by Gil Franqui

Who knows, this may have happened to you as it did
to me, one evening  when I was sitting in a bar drinking straight 
from a green bottled Heineken when the guy in the stool to my 
left introduced himself and I think his name was Stu or 
Scott or George, one of those, and he asked 
What do you do for a living?
to which I replied 
I’m a painter.
At which time Scott or Frank or John, 
one of those, ’cause I’m so bad with names,
sat up, lit up, and exclaimed how 
impressed he was with those who painted.  He continued on 
enthusiastically expressing his admiration for the abilities and 
talents of those who could paint and I am thinking how 
I’ve never seen anyone respond with such fire and vigor after revealing 
my occupation and what in the hell is wrong with this guy and 
why is he so animated over my occupation and just about the 
time I’m really considering the motives of 
or lack thereof 
or ulterior of; 
Frank or John or Carl, ’cause I can never remember names, 
stops his diatribe to look at me and ask a question 
of me to which after he asks 
Do you paint landscapes or portraits?
I realize why all the excitement.