Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blast Furnace Live with Poem for Jack Foco

Painting by Jack Foco
The autumn issue of Blast Furnace has arrived; poems circle a posse of familiars from Morgan Le Fey, Pushkin, librarians, King Kong and St Francis to Icarus, Snow White, and Eve, all thanks to editor/publisher Rebecca Clever.

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.


Unknown said...

Well done, Tania. It's a beautifully poignant poem.

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks, Lisa, for the kind support, from a fellow poet. Glad you enjoyed it.

Liz Brennan said...

I love the painting!

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Me too Liz! I have to get a heater for the cabing so I can stand to be in there writing again.

And I love that mandala you made--gorgeous (the others too, but nice choice here.)

jumbleblue said...

Love you, Tania. Came to the site on this late Oct. afternoon as the 13th anniversary of Jack's leaving the planet nears. Looking for solace, for connection. Thank you.

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Love you too, Jill. Connection, bridge, remains intact. Thinking of both of you now this autumn day, rained here last night, and as ever, crows in the morning. Reminders everywhere.