Tumbling Through The Downtown Side, 2022

Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30 in.

Painting and handwritten poem to be part of my solo exhibition in downtown Fort Myers, January 2023.

Tumbling Through The Downtown Side

A poem by Bryant Ornes

 

One step out the subway door

Feel the heat the pulse

Of the whirlin’ swirlin’

Going on above

I step to the conveyor belt and

Here stands a man

Says his name is Jasper Blue

But his friends call him

Bashful Jasper Blue The Third

For short

He tells me all about his

Wind gust pyramid future

Says he’s from a place

That’s 10 miles outside Temecula

I say “wow I’ve never heard anything like it

Do you wanna come see a shuttle launch?”

And he says “good”

 

Subterraneans no more

We stomp our feet

Upon the fresh air concrete

NEW WATCH

NEW SHOES

For just half your day

Nah thanks

I’ve got plenty

And once we feel our lungs adjusted

To the breakneck industry flash

Newfangled idea saturated air

We walk on down the

Gray and black bouldered

River streams of the city

 

Even though we were making good time

A red looking man

Stops us to say

“Hey hey

I’ve seen that cadence before

You’re heading to the flower parade

To watch that fireball move

From here to there”

I say “hmm you’re very well read 

You must be some type of 

Brick laying historian”

Turns out he’s a juggling car salesman

Which I realize is a mouthful but

He says “it looks good on the résumé”

But the best part is

He doesn’t even

Juggle tennis balls

He’s a self-taught fish bowl juggler

Which is perfect

 

So about this time

We all wind up

Finally at the gravity pull

Of lights

People

Cars

Beyond the city even

Called Empire State Building

The people all around

Start counting down

10

9

8

7

And we were off

To see some artist friend

 

Circus act

Around sidewalk cracks

And staring back

At the floating people

Gripping their balloons with triangle elbows

So their hands are free

Leo’s floor is full of

Paper

Shoes

Concrete blocks

He’s proud of these walls 

That have been here since

The Dutch pirates

Decided to name it

Green Witch Village

Leo’s a writer but he wants us out

Needs silence

Wants his desk installed

Near the baseline judge

Of a grand slam final

Must be typing the letter right now

 

Cartwheelin’ it over to Bryant Park

Where the Renaissance architect trees

Give shelter

For those escaping the

Coughed up washed out scrubbed off

New morning old night

Living breathing jungle

Bashful Jasper wanted to stay

And make hay

But there were flashes of light

Creating crazy silhouettes

On polka dot umbrellas

We all mad dashed around the corner

Around the hot dog bar

 

You wouldn’t believe it if I told you

But a ferris wheel was spinning

Right where I’d expect

Great Jones Street

To be

The maniac that’s operating the thing

Turns to us

Yells “HELP”

He hands us purple wrenches

T-shirts

Wide brimmed hats

With yellow ornaments

And we got to work trying to fix it

Too late too late

Before we knew it

The ferris wheel was rolling loose

Down toward the East River

And when it finally lands

Half submerged

I say

“Great, this town could use another bridge”