A Quiet Sense of Drama
In a moment, the woman will rise,
turn her book on its face and pace.
Perhaps she’ll lift her suitcase
onto the bed and pack or unpack.
Silk stockings, pink slip, high heels,
perhaps she has just arrived, anxious
to land on the next poem. Or perhaps
she is waiting to be collected and
delivered to airplane or train.
If she reads, time is less fidgety.
But just maybe this was her childhood
home. Her bedroom, now stripped
of cherished mementoes, impersonal,
even her ghost exorcised. Perhaps one of
her parents has died, and she’s come
to pay last respects. Perhaps she reads
to avoid the portrait of them on the wall
to her right. If she looks down,
she doesn’t have to feel. But just maybe
this is an indifferent bed and breakfast
where loneliness has driven her to find
comfort in poetry? It must be poetry,
such a slim volume. Poems of grief
or consolation or perhaps even hope.
Do the metaphors weigh on her?
The heaviness of the human condition?
When I read William Soroyan’s Human
Comedy in high school, my ignorance
of existential angst veiled the inexplicable--
abandonment and aloneness. That’s
what draws me to this woman now,
a solemnness in her face, her absorption
in words, an intimate world reminiscent
of Edward Hopper. But the photographer
proposes further dimension, almost lifelike.
The woman could rise and walk out of the room
while Hopper’s people lie flat on the
canvas, forever captured in the paint’s
pigment. No matter, both evoke scenarios.
A lifetime unfolds without beginning
or end in a single image.
Read more of Sandi's ekphrastic works here.
Richard Tuschman began experimenting with digital imaging in the early 1990s, developing a style that synthesized his interests in photography, painting, and assemblage. His award-winning work has been exhibited widely, both in the US and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, Poland, AIPAD in NYC, and the Photovisa Festival in Krasnodar, Russia. He was named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Photography in 2016. He currently lives and works in New York City.
Sandi Stromberg’s poetry has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and for 2020 Best of the Net. She is a dedicated contributor to The Ekphrastic Review and recently contributed a Throwback Thursday (May 22). In 2021, the Review awarded her a Fantastic Ekphrastic Award for her contributions to the genre. Her poetry has appeared in many small journals and anthologies, including San Pedro River Review, The Ocotillo Review, Houston Chronicle-San Antonio Express-News, Words & Art, Visual Verse, Weaving the Terrain, Enchantment of the Ordinary, and in Dutch in the Netherlands in Brabant Cultureel and Dichtersbankje (the Poet’s Bench).
The Ekphrastic Review
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