Archives for posts with tag: Artists

untitled-4(1).jpg!Large
A Little Color
by Alexis Rotella

About to take off
for Capitol Hill
the future senator
scowls when he sees the report
I typed on hot pink paper.

IMAGE: “Untitled” by Mark Rothko (1953).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Fresh out of high school I went to work for the Appalachian Commission in Washington, D.C. where I was one of a dozen girls in the typing pool. The job was boring — I thought adding a little color to Jay Rockefeller’s job would perk things up.

alexispic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexis Rotella is a veteran writer of Japanese poetry forms in English. Her latest books, Between Waves and The Color Blue were published by Red Moon Press. She is currently the judge for Ito-En Haiku Grand Prize Contest.  A practitioner of Oriental Medicine in Arnold, Maryland, Alexis is also a mobile photographer and digital artist.

Paper1980

Touch
by Patricia Coleman

He sought the perfect bodies of young women. He made a reputation in the 80s art world with this unexceptional predilection. His live-work loft was in a cast iron building on lower Broadway. I went up in a large freight elevator and entered directly into the open space, empty except for paint and canvases, rollers, no brushes. Into the windowless back he squeezed a kitchen, above it a raised bed. He’d drink tea at a little table there after work and tell young models of his depression, his search for failures, his sexless ecstasy with a Japanese woman.

He also explained that he wanted to take the virtuosity out of the art-making process so that the canvas reflected more the models than the artist — the beautiful bodies of young women.

He dipped his roller into a pan of red paint and stroked back and forth, up and down over my t*ts, legs, tops of feet until he covered the entire front of my flesh. He stepped back a few feet holding his paunch to gaze detachedly at a wet body. He led me by my palm to two inches from the canvas, so that he would neither mar his work nor sully his objects. Now his fingers lightly pressed at the small of the back and other places that held their ground, kept their distance. He wanted no voids between object and work. He especially made sure the pelvis and widow’s peak made contact. He tried bodies out in all the primary colors.

After he finished, he’d invite me to the kitchen where he’d spend hours bent over in confession. I listened to his tales of impotence and desire, waiting to get paid. He paid according to mood. Too much or not enough.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION:  The pic is of me in 1980/ Downtown modeling job for a paper — I do not remember which. They were highlighting paper suits like the one I am wearing.

coleman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patricia Coleman is a writer/director, born and living in Brooklyn.  She has published stories, essays, poems and interviews in Bomb, PAJ, The New Review of Literature, Nedjeljni Vjesnik, Culture Magazine, Maintenant 11, Zoetica, POST Vote, FishFood, and Poetica. She has presented papers on silence, sound, and the disembodied voice at FOOT, ATHE,  Le Son au Theatre. As a director and sometimes as writer/director, she has staged 25+ productions at The Kitchen, Chashama, Here, etc. In 2014 she staged her site-specific adaptation of Euripdes’ Medea  with soundscape by Richard Kamerman at Brooklyn Glass (a glass blowing studio in Gowanus). She received her PhD in Theatre from the Graduate Center. Her dissertation was on the disembodied voice of Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

pez jmb
Sign Writer’s Assistant
by Oz Hardwick

Sign Writer’s Assistant sounded perfect,
an illuminated serif linking art school to fame.
But the reality is straining with an eight-foot board
on a scaffold we’ve built from cocky luck.

Neither of us knows a jack from a ledger,
but we throw it up four storeys, scattering
pigeons over patchwork roofs, in the city
where the term dinosaur was coined in 1841.

Here in metropolitan sky, the sign becomes
the wing of a doomed pterosaur, lurching
to extinction, to be discovered, millennia later,
by an amateur archaeologist.

I am that archaeologist, uncovering steel ribs,
wooden feathers, fossils of rust, chipping away
at dispersing clouds, lost in fragments,
dusting signs: a novice in the art of not falling.

IMAGE: “Pez Dispenser” by Jean-Michel Basquiat (1984).

Oz Hardwick by Richard Sainsbury

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Just after I left Plymouth Art College (UK) in 1980, I had a casual job helping a sign writer when he needed an extra pair of hands to put up his handiwork. The most memorable occasion was when we had to build a scaffolding tower — which neither of us had done before – in order to put a very large, very heavy board on the side of a factory on a very windy day. We lived. When last visiting the city, about 18 months ago, I happened to be in the area and saw that the factory has gone, replaced by new buildings. My memory, however, dusted off the fragments and pieced them together as best I could. Little-known fact: the word dinosaur was first recorded at an archaeological meeting in Plymouth in 1841.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Artist”  (c. 1980) by fellow student Richard Sainsbury.

Oz Hardwick Chicago

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Oz Hardwick is a writer, photographer, and academic living in the north of England. He has published five poetry collections, a book on medieval wood carvings, and a whole heap of music journalism. His song cycle, The House of Memory, with music by Peter Byrom-Smith, will be released by Debt Records in July 2017.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: Taken at the top of The John Hancock Center, Chicago. I still can’t resist climbing up buildings — though prefer doing it on the inside these days.

still-life-with-peaches-and-umbrella
Umbrella Lost
by Katherine Edgren

My open umbrella dries damply on the floor
recalling another circled, portable protector:
collapsible with hinged ribs
big enough for a garrulous giant
rakish handle at a
                         rakish angle
gift from my young son, bought with a wad
that burned a hole in his pocket
on a World’s Fair vacation with indulgent Grandparents
in a city I can’t even remember
it was so long ago.

Dear, darling Doris and I were
plotting over pancakes at a local hole.
Sleep mustn’t yet have abandoned my muzzy head,
because I

               ***LOST*** the umbrella.

(The sky must have stopped its dripping and when I left,
I forgot my capacious canopy. Later
I went back to search where it never was
–even in the trunk of Doris’ car—)

GONE GONE GONE —
like a diamond down the drain
eluding, evading, escaping without me,
wings flapping an unseen farewell.

Something so precious,
LOST,
***and losing it the first time I used it***

Part of me has to believe
someone stole it (shhhhhhh)

Even now on dreary days,
I find myself watching for the waving of my prized parasol
over the heads of strangers-thieves-parasites.
( Um-brella Sun-brella Un-brella)

Thus paranoia planted its hairy beet-root
and began its expansion deep and wide.
I still mourn my lost brolly, my umbrolly,
my parapluie, my bumbershoot.

IMAGE: “Still Life with Peaches and Umbrella” by Andre Denoyer de Segonzac (1884-1974).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  I wrote this piece in an on-line class on metaphor taught by Jennifer Burd, as a part of the Loft Literary Center. It’s all true.

Edgren

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 2017
Katherine Edgren
’s book of poetry, The Grain Beneath the Gloss, will be published by Finishing Line Press, where her previous two chapbooks: Long Division (2014) and Transports (2009) were also published. Her poems have appeared in Christian Science Monitor, Birmingham Poetry Reviiew, and Barbaric Yawp, among others. She was born in 1950 and is a retired social worker who lives in Dexter, Michigan, with her husband and her dog. Visit her at kkedgren.wordpress.com.

public-pool-for-daytime-swimming-1984.jpg!Large
The Gold Amulet
by Pallabi Roy

It was not just a pricey yellow metal
that still berates my soul
for not holding on to it.
It was rather to me an empyrean that housed
an angel sent by you, Ma,
to ward off all the evils around me.

I deplore losing it,
not for its elegant and antique design,
but your prayers etched on its surface,
not for the sparkles and glitters,
but your blessings shining through it.
I could not treasure it, Ma!
When it hanged around my neck
like a buckler in a war.

Ma, it was a legacy of love
bequeathed to you by Grandma
that you had hoped to live on.
But it could not cling to my heart
like I always did to its.

That gold amulet
broke up with me,
and taught me a lesson.
Losing is not about ruing when it is gone,
it is about cherishing when it is our own.

IMAGE: “Public Pool for Daytime Swimming” by Joyce Kozloff (1984).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The subject of the poem is a gold amulet, passed on from many generations of my mother’s family. I lost it during an aquatic meet in my college days. When it was with me, I considered it just a piece of jewelry. Only after losing the amulet did I realize how much I should have valued it to keep the good luck flowing in.

Roy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Based in New Delhi, India, Pallabi Roy is a technical communicator by profession and a creative writer by passion. She has penned numerous flash fictions and poems in English and Assamese, and her work has appeared in The Assam Tribune, Prantik, The Sentinel, and other publications. When she veers from her writing schedule, she is either traveling through water (a former competitive swimmer!) or trekking through some hills in North India.

PHOTO: The author during a recent trekking trip to Ooty, Tamil Nadu.

jeanne-hebuterne-with-necklace-1917.jpg!Large
My Stupid Lost Necklace
by Susan W. Goldstein

I lose things. Quite often. I have this terrible habit of throwing possessions into any old drawer that I pass by. It drives my husband crazy, because nothing is ever in the same place twice. And it can be extremely annoying. For example, I knew that I had been holding the car keys before breakfast: how could they be missing now, a mere 20 minutes later? This adds a degree of stress to my life that I really fail to enjoy. I become obsessed, a crazy woman tearing the house apart until I remember that I had stuffed the keys into my pocket. But let’s not dwell on that.

The following items are currently Missing in Action: a pearl and Austrian crystal necklace; a favorite blouse; a special photo of my sons. This really bothers me. I would say that the house is inhabited by a playful poltergeist, but we have moved at least three times while these items remained missing. Unless ghosts move with you?

I had a special event and wanted to wear the necklace, mentioned above. I was determined to find it, so I upended my jewelry box; I emptied my underwear drawer (like I said: I put things in the strangest places); I inspected the house inch by inch. I could not find it anywhere. Finally, I had no choice but to drive to the mall to find a replacement. I reached into my glove compartment for my GPS and . . . in a flash, remembered that three years ago, I had taken the necklace and thrown it in said glove compartment because it was too heavy on my neck. And there it was, a tangled jumble just waiting to be found! My stupid necklace.

IMAGE: “Jeanne Hebuterne with Necklace” by Amedeo Modigliani (1917).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The words “lost” and “found” conjure up my peripatetic set of car keys, which I am constantly misplacing. My husband has gotten used to my hysterical outbursts when yet another prized possession goes missing. And then he is the recipient of the requisite apology for my bad behavior, after the prized possession is found. I know, I know: I should follow his advice and put things back where I found them. But that is just too easy.

goldstein

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan W. Goldstein
 has relocated over 15 times in her lifetime; it is False News that she is in the Witness Protection Program. She has, however, found paradise in Delray Beach, Florida, with her husband and his dog (when said dog pukes on the carpet) and her dog (when said dog is being cute). She was first published in Silver Birch Press (!!!), followed by Mothers Always Write, Mamalode, JustBe Parenting, Lunch Ticket and, soon, Parent Co. Follow her blog at very-seriously.com.

Pryputniewicz drawing
Kolmer’s Gulch
by Tania Pryputniewicz

Down the cragged, nettled incline
past two crosses for the drowned,

our children scale pocked rocks.
I’m at forty-nine seconds: scanning

kelp threaded waves for the black thumb
of your hood, remembering Fiji:

swimming hand in hand, the time-slowed
undulations of sea cucumbers, pale tan,

rolling their octagonal lanterns
across the miniature ribs of the sand.

But this is the cold Pacific, an overcast day,
zero visibility according to the pair

of retreating divers you pass in the surf.
Our son straddles a feeder stream, flings

strands of algae and one unlucky
minnow into his sister’s hair. You

surface. I breathe. Then lose
you again, like I do daily to the needs

of them: the youngest cries up, our
son’s lost a shoe, our daughter begs

to bring her dead minnow home.
I just want you, hurtling crown first

towards the silver lid of the sea
you must open to live, kicking in,

the three rust-red half-helmets
of abalone suctioned to your chest.

AUTHOR’S IMAGE CAPTION: Drawing of Kolmer’s Gulch by the late artist Mike Trask (father of the best man at our wedding). I paid for this drawing using the first dollars I’d ever earned from a poem.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem back when we lived in Northern California just after coming home from one of my husband’s ritual trips to dive for abalone at Kolmer’s Gulch near Fort Ross in 2007. Before we had our children, I accompanied him several times out into the sea. It was far more difficult to stand on the shore and wait for him to surface than it was risking the unruly jade swell and brisk water temperatures to shadow him through the kelp and down to the sea floor.

Pryputniewicz wetsuit headshot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tania Pryputniewicz, author of November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014), is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Tania’s poems are forthcoming in Chiron Review, Nimrod International Journal, Prime Number Magazine, and Whale Road Review. She teaches a monthly themed poetry workshop at San Diego Writers, Ink and lives in Coronado, California. Her online home is taniapryputniewicz.com.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo is of my youngest son, Nikolas and me in our wetsuits overlooking the sea.

the-ring-1898.jpg!Large
Birthstone
by Elizabeth Kerper

In some stories the loss of the ruby ring
would bring the whole thing down in shards,
hammer to a mirror, the hero unable to summon
the wish-granter or placate the monster, the Beast
dying alone in his garden long before anyone
could make it through the enchanted wood,
but in your apartment there is just the losing
and the looking, then moving the bed, pressing
one eye at a time to the gap where the floorboards
warped years ago, where the ring must surely
have fallen. Then giving up, collapsing

on the bed, unmoored in the center of the room,
feet on your pillow, head toward the window, watching
snow like dark static against the orange street light.
Then resignation, then calm, as if you have finally
mastered the magic trick your father tried to teach you
as a girl, how to transform a bed into a boat and the dark
into a placid ocean instead of a tide pool teeming
with every species of fear. Tonight you feel the people

who lived in this space before you the way you felt ghosts
then and surely you are not the first to lose something here.
Imagine the ring nestled in the quicksilver chain of a vanished
bracelet or against the jagged blade of already-replaced keys,
surely you walk barefoot every day above so much
searched for, then abandoned. Now you think
of the women of your family who wore the ring before you,
now you think of the girl who will come to you someday,
daughter or great-niece, promised this sign of the month
of her birth, how she will hold out her hands and how you
will have nothing to give her except your own.

IMAGE: “The Ring” by John William Godward (1898).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: While this poem written about the period of time in which I was convinced that my ring was gone for good, that did not turn out be its actual fate—a month after I dropped and lost it, my mother visited me and spotted it in my bookshelf, snagged on the back row of some books shelved two-deep. Moral of the story: nothing is ever really lost unless your mom can’t find it.

ekerper_bio pic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Elizabeth Kerper
 
lives in Chicago and graduated from DePaul University with a BA in English literature. Her work has appeared in the Nancy Drew Anthology from Silver Birch Press, as well as in Eclectica, NEAT, Midwestern Gothic, and No Assholes Literary Magazine, where she is a contributing editor.

woman-reading-1953.jpg!Large
The Lost Bright-Yellow
by Marion Deutsche Cohen

She has fallen asleep reading. When she wakes up the book is no longer
there.
Has it dropped through the mattress? Did she leave it in her dream?
It’s bright yellow, as bright as a light bulb.
It literally can’t be missed.

It’s not in the washer
Not in the dryer
Not in the sink
Not in the bookcase.

She can order another copy.
But she can’t order another Intermediate Value Theorem
The one that says an object can’t get from one place to another
without going in between.

What did she do in her sleep? Take it outside the house? Leave it on
somebody’s doorstep? Throw it in a public trash can?
It’s too big for her purse.
Too big for her jewelry case.
Too big for the medicine cabinet.

She guesses she’ll have to get used to the new rules.
There just might be a god.
And there just might be no science.

Her husband remembers that she fell asleep reading.
And he’s getting worried, too.

SOURCE: “Lost Bright-Yellow”  appeared in the author’s chapbook, Sizes Only Slightly Distinct (Green Fuse Press).

IMAGE : “Woman Reading,” sculpture by Pablo Picasso (1953).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The “she” is actually me. I altered it because I wanted to include it in the chapbook, “Sizes Only Slightly Distinct”, which consisted of what I call “poetic parables without morals”. Other than that, that poem is totally true. (I found the book two days later, fallen to the foot of the bed.)

cohen-1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marion Deutsche Cohen
’s latest poetry books are Truth and Beauty (WordTech Editions – about the interaction among students and teacher in her course, Mathematics in Literature, which she developed at Arcadia University) and  Closer to Dying (WordTech Editions).  and What I’m Wearing Today (dancing girl press – about thrift-shopping!). Her books total 27, including two memoirs about spousal chronic illness and including Crossing the Equal Sign (Plain View Press – about the experience of mathematics). She teaches math and writing at Arcadia University.  She was recently featured in an interview at renpowell.com, and at svjlit.com. Her website is marioncohen.net.

georgia-okeeffe-red-amaryllis-c-1937
Treasure
by Mary McCarthy

Last night I missed my favorite gold chain
The one with the crab charm
We bought first time at the beach
And I took the house apart
Room by room
Unable to believe
It was gone

Sorting through pots and seeds
In the cellar
I found my last year’s Amaryllis
There in the dark
Where I’d left it cut back down
To the bulb
And forgotten

It had put up a long
Pale white stem
And a huge half open
Silk-red flower
Disregarded
Without light
Without water

Resurrected from its own root
waiting for me
like a pledge
of unexpected hope

IMAGE: “Red Amaryllis,” painting by Georgia O’Keeffe (1937).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I wrote this poem thinking about how we spend more time mourning losses than celebrating discoveries, both large and small.

mccarthy1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary McCarthy has always been a writer, but spent most of her working life as a Registered Nurse. Her work has appeared in many online and print journals, including Earth’s Daughters, Gnarled Oak, Third Wednesday, and Three Elements Review. Her echapbook, Things I Was Told Not To Think About, is available through Praxis magazine online. She is grateful for the wonderful online communities of writers and poets sharing their work and passion for writing, providing a rich world of inspiration, appreciation, and delight.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The photo was taken during a break in our recent house-hunting expedition.