Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The New Yorker doesn’t mention the artist
I knew as my father. Neither his
Meticulously sculpted temple garden
Nor his basement studio, where he potted
Saplings and painted for the last fifty years.
This is the week to go. The studio
Has lost some of its oily smells. The garden
I’m sure, is wild and untended. Although
I haven’t returned since his stroke, since
The hospital vigil with our one-sided conversations.
Hundreds of stalks of bamboo arc
Slightly toward the window over the porch.
Maples and dogwoods meet reds and pinks
That only Albers would introduce, at first
Seemingly at odds, but soon perfect together.
Every winter Dad painted until dawn
In the basement, as cheap, hand-wired speakers
Pushed Dylan and Baez through the dust.
Like di Chirico, his disorienting perspective
Resulted in men who were taller than trees.
Nothing like Ellsworth Kelly’s checkerboards
And geometries of bright, primary colors.
Nothing like those delicate plant drawings
With their fine, slightly palsied lines
Hanging this summer in the Met.