Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blast Furnace: Poem for Jack Foco

I wanted to celebrate this last day of August by announcing forthcoming work. "Nine days before he died the crows came at dawn", a poem for the late painter Jack Foco (March 1950-November 1998), will be up this fall, prior to Thanksgiving, at Blast Furnace; I will post the link once active.

For seven years I lived in the heartland--staying on past graduate school, "growing up" week after week (in the flounder after formal schooling) with humor and love thanks to a circle of serious, down-home assemblage artists, writers and musicians (including Jack's wife, Jill Foco: writer, artist, teacher, intuitive). Jack's artist statement, "Grateful for the Day" moved all of us to return to our medium day by day; helpless to help him, we could at least pay him tribute by using our time here wisely, working patiently, as he would have were he still here.

Of  his move to Iowa City and its effect on his process, Jack wrote, "I began to struggle with the challenge of painting a landscape that offers more horizontals than verticals. Looking up, the sky presented me with a solution, and I began to render more and more of the sky and its shifting patterns as a part of each painting..."  The painting at the top of this post, with its bouquet of snow-blues and lavendar sky, hangs on the wall in my writing cabin; I adore the range of blues. Here's to you Jack, surely continuing your inquiry into color and form in the afterlife with masters we have yet to name.

I hope you'll consider submitting to the Pittsburg based  Blast Furnace. Here's an excerpt from the site's Mission and Values statement: Our mission is to publish refined poetry by "poets of place,” with themes deeply rooted in place. We value refined poetry that is architecturally functional and distinctive on the page. We value poetry that is stripped—burnt down—to its purest state, in both form and context. We value brave poetry that takes risks and, therefore, resonates with a discriminating audience. We value soulful poetry from the core—recited or read aloud—as it was originally intended.

Look forward to reading your work there should the opportunity present itself.

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