I have just returned from Manuel’s, a restaurant and cantina in easy walking distance, after a hugely entertaining discussion with a man who hired me to illustrate his poetry, and was magnaminous enough to permit me to use the images he got from me though he owns them outright.
His name is Bernard Schober. The Valley poetry scene knows him as The Klute. He is so interested in sharks and their place in the Universe that he goes to see them in Fiji and other habitats, caging himself when necessary. His enthusiasm about these unique creatures lights him up–when the talk turned to Guitar Sharks and the way their teeth form an amazing pattern, he almost fell over himself getting an image on his smartphone and showing me.
Good for him. He is spreading truth about these much-maligned creatures in his poetry. The illustration that heads this post concerns an Israeli shark whose white-topped dorsal fin is remindful of a yarmulke. His poem put to rest the vile canard that the shark was deliberately placed in Egyptian waters by Israel to wreak havoc. The illustration makes a lot more sense with the poem than without it. That’s the delight of collaboration.
In his poem “The Hunt” he compares the hunt for prey with the hunt for a mate among the black tip sharks.
Another poem explores Commensalism, the biological arrangement between creatures of different species for mutual benefit. Great Whites get along win-winningly with three such creatures.
Bernard and I talked also about more poems to illustrate up the road. He’s also thinking of a children’s book. I hope we do more of this stuff, and soon!