Blue Gorilla: Ekphrasis Poem by Jane Tokunaga


Blue Gorilla
Metal Sculpture, Recycled Car Door Panels
13 Ft. Tall Seating
By Don Kennell

You lounge on the hard winter ground in the Rail Yard Park,
watch the traffic on Guadalupe Street, in Santa Fe,
sit thirteen feet tall and use a busted-off yellow car door
with the City of Española insignia as an armrest,
your body is all used car door parts –blues and grey, silver and black,
riveted together into a loose patchwork,
your face crowned with baby blues– patient, alert, waiting.

What are you waiting for?
People like me soldered into their cars to break free?
A ride to the Philadelphia zoo?
They won’t appreciate you there, I can tell you,
you are a wild creature of recycled auto parts
from Espanola, the capitol city of junk cars in northern New Mexico,
you have been culled from acres of prime wrecks that are slowly
decomposing into the rust and dust of the high desert,
you have family here — the man who made you, the men who gathered your metal skin
and helped mold you together– we are good at patching folk back together here,
like the woman in Albertson’s parking lot who pounded and riveted
her busted passenger door back onto her little grey Honda
and created a work of art along the way,

We have cowboys and construction workers here, farmers, and guys who work for
state government, who transform into gorillas each weekend as they drive
their Harleys and Yamahas, tricked-out cycles and hogs
up towards Colorado or down to Las Cruces,
or just slowly up and down the Alameda.
We are strong and we accept you giant ape, just as you are,
you can stay as long as you want
and I just want a photo here–
Do you mind?
–of me and you Big Boy.


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