Home Town Girl
Sovereign of homecoming, prom, Founder’s Day, Harvest Festival, her crown is perhaps less dazzling these days, though reflective still of the Ice Queen diadem some spurned tuba player gave her. Unapproachable, yes, she could be. She had a plan, and attachment to this burg wasn’t part of it. Women’s lib, she was all for it, if it meant liberation from here. But when the Feminists marched down Main, she was getting a new doo at Betsy’s Hair and Nail Emporium. A photo shoot at Verne’s would get her out. Verne knew big people in big places, his pics had been in the Gazette, PennySaver, once even National Enquirer. Flash bulbs flashed, shutters clicked, the phone rang late at night, breathing, just breathing. Men looked at her differently on the street. The preacher preached a sermon that did everything but mention her name. She shelled out $500 for the negatives and Verne caught the bus for L.A. Dior knock-offs in the epochs and eras that followed shed no hometown dust. Grunge, goth, and saggy were brief aberrations. A veil fluttered white, an organ played, an asteroid fell. And then, on a surprisingly clear and sudden day, she looked around like she imagined the dinosaurs did and found herself extinct. In this diorama, you can see her eyes enraptured with that dreamy look. Expectation kisses her so life-like lips. On the other side of the mirror, an elegant Rotary Club carriage awaits. I don’t presume to know if she is happy here, twinkling in the heaven of home town lore, but she has that glow, just as she did in those high-flying moments right before each regal wave.
Robert L. Dean, Jr
Robert L. Dean, Jr.’s poetry collections are Pulp (Finishing Line Press 2022); The Aerialist Will not be Performing: ekphrastic poems and short fictions to the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020); and At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, 2018). A multiple Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee, his work has appeared in many literary journals. Dean is a member of the Kansas Authors Club and The Writers Place. He has been a professional musician, and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, midway between the Air Capital of the World and the Flint Hills.
Jason Baldinger is a poet and photographer from Pittsburgh, PA. He’s penned fifteen books of poetry the newest of which include: A History of Backroads Misplaced: Selected Poems 2010-2020 (Kung Fu Treachery), and This Still Life (Kung Fu Treachery) with James Benger. His first book of photography, Lazarus, as well as two ekphrastic collaborations (with Rebecca Schumejda and Robert Dean) are forthcoming. His work has appeared across a wide variety of online sites and print journals. You can hear him from various books on Bandcamp and on lps by The Gotobeds and Theremonster. His etsy shop can be found under the tag la belle riviere.
The Ekphrastic Review
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