Remembering Jonas Mekas

Who will remember that cinema is poetry now that Jonas Mekas is gone? The house he built for us which used to be a courthouse, a few blocks south of The Project which used to be a church. He wandered easily up Second Ave from cinema to poetry and back again, stopping for a drink in all the weathers, a day like any other. There was no gate to keep. Every roundtable meeting in the back of Anthology began with a toast before any business. He was because his little cat knew him.

He couldn’t make the Marathon this year & I missed him, one less elder in the house, one less haiku film, one less shout of “My friends!” I remember New Years 2016 when he got up to read, and I was sure he said I wrote this in a cab from the airport on my way to the church . But I was wrong–he was already reading his poems, so close to life that they were life, just like his films.

Jeanne Liotta. artist/filmmaker/east villager. 2019

In a taxi on way to JFK
Watching rain drops
On half open car window

On wet sidewalk
A lonely bicycle wheel
Locked to a tree

The war is coming
I am reading a book
Cherry Blossoms

I am sitting alone
Looking through the window
My mind is empty

Late evening
Four friends at Kunstlerkeller
Talking about Utopia

Jonas Mekas (1922-2019)