Steve Brooks (Abhaya) – Poetry, Prose & Art

November 1, 2008

The Zen of Housepainting

Filed under: Non-fiction — Steve Brooks @ 7:08 pm

I started painting, many years ago, when I needed money to finance my fledgling life as an artist. A friend, Dirk Kortz, who had been painting for fifteen years, took me on out of friendship, kindness, and desperation. Since I was a poet, and Dirk was a writer, painter and filmmaker, we got along great. We both enjoyed the work, we liked to do a good job, and we shared the dream that someday we would lay the brush down and never touch a roller again. Painting has become a wonderful meditation and metaphor for life. It wasn’t enough to be a poet. I had to go out and learn a useful skill. When I die, I don’t want to be buried or cremated. I want to be smashed against the wall like a bug and painted over. Two coats, please. Top of the line. 

After painting houses for several years, it was time to put together some wit and wisdom from the profession. The Zen of Housepainting was published by City Miner Magazine, in Berkeley, California, in 1980.

Download here:

The Zen of Housepainting

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