The Addictive Futility of Hope
is what she calls her latest installation,
which is mainly bees on leashes
and fading plastic poppies. The best art
is collaboration between people and nature,
she says, like Smithson’s Spiral Jetty
or a tornado doing a tarantella with a barn.
She steals the phony flowers from a cemetery
out by the interstate, leaves pots
of black-eyed Susans beneath the stones.
She says that a stalk of wheat driven
through a fencepost by a twister
tells us all we need to know about God.
She says the membrane is permeable,
but only in one direction. Every morning
she catches bees in the field of wild-
flowers behind her house. Every evening
she lets them go. She weeps when they sting
her goodbye. She says the last song
on every record is a forlorn, fragile buzzing,
says just watching the shopping carts drift
across rain-slick asphalt can make her cry.
She trembles sometimes when a lover touches
her face. As if a storm means the drought is over,
she says, as if touching makes us any less alone.
As if bees ever did anything but love us.
As if their stings are nearly penance enough.
This duo in a larger collaboration between writer Brent Terry and artist Lorette C. Luzajic is a kind of reverse ekphrasis: Lorette created the collage-painting to respond to the poem. It is from a larger series slowly underway of poems inspired by her mixed media paintings, and paintings inspired by Brent's poems.
Brent Terry’s poems, stories, plays, essays and reviews have appeared in dozens of magazines. He is the author of the poetry collections yesnomaybe, Wicked, Excellently, and the recently released Troubadour Logic,as well as a novel, The Body Electric. Among the honours he has garnered are a fellowship from the Connecticut Arts and Tourism Board and the 2017 Connecticut Poetry Prize, as well as nominations for Best of the Net and Bettering American Poetry. Terry has worked with writers of all ages and abilities, and currently teaches creative writing and literature at Eastern Connecticut State University. He lives in and runs the trails around Willimantic, CT.
Lorette C. Luzajic is an award-winning artist whose collage paintings have been collected in over 25 countries. She is also the author of Pretty Time Machine: ekphrastic prose poems, and editor of The Ekphrastic Review. Visit her at www.mixedupmedia.ca.
8/27/2020 06:33:53 pm
If all artists had an inner (or outer) poet to title their art, the job of the ekphrastic poet would be easier. Still, matching Lorette Luzajic's whimsy and impact in a poem is reaching a high bar. Congratulations, Brent Terry for doing that. I especially loved the leashed bees and crying over abandoned shopping carts.
Gary Manning retired runner
4/12/2021 10:48:39 pm
Brent, Gary Manning 1 semester NJC here. Is this the correct Brent? Snowballed the police station in Sterling? Friend of Bob Mauro?
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