Comment from the artist, Nicolette Daskalakis: “It was difficult to choose just one poem, but ultimately ‘Placebo’ stood out to me because it captured the tone, humour, and critique of commercial culture I had in mind while shooting ‘Eat Me.’ I love that the poet addresses the commodification of ‘cures’ and looks at how our society’s never-ending search for a silver bullet to its ailments has only been amplified by the social media age.”
“Your Favorite Writer Is Not Your Mother” by Jill M. TalbotPosted by Rattle
Ekphrastic Challenge, April 2018: Editor’s Choice
Image: “Through the Looking Glass” by Melody Carr. “Your Favorite Writer Is Not Your Mother” was written by Jill M. Talbot for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, April 2018, and selected as the Editor’s Choice.
Comment from the editor, Timothy Green: “Out of over 300 poems submitted to April’s Ekphrastic Challenge, Jill Talbot leaped the farthest from the literal. Propelled along by a strong rhythm, it’s a startling poem about refraction and resemblances, about the way relationships are stacked in our minds like layers in the double-image that inspired it. I’m not sure how she got to the door she opens for us, but it was the poem that woke me up into a new and unexpected space.”
Jill M. Talbot: “This is a response to the death of Stephen Hawking. I found much of what he had to say outside of his research interesting. His fear of intelligent robots and aliens, his demand that he not appear drunk on The Simpsons … but mainly the notion that heaven is a ‘fairy tale for people afraid of the dark.’ Hawking has also been critical of philosophers. I wondered where the arts appeared in all of this. If science offers Ativan and writers offer stories, I choose the latter. It is in death that we often turn to art, religion, and philosophy—not necessarily for comfort, but perhaps for something human. Nevertheless, Hawking was certainly an inspiring figure for scientists and non-scientists alike.” (web)
Jill M. Talbot: “I actually debated whether or not to submit here. There is no doubt about whether or not I have been diagnosed with mental illness—in fact, with several. Mood disorders, psychotic disorders, personality disorders, substance use disorders … I have altered between conforming and fighting against labels. I would rather be called mad than ill. I refuse to believe that my personality is sick—but I believe I am strange, am odd, am mad as a mad hatter. I can submit because I no longer fight labels. If anyone has a borderline personality, I do. But writing has taught me that my eccentricities are something to be valued. Because of the high correlation between creativity and mental illness, I believe it is a sign that we should start rethinking illness, as we have done with sexual identities. From illness to simply different—unique—equally valid. I just want to be valid. This desire is at the root of much of my writing—to just be valid like anyone else. Sometimes this is covered with a bunch of other shit, but at the root, always the desire to be valid—to undo some of the traumas of my past—to have an Axis II label of: okay. Maybe okay people don’t get hospitalized in psych wards, but maybe the world is mad, and some of us are more sensitive to it than others. Some of us need poetry more than others.” (web)
Jill M. Talbot: “This is a response to the often trite way we have of summarizing up a year with platitudes or lessons learned around this time. It is also a response to the increasingly fraudulent and bizarre news out there. 2016 will be remembered.” (link)
“I Don’t Understand Poetry” by Jill M. TalbotPosted by Rattle
Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2016: Artist’s Choice
Photograph: “Go Your Own Way” by James Croal Jackson. “I Don’t Understand Poetry” was written by Jill M. Talbot for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, June 2016, and selected by Jackson as the Artist’s Choice winner.
Comment from the artist, James Croal Jackson , on his selection: “It was an honor reading through so many excellent poems inspired by my photograph, but this is the one that rattled in my head longest after reading—made me realize, you know, I really don’t understand poetry, and I don’t really understand this poem, but I ventured through it alone and now all I’m doing is walking, walking, walking through poems every day in the real world (maybe). I don’t know. This poem is meta and funny and philosophical and unexpected. It won’t leave my head. I had to choose it.” (website)