Saturday, July 23, 2016

Face To The Wall Artwork

Here’s a category that was probably never even considered by the Guinness Book of Records; “Artworks hung face to the wall.”   Thank you very much for allowing me to hold this distinction.    The Museum of Modern Art, in New York organized an exhibition of works on handmade paper, in 1976.   Kathy Markel called  to tell me she was loaning a piece to of mine to the exhibition.  I was too busy with the Venturi renovation and addition to the Allen Art Museum to go see the show until toward the end.  A friend who often helped me in the studio, Walter Bosstick, was in New York about a month after the exhibition opened and reported back to me the following: “The piece they are showing is beautiful.  It’s displayed in between a Jim Dine and a Robert Rauschenberg.  But, you know, I thought I knew all your work and this one is very subtle.”  I asked him to describe it, since I didn’t know which piece was selected.  He did and I was really puzzled.  It didn’t sound like my work!  So, I asked how, other than by the label, he knew it was my work?  “It has your signature right on it.”     I was on the phone to MoMA as fast as I could dial.  I explained to the curator that I signed my work on the back.  By the time I arrived in New York the piece was properly presented.  It had even been purchased by an art critic. My question is: which side did she pay for?   
Sandy Kinnee

Monday, July 4, 2016

Girl with Wings

Girl with Wings

I climb the stairs with what
always seems like thousands
of tourists wanting to see
that painted girl

They look for signs or ask
guards and they search,
only to stand in line
for a short glance.

I ascend the long wide staircase,
the girl with the wings waits
at the top, on the stone prow
of her ancient ship where
she has alighted to signify victory.

She greets me and I know where I am


Friday, June 28, 2013

Perhaps a Shrub

Perhaps a Shrub

Perhaps a shrub would grow here
lending shade when the day is hot

offering a cool embrace

Thursday, November 22, 2012

You Deserve a Poem

If people who pick
kittens up by the scruff
of the neck and those

who are bed wetters
or refuse to behave
deserve to have their own poem

If she can get lost
and still deserve a poem
about how glad

I am to have found her.
Then certainly you,
too deserve words

in poem shape

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Girl with the Cigarette

Inside the internment camp it was possible to buy cigarettes, but they were rationed.  One only had so many smokes a week and had to apply for a special card that allowed the purchase those few tobacco products.

Isamu smoked, bought cigarettes at the camp store, but also had friends outside the camp willing to send him little gifts, such as cartons of Camels. Anna observed him at the post office, with a long rectangular package.  She overheard him ask the clerk about the best time to go to the recreation hall in their block.

Anna convinced Margaret that spending the evening with others in the recreation center would be more fun, or at least not so boring, as sitting around with the family.

Isamu's may have sensed, while observing Margaret and her older sister Anna, as they shared a cigarette between them, that these two were unlike other women in the camp.  Not only did he find them appealing in appearance, he tuned his ear toward them, even as he was in conversation in another group, and caught enough bits and pieces. They seemed educated and intelligent. Initially, Anna imagined she was the object of the artist's gaze. But realizing he kept turning to glimpse Margaret, she whispered into her ear, "He's watching you. Look in his direction and smile".

He was more than curious. He was infatuated.

He had already caught her attention.  When he gestured to Margaret, offering a friendly gift of a cigarette, the ice was silently broken. His cigarette caused her to linger, or rather for her to pretend she was just there for the smokes.  After all, it was a completely plausible excuse.

Mister Noguchi, as she called him, seemed to be the only person at Poston willing to share his tobacco, other than her own sister.  It made him a further exception. Margaret happily accepted the nicotine fix from him. He let her select from the pack, then cupped one hand while starting the flame with his Zippo lighter.   It made an awkward self-introduction unnecessary.  She already was intrigued.  The smell of the lighter fluid, the heat of the small flame, the ignition of the tobacco, and scent of his cupped hand close to her face, mixed as the first of many memories to come.

Anna accepted her role as  fly-on-the-wall, knowing her sister would confide in her. Yet, she had to wrestle with her own confusing feelings about seeing him first.

Years before Isamu met Margaret, the photographer Edward Weston made a portrait of Noguchi.    Isamu gave one copy of this photo to Frida Kahlo.  Margaret probably hid her copy from her parents, in a secret place she would keep the letters and other mementos, yet to come.

Link to the complete story

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Life Less Complicated

My life is much less complicated now

none of that need to rush
to see you
to make those appointments

to be near you
to hold you in my arms
to listen to what you have to say

to wait

to clean up after you

to let you in and out

To change your litter box

My life is much less complicated now
and I miss those complications

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enriched My World

Unless you read this,
which would surprise me immensely,
you will be unaware
not know
not understand

That even when things
are less than wonderful,
you have enriched
my life
and continue to do so