You Have Become the Art You Lived For
The caustic smell of metal in your sweat
that by the end could fill the room,
as though the bronzes you had formed
had now invaded you
and filled you, blood and fiber.
Art can’t hurt you,
declared your favorite T-shirt,
colorful and now the final irony
of your life.
art brought about your ending
as surely as it made your life,
yet you would have loved the bittersweet joke
as your kids and I
dressed you in that T-Shirt
for your final viewing.
You surround me even now—
brought two thousand miles
from Northern California
to middle Mexico.
The life you hoped to live, I live with those
who know you only through
your spiral lamp of stone and liana and paper,
Chi Wara standing feathered, bronze and tall,
the nude I posed for, on her side
with sticks for head and feet and cassowary feathers
hanging down from them,
the spirit sled of beaten copper, rawhide and willow—
all of them as exotic as you
never felt yourself to be.
They were beautiful and rare
and loved as you were.
that you could not be
convinced of it.
That is why, when I think of you
now, so many years after,
the air grows pungent
with your memory.
(click on first photo to enlarge all)
To see more of Bob’s art and read another poem about him, go HERE.
The prompt today is “pungent.”