Friday, May 3, 2013

Neil Ellman- Three Poems

Book Transforming Itself into a Woman

(after the painting by Salvador Dalí)

Words, sentences, paragraphs
shaped to womanhood
illustrated, rewritten
from biblical passages
the rib of a book
a new translation of the past
Eve authored from bone
to rule the world
a book the mother, supreme
she transforms her words
to  flesh and blood
she creates a world
from the pages of her book.

Bed, Chair and Bedside Table Ferociously
Attacking a Cello

(after the painting by Salvador Dalí)

Why the ferocity
of furniture
their claws and  teeth
sharpened to a point?

Why the hunt, the chase
in camouflage
carnivorous chairs, beds
and table-tops like cannibals
eating other wood?

Why such malice, malignity
of wood consuming wood
silence chewing music
to the bone?

How to explain
such savagery
except as jealousy:
the roar of inarticulate furniture
of the cello’s mellow voice.


Italian Plaza with Monument of Poet

(after the painting by Giorgio de Chirico)


Forgotten now
the passersby are unaware of who he was
that he wrote poetry on steady iambic feet
and perfect rhymes
that he was parsed in schools
kissed the ring of the Pope
and feted by the academy.

It was he who said, “A poem is eternity,
and it is mine.”


His statue in the public square
has lost its arm, skin yellowed, shriveled
like an old book no longer read.

Even the pigeons wonder who he was
even they have flown, words as well
have abandoned his monument
to himself.

Twice nominated for Best of the Net, as well as for the Rhysling Award from the Science Fiction Poetry Association, Neil Ellman lives and writes in New Jersey.  Hundreds of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has selected over 200 of his previously published ekphrastic poems in Parallels, his first full-length collection.

No comments:

Post a Comment