Sour Grapes

My hands recognize art 
More than that they appreciate talent 
Expertise 
Seniority 

My hands can find their way to Basquiat 
And known with certainty 
they’ve found a home 

Do dead artists weigh more? 
Probably
I juggle their names in my hands 
Haring and Bosch in one hand 
Ligon and Saeki in another 

The new names fall out onto the floor in a pile 
Too ripe 
Too soon 
Yes, beautiful 
And sweet 
But time ages all grapes 
And even wine does better to sit 

But what about new voices?

All yelling together
How do we notice one another 
How can I be seen? 
I ask selfish questions these days 

I go to the art shows, 
galleries, 
spoken words,
plays, 
kickbacks, 
performances
afterwords 
after works 
all of them 

I come too tardy to be cool
Everything is over 
‘You missed it’ they say 
Shutter snapping in time to their words
They sometimes turn to me
Peaking over the camera lens 
Their fingers still posed to get the shot 
Mouth hung slightly open in amusement 
Or recognition?….affirmation?

No, it’s amusement 

They ask me if I am like them 
Am I an artist too? 
They always figure it out before I can answer 
The question is a front 

They see the chipped paint on my fingers 
Smell the turpentine on my shawl
Hear the dread in my voice 
They know 

Yes, I am an artist
No, I am not like them 
Maybe one day, but that day is not soon 
This wine must age more 

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