El Palacio, 1946
A watercolour of a rundown, deserted
street in Mexico shows a hotel far from
palatial. Is this one of the small towns
the Hoppers drove through on
springtime journeys. Jo driving,
Edward sketching, the old Packard’s
windows open. He sees stucco buildings
with rooftops corroded, second story windows
hollowed out. Wrought iron balconies over unlit
neon signs for Ford, for theatre and dance
halls. Industry, too, has closed down,
left this town. The steel building with a chute
behind El Palacio rusts while mountains
beyond are weighted in Hopper’s grays
and blacks. Gaping doors darken this street
which once could have been painted
pastel pink and sky blue. Now tinted
with marquees no one is there to see.
Except Edward Hopper with his fondness
for icons, his need to inhabit abandoned places.
Diana Pinckney, Charlotte, NC, has five collections of poetry, including The Beast and The Innocent, 2015, FutureCyclePress. She is the Winner of the 2010 Ekphrasis Prize, Atlanta Review’s 2012 International Prize and Prime Number’s 2018 Award. She admits to being addicted to writing ekphrastic poems and has led a workshop on this form for the Charlotte Center for the Literary Arts.
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