Gallery in the Parking Lot

summer Thursday evenings
car-less parking lot downtown

Between the beginning time of the
first soul-tweaking guitar riff
the finishing time when
the motorcycles rev up to leave

is a shifting work of human art

with asphalt the palette
with people the medium
applied by a
thick wide brush of rock 'n' roll


hippie hair, barely hair, purple hair
dandelion frizz fro, hair styled for a Rotary picnic
billiard-ball slick, mohawks, pig tails
long blonde hair with six inches of black at the end
dreadlocks, half-buzz cuts, buns, braids
ten shades of gray

[Prince/Raspberry Beret]

the Muse, a constant color, dances
light/dark blonde hair twirling
pony-keg belly of jello bouncing;
when she finds more fire inside
the sight is mesmerizing

[Lynyrd Skynyrd/Sweet Home Alabama]

he sits in a lawn chair
dirty fingers, dirty pants, dirty shirt
scuffed work boots
head dropped back
napping off the hard day

[Sly and the Family Stone/Dance to the Music]

four women
whitest white, blackest black
whitest black, blackest white
talking laughing toe-tapping

[Van Morrison/Brown-Eyed Girl]

and, gawd, the tattoos:

butterflies and ravens and rainbows
yin yang and daggers and dragons
cow skulls and shoulder-blade wings
pointy-hatted witches and flowers and more flowers

on one leg of one guy:
spider, claw and paw, star, sun, lightning bolt,
drooling mouth, spider, sword and shield
all interlaced with swirls and curls

[Jimi Hendrix/Fire]

young ones
eating pizza on a quilt
doing passable cartwheels
trying to fanny-butt
riding scooters and skateboards
playing with beach balls

two-year-old in a stroller being pushed back and forth
by her white-haired, ample-booty-shaking grandma

a daddy dancing, switching kid from arm to arm

[Billy Idol/White Wedding]

crutches to boots to sneakers
walking canes to baby carriages
shoeless flat-footers to high-heeled slow dancers

Hawaiian shirts to John Deere caps
four feet of legs in twelve inches of skirt
suspenders to huge belt buckles
baggy overalls to statement tee-shirts:

Hike Naked, Chocolate is the answer no matter the question,
Styx 2001 Tour, Southern Girl, Booze Fighters Est. 1946,
Delightfully tacky yet unrefined,
How do I know I'll go to Heaven? Because I've already
been to Hell; Operation Iran Freedom,
Who needs a nice butt when you have boobs like mine,
Bob Marley, Allman Brothers, AC/DC, B.B. King 2007,
Some people are alive simply because it's against the law to kill them,
Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man
to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day,
Team Ducky: Suck it up or get off,
Loud and Proud Rock 'n' Roll

[Sam and Dave/Soul Man]

young woman dressed up and battened down
in her half-scowl and all-haughty expression
removed from the rhythm of the crowd
dark mascara'ed eyes set in an imperious face
till a smile breaks through
lighting up the canvas
but wrecking her facade

[Violent Femmes/Blister in the Sun]

scruffy guy, beer in hand
walking funny, bothering a single dancer
rebuffed, he falls back and down
cops talk to him, but leave him alone
not drunk, just not right in the head
then he behaves, then he leaves

[Labelle/Lady Marmalade]

a couple in their sixties
garbed full out in cowboy gear
hat to boots
slow moving in country dance steps
to a fast tune
next to the stage
lost in their own sweet world

[Bee Gees/Stayin' Alive]

one wears a cheerleader's uniform
another has fingernails of silver stripes against yellow
another uses sign language to the song's beat
another sports two purple bandaids, one on each shoulder
all but one with cellphones over-filling back pockets

[Old Crow Medicine Show/Wagon Wheel]

biker dude
beard, shades, long stringy hair
chains, earring
chatting amiably with
a straight-dressed
middle-aged woman
both smiling and happy

[Chuck Berry/Johnny B. Goode]

as the final chord dies
the canvas bleeds
its colors away toward the exit
and the Harleys rev

[White Snake/Here I Go Again]

Harry W. Yeatts Jr.