(For Curt, 1945-1987)
Art was everywhere,
behind display cases, on shelves,
covering the walls:
blown glass, handcrafted jewelry, pottery,
collage, watercolor, acrylic.
Even the patio in back had glass flowers
sprouting out of real clay pots,
and decorative glass pillows strewn over chairs.
They were so pillow-like,
someone had to caution me
not to sit down.
The building was old,
the floor cement, but well-maintained,
smoothed, glazed, and in most places level.
But there were some cracks and ruts and,
sometimes in red and gold,
sometimes in ecru and brown
someone had traced latticework patterns
within and along the ruts.
So the art wasn’t only on the walls and in the room,
it trailed and wound across the floor:
so even the blemishes
had been transformed.
Moving through this gallery
both containing and comprised of art,
I thought of my old friend Curt.
At his memorial service, someone said,
“He was so involved with, entwined in art,
he saw the entire world as a place of art
and fashioned art out of almost anything,
even the arrangement of salt-and-pepper shakers
on a kitchen table.”
Curt was constantly creating,
hands and mind moving in synch:
if he wanted to paint, he was painting;
if he wanted a polka dot curtain, he was sewing it, hanging it.
When he sat at a table,
it became an enormous palette,
the salt-and-pepper shakers the ‘paints’
as well as the creation he turned the ‘paints’ into.
The world was his plaything,
his personal creation-ground.
Somebody in this gallery
here, now also viewed the world as
largely, essentially there to be changed,
and so turned a flower, a pillow,
even a commonplace and cracking floor,
into a work of art.
Somewhere in the depths of space,
someone who has crafted not just the earth,
but the entire universe,
continually changes, rearranges
salt and pepper,
dark and light,
and with a sweeping brushstroke
draws a dazzling globe around a sun,
and across a vast and darkened palette.