“Girl Is Glued to Door” by William Ross

Untold Stories by Judith Fox, collage photograph of woman with a door lock over her face

Image: “Untold Stories” by Judith Fox. “Girl is Glued to Door” was written by William Ross for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2023, and selected as the Artist’s Choice. (PDF / JPG)


William Ross


There are things I still don’t understand
about you. Your mouth would tell me,
but there has been a violence, your
voice punched away for being
in the wrong place, a darkness thrown
in spatters and now your face. Like a
wanted poster, you stare out, hair swept
back so you see clearly,
confronting the world head-on. Are you
followed? Are you hunted?
I’ve been combing dispatches,
the cryptic signals you send:
the flannel shirt, choice of lumberjacks
and grunge musicians, plaid considered
dangerous in some circles;
the skull pendant on a string.
And messages from a hunter of images,
ones you did not intend:
the fierce defiance of an armoured door,
blunt violence of a ragged hole
blasted through your likeness,
a documentary record torn open, raw
threshold revealed. The voice shouting:
Entry is Trespass.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
June 2023, Artist’s Choice


Comment from the artist, Judith Fox: “The poem I selected for the June Ekphrastic Challenge is the well-crafted and insightful ‘Girl is Glued to Door.’ It wasn’t an easy choice, there were numerous beautiful and intelligent entries, but the poem skillfully echoes and expands on the mysteries and tensions in the poster I photographed; in its placement over a shocking red lock and useless door. The poem opens with a simple and engaging observation: ‘There are things I still don’t understand about you’ and continues with thoughtful questions of the subject: ‘Are you Followed? Are you hunted?’ and observations: ‘the cryptic signals you send.’ The powerful final line particularly resonated with me: ‘The voice shouting: Entry is Trespass.'”

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