You Have Become the Art You Lived For

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.

My dear,
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.
How maddening
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.”

16 thoughts on “You Have Become the Art You Lived For

  1. Marilyn Armstrong

    Beautiful, touching … and something to ponder, too. It must be both wonderful and sad to be surrounded by the art he made. Wonderful that it is there for you to see and touch and remember, but sad that he is not there to share them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      Mainly sad he isn’t here to create new ones and to enjoy Mexico. He would have loved the party I went to tonight. Fabulous music and wonderful friends. Especially Agustin, whose 50th birthday it was. 200 people there, I’d say, including his extended family and a few little street kids who came in and had a fabulous time.. One in his pajama bottoms and bare feet@

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann O’Neal Garcia

    Poignant, powerful. Isn’t it odd that people so gifted often do not know how gifted they are? This makes them saints! Who’s to say he isn’t there, with you on that Agustin 50th birthday? I think he might’ve been in the shadows.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. lifelessons Post author

      I used to have a sense he was here but no longer. His old girlfriend, who just passed away suddenly a few months ago, told her daughter he was there the whole time helping her along as she was dying–so perhaps they are somewhere together now. I still miss him, though. Not every hour or every day or even every week, but at certain times–especially when I take time to really notice his art or when I’m talking to his kids. His son Jayson is an incredible jeweler and I bought myself one of his rings for Xmas. It’s in the mail now. Bob would have been so proud of him–of all of his kids as they’ve grown into adults.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Judy Reeves

    Judy, I have been intending to write a note about this since the day it arrived in my inbox, but was out of town for the holidays and my email responses didn’t happen in a timely manner. But I did want to write and tell you how touched I was by this beautiful tribute to Bob, as an artist and as a man deeply loved and respected.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Laurie

    Those were such incredible years that we shared in the creative spirit, checking in for inspiration, borrowing a tool, excited for the next show or art opening to see the finished pieces, celebrating over exquisite meals. Good memories when I look at the works that we get to live with.

    Liked by 1 person


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