Lecture on Ekphrastic Poetry (NYC 2017)
An unpromising room in an unpromising city
library, a jumble of lost umbrellas, the serenity prayer
taped across a crack in the wall, one corner torn free.
The slide projector’s brilliant blank square
fills with Breughel’s peasants at their galumphing round,
while the poet reads aloud Williams’ “The Dance,”
then Marianne Moore’s Flemish tapestry, “envy worn down
by obsession,” Charity riding sidesaddle
on an elephant. Walcott on Watteau. Milosz and Hopper.
Donne’s spooky “Witchcraft by a Picture” paired
with a portrait of Rembrandt’s young wife, Saskia,
graced by a circlet of flowers in her hair.
How strange, when the lights came on,
to see we were still sitting in that shabby room.
Aaron Fischer spent 30+ years in technology and trade journalism and as an online editor at a news and public-policy website. His poems have appeared in Adelaide Poetry Review, After Happy Hour, American Journal of Poetry, Briar Cliff Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Crosswinds Poetry, Naugatuck River Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and Tishman Review. He has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize, as well as for Best Poetry 2019. His chapbook, Black Stars of Blood: The Weegee Poems was published in 2018 by Main Street Rag.
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