The manifesto (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Yang Xiaobin’s photograph, Deng-ism. You’d be hard pressed to recall if it ever existed The wall bears scabs and the occasional bit of crusted adhesive where the fly-poster used to be You might see faces amidst the rust that has eaten through if you look long enough But the names the [...]

‘…and the tea’ (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Peter Juvonen’s painting Tea in the Conservatory and the Pet Shop Boys movie It Couldn’t Happen Here. I’m reminded of the line about a world in which there are no teacups Sometimes it feels that way for real except that we are here at a party of pointed remarks and empty spoons Instead [...]

The page is a reminder (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by a diary page posted by Ksenia Anske. I don’t recognize the writing on some pages, I don’t see it at all (tip: never use fluorescent yellow highlighters to write in journals) I know that I was bored or angry wanting to be anywhere else wanting to pretend it never happened [...]

One breath, another breath (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Frank Perry’s album Zodiac. Where the stars meet silence I am on guard I am too accustomed to silence One breath Another breath Gongs mark where grains shift before tumbling down glass to strike the drum One breath Another breath The chambers in which we choose to live hold space [...]

Blood tales (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by a painting by Shiraga Kazuo, viewed online at http://natalielomeli.blogspot.com/2013_01_01_archive.html. The smear on the pavement reminds you something happened The stain on the dressing tells you the wound is still fresh The flush of her cheeks says she’d rather you didn’t know The numbers on the chart indicate one more round (21 September [...]

The price of admission (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by a painting by William Turner, viewed online at http://ekphrasticassimilations.org/william-turner-2/. She stares at me, exposed. The look is so direct, I feel compelled to hide, lest she discover my secret. But I cannot divert my gaze. The edges of checkerboard pattern are not strong enough to break the bond we have forged, [...]

The Imperial Hotel Physical (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by photographs of Hi Red Center’s Shelter Plan (1964). Will the boxes be our shelter or our container? Given the potential consequences measurements seem almost beside the point and the photographs not so much documentation as a means of identifying the dead (as if you could do that without dental records) [...]

The wall, alone (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by the painting ‘Fugue’, by Lu De’an, at VALA Art Center in Redmond, WA. Day after day after day it endures the constant beatings of weather stripped of color by sunlight rivets rusted by rain pummeled with debris by the wind until it aches A few dark patches reveal where machinery [...]