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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

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,

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

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,

Ekphrasis 4: Lori Witzel + Mikey Delgado

March 21, 2007 2 comments

stopinbuckholtsqrt.jpg

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

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,

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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Ekphrasis 2: Emma Kidd + Kate Sheckler

March 15, 2007 6 comments

Tranquille coast

by Emma Kidd

*

The Island

The Island
at the end of all those other islands,
beads strung by bridges
all end at the dangling rosary of . . .
The Island.
Promises of peace,
like prayers un/answered.
Circumscribed, boundaried, trapped
by lapping limitation.
Here Sirens perch, the white powder of lotus
in outstretched palms.

by Kate Sheckler

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,

Ekphrasis 1: Jean + Teju Cole

March 13, 2007 4 comments

Man in Tunnel

by Jean Morris of this too

*

Traveling Mercies

Let the sieving-out

of what is possible

from what has been

given, the work of

naming the touchable,

the not-knowing,

the staying imperfectly

still, the question

that comes at 2am

and won’t stop ringing

the doorbell to the brain,

the being journeyed

through, the trembling

in the spinal-cord,

the walking with a limp,

the understanding that

passes all peace,

the half-light after too

long a light, the end

of unceasing renovation,

the shadow life, continue.

by Teju Cole

Categories: Ekphrasis Tags: ,

A Note from the Editors

March 2, 2007 Comments off

CLARIFICATION (March 6): Contributors need not respond solely to images in the gallery, but we must be able to either reproduce or link to an image. If the image you’re responding to is copyrighted and it’s not already on the web, you’d have to get permission from the artist for us to reproduce it.

  • We’re pleased to open the March-April edition of qarrtsiluni by welcoming the new guest editors, Pica – writer, bird-lover, and calligrapher extraordinaire of Feathers of Hope, and Lori Witzel, the gifted photographer, artist and poet behind Chatoyance. It’s very appropriate that they’ve teamed up for the new theme, Ekphrasis, which means “poetry in dialogue with visual art.” Here’s what they have to say about it:

“This qarrtsiluni theme pairs submissions in poetry, or poetic prose, with a form of visual art. Ideally they need not be by the same person: this is a collaborative experiment. Non-bloggers are particularly encouraged to participate. Find a partner whose work you admire and have at it!

The visual art contributions will be posted in our gallery [link removed at completion of issue] awaiting writers – check back often over the next two weeks, as we will have more to share.

All work, visual and otherwise, will be reviewed and juried by the editors before publishing. Poems should be no longer than 30 lines; prose pieces should be no longer than 500 words. Image files should be a maximum of 500 pixels in width.”

Submissions for Ekphrasis are now officially open; please see our newly revised How to Contribute page for the nitty-gritty details of how to submit your work. The deadline is April 15.

–Beth Adams and Dave Bonta, managing editors

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