January 21, 2016

Ekphrastic Challenge, December 2015: Artist’s Choice

 

Photograph by Colleen McLaughlin
Photograph by Colleen McLaughlin. “Untitled” was written by Angela Johnson for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, December 2015, and selected by McLaughlin as the Artist’s Choice winner.

[download broadside]

__________

Angela Johnson

UNTITLED

Chopsticks in the loose
grasp
of a metal hand

Spongy
stilts
of a robotic penguin

Squint
and it’s the double line dissecting a highway

Until the paint ran out

Hard to believe
anything

as vulnerable
as human flesh
is hurtling through that calm sky

etched with a
particulate footprint:

A lovelier, cloud-soft
map of travel
still
reminiscent of a slug’s slime trail

evaporating in the elements.

Ekphrastic Challenge, December 2015
Artist’s Choice Winner

__________

Comment from the artist, Colleen McLaughlin: “I love everything about this poem—the haiku-like stanzas; words sparse, yet bursting with whimsical imagery; the line breaks which set the tone and evokes a certain mood. The photographic image is stark, and perhaps even ominous if one considers chemtrails and conspiracy-theories, yet this poem took me to another, most pleasantly unexpected place, a kind of space oddity. It’s the stuff kids’ dreams are made of—and still, the unbelievable wonder that ‘anything as vulnerable as human flesh is hurtling through that calm sky.’ I even find it apropos that this poem, in reflection of this image, is ‘Untitled,’ because it lends a feeling of timelessness, an ‘evaporating in the elements’ … like a ground control to Major Tom.” (website)