Teaching the Ekphrastic Sex workshop for The Ekphrastic Review was an adventure! It was created with the always brilliant Lorette Luzajic, who helped to turn an idea into reality. Such fun to share my process with the workshop participants, and to listen to the remarkable work they produced. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It was an honour to judge the Ekphrastic Sex Poem/Flash Contest. So many sexy submissions, it was hard to choose the winners. To me, just being brave enough to put erotic words on paper is a real step forward. I applaud them all!
Alexis Rhone Fancher
Thank you to all of you who participated in this amazing journey through art history and through the secret places of our psyche. Thank you to Alexis, our guest judge- there could be no better suited judge for this contest, and we are eternally grateful.
And the winners are....
Flash Fiction: The Care and Feeding of Your Penis Tree, by Margo Stutts Toombs
Poetry: In the Room Where We Live Forever, by Sherry Barker Abaldo
Both winners receive $150 each. Congratulations for your excellent works!
The Care and Feeding of Your Penis Tree
Penis trees are fun to raise, and they provide the owner with a magical sense of power and purpose. They give the gardener a ready answer to the question, “Do you have the balls for that?” Some say the penis has a mind of its own. You can keep yours in line and happy with the proper treatment.
Keep your penis tree contented, and you will have an unusual plant for years to come. It is not that hard.
Margo Stutts Toombs
Margo Stutts Toombs enjoys writing, performing and filmmaking. She performs her monologues at Fringe Festivals, art galleries and anywhere food and beverages are served. Her poetry is inUntameable City - Mutabilis Press, the 2011 Texas Poetry Calendar, Love over 60: An Anthology of Women’s Poems, the 2021 Friendswood Library Ekphrastic Poetry Reading and Archway Gallerychap books. "Compassion at the Border" is a documentary poem written as part of a collaboration with artist donna e perkins (No Más Muerte) for an exhibit at the Houston Holocaust Museum. Her flash nonfiction piece, "Tommy," is in the inaugural issue of Equinox.
In the Room Where We Live Forever
It was not only in the room at the hotel on Central Park
where you’d call from the lobby after a long flight,
almost angrily demanding What room are you in,
the fly of your faded jeans bursting, breath scotch smoke.
It was not only in the motel on the ocean with the Peeping
Tom you spotted as I rode you, rolled you like the high tide
waves. It was not only in your office, or a Hertz car with my
head in your lap dappled with gold sun speeding down Monterey.
It was out in Rumi’s field. It was under Byron’s darkling
stars. It was us playing Prometheus with Marlboro Lights.
We smoked ‘em ‘cause we had ‘em. Days trundled by with bills and
deadlines, taxes, birthdays and here I was like Pele –
Swallowing the sun each night, giving birth to it each morning.
You never asked how I’d feel about you making me pregnant.
We had our rules: no kissing, no emotional attachment.
One time I said I wanted to sleep-not-sleep next to you all night,
taboo but I guess I figured by then I had trampled so many taboos.
You looked like I had slapped you, or run over your childhood
dog. I still sleep the way I did then: legs akimbo, one leg hitched
up so my knee is level with my chin. Once you called me
luminous. You want to know if I ever think about you. I say no.
Sherry Barker Abaldo
Sherry Barker Abaldo's work has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, Rattle, The History Channel, PBS, and Down East Magazine. Her poetry infuses her writing for the screen and vice versa. She holds degrees from Wellesley College and the University of Southern California. A two-time Dibner Fellow, she lives and writes on a pond in Maine. She is at work on a collection of poetry and a travel memoir, as well as developing a writing program for seniors in her community, many of whom are still experiencing isolation and loneliness from the pandemic.