Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An Empty Space Among the Stars

—Painting by Edward Hopper, 1940
—Ekphrastic Poems by Neil Ellman, Livingston, NJ

(Edward Hopper, painting)

Somewhere on the road
between Phoenix and the moon
the reality of loneliness
a reason to rejoice
between now and never
it waits
for one more car to stop
for one last fill
before its journey ends.


(Richard Pousette-Dart, painting)
I travel by the light of stars
not seen
except as if the shadow
of a skein of geese
for an instant dappled
against the moon
and then move on.

Hidden by the sun
obscured by the light of day
wherever it seems I am
first here, then there
I am little more
than an empty space
among the stars
In the shape a wanderer
without a home or plan.

Creator and created            
deity and man             
mine is the voyage
from the beginning
to the end of time
traveling through the blank
and endless dark
because of who I am.

 House by the Railroad
—Painting by Edward Hopper, 1925

 (Edward Hopper, painting)

When the trains once ran
past the old house standing
alone in the fields of corn
life inside went on
as if there were no tomorrow
and now, like a scarecrow
having done its work,
even the birds have moved away.


(Jean Dubuffet, screenprint)

                     for Gail

If only I could memorize
the flower names
the pattern of the stars
that arc above my head
and birds
that light on nameless trees

If only I could choose
your face
from thousands
in a milling crowd
and spell your name
as if it were my own
I would know
the facts of life
and all there is to know.

 Away from the Flock
—Construction by Damien Hirst, 1994

(Damien Hirst, construction)

Away from the flock
the soul of the lamb
is a fiction in formaldehyde
a metaphor
floating in an amniotic sea.

it takes a form
that can be seen
but never touched.
it makes no sound
that can be heard.
It moves to the slow
rhythms of its breath
as if a fish
to its primeval air.

Away from the flock
the soul of the lamb
is a fable
born, told and died
in glass.


Today’s LittleNip:

(Edward Hopper, etching)

Alone among the columns
of my retreat
through alleyways
on moonlit nights
the shadows
of my discarded past
follow close behind
to join me
in my solitude.


—Medusa, with thanks to Neil Ellman for today's fine ekphrastic poems, and noting that Thursdays at the Central Library returns tomorrow (1/21) after the holidays and a roof repair. Central Library, 828 I St., 12 noon, hosted by Lawrence Dinkins and Mary Zeppa. Bring poems (preferably not your own work) about beginnings, endings and time. Free.

Night Shadows
—Etching by Edward Hopper, 1921