spring 2012

giveawayboy


Giveawayboy

featuring the art of Bill Rogers


Woman On A Rainy Night
spring 2012
giveawayboy
Woman On A Rainy Night

original painting by: Bill Rogers

So one time my whole immediate family were driving north on I-75. It was one of those nights where someone has to ask "Are we there yet?" That particular night it was very rainy. A sort of Large Marge night if you will allow the comparison. We looked for roadsigns to read through the rain on the window glass just to see what we could make out and so we could see how close we were to the nearest town. We were pretty far between any major town and if anything would have happened to us on the roadside it would have taken forever to get any place for help. This was in the time before cellphones. Anyway, at a certain point we saw a bright-colored something up on the left side in the brights. Here, in the middle of nowhere was a very angry woman, in a raincoat, walking at a brisk pace. She had a look on her face that revealed some inner turmoil. Our first thought was that something happened to her car and we all looked around to see where she might have left it, but no car could be found. The whole encounter had this air of strangeness to it. So many questions. Who was she? Where was she heading on foot at night in the middle of nowhere in the rain? At least she had a raincoat on, but by now she had to be drenched. So, at some point after we found a sign that announced something like 10 or 15 miles till the next city. We kept going with thoughts of that poor woman in our head, but things fade and by the time we hit the next exit we had probably forgotten her. Then, a few minutes after we had passed the next town we began to see another yellow dot moving south on the west side of the highway. When we got closer we made out another yellow raincoat, but as we got nearer we were all shocked to see what seemed to us to be the SAME woman. Now we had been driving north the whole time and both of these women (if they weren't the same one) had been walking south at a brisk pace. It was only likely that we'd see the same woman if we had turned around, passed her and begun driving north again. Instead, we had continued our drive north and she was fast pushing the south behind us. And yet the expression on the face, her round red cheeks and squinted eyes and mouth hung ajar, all gave us to think it had been the same woman. But how?

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Domovoi
spring 2012
giveawayboy
Domovoi

original illustration by: Bill Rogers

Domovoi

I am the Anableps Of South Hubert Ave.
Unseen and gigantic
Marching down the center of the street
Passing by garden gnomes
And donut ring sprinkler guards
Tonight I am caught
Between dogwood and lilac skies
My left eye is half of a plastic ping pong ball
Opaque, round side out
This eye looks out onto a field of chalk
My right eye is the purple candy shell of a marshmallow easter egg
Marshmallow inside, butt end out
It gazes on dragonfruit

My body is tall and thick and made of jade
My forehead is stretched and my back is bent
My forehead like the god of long life
My back like Punch or Kokopelli
I am a cactus god buoying on a cement sea
I love the rhythm of my hooves on the sidewalks
No one hears them: clop clop, clop clop
I look down and my arms are like wood
I could topple an SUV or shatter windows
But I want to edge the yard
I want to talk to dogs and squirrels
And repair broken mailboxes at night
I am the Domovoi Of The Place
I pass by at dusk or in the lost minutes of the day
I saw the package delivered
I saw the newspapers arrive
I saw the last jack-o-lantern fizzle out
And the last Christmas tree laid by the road
And Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey
And Hide-And-Go-Seek

Some had discovered me
I don't know how
But they built little houses
They used them to communicate with me
They sent messages to me
I sent messages back
Some erected a line with tin cans dangling
Others put out crappy lawn decorations
Or left the old rope swing up for me
Even after the kids had grown and gone

Sometimes I ache when a door slams
Behind harsh words
Or if I look into windows
And hear no conversation
Or discover a particular sadness there

At times
I want to be the very long, very red ridge beam in the ceiling
The creaky step on the staircase
Or the grand-daddiest rock on the mantelpiece
My ambassador an iron cricket that maps the minutes with his shadow on stone
My implements a shovel, broom and stoker
With such an armory
Some might take me to be Neptune or Lord Murugan
But I would not require such fame
I would be quite content
As a hook in a wall
As a broken doorbell
Or as a window pane
My cousins are all of these
And it's only a small thing for me
As I proudly remain the Goblin Of The Street
Kicking aside the acorns
And committing my flounderisms
On the lines between times and neighborhoods
Running from cars
Stealing the sidewalk cracks
Disappearing into shadows
And though not seen
Always waving
As I pass

Bill Rogers
January 19th, 2011


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Guardians Of Sleep
spring 2012
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Guardians Of Sleep

original painting by: Bill Rogers

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Trumpets Of March
spring 2012
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Trumpets Of March

original painting by: Bill Rogers

This painting is inspired by the ancient Roman tubilustrium and other March or springtime traditions. The red and white colors recall the martenitsa tradition. The dark figure with arms spread is a silvanus or forest god.

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Bookseller Nearing The End Of Her Shift
spring 2012
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Bookseller Nearing The End Of Her Shift

original drawing by: Bill Rogers

pencil and crayon drawing with acrylic paint on notebook paper

This was inspired by a dream. The girl is Su Unzon (pronounced Shung - song) and she was ending her shift at a bookstore and was waiting for me to sell her a book. The clocks represent me waking up four times and resetting my alarm.

In this dream, I was the young woman's supervisor and she was waiting on me so that she could purchase a book. As she was logging off on her terminal I noticed that her name was Su Unzon. In the dream it was pronounced Shung-song. She was going to buy some tropical island mystery-adventure. The four screaming clocks represent the four times I had to wake up and reset my alarm. I had a couple dreams after this one but this is the one I remember the most. I believe the young woman was of Irish descent. The counter top behind her echoes the shape of the counters at two different bookstores I've worked. And the bookstore in the dream itself was primarily based on my very first store which was over on Hillsborough Avenue.

Somehow doing this drawing and pondering it afterward has been helpful to me. Having enjoyed a long and rich career in book retail, which spanned two decades and involved at least ten stores, my life for many years was formed around bookstores, book enthusiasts and of course the books we all loved. In the dream the young woman was ending her shift for the day. But as I look at the dream it is allowing me to accept the end of my long-term shift in the book world. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and for reasons which are still largely unknown to me, my career as a bookseller was suddenly and sharply ended. Though I was hurt and missed the field which had become so familiar to me, I also knew that the world was changing and this was my way of being moved gently along. This dream has offered me some kind of reflective closure. I look back on those years now with profound gratitude. Sure the ending was surreal and harsh, but that was just the times we were living in. For anyone to be able to say they had over two decades working in a career they loved without a break is something to smile about. And to add to that all the exposure to the arts, sciences, great literature and contemporary events that such a career provided and you have a recipe for quite a lot of happiness. So at the end of my shift, I can look back and say, inspite of one or two nasty road bumps, that I am so grateful. I don't know if I'll ever work in books again, but it's perfectly valid for me to say that I did and that I did it well and that it counted. I thank God every day for those truly wonderful years.

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Danish Pastries
spring 2012
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Danish Pastries

original drawing by: Bill Rogers

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Soft Rewards
spring 2012
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Shell-shocked By Soft Rewards

original drawing by: Bill Rogers

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A Loathsome Integrity
spring 2012
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A Loathsome Integrity

original art by: Bill Rogers

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Parsing The Grounds
spring 2012
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Parsing The Grounds

original art by: Bill Rogers

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Custodians
spring 2012
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Custodians

original painting by: Bill Rogers

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