Daniel Sklar πŸ”ˆ


I’m standing outside the gallery
thinking about Bukowski
and looking through the window
at the people with wine glasses
in their hand looking at the art
and there are Gloucester bums
in there for the free wine
and don’t look much different
from the art lovers
and I’m thinking about Bukowski
and his opinions which he had
plenty of them and mostly correct
in my opinion and next door
is this big xmas tree sculpture
made out of lobster traps
with colored lights and buoys
painted with things like a whale
and a cat and a fishing boat
and smiles and what not hanging
all over it and you can walk inside
and kids and people are walking in
and taking pictures
and two guys come along that look
like working guys in blue jeans,
plaid jackets, and watch caps
and they walk through
and one says he’d like to live in
there and the other says it would
be a great club house for kids
and they see me standing outside
the gallery and they look in
and say to me “you like that kind of art,
the abstract stuff, looks like wallpaper”
and I figure they are Gloucester artists
of the fishing boats and rocks and water
and sky kind which I like, too
and they walk on quickly bumping
into each other heading to the nearest
bar even though I say there’s free wine
in there they don’t ask me to come
along which I wish they did
and I’m thinking about Bukowski
looking in at the gallery
where everyone is talking in
little groups and looking at the art
and everyone is happy
and loves the paintings
and more people go in and tell
the artist how they love it
and they are old hippies
and art teachers
and college administrators
and bankers and writers
I’m thinking how Bukowski
couldn’t stand Robert Creeley
and Charles Olsen
and the black mountain school
or any school for that matter,
but I say let them write
what they want to write
and if people like it then they do,
he preferred the bums and fishermen
and gamblers and bricklayers
and factory workers to the so-called
poets and their schools, me too,
and I’m thinking these things
standing in the night Gloucester air
and can smell the terrific lobster traps.

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About the Author

Daniel Sklar teaches Creative Writing at Endicott College. His work has been published in the Harvard Review, English Journal, Beat Scene, and the New York Quarterly, among other journals. His books include Flying Cats, Hack Writer, and Bicycles, Canoes, Drums. He rides a bicycle to work.