we arrived on Saturday needing to cross our legs until a rescue company arrived at 9:30.

Sometimes it’s a simple as needing to squeeze an old ambulance into a compact space.

Ambulance squeezed into compact parking space

I think they fudged a little on the other side.

And I thought I was doing well to get the Silverado in a compact space without dinging the van on one side and the shiny Tesla on the other!

Tales from the field #15

This past weekend I was at the Art in the Park in Boulder City, NV – the fair is a fundraiser for the local hospital.  As usual, I know a bunch of the artists there.  John Conroy was next to me, Bob Marble was across from me, Dominique Blanchard was catty corner from him two spaces in front of me and behind John was Mario Cespedes.  On the row behind Mario were Bob and Nancy Lynn.  Perhaps they figure it’s a good idea to put all the Californians together.

On the Sunday morning it rained and the crowds were a little thin to start off, but I guess everyone decided it was worth coming out for and the crowds picked up in the afternoon.  In a quiet moment I stepped into John’s booth to ask him something – a lady came in the booth from the other direction clutching a couple of Mario’s works.  She asked us – are either of you the artists for this booth?  No – but we’ll look for him, we know what he looks like.

Mario is nowhere near.

This lady’s friends are anxious to get going – Mario doesn’t have any business cards in his booth to call him to come back, and although he has a credit card machine, it’s not one I know how to work.  Nancy and Bob start looking for Mario also.  The lady’s friends agree to let her catch up with them.  I looked in my cell phone and I surprise, have a number for Mario – it’s a San Francisco number, but he wouldn’t be the only person I know whith a cell# that doesn’t match their current location – so I called him.  “Hey, you have a client in your booth, where are you?”  “I’ll be right back.”  and he hangs up.  I find a receipt book and start writing up the receipt for her.  Then Mario calls.

At this point I realize it’s Mario the photographer who lives in San Francisco.  Somewhere out there, he’s at another art fair, and was away from his booth when I called. Unable to explain in great detail in front of the increasingly anxious client, she manages to find enough cash to do the deal, I give her the receipt and off she goes.

Another lady who was sitting on a bench across from Mario’s booth, waiting for her husband has been watching this whole thing unfold.  She offers to sit in Mario’s booth and direct potential clients to me so I don’t have to abandon my own store, or to Nancy.  What an angel!  Half an hour later we still haven’t found Mario, no one has a number for him.  Went over to the organizers who agreed to call him, but at that point he turned up.  Seems like when he went to get in line to buy some popcorn, half the people at the show decided to get in line in front of him.

Oh well, at least he didn’t lose the sale.

Tales from the field #12

This little tale isn’t really about art fairs or galleries – but it was kind of in a field, and tickled my silly sense of humor to the extent that I wanted to share.  Last weekend D and I spent some time at Lake Cuyamaca.  One of my favorite activities is to walk across the top end of the lake, next to the meadow, over towards the forest.  From there, there are a lot of options for wandering and discovering nature.

Talking of nature, there’s a last-chance for the call of nature before you set off.

porta potty

I just love the half moon over the door.

But let’s take a closer look at that sign.  It isn’t a man, or a woman or even a disabled sign (not that this particular potty could accommodate a wheelchair, but the path leading to it wouldn’t be easy for a wheelchair anyway).  It’s a white label that’s peeled off into the shape of someone taking a seat!

porta potty sign

Just in case you were unsure what this room was for.

Tales from the field #11.

I’ve been locked out of a few places before – my house, my truck (multiple offenses) and my motel room.  Motel 6 are particularly good at having the key not work the next evening, but that’s always an easy fix.

This weekend I went to Flagstaff and fairly easily found my Airbnb location.  The owner I knew had taken the weekend off to go hiking out of town, and out of cell phone range.  There was another guest also, but when I arrived the place was empty.  And locked.

It had been a busy week and I’d skipped the part where I’d written the entry instructions down because I thought they were in a text on my phone.  They weren’t.  They were on my email which I couldn’t access until I got my laptop onto wifi.  I couldn’t get onto the wifi until I accessed my email and found my host’s wifi and password.  Catch 22.  I could always find a Starbucks, if only I could get onto the web to find where one was because I don’t know Flagstaff well…. Catch 23?

I wondered how friendly the locals were.  This is a fairly rural area – down a cinder gravel road.  I was in luck.  The second house I tried had a 4 furiously barking dogs and a friendly homeowner who stuffed them back into the house and sat on the steps with me and was willing to let me use his laptop as well as his wifi, though mine turned out to be faster.  Email accessed and problem solved!

Tales from the field, #10.

This tale doesn’t have a picture.  You will see as it progresses why I couldn’t post one.

At the end of February, I was packing up from a show in Indian Wells.  The booth is constructed of walls that come in two pieces, and these go six to a bag (three tops, three bottoms).  Individual wall halves weigh about seven and a half pounds (about 3.5 kilos for my European fans), so not difficult to lift, but can be awkward to handle in small spaces as they’re about 3 feet/1 meter square, especially if the wind catches them. The sides have metal bars that accommodate velcro straps top and bottom, and the bottoms also have wind-out adjustable feet.

I’d packed the art and two bags of walls, which were laying at the back of the booth.  I took down another top half, and to this day I don’t know whether I caught it on the side of the desk, tripped over something, or the wind caught the wall, but down we went.  The wall went off in its own direction and I went onto the two bags of walls.  I mentioned the hard little feet, didn’t I.  I caught myself right on the padding.  The girl padding.  Really hard.

Aaargh, I groaned out loud, and clutched at the point of impact.  The guy from the next booth came running over.  What happened?  I hit my tit, I groaned.  Sorry, girlfriend, I can’t help you with that.  By this time I realize that I didn’t break any bones, am not bleeding, and it’s one of these things that I’ll laugh about later.  So I started laughing now.  At this point the couple who across the aisle run over.  What happened?  I hit my tit, I laughed between painful groans while rolling around on the floor clutching the area of pain.  I looked up at the three of them and they’re all standing there groaning and laughing in sympathy, and holding the same body area that I am.

I ended up with two bruises the same size and shape as the booth feet.  One green one black.  Now you know why I can’t post a picture.