for Robert Rauschenberg
This will be, Bob,
a messy poem, because
my love for you is sprayed
flung over the mattress of dream. Disordered,
as dreams are or ought to be,
but colored silly as a mirror
tinted zinc and white.
What other artist has a tired goat
Not Rembrandt, by golly,
and he was Dutch. Hell, it
didn't help him much,
nor did it, I guess, help you
to trade up from a coldwater flat
walk-up where Jap
gathered everybody's love and you
were left behind and drew with grass.
I will remember you, Tex,
dancing in a cardboard box
on roller skates with an umbrella
or some such odd thing, always
after something new: Drapery. Postcards.
Russian literature. You were
a fucking demigod
down there in Florida, playing
with ink and stones and shells and things.
And, Bob, now that you're dead,
I hope you've brought along a camera
to snap God's picture
so you can stencil it in next
to a rooster or an astronaut
and some purple goldfish
on that canvas you name Heaven.