Saturday, September 29, 2007
In the end, his mind wasn’t right,
if it ever was. It was clear,
as he put his jeweled soap to flight
from the city’s summer parks and piers
that he was no longer there
with the rest of us, that he was one
with the iridescent membranous air
his wire wands stole from the sun,
the huge, oscillating spheres
in which a hundred others milled,
the tetrahedra stacked in tiers
until the twisted columns spilled
their remnant droplets to his feet.
He was perennial, a fixture,
his nest of wands, pans, discreet
tip jar, his secret mixtures
jugged, marked with painted runes,
but he imperceptibly became
as sheer as his diaphanous balloons.
We didn’t even know his name,
still less where he might live, or how,
what kind of life his small and few
contributions would allow.
He charmed us, that was all we knew;
we were blinded by his art.
An ephemeral phenomenon,
he drew the music of his heart
in films of air. Then he was gone.