Starting a Business in a Pandemic

I spend my days and night times too

framing up a gallery the pounding of nails

on the keyboard rings across my desk.

To form up themes, menus and widgets

as I construct my shop walls of ones and zeros

on which to hang my paintings of pixelated light.


I’ll invite customers into my virtual space

with tweets, posts and pins

 not by birds on the clothesline to air dirty laundry,

but with hashtags and GIFs, maybe a even a vlog.

Hoping to go viral while remaining

appropriately socially distanced with masks optional

for patrons at their computers and I at mine.

I hope the trolls stay under their bridges

leaving my little space on the world wide web in peace.

I’ve no need of their nasty traps or stinging rants

that could scorch my little shop to cinders before it goes live.


Yet with Google those elusive art buyers around the world can goggle,

write reviews or rants or maybe just buy

a tiny oil painting in an antique crackle gold frame

made with daubs of cadmium, ochre, cobalt and titanium

mixed with the ancient mediums of linseed oil and boiled turpentine

applied with steady dancing hands to the canvas

painted to honor the long love affair between the land and the light.


Meanwhile the mundane reality is

I’m up all night “chatting” to technical support

in India or Bulgaria like an overworked teacher the technician

corrects the grammar of my codes in broken English.

Collected forms and receipts drift into piles of paper on my desk

40 open windows clutter my desktop screen

fur flies under my slippered feet

as dogs who want walking

vie for my attention mostly muted

hidden in the zoom room

behind a background of beaches or bakeries

as I talk to unshaven techs and executives.

A solitary woof or growl breaks

through the ether to make a a person wonder

if werewolves are mere fantasy.

In a virtual world filled with an ancient art of illusion

who is to say what beauty or beast is real?

And who’s shop is built of straw or bricks.