Giacometti and Me

Alberto Giacometti, painted portrait by Thierry Ehrmann. CC-BY.

(in anticipation of going to the big SAM exhibit)

Alberto Giacometti spent WWII
holed up in a dingy hotel room in Geneva.
Excommunicated by his surrealist friends,
dependent on his mother’s stingy largesse,
he obsessively makes humanoid figurines
that start out the size of a table lamp
then gradually shrink in size
under his merciless, unsatisfied gaze
until the results can fit in a matchbox
if they haven’t already crumbled to dust.
Every square inch of the room, in fact,
is covered with plaster dust.
Alberto even feels it between his teeth.

And so it is with me! (I exclaim to myself–
I’ve spent my whole life spinning
low-rent, bargain basement scenarios
where I can emulate my gods.)
I’m hiding from the end of civilization
far from Tacoma’s homeless camps,
on the top of a wooded ravine in Lakewood
high above a sewage treatment plant.
My Seattle poet friends have blocked me on Facebook.
(I hope they see this and feel a twinge of remorse.)
Every square inch of my work table
is covered with Chicken-in-a-Biskit crumbs.

Also, this was once
a much longer poem.

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