When the IRS yearly barks Occupation:
Vacancy domes my bubble eyes.
I think of the three semi-regular and semi-semi jobs I tend.
The tightrope that occasionally slips slack.
Only one word can contract
My fractious fractal path.
I think of the one gig I did:
Paid in wine was my flint and steel.
I think about the applications I've sent.
A day late. A day early.
The wrong day.
This young year: F-f-five?
(I save 'em all, with their slight variations, as if my refined, singular expertise on a single, saleable subject will ever pursue the same job description twice.)
I count again, flit, and fret.
How many are floating? Flaming?
Replies? Not even snake eyes.
I think about the applications I have yet to render.
The browser tabs with Craiglslist ads.
The saved drafts in Thunderbird.
I think My resume is sweet, dude! PDF and e'ythang. Muh'fuckas can't jock me! Good stuff.
I've hokey-pokeyed my extreme, my moderate, my banal personality parts
My The Man-pandering.
I think of how I write about other artists, displacing the little time I have to create
I'm not jealous of the attention others receive from me.
That would be ironic, maybe, or maybe there's no word for that.
I think I don't want anyone to write about me
An interview would be venting by the venti.
A review of my raw dough?
Not 'nough and no.
A general interest piece? Just compile my Twitter feed.
Compile me, ply me,
But always, I'm already always occupied.
And I write Artist as my occupation.
--Andy Ritchie, artist and writer living in Oakland