Home > Ekphrasis > Ekphrasis 6: Emma Kidd + Nathan Horowitz

Ekphrasis 6: Emma Kidd + Nathan Horowitz

March 26, 2007

Bobbing whales

by Emma Kidd


the conference

promotional material

the logo of the company
is a cloud
whose constituent particles
are oceans.

day one

in the afternoon
i look out the window
at the ocean
and see dozens of killer whales.
they begin transforming
leaving the water:
giraffes, bison, elephants, wolves,
fur still black/white.
a woman appears in the room with us,
dressed in black and white;
her skin matches theirs.

day two

i have no memory
of day two.

day three

three of us participants
are standing in the surf
turning into orcas.
our bodies grow, the shape changes,
our heads, even our teeth change,
our hands fan out
and the flesh grows together,
our tails grow out
and split into flukes.
the orcas are out there in the water
inviting us in,
egging us on.
now they’re laughing like mad,
because no matter what our skill
in growing fins and tails,
we’re still standing there on our legs.

closing ceremony

were plankton really
singing gregorian chants?

i’ll be back
next year.

by Nathan Horowitz

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,
  1. March 26, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    A perfect description of the many three-day conferences I’ve been to, at least what I remember of them. Absolutely delightful.

  2. March 27, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Cheers, Peter. The conference I attended in real life came a close second in surreality to the one I imagined here. It was in a gigantic megahotel in Nashville and when I came out of my room on the first morning I noticed that they had a rainforest growing outside the door, complete with a waterfall and fake rocks. I was simultaneously attracted (to the plants) and repelled (by the artificiality of it). The other odd thing about the place was that many of the employees had three v-shaped scars on their foreheads, like upside-down chevrons, and turned out to be Dinkas, refugees of the war in the Sudan. I can barely remember the conference itself, but the artificial rainforest and the Dinkas stay with me.

    It all made me want to run far away–perhaps to swim with orcas like the ones in Emma’s painting.

  3. March 29, 2007 at 7:08 am

    Nathan, I enjoyed this, too. I must have been to similar conferences. I laughed out loud at “day two.” I love Emma’s piece, too.

  4. April 3, 2007 at 11:30 am

    I love your poem, it is off the wall different from what I would expect someone to write, it is fabulous!

  5. April 9, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    If you enjoy my poem, it’s your karma coming back to you for creating such fantastic, surprising & delightful visual art… :^)

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