|Painting by Jack Foco|
An additional poem for a painter I knew and loved in Iowa City joins this mostly immortal line-up; I’m pleased to have the poem “Nine days before he died, the crows came at dawn” for Jack, painter, appearing at the comet’s end of the issue as well.
This one goes out to those of us who knew and loved Jack all those Midwest afternoons out at the Art Farm…
Notes on Jack from an earlier post can be read here.
Since posting the above text, I've heard from a number of my Iowa City friends. I asked Laurie if I could post the poem she wrote about Jack as well. I would love to hear from anyone else from our heartland time--if you have any artwork or writing you'd like to post in tribute to Jack, please contact me.
Anticipating the Afterlife by Laurie Klemme
In memory of Jack Foco
March 13, 1950-November 10, 1998
On a warm day, for the pleasure of watching a bird
spread his wings against an autumn sky, a warm day, a slight
breeze, not much, his easy glide, white on a blue field
deep as the moment we lived in this afternoon. Jack, Ali, and I, alive
in this one moment, alive in one another’s time,
For the privilege of watching the bird, feeling
the breeze, the new silage in even rows stretching the landscape
over one of the hills he’s painted. We go in
to see his paintings. He enjoys this, us
here, changing the light, picking the features we like
best, the paintings we like best.
They’ve begun to resemble each other---a new focus, things
have lost their meaning,
An emerging preoccupation
with the field,
The white bird, gliding above it,
... this morning. He thought it was going to be
this morning that the sides met, a moment lifted him
from him, if that’s what’s next. And we talked at
what is next, the dream about the Light, the meaning
of Honesty, the freedom it is, everything okay.
I thought of Dante and reality’s authority.
He held his daughter’s hand.
Other poems by Laurie Klemme can be read here.