they don’t know him for an artist

the law forbids him
to walk the streets with the
label of that bottle exposed
but he does anyway

and there's no one to care
enough to report him

he's just another drunkard
getting his fix

also homeless
he wears baggy jeans with lots of
unruly strings around the hems
and the belt
a few holes at the knees
a hole in the shirt
dirt, sweat, something that looks
like blood splotches, something
that's probably just mustard

just another drunkard getting
his fix

but they don't know him for an artist

in the breast pocket of his shirt he holds
two long yellow pencils
and he uses them to make music
for the crows in the park and for the pigeons,
though the pigeons are less impressed by his
performance

he empties the bottle and finds a park
bench and pulls out the long yellow
pencils and starts
drumming into the wood
of the back rest
and the crows gather round to listen
and sometimes the dogs join as well
and sometimes the snails after the rain
but never the people

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