Robert Devito – Rest In Peace

I was 19 or 20 when I met Bob. He came to visit my friend Terry at the house we shared off-campus in Oneonta. Bob was older than us and, if not wiser, certainly more experienced than we were and not shy about sharing the benefits of his experience. Maybe that’s what wisdom is.

He was different. Not just from me and my friends, but from everyone else I’ve met.


Bob was an inspiration to me in a way that no one else I’ve ever know was – he was an artist. I know other artists but I’ve never known another one who was strong enough to say “fuck you” to the rest of the working world and to live on the money he made from his art. I haven’t been that strong or that talented.




Mark Twain said, “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.” The cats all vouched for Bob as long as I knew him, which was over 30 years. Animals and children recognize goodness in a person, and they all liked Bob.

Bob’s heart was as big as his talent, and his spirit is even bigger. When I had nowhere to live he let me sleep on his sofa. I don’t remember ever seeing him angry or hateful, though I saw him live through things that gave him an easy excuse to be either. The last time I talked to him he said he was feeling stronger. I always felt stronger after talking with him, just knowing that he was there.

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

2 thoughts on “Robert Devito – Rest In Peace

  1. meant a loft in tribeca. met him at a show in albany and we spoke on the phone a number of times. just tried to contact him for a show of new york city artists in march and found he passed away.
    a very talented man. he will be missed.


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