my favourite writing stills scenes, plasticine, to establish texture ─ a leaf balming the space between fingers, everything that looks like a pearl ─
before it thaws and peels away into the mind’s secret life.
ekphrasis: art writing, often of a painted scene. a gaze that blonds pigment, anthropomorphizes, drifts. elaborates or just digresses because conclusion doesn’t always leave room to beat-between the way juxtaposition can.
i have called my criticism a hope to “capture what it feels like,” “pursuit of the ‘yes! exactly,’” a yell into dark to hear the dimpled shape.
what is the word for finding out there is one?
and why does it matter for a way of looking to zip into a self-contained jumble of syllables?
because a word introduces its own ideal, some solid knot at a distance. direction.
plus, out of words, worlds.
because although i love criticism’s easy fix,
although i know this is my stretch,
ekphrasis is the way i feel around everything.
memories thick as paint, as prone to oxidation.
- - -
the day after the word, i paint a self-portrait. cheetah print sundapple.
i look at myself, don’t; look like myself, don’t. lose myself, find, find my brother, both. stroke, stroke. a guessing toward recognition.
in the original portrait, my eyes smudge beyond fatigue, so i paint them shut. allow relief.
a mimicry of ekphrasis’ ultimate teleology,
which is a rendering beyond duplication.
the space between fingers, a pearl.
i learned about ekphrasis from Luther Hughes’ september 2019 frontier poetry column, where he discusses its power to assert and redefine what is considered art. i frantically tweeted my thanks, which will never be enough.