Since your death, I have imagined you
flying above me like a bird
desperate to take a shit on my head.
My grandmother used to say,
"When a bird shits on you,
it's good luck." Fuck that.
You flying above my head
is not how either of us wanted this to go.
Neither is me flying above you,
hence why I don't have as big a smile as you
like I am seasick from all this
flying around, the air an ocean,
you my anchor.
You were always my anchor,
you know, the one I could trust.
I know I could trust you not to look
up my skirt with me flying over you.
You were too concerned with the art
in things: the muffled language
you hear while flying over a roof
or past a window with just a bit
of wind blowing against your ear,
the language in church bells,
not the choir, the language in all music,
not just in voices. But here you are,
not flying for once. Though mountains ground you,
I know you want to float out of them,
like a coffin not buried deep enough,
like a coffin in flooded land.
Though you might want me to be your flag,
bearing a message to other travellers
on their way to the underworld,
I don't know what to say to them
except that poetry is in that voice of yours
deeper than the lowest note on the pipe organ
in a glowing church. That voice of yours
keeps me awake at night.
I hear you. I hear you. I swear to G-d; I hear you.
I should have known that something was up
when I answered the door to you
wearing a tuxedo. I didn't even know you owned one.
Look at that smile; it's like you're completely oblivious
to the fact that you are dead,
like you are completely oblivious
to the fact that you haunt me.
As much as the grass likes to forget
that it dies every winter,
as much as the church bells would like to forget
the space between their ringing,
as much as the cemetary would like to forget
what it feels like to swallow a body whole,
it would lift me higher
than you have me right now
to forget you.
Liz Marlow has an MFA and an MBA. When she is not collecting degrees, she enjoys looking at art and writing about it. One of her first memories was walking through the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with her father. Her poems have appeared in The Binnacle Ultra-Short Edition and Deep South.
The Pianist and The Poet
Seymour Bernstein barely blinks
when he talks, his eyes as at ease
in the light of the world as his hands,
poised over the keys when he asks
us to mark how the note hovers
in air after it’s struck so that even
its final hush finds accord. He touches
his student’s arm with a gentle continuum,
in perfect concordance, urges her heart
closer to Bach, reminds her to listen,
to breathe, like my poet friend Amy
says in a poem: “Listen. The high kiss
of finch grabs a thread of air.”
This is a transport, rapid as half of a breath
“as if ears were satellite dishes on stems”.
She teaches too and waits as long as it takes
for her students to hear. She knows
what that means, how it helps to blend
the word and the sound of the word
so the ear and the brain work together.
“These tiniest bones hear us think.”
Yes, listen to the hush that carries the sound.
Editor's note: This poem was inspired by Ethan Hawke’s documentary about Seymour Bernstein, Seymour—An Introduction, and Amy Young’s poem “Ossicles.” Scroll below to read Amy's poem.
The Ekphrastic Review was absolutely delighted to hear from Amy Young, who generously agreed to share her poem, too, as well as from Seymour Bernstein, the subject of Judith Bowles' poem and the documentary movie by Ethan Hawke.
Judith Bowles lives, writes and gardens in Washington D. C. She has an MFA from the American University in short fiction and taught creative writing there. Two of her stories were selected for the Pen Syndicated Fiction Project. Her poems have been published in The Delmarva Review, The Innisfree Journal of Poetry, and Gargoyle. Her book, The Gatherer, was published by WordTech Communication’s Turning Point in November of 2014.
The Ekphrastic Review turns two next month- wow!
It has truly been an incredible journey.
Today I'm asking for a small favour.
In honour of the amazing poets, writers, and artists here who share their creative gifts with the world, please take a moment today to show their work to a wider audience.
That's it: just share The Ekphrastic Review with your Facebook or Twitter friends. You can choose any post you like, or use this one.
If you are finding yourself on this page because a friend shared us, welcome! Take a few moments to scroll through and read some brilliant writers, all responding to art. Click on another month in the archives, or enter a writer's name in the search box and discover someone new.
The writers and artists whose work fills these pages have made this project into something truly special. Thanks for spreading the word!
for Christoph Niemann and Françoise Mouly
When I was young I saw a photograph
of a fence after an earthquake
where its man-made border was interrupted
as one half was heaved forward and
one half was pulled back leaving a large gap
like a warped spring—a latch
that can’t quite be forced close or like someone
painting a line down the right
side of a large and invisible street fell
asleep and when they woke up
they accidentally resumed their drawing
on the left side instead—the width
of a street—a common ground—a public right
of way owned and maintained
by the city—now left unconnected and you
couldn’t see where the earth ground
against itself sliding or where it rippled
like a blanket being shaken
because there wasn’t a mark and wasn’t a rift--
wasn’t a scar in the grass—and I
always associated this image with earthquakes so much
so that now the New Yorker’s cover
illustration reminds me of an earthquake fissure
the leafless cherry branch like lightning
slightly off-centre and striking upon the left-hand
side of the page where trefoils blossom pink
and loose petals drift back and up and I think
how the artist’s editor was right
to change the background colour of this dark
crack canyoning up the beautifully clean
white—too obvious—to a new version of a branch
drawn black against black—unseen--
and the flowers float seemingly at random…
Jennifer Met lives in a small town in North Idaho. Recent work is published or forthcoming in Nimrod, Harpur Palate, Zone 3, Juked, Tinderbox, Rogue Agent, Sonic Boom, Gravel, Sleet Magazine, Weirderary, Bombay Gin, and Moon City Review, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a finalist for Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and winner of the Jovanovich Award. Her chapbook Gallery Withheld is forthcoming from Glass Poetry Press. See more at www.jennifermet.com.
Some of you have asked about my trip to Tunisia in April. You can read a bit about my experiences by clicking here for my new Wine and Art column at Good Food Revolution. Enjoy!
for example. He sees an egg
but paints a bird. He paints himself
ogling the egg while painting the bird.
He pictures himself eating the egg
while dreaming the bird.
In another life the bird returns.
She is nothing
but a hole in the bird-shaped sky.
And Magritte? He’s green as a feather.
He’s an apple an inch from your eye.
Take me. I see him painting a pipe.
He writes, “This is not a pipe,”
under the painted pipe. I write
within the poem, “This is not a poem,”
though it must ring true if it curves,
has a clapper, and isn’t a bell.
Take Magritte again. I see him in a room
with his painted brush and comb. He writes,
“This is not a room; this is not death; this is
not about a poem.”
This poem was first published in Mannequin Envy.
Paul Fisher lives in Seattle with his wife, Linda, two bossy cats and a five-pound poodle. A former visual arts teacher, he is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship in Poetry from the Oregon Arts Commission. His first book, Rumors of Shore, won the 2009 Blue light Book Award, and his second, An Exaltation of Tongues, is forthcoming from MoonPath Press. His poems have appeared in journals such asThe Antioch Review, Cave Wall, Crab Creek Review, Cutthroat, Nimrod, and Switched-on Gutenberg. Paul believes lyric poetry has as much in common with painting as it has with prose.
Go Slow, Leonard Cohen
I had a dream Leonard Cohen
was my first and I was his last.
Go slow don’t hurt me, I whispered.
Go slow don’t kill me, he warned.
He taught me why the yellow dog
howls when the pink rose blooms
in the dark of night while the rain
runs in rivulets down the window.
He showed me that sometimes I
would be the dog, sometimes I
would be the rose. But both of us
were always the rain. And to
go slow. The end would come
Tricia Marcella Cimera
This poem was inspired by listening to Leonard Cohen's last album, You Want It Darker. It was first published in Autumn Sky Poetry.
Tricia Marcella Cimera will forever be an obsessed reader and lover of words. Look for her work in these diverse places: Buddhist Poetry Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Foliate Oak, Fox Adoption, Hedgerow, I Am Not A Silent Poet, Mad Swirl, Silver Birch Press, Stepping Stones, Yellow Chair Review, and elsewhere. She has a micro collection of water-themed poems called THE SEA AND A RIVER on the Origami Poems Project website. Tricia believes there’s no place like her own backyard and has traveled the world (including Graceland). She lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois / in a town called St. Charles / by a river named Fox.
Scroll down for writers, archive by month, and categories
(use search box above)
Meghan Rose Allen
Mary Jo Balistreri
B. Elizabeth Beck
Karen G. Berry
Susan P. Blevins
Rose Mary Boehm
Charles M. Boyer
Catherine A. Brereton
Charles W. Brice
David C. Brydges
Mary Lou Buschi
Danielle Nicole Byington
Wendy Taylor Carlisle
Fern G. Z. Carr
Tricia Marcella Cimera
SuzAnne C. Cole
Robert L. Dean, Jr.
John Scott Dewey
Catherine Ruffing Drotleff
Suzanne E. Edison
Kurt Cole Eidsvig
Tara A. Elliott
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Ariel Rainer Fintushel
Edward H. Garcia
Adam J. Gellings
Grace Marie Grafton
Emily Reid Green
Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara
Laura Quinn Guidry
Andrea L. Hackbarth
Judith Lee Herbert
A. J. Huffman
Pat Snyder Hurley
Arya F. Jenkins
Brandon D. Johnson
Crystal Condakes Karlberg
Olivia J. Kiers
Loretta Collins Klobah
Kim Peter Kovac
Jean L. Kreiling
Stuart A. Kurtz
Tanmoy Das Lala
John R. Lee
Gregory E. Lucas
Lorette C. Luzajic
M. L. Lyons
Ariel S. Maloney
John C. Mannone
Mary C. McCarthy
Megan Denese Mealor
Patrick G. Metoyer
David P. Miller
Stacy Boe Miller
Mark J. Mitchell
Mark A. Murphy
S. Jagathsimhan Nair
Heather M. Nelson
James B. Nicola
Bruce W. Niedt
Kim Patrice Nunez
M. N. O'Brien
Pravat Kumar Padhy
Daniel J. Pizappi
Melissa Reeser Poulin
Rhonda C. Poynter
Marcia J. Pradzinski
Anita S. Pulier
Amie E. Reilly
Ralph La Rosa
Mary Kay Rummell
Janet St. John
Lisa St. John
Kelly R. Samuels
Christy Sheffield Sanford
Janice D. Soderling
Kim Cope Tait
Mary Ellen Talley
Liza Nash Taylor
Janine Pommy Vega
Sue Brannan Walker
Martin Willitts Jr
William Carlos Williams
Morgan Grayce Willow
Shannon Connor Winward
William Butler Yeats
All works of art or literature are used with permission of the creator or publisher, OR under public domain, OR under fair use. If any works have been used or credited incorrectly, please alert us so we can fix it!