Whilst strolling about southeast Portland in the seemingly perpetual February drizzle, I spied what is perhaps one of my greatest sources of neighborhood inspiration: a hand-painted sign situated along a streetpole on a fairly major thoroughfare in the beautiful "Rose City" inconspicuously boasting the words of the first great American populist poet, Walt Whitman. His Leaves of Grass is perhaps the greatest collection of poetry of the nineteenth century and "Song of Myself" my most favorite of all.
Everyday I walk my dog Belle, a Mastiff-Lab cross, by the Walt Whitman streetpole (I find this wonderfully apropos as Whitman was a true man of the street, a poet of the senses). Regardless of my present mood, a rather hedonistic creative spirit wells up. My regard for Portland increases despite the present gloominess and my faith in art, culture, society and civilization is happily restored. The power of poetry is quite mighty indeed.
The painting pictured was inspired by my vision of a loud, dark and dirty Victorian era tavern in Whitman's industrial haven of New York City.