Deft hands pick apples,
slice them with a well-honed knife, layer them
in a tartouillat, caramel soft and buttery.
The hare saddled and ridden with marinade
at least 24 hours with good red wine. Hairy vetch
nourished by hunger, longing,
long and thick, splashed with red-violet, not
tenuous, not fragile.
The whole day is shot through
with streaks of lightning where birds
bang against the windows.
“To tenderize chickens,” Henri said,
“you must take them out of the hen-run, pursue them
and when you have made them run, kill them
with very small shot.”
He cracked at the egg’s shell
before he was ready, ruptured the thin casing,
burst into the world of folies and red mills
where music crackled and courtesans bared their buttocks
in the shadow of the Sacré Cœur.
La Goulue (the glutton),
at a dance hall in dresses borrowed from her family’s laundry,
flipped his hat off with her toe, drank his wine, swished
her dress under his pastels, the V baring cleavage.
slashed chalk on her cheek, her mouth wry, her eyes
unfocused, left hand in the crook of a woman’s elbow.
Over the wall of the Palais de la Berbie
the river Tarn runs through Albi
and countryside, meandering as rivers do,
sandy banks, scrubby pines. Henri spread a cloth
over scraggly grass, laid the dancer and the menu
side on side with plates of grapes, paté
with calf’s foot sauce and red currant jelly,
the woman lying with a mushroom in her hand, her red hair
careless, her gown slipping her shoulder
and the man in black beneath, hand cupping her breast.
Stephanie Pressman started writing poetry at about age eight. She has an MA in English from San Jose State University, taught writing at community college, and became a graphic artist and owner of her own design and publishing business, Frog on the Moon. She served as co-editor of cæsura and americas review. Her work has appeared in many journals including Bridges, cæsura, CQ/California State Poetry Quarterly, The MacGuffin, The Kerf, Sing Heavenly Muse, and Montserrat Review as well as on-line in Newport Review, Halfway Down the Stairs, Red Wolf Editions, and forthcoming in The Writers’ Café Magazine, The Collidescope, and others. Her long poem Lovebirdman appears in an illustrated volume published in June, 2018, available on amazon.com.
Thanks so much to Kari Ann Ebert for a thoughtful interview with The Ekphrastic Review for The Broadkill Review.
We talk about how The Ekphrastic Review got started, the joy of ekphrastic writing, submissions, and much more.
Read it here.
Echoes of Yesterday
She often sat here decades long before
The writing there was added to the wall,
Wrapped snugly in her favorite knitted shawl,
Forgetting pains she'd chosen to ignore.
Her memory has faded like this chair--
Its finish chipped away, its cushions torn--
Few people now around were then to mourn,
And fewer still know who was sitting there.
It's easy to forget she settled here
And lived and worked with dreams of better days.
An optimist, she'd often count the ways
Tomorrow'd be the highlight of her year.
Yet now this soul has long returned to dust;
Possessions left to chip and fade and rust.
Randal A. Burd, Jr.
This poem was first published in Nine Muses Poetry.
The image provided is not the original source of the poem, but a similar one.
Randal A. Burd, Jr. is a married father of two and an educator who works with the disadvantaged in rural Missouri. He holds a master's degree in English Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri. Randal is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Sparks of Calliope magazine. His latest collection of poems, Memoirs of a Witness Tree, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in Summer 2020.
I try to peel a lemon for you but the cuts you tore into my hands sting like wasps all over, by Chelsea Tippett
I try to peel a lemon for you but the cuts you tore into my hands sting like wasps all over
the dinner table places us
on opposite sides of the atlantic
sending boats of communications
our distance brews thunderstorms--
guiding candles whimper out at sea
my words must float blindly to reach you
you receive them in haste
of time lost waiting for me--
you threw dinner parties
found yourself wasted among
men and women who looked--
no—who felt like I could have
when my words fell onto your eyes
they saw things you never imagined
I immortalized you in my love
with lines the pen sought from my hand--
you and I forever on a page together
now we stare—I at you
you at a centrepiece of colourless fruits
bright red lobster a delicacy
by that candle stick thrown on its side
to remind you
I fought to find you here
Chelsea Tippett is a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington graduating in December 2019. On most occasions, she's frozen in stress, contemplating writing nonfiction or poetry. When she's not preoccupied with that, she can be found on Instagram @aeslehc.
Her dress is a pearl
A maze of grooves and sparkles
Shell and jewel
Chaim Victor Solomon
Chaim Victor Solomon is a poet from Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in The Aurorean as well as local journals in Oregon. He works in Portland as a Fiduciary Investment Advisor where he focuses on ethical & sustainable investing informed by traditional Judaism.
Ekphrastic Writing Challenge: Emilio Boggio
Join us for biweekly ekphrastic writing challenges. See why so many writers are hooked on ekphrastic! We feature some of the most accomplished influential poets writing today, and we also welcome emerging or first time writers and those who simply want to experience art in a deeper way or try something creative.
The prompt this time is Fin de la Jornada, by Emilio Boggio. Deadline is November 15, 2019.
We are delighted to have Renaissance woman Janette Schafer back for another stint as guest editor. A big welcome and thank you to Janette for sharing her time and spirit with us.
Guest editor's note:
A friend of mine just made me aware of artist Emilio Boggio. He was part of the Impressionist school of painting. I was delighted to learn of a Venezuelan contributor to the Impressionist movement as people associate Impressionism with European artists. My goal in choosing a Venezuelan painter is to increase awareness of this vibrant culture which is now in danger because of the current humanitarian crisis. This painting is called Fin de la Jornada. I love the colours. It’s part fairytale and part ominous...perfect for fall.
bio: Janette Schafer is a writer, nature photographer, part-time rocker, and full-time banker living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her writing and photographs have appeared in numerous journals, magazines, newspapers, and websites. She is co-editor of The Dreamers Anthology, released by Beautiful Cadaver Project Pittsburgh in April 2019, and at the helm of another anthology soon to be released. Her poem "What we want to remember about this river" was the 2019 winner of Laurie Mansell Reich/Academy of American Poets prize.
1. Use this visual art prompt as a springboard for your writing. It can be a poem or short prose (fiction or nonfiction.) You can research the artwork or artist and use your discoveries to fuel your writing, or you can let the image alone provoke your imagination.
2. Write as many poems and stories as you like. Send only your best works or final draft, not everything. Please copy and paste your submission into the body of the email, even if you include an attachment such as Word or PDF.
3. Have fun.
4. USE THIS EMAIL ONLY.
Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org. Challenge submissions sent to the other inboxes will most likely be lost as those are read in chronological order of receipt, weeks or longer behind, and are not seen at all by guest editors. They will be discarded. Sorry.
5.Include EMILIO BOGGIO WRITING CHALLENGE in the subject line in all caps please.
6. Include your name and a brief bio. If you do not include your bio, it will not be included with your work, if accepted. Even if you have already written for The Ekphrastic Review or submitted other works and your bio is "on file" you must include it in your challenge submission. Do not send it after acceptance or later; it will not be added to your poem. Guest editors may not be familiar with your bio or have access to archives. We are sorry about these technicalities, but have found that following up, requesting, adding, and changing later takes too much time and is very confusing.
7. Late submissions will be discarded. Sorry.
8. Deadline is midnight, November 15, 2019.
9. Please do not send revisions, corrections, or changes to your poetry or your biography after the fact. If it's not ready yet, hang on to it until it is.
10. Selected submissions will be published together, with the prompt, one week after the deadline.
11. Rinse and repeat with upcoming ekphrastic writing challenges!
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Deijman
He peels and peels and unfurls your
scalp-skin like an orchid does for
a lovestruck bee, except, there is no
pink watery brain, almost spongey;
he holds a thin blade that slices
the light and slicks it through
your entirety - the part of you that
a man watches on, bowl in hand
what’s the bowl for?
he doesn’t answer
just watches -
your face, shadowed dived into
your dimples, hands positioned
like your well rested
he points to your medulla and says:
see, the soul
he points to your hippocampus and
says: see, the hunger
which is almost true
but maybe, this was all for vain
who cares what you remembered?
the silver-dusted watch you left in
Vermont while you undressed to learn love
the Bible you got as a kid to learn God,
from which you tore out all the pages
about hell - what did you need with hell anyway?
what was waiting for you at the end was
sure to be filled with pearl clusters and
grapes filed through your mouth -
he pulls your limbs back
macabre museum exhibit
draws close your scalp
and tosses you back into the storage
to be pulled out again like a root
to be displayed again later
all around us, white light braids into
this, is maybe, heaven, and
God watches on, learning anatomy
Janiru is a fourteen year old Sri-Lankan/Australian student and poet who lives in Sydney. Aside from poetry, he loves maths and has received numerous awards in both national and international math competitions/olympiads. He is the 2019 junior winner of the national Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards and is also a prolific participant and winner of poetry slams. His work is forthcoming or appears in [PANK], The Journal Of Compressed Creative Arts & elsewhere. Having just begun his personal poetic journey, Janiru is eager to find his own voice in his work.
Rothko On A Motherless Night
The hollow womb of the universe
Pitch black throw back
The bitumen graveyard starless
Where? Why? Who am I?
The tin can witch holds her whip
flogging, lashing, whisking
the sodium aluminum silicate
until the tone is short and buttery
Jump, stark naked, through the stone circle
Where the wind meets the see the noose ends, free
Will it be me, born again?
Blanka Pesja is a poet and and a painter who designs art education. She teaches pop musicians at the Conservatoire about art, language and image. She produces experimental albums with her DarkEnsemble and promotes a feminist support group of young talented women. She lives north of Amsterdam (The Netherlands) with a cat that seems to hate her.
I would sit at a blue bar in a blue century
an empty glass and a reflection
a tired tilt of the head - blue
for blue’s sake, I would sit there
in Spanish Celsius, stuck in a shadow
while the woman at my side lets the naked narrow of her back unfold mysteries
leans like an invertebrate into the blue, into this lonely, stoic blue we’d sink
until all we are is a goddamn hue from 1902, dissolved of the duties
of this grayscale reality
Tristan is a writer from Brooklyn, NY. His poetry is driven by the power of place and the human need to explore. He is also inspired by full moons, new languages, human kindness and tacos. You can find his work in a variety of online literary magazines.
Learning to Fathom
They slide past without ever seeing, cackling about the linoleum
in their grandmother’s kitchen, their son’s recent finger-painting.
I stand and wait for whitecaps to furrow your moss-sea surface,
for any disturbance in the colour field. Light transforms two hours:
Viridian, artichoke, emerald, forest, sage, juniper, lime, crocodile.
You’ve returned from Giverny and gifted us with this green table—
much better than any blank slate—where we can inscribe our lives.
Thank you, Ellsworth, for losing your hard edge, for inviting us
to float on this generous verdant plain, to submerge, to immerse
ourselves in prairies of wild celery and meadows of fine eelgrass,
to undulate with your undertow, to somersault with your waves.
I can plumb your avocado shallows, sound your seaweed depths.
I’ve learned how to swim. I’m stretched, flexed, and ready to dive.
Jay Jacoby: "I am a happily retired English professor having taught for most of my career at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I now live in the Western North Carolina mountains and I'm able to focus my energies on creative writing. My writing has appeared in such journals as Asheville Poetry Review, Cold Mountain Review, Meat for Tea, and The Jewish Literary Journal."
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