Port of Spain, at a maxi taxi stand,
a man hurries over to me flaunting
blister packs of solvent-based adhesives.
I shake my head no, not understanding.
On with his hunt, he weaves through sored bodies
collapsed under the shade of the stand roof,
their well-crinkled brown paper bags cradled
close to their hearts, the island wind so strong.
M.A. Istvan, Jr.,
an addict of the TV sitcom Night Court, will always be surrounded with people and substances of ill repute. He does have a steady day job, however. A soap and lotion peddler on Jamaica Avenue in Queens, he is the man calling out “Shea Butter Butter, Blaaaack Soap.” His work has been criticized for its almost single-minded focus on equestrian themes, its lack of allegorical quality, and its overreaching fidelity to his artistic and intellectual precedents.