My poem, “The Rectangular Table” has been posted at The Ekphrastic Review today. The painting that inspired it, The Last Supper by Sister Plautilla Nelli, is below.
I have a little sketchbook that I take along to museums where I draw the faces and sometimes the hands of the Marys I see in paintings, but especially in sculpture. Since the museums closed, I’ve been drawing from photos of art I find online.
Why do these images resonate with me? Unlike representations of Jesus, they seem to reflect an actual human the artist knows and loves…a sister, wife, mother, daughter. All those denied a place at the rectangular table.
My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.
You can read my poem, along with other responses to the painting, here.
the language of gone–
a call without a response,
so loud it can’t be
heard—a silence entombed in
itself—on the other side
My poem “Obituaries”, is one of the responses to Joaquin Torres Garcia’s painting, “Pintura” (below), posted on The Ekphrastic Review today. The three poems on this post were composed from parts of it.
Frank at dVerse challenged us to write some 5-line Japanese form poems. I must confess that I like the 5-7-5-7-7 form of the tanka, now considered by purists to be false. Whatever you call it, I still think it works well as a way to focus thought and express feelings.
the language of absence
language of gone
the before of never
the language of death
The new definitions for writing tanka and haiku confuse me, and I have no idea how to write something that will satisfy the powers that be, although I keep writing 3 and 5-line poems. And although I recognize a well-written gogyohka, and understand the single line-single breath idea, I have difficulty naming anything I’ve written with that label as well.
But and so…in my continued pruning mode, I’ve taken the posted poem (which was itself severely pruned several times) and turned it into three 5-line poems. Hopefully they fit the dVerse prompt in some manner.
My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for once again featuring my work. You can see my poem “Obituaries”–the original from which these 5-line poems were taken–and read all the other responses as well, here.
crushing your soul
beyond the sky
one will tell
a symbolic language
after? what of
by the abyss—
My poem, “The Same Old Song”, is among the writing posted today at The Ekphrastic Review in response to Mariano Fortuny’s painting “Fantasy on Faust”, above.
The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a hay(na)ku, which consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. I decided to take my poem and condense each stanza creating a new distilled version. The formatting did not translate to the posting on the Ekphrastic Review website, but I think you can see where the stanza breaks should be. Read the original poem here.
This was an excellent exercise for someone like me who tends to wordiness, and I will definitely try it again.
My poem “the water under the bridge” is included in The Ekphrastic Review’s Victor Gontarov Challenge responses. Gontarov’s painting is entitled “Gogol’s Dream”, and many of the responses did refer to the writer and his work. I chose to focus on the dream.
Sometimes the formatting does not come through, and that was the case this time, so I’ve included the poem below with the correct line spacings.
this disordered arrangement
it cannot remain
as it is it is
always somewhere else
what it was it was
a current of emotion
a glimpse of possibility
what could be could be
a conjuring that takes
and spends itself in fragments
what is not is not
no single body holds it
it cannot be arrayed
what it is it is
from story, form, the why
and what if what if
My thanks to editor Lorette C. Luzajic for once again featuring my work.
My poem “personifications” is posted along with the others selected for the challenge artwork “Salome” by Henri Regnault on The Ekphrastic Review today.
Regnault’s piece is well known but not typical of artists’ interpretations of the Biblical story (which has been altered in our consciousness by time and retelling also). Most painters choose to show either the dance, perhaps accompanied by a disembodied head, or a close up of a woman with a head on a platter. Here we have a woman, sitting, with a platter and a sword but no head. Is it supposed to be empowerment?
My collage, too, follows neither common narrative. I knew I had a dark female figure in the collage box that I wanted to use, and in the search for her I pulled out other elements that seemed to fit with her and my poem.
I always thought the story of Salome was just another example of humans refusing to take responsibility for their own actions and desires. None of the behavior, certainly, merits imitation. Blind obedience is just as bad as passing the buck (see: current world “leaders” and their followers…)
Once again, thanks to Review editor Lorette C. Luzajic for selecting my poem and supporting the call and response of poetry and art. You can read all the poetry and see the original artwork here.
I also really like Redon’s Salome, below.
My poem “(at the) end of the day” was among those chosen to accompany the painting “Fin de la Jornada”, by Emilio Boggio, at The Ekphrastic Review. You can see the artwork and read it, along with Merril Smith’s prose poem “Chromatic Scales” and the rest of those selected, here.
My thanks once again to editor Lorette C. Luzajic, and guest editor Janette Schafer, for supporting my work and the interaction between the visual and written arts.
My poem “Hallowed Be” is among the responses to Goya’s “El Conjuro” posted today at The Ekphrastic Review.
As it’s Draw a Bird Day, I’ve enlisted the newly returned birdlings for my collage response (along with some actual birds and the moon).
You can see Goya’s painting and read my poem, and all the other responses, here. My thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic for once again including my work in this bi-weekly challenge
My untitled response to Henry Darger is among those posted today at the Ekphrastic Review. His work is a rich source for collage as well as words.
Natalie Merchant was inspired to produce a haunting song about him.
What do we really know about anyone else? Darger’s work is a testament to how much is always hidden from view. You can read about Henry Darger here.
And you can read my poem, and all the other responses, here. My thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic for once again including my work in this bi-weekly challenge.
“Silence is so accurate”—Mark Rothko
I was pleased to be included with Ken Gierke at rivrvlogr in the responses to Mark Rothko’s untitled painting with my poem “Through the Window”.
I did two paintings and one collage in response to Rothko’s painting. His work looks simple–“a child could do it”–but it is filled with possibilities if you take the time to look.
stillness is white
silence is black
repression is red
Paul’s Poetry Playground coincidentally featured an invented poetry form called “The Rothko” this week, so I’ve attempted two of those as well, loosely based on the quote, above.
white is before
red is during
black is after
You can see Rothko’s painting, and read all the responses to it, here. Thanks to editor Lorette Luzajic, as always, for featuring my work.
she’s unmasking the darkness, beast by beast–
with an unidentifiable cry
the night opens, the wilderness released
and swallowed by ancestral sounds—the sky
burning beyond heat—how to occupy
this landscape?—waves of pure dark animal
power, a language untranslatable–
hells breaking loose on the verge of dying–
recombining, lost, incompatible
with mass or gravity—and so!—flying
My poem wasn’t chosen for The Ekphrastic Review this week–the challenge was an evocative painting by Wladyslaw Podkowinski–so I decided to do a collage and take up Frank’s challenge at dVerse and turn the poem into a dizain.
I am always constrained in my art by what I have in my collage box, which is why the horse is upside-down, and the woman in parts. My dizain was then colored by the collage, which I completed while re-working the poem. An ekphrastic conversation.
You can see the original painting and read the chosen responses here. As always, an interesting array of writing.