Braided Lives

Braided Lives
October 28th-December 31, 2006
Berkeley Fine Art Studio and Studio Rasa (Same Location)
933 Parker Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Braided Lives: A Collaboration Between Artists & Poets
Artist painting from a poem by James Ciletti

Los Hermanos

“Los Hermanos”
Oil on Linen                     16″ x 20″

One morning, while on my morning walk, the two trucks I had passed every morning for years were glowing in the morning sun. The owner was in his yard, and I had an impulse to stop and ask if it would be OK to paint his trucks. Julian agreed and said a Sunday morning would be best. Two days later I received the poems for the Braided Lives show. I love to paint portraits, and after painting my first truck a few years back, I found the same beauty in painting the trucks. Like people, they all have a personality and a long life that has brought them to the place they now are. After reading Jim’s poem, “Old Pickup Trucks on Taos Streets and Sky”, I instantly knew that somehow he had written it for me.  While painting the trucks, Julian came out to chat with me. I told him I thought the trucks were like brothers. I guess he agreed, because later, his wife came out to take a look. She said she loved that I had called them brothers. She thought of them as her babies. The name stuck–“Los Hermanos”

 

Old Pickup Trucks on Taos Streets and Sky

By James Ciletti

Even on the shortest visit to Taos
you’ll notice star wheels blazing the night sky,
and old trucks, among grazing horses in the fields,
trucks, parked beside tan adobe houses, chugging
down the narrow streets, like the red GMC
over on Santisteven Street, this guy’s a real chick
magnet, shiny chrome grill, fenders clean and
slicked back, probably whistles at every skirt he sees.
Down on Valverde, that dark green, bull-nosed
Dodge Powerwagon, big nobby traction tires,
surely takes a break every afternoon, swings the
saloon doors open and stomps up to the bar
to slug back two shots of raw whisky.
That poor derelict Studebaker sunk in creek mud,
sun-fire eating the rust off the roof, moonlight
bleaching the fender tops, wheels missing, but
doors sprung open, seat springs awaiting
this afternoon’s breathless high school lovers.
Bodacious — that patent leather shiny black
Ford, toothpick between its teeth, wants to buy
you a drink or two, swirl you across the dance
floor, tip his hat, open the door for a midnight ride
up to the mesa to count the shooting stars. Yeah!
My favorite though parks by the Arroyo Seco antique shop
that blotchy green ’50 Chevy with merit badges
of dented fenders, rusty tin side-boards once used to
break the wind for head-high horses,
hauling hay, kids to the picnic, firewood.
Ego secure, he’ll probably never replace
the missing headlight rings, never paint over Detroit’s
red primer shimmering up through the fading green. One thing
for sure though, he’ll haul home your groceries and refuse a tip.
Makes you want to think about laying down a blanket
in the truck bed then holding hands to count|
shooting stars, and streaking truck lights, across the Taos sky.
copyright 2006 James Ciletti

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