Hanging with the artists

The artist introduced himself to me
and said he liked my work.
He said he'd like to put some of my words
to music
and maybe we could collaborate
on some project or other.
I said that sounds just fine.

We exchanged phone numbers
and days later met at a local
filled with college kids
smoking and drinking drinks
with fancy names
while talking of art and literature
and philosophy,
each and every one of them
looking more hip
than I have ever looked
in my life.

The artist and I sat down at a table
and he introduced me to his friend,
a blonde girl in a short leather skirt
who called herself Aphrodite.
I sat across from her and ordered a beer.
The artist and Aphrodite ordered drinks
with fancy names.

We sat at the table and talked of art.
Or, rather, they talked of art
and I pretended to talk of art
and pretended to listen and to make sense
of what it was they were saying.

Aphrodite was going to star in a film
the artist was making.
They talked of the film in very artistic terms
and tried to tell me what it was about
and I pretended to understand
but didn't.

The artist said he wanted me to make a cameo
appearance in the film,
maybe as a guy in a bar reading a poem.
I said that sounds just fine.

They talked some more
and I pretended to listen as I ordered more beers
and sat across from Aphrodite looking up her short
leather skirt.
(I really had no choice in the matter,
for the word short
does not do justice to the actuality of the thing.)
I think she must have known
but continued to smoke and drink and talk of very
artistic things and never once crossed her legs.

I thought,
so this is what it's like
to hang with the artists.

I concluded it wasn't so bad
but for all the talking.

Eventually we ran out of things to say
and we stood up and shook hands and exchanged
and the artist and Aphrodite walked in one direction
and I in the other.

I have not heard from either one of them since
and I am not surprised.

A Hangover Bloody Hands and Nowhere

You start off
with all the best
never meaning
to hurt no one
and then
the next thing
you know
you are lost
in some strange and
lonely town
without money
or friends
a hangover
bloody hands
and nowhere
left to go
where it all
went wrong.

William Taylor Jr. was born in Bakersfield, California
and currently lives in San Francisco with his wife and
a cat named Trouble. His poetry and stories have appeared
widely in the small press and on the internet. He is the
author of numerous chapbooks and his work has been nominated
for a Pushcart Prize. His latest book is So Much Is Burning
published by sunnyoutside Press. A book of his collected
poems is forthcoming from Centennial Press. He will one
day be the last man in America not to own a cell phone.

2007 Underground Voices