Monday, May 5, 2014

Neil Ellman


Ekphrasis or ecphrasis, from the Greek description of a work of art, possibly imaginary, produced as a rhetorical exercise, and is a graphic, often dramatic, description of a visual work of art. In ancient times, it referred to a description of any thing, person, or experience. The word comes from the Greek ek and phrasis, 'out' and 'speak' respectively, verb ekphrazein, to proclaim or call an inanimate object by name. – Wikipedia

Exquisite Cadaver
(after the painting by Salvador Dali)

How exquisite your cadaver
how fine the space between your ribs
and emptiness within
how glorious the in-betweens
of your mind and skin
how perfect you seem in death

I love you now as then
when I loved you no less than more
and you were less than
than the sinews and bones
you have become—
how exquisite you seem in death
how perfect and sublime.

Blast I
(after the painting by Adolph Gottlieb)

Not a word
but a primal scream
not a syllable
but a particle of sound
echoing out across the void
it begins with an answer
and ends with the words
that question the reason
they ever were made
in a blast of infinity
from a fissure in the mind
comes the sound of infinity’s end
as inarticulate as the space
it is within.

(etching from The War by Otto Dix)

Nor memories
containing nothing
but its own disease
a patriot
condemned to die
without a cause.

glory comes to this
grey bone, dark animus
from convolutions
of the brain
the fire in its eyes
consumed by war.

Alas, poor warrior
we knew you well.
who died for the victory
that no side won

I Need Yellow
(after the lithograph by Helen Frankenthaler)

Yellow peonies
yellow earth
yellow suns released
like spreading spores
on ribbons of yellow wind
my life in yellow flame
the color of the end
then purity of death
in yellow waves of light
I mourn the yellowing
of my days
I crave the blush
of golden youth.

© Neil Ellman 2014

Neil Ellman, a poet from New Jersey, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Net and Rhysling Award. Many hundreds of his poems appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment