Sombreros Vaqueros, Torn Jeans, Museums, Blowfish (Short Poems)

Blowfish, with help from Sakai Hōitsu, watercolor & gouache by William Eaton, Feb 2018 - 4Sombreros Vaqueros

I would not say to any of the men in the YMCA locker-room

Who in the afternoon sit on stools or in old armchairs, watching TV:

“You know you could be reading a book.”

 

I think of the men who gather along the shady side of Chihuahua’s Plaza de Armas

In their botas y sombreros vaqueros, not a horse in sight,

Saying little, waiting for nothing, time going by.

 

What else could they do?

Girls were at their wit’s end

They bought pants torn at the knees

And flashed their little rounds of hard, white-pink flesh

What else could they do?

 

Visiting the MET, the Morgan . . .

It is incumbent on the rest of us to patronize the art

museums of the rich

and to pretend

we cannot feel the violence, thievery and scheming

with which the walls are hung

 

Poems and painting by William Eaton. The caption to the painting is a reorientation of an English translation of a poem by the Japanese painter, and occasional poet, Sakai Hōitsu. The translation, as published in the Japan Society‘s Silver Wind: The Arts of Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828):

The day we eat blowfish

you have to feel is

the day to eat happiness

 

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Categories: Poems (including Limericks), The Real World

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