A Poem for Artists, by Robert Bruce

Published Apr. 20th 2008


Today’s article is a poem, yet I think it speaks directly to the choice that all artists must make. It was written by contemporary American poet and writer, Robert Bruce and has been republished here with permission of the author. I hope you enjoy it.

Four Foolproof Ways To Create Unimaginable Wealth In This World
By Robert Bruce

He sat me down
at a cafe
with a black coffee
and a legal pad

“Look Bruce, you’re 34, you’ve got to
get serious about your future.”

“OK,” I said

“There are only four foolproof ways
to create unimaginable wealth in this world.”

He made a list:

1. Build a successful business

2. Buy and sell real estate

3. Invest shrewdly in the market

4. Inherit

There was a long silence
after the list hit the
legal pad

This was going to get
uncomfortable
and we both knew it

He sipped at his coffee

I slurped at mine

A blue 1972
Volkswagon Beetle
pulled into the
parking lot outside

I stared down into the
oily black in my mug
and imagined
managing employees

Hemingway walked in
and ordered a hot reuben

I thought of the
NASDAQ Composite
and how I might
learn and earn

Emily Dickinson was at the
cash register
staring directly at me

I broke her gaze
and remembered all the
great real estate books
available at Amazon

Van Gogh stumbled out of
the bathroom glancing
our way as he passed

I knew there was no check
coming in the mail from a
distant uncle wealthy and forgotten

Sylvia Plath was standing
in the kitchen oddly close to
the oven, her hand on
the cook’s shoulder

The clock over the counter
ticked off the minutes
the hours
the years

It had been long enough

“Look, thanks for your
concern, but my advisors
have all this handled already,” I said

He didn’t like the sound of that

And he would never
understand

So I threw three bucks on the table
and walked out the door behind
Dostoevsky
who turned
handed me a pair of dice
and walked away

The sun was high
and blinding

Storm clouds
were forming
behind the ridge

I shook the dice
in my hand
and turned
left

If you liked this poem, I’d highly recommend visiting Robert Bruce’s website, KnifeGunPen.com, for new poems every Monday and video posts every Thursday.

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