Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton Bar, Left (2021). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

From the left and down the line:

Silently, to himself: “Six o’clock and we’re already slammed here. Whatzit gonna be like at eight?”

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“Hey, slow down, big guy, you’re already doing the 2 am lean…”.

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“Shaddup I’m fine…I think.”

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“Are you kidding me with this guy’s face?!”

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“Really, buddy? I saw you walk in with the flower – you don’t have to ham it up any more than that.”

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“I came all the way from Zanzibar to give this bloom, and myself, to you.”

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“Ha! Zanzibar! He means the corner bar!”

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“One more martini, one more cuppa joy.”

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“Really, Arthur, won’t you marry me so you can move into my apartment and keep me sauced all day?”

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“Remember that Star Trek episode when the plants had feelings? You think the olives get drunk swimming in the booze?”

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“You are wise, my old friend. Yes, they may become pickled, but your concern is misplaced. You should be worried about yourself swimming in the booze.”

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-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton, Green (2021) Acrylic on Canvas. Artwork and text Copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“Well. that doesn’t seem plausible my dear, does it?”

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Silently, to herself: “Hmmm, she’s gonna pounce on him now, isn’t she…”

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“Are you kidding me? I think that silk bow is a little tight around your neck and it’s cutting off the oxygen to your already pickled brain. In fact, it’s not only plausible but evident that you and your ilk are unwilling to consider the importance of parties in the wake of our recent common circumstance! I think you should lighten up or dangle”

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“Hey Carlo, we’re over here!”

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“Who’s this old guy with the glasses?”

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“Forget about him. Who’s the guy in the leather?”

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“Best thing about this job is the girls – or maybe the jacket.”

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Silently, to himself: “Are those girls talking about me?”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton Blue (2021) Acrylic on canvas. artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left:

“You know we’re gonna find out someday, right? I mean it’s all gonna come out.”

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Silently, to herself: “Not so sure about that – I was with’em and I’m not gonna tell.”

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Silently, to herself: “I bet she’s got a secret, and I’ll double-down that she’s not telling these two.”

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“Yea, well in this joint everybody knows everybody – no way anybody has the scoop and keeps the secret – youz can count on that.”

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Silently, to himself: “Perhaps the ascot was too much for these ruffians…”

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“I didn’t see anyth..”

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“Just so you know – Somebody Somebody say you were there and you saw. Just remember what I’ve been telling you your whole life – keep your mouth shut and don’t say anything to anybody about this thing.”

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Silently, to herself: “I think the ascot is too much for these ruffians…”

-Danny Grosso

Overheard at 192 East Walton

192 East Walton, middle panel (2021). Acrylic on board. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Around we go…

“You know he’s looking at someone else right now. Look, he’s even waving to her.”

“It’s the camera, silly. He’s interested in the photo, not the photographer.”

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“I find the crowd here to be a tad droll. What say we go for a walk – there’s a moon out tonight and the view is spectacular from my terrace on the Inner Drive…”

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“Mr. Mister, the lady over there is asking if you would join her for a drink. She seems very discree… Hey! Put that camera down!”

“Don’t worry, Frankie, it’s fine. I’m shined up pretty tonight, that’s all. Whaddaya expect?”

**********

Silently, to her hopelessly conflicted self: “Don’t listen to him…don’t look at him…just don’t… “

“Say, pallie boy, we really need to get moving if we’re gonna meet that guy for that thing.”

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“I’ll just pose here for a bit – let him eat his heart out.”

“He’s at the other end of the table for a reason, sweetie – the place is full of his exes and he’s trying to save you from a drink in the face. Why don’t I bring you another cocktail and have the boys play your tune? Couple hours and this’ll all blow over.”

Singer (singing): …Aaand these feel…like someone else’s memories...

-Danny Grosso

The Traveler, 1982-1991, Strip 7

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The Traveler, 1982-1991, Strip 7. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

The Traveler first appeared in The Loyola Phoenix in 1982 under the title D.C.. Many of the original strips were damaged in the layout and printing process, so the author reworked them in 1990-91.

 

Danny Grosso

Mud People, No. 18

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Mud People, No. 18. (2019).  House paint on paper.  Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Pursing your lips is better than biting them, she remembers, and then she remembers the sting of the lemonade on her adolescent bit lip, that summer when she’d grown a couple of inches so that her long pants became capris. That summer also brought Sean who’d kiss her and run away, something he repeated for years, until he ran way to the Navy and never came back. He was blond and brave, unlike her, she thought.

Last night she and Sheri had spent the evening at a club, pounding 7 & 7s and the dance floor, and now her pounding headache was in its third hour. “Oh well, pale is in…” she said to herself when she looked in the mirror this morning. Still, the white shirt might have been the wrong choice, though she’d an inkling to start anew this day – no more drinking, library and not the club tonight. White shirt instead of black.

Stopping at a store window to look at herself, she shifted her weight, then turned a bit. The corners of her mouth went south. She reached for the the black leather she’d been carrying and covered herself before moving on.

-Danny Grosso 

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. XXIX

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The Dangle (2020). Mixed media on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Dangle

With seductive eyes and a desperation borne and a siege mentality and instinctual self preservation, the Dangle spends most of its life in the trees, away from any harm to its personal liberty. Its connection to the muddy swamp below its lair is its sensuous tail, lushly maintained, and appearing to beckon interested parties to safety. Of course, rarely is the beckon genuine, and the gesture is always for the benefit of the Dangle alone, who likes to test its powers of attraction and manipulation. For this, the creature will remove its gaze from reflective surfaces, a diversion which encumbers most of the rest of its time.

The Dangle is so selfish as to disregard any utterances not coming from its own mouth, save one, for it is known to respond to this inquiry: “Pardon?” This phenomenon is extremely curious, for another creature, the Pardon, is the Dangle’s distant and more powerful cousin, and it is known that on rare occasions a dangle, perhaps through some aspirational transfiguration, has metamorphosed into a pardon.

 

Danny Grosso 

Random Story Pages, No. 6

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Page 1 (2007 – with watercolor wash) from Someone Else’s Memories. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Someone Else’s Memories was produced as a graphic single – an illustrated story with a CD of an original song co-written and performed by Danny Grosso and Russ Offman.

 

Alley Tags VI

Alley Tags VI (2020). Spray paint on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Alleyway Royals

Fold the tent up, the party’s gone

night so short, workday so long

trading dreams for the everyday

little prices we all pay.

Call me crazy, that’s what Leather would say

but not late for dinner this or any day

the mad king of the alleyway

begging the courtesans –  Come away.

Up from a bardo

as the son of a martyr

a cosmic style and fire

with which to conspire.

He sparked the intrigue and blazed a trail

we all followed to little avail.

Once the pageant all we knew

became the demon we never slew

the spinning color of love’s demands

excite the eye and impair the hands.

Call me crazy, that’s what Leather would say

but not late to woo you this or that way

the mad king of the alleyway

should’ve seen him in his day.

It’s just minefield where we play

and a shadowland where we lay

he slams his heel against the concrete bay

but the structure don’t give way

and nothing changes in the alleyway.

-Danny Grosso