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Friday, 22 February 2013

A Two-Gun Wannabe, Bashful to a Fault.


Yeah, bashful was what
worked against him in
the end. His work was
always hidden, tucked away,
a bit of fencing in a wood,
an allotment shed, a roof --
yeah, roofs his speciality!
To paint a roof would make
his night. Small signatures.
A rat, a tree. Daubs for
the birds.
But get my drift?
Viewings by appointment only.

He was just a lad with a can
when I first knew him -- but
he'd heard of Taki 183. (Had
the jump on me in that.) Had
a poster, so he said. Hero,
yeah?
Still experimenting
in his own backyard. All this
before Hip Hop or Banksy, Blek
the Rat -- and long before the
days of satire and the urban
warrior brought respectability
(in some eyes) to the scene.

Yeah, lad with a can became
a lad with two cans firing
from the hip, both guns blazing.
Rhythmical, the work. Lyrical
and calligraphic. Geometric
patterns or a wood -- he loved
a wood -- but rarely people
at that time. A graffito
was a freedom. Something he
could do. Excel at. Relax into.

Then I lost contact. Visiting
a school for young offenders --
part of my studies -- looking
round the workshop there, I
heard this voice behind me:
What ho, sir! What the hell
you doing here?
They'd
talked him out of aerosols
and into carving stone.
Gave up the paint. Couldn't
very well compete with guys
like Michelangelo, eh sir?

I didn't state the obvious.

Written for Anna Montgomery's prompt on Graffiti at dVerse Poets
The image doesn't quite qualify as graffiti, I think (it was obviously done either by the owner or with his permission - as were the early works of my protagonist here) but I fell in love with it on a visit to South Wales and included it anyway.

21 comments:

Brian Miller said...

haha...dont have to be sharp...smiles...its pretty cool though that he was able to turn his graffiti desires into other art forms though...artist at heart...

Rachel Green said...

This is a delight.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Tis indeed a delight.

I love it when you write like this Dave - poetry that talks, makes you feel part of it, makes you full up with it.

Anna :o]

aprille said...

How nice to get an uplifting story out of this, true or not.
Hope it is true.But then, he would by now be doing the rounds of reality TV 'heroes' on each and every talkshow.

manicddaily said...

Beautiful. Both poem and pic. You know when I was first living in New York there was a great graffiti artist named SAMO who turned out to be Jean-Michel Basquiat. He then became very famous--

Lovely. k.

kaykuala said...

It takes some pain but they do impose their culture preference. Nicely Dave!

Hank

Rachna Chhabria said...

A delightful poem Dave.

Claudia said...

so cool that he found his way..two-gun wannabe..ha..i like..and who could compete with michelangelo anyway...smiles

Abruvanamedsly said...

Sweet!

anthonynorth said...

Great words. Ah, those artists ...

rumoursofrhyme said...

That's the trouble with being creative - those in control are happy only as long as you are creative where and how they say....

Grace said...

This is an interesting portrayal of the artist Dave ~ This is particularly good to me:

Yeah, lad with a can became
a lad with two cans firing
from the hip, both guns blazing.
Rhythmical, the work. Lyrical
and calligraphic.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Another great character in your memory's gallery.
Impressive portrait.

Brudberg said...

Wonderful story making me happy to read :-) I love it

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes I love it too Dave.
Your protagonist reminds me of several I knew in my teaching days.

kkkkaty said...

I like 'blazing, lyrical, calligraphic, and rhythmic'..there's motion to this art are for some, it comes naturally...nice;)

Mary said...

I do think some of the graffiti artists have a lot of talent. Glad he was talked out of aerosols and into carving stone!

Anna Montgomery said...

Inspirational and a great response to the prompt.

jane hewey said...

YOu've presented a beautiful view here. "bashful" turns the world of artist deep inside. a wonderful piece, thank you.

Dave King said...

Thank you all for your many kind words.

A very warm welcome to those of you who are new to the blog or commenting for the first time. Ditto to old friends. Good to renew acquaintances.

Some specific questions to be answered.
Yes my protagonist was a real life one. There were a lot of local myths told about him, but I have tried very hard to restrict my tale to material about which I am sure.
Furthermore, he is a character I have not spoken about very much, either on the blog or in private. I had largely forgotten him until the prompt brought him to mind. Therefore, it seems likely to me that the memories are more intact and not overlaid by later tellings.

Kim Nelson said...

Young offenders... made me wonder if the end is happy. Hope he found an outlet for his creativity, spirit, heart.

http://www.kimnelsonwrites.com/2013/02/22/it-is-written-vehicles-of-the-word/