Archive for the ‘Ekphrasis’ Category

Ekphrasis 9: Laura Frankstone + Marly Youmans

April 3, 2007 3 comments


“Face 1,” by Laura Frankstone of Laurelines


A sketch after Botticelli by Laura Frankstone

This head’s more proud and sparkling than the one
Sandro painted—something like the sun

Blossoms in the face, as if acclaim
Five hundred years to come could flare as flame

In him; he is a mirror reflecting lights
From God and Medici, a moon on nights

When mythic paintings char by his own hand,
Jumbled with lutes, rouge pots, and gilded fans

In Lenten bonfires of the vanities.
And yet the face that’s swerved toward us espies

Neither magi, baby, nor company
Of nobles near the girl—he turns to see

In dazzled eyes across the near and far,
His picture glowing like the Christmas star.

by Marly Youmans

Ekphrasis 8: Lucy Kempton + Joe Hyam

March 31, 2007 3 comments


Handbook for Explorers, 10

Getting lost’s the better part of getting there;
The other half’s not knowing where you were
At first; or what it is you may discover –
God’s word, or a herb that’ll provide a cure
For broken bones or dislocated minds –


As darkness wraps up the mountain face
Where you flounder, and contrary winds
Give loose advice . . .

sand red

. . . and confused, you tread space
And falling, wonder how long until
You land; find not oblivion but snow
To cushion you, and guess you’re still
Alive in a dead world of ice and rock,
At whose heart lurk new secrets to unlock.


photos by Lucy Kempton

poem by Joe Hyam

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Ekphrasis 7: Rachel Rawlins + K. Cohen

March 28, 2007 3 comments


by Rachel Rawlins



you’ll find
no racing pulse,
electric touch,
flower folds
or passion’s flush;
no heated gaze,
no sweaty limbs,
no swollen, thrusting
Nobody sins,
no one reclines.
She doesn’t taste or smell his skin.
Not here, their carnal valentine.
No petals were crushed to make these lines.

by K. Cohen

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Ekphrasis 6: Emma Kidd + Nathan Horowitz

March 26, 2007 5 comments

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

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Ekphrasis 5: Ian Jones + Amy Watkins

March 23, 2007 1 comment

Big blue church

“The Big Blue Church,” by Ian Jones


First Dream

There is no figure to relate
to myself, but I am drawn

up the church’s yellow path,
past the mud-colored and disproportioned

tree, over the flat expanse
of coral earth, to stand before

the church’s lowest window.
Square and straight, it is unlike

the others, too close to the foundation
for any but a child

to look through it. I look
through it without bending.

I have become very small,
small as in the first dream

I remember: standing in a tall crowd,
faces lost in darkness over me,

the hood of my winter coat—
the same pale blue as the mountains

in the painting—pulled up around my face.
The dream girl and the girl

I have become stare at each other
through the blurry lowest window

of the blue church. The door
of the church has no handles.

It opens only from the inside.

by Amy Watkins of Rossism

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Ekphrasis 4: Lori Witzel + Mikey Delgado

March 21, 2007 2 comments


by Lori Witzel


In a barn in P———– in spring

What happened here is this—the long
smell of the sacking and the engine oil
across the many years and the scrape
of the concrete on my writhing back
and the throat-blocked voice breathing stop
and the plea HELP scratched into a timber
by my adored mouth and the roar of a tractor
after lunch across the fields and some brave bird
coming to the tree to herald spring as we
by its music are dragged across the gritted floor
our hips rising and twisting and sunlight
of March quality striping the gaps at the edges
of the vertical banded doors and thiswhat
is it—apprehension of a shotgun death flitting
across the mind as the farmer hoists to his shoulders
my white wintered legs and denies me life
and channels into me his own shoaling river
and calls me beautiful beautiful beautiful
and kneels like the crucifix of a weathered man
with ankles in his hands which move as if salting meat.

by Mikey Delgado

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Ekphrasis 3: Peter

March 17, 2007 3 comments

Red sled

The Window

Panning her eyes over my

small white lawn and life,

my Realtor smudges,

absently feeling for

the encased vinyl lattice,

and fades to Xanadu.

She knows I left no gold

mosaic, no mahogany

breakfast table stretched to

a gaudy passive aggression.

I was never great enough

to be that small, to wish

inside a snow globe. She

knows. She turns from

the window, frames the light

perspiration on my deathbed

upstairs, then cuts to our

finished basement’s furnace

whose tossing flames never

dream of my plastic sled.

by Peter of Slow Reads

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