For Sidewalk Sam

So many brushstrokes
perhaps a purple flourish
across the stolid
unforgiving asphalt.
His paint dripping
from yogurt cups.

He brushed off
the gum,
the discarded cigarette,
the tumbleweed of newspapers,
for beneath
he saw a canvas.

He needed to feel his brush
where so many pounded
the pavement.
The poseur,
the pundit,
the plaudit,
the pol,
the stumblebums,
the flash-in-the- pan.
All those men
in gray flannel suits,
the women in
their Delman heels.

The dead drunk
perhaps falling
on his art
after a sucker punch
or a child staring
down in wonderment.

The mayoral smile of Kevin White
a reproduction of a European master,
perhaps someone will stop to look
as our world spins faster and faster.


"Street Perspective" © TJ Edson

“Street Perspective” © TJ Edson


Doug Holder is the founder of the Ibbetson Street Press. He teaches writing at Endicott College in Beverly, Mass. and at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston. For the past 30 years he has run poetry groups for patients at McLean Hospital.

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Terrarium.

Bob Guillemin, better known as Sidewalk Sam was a well-known street artist in Boston for many years. He passed away in January 2015. For more on his life, click here.