Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2019: Artist’s Choice
Image: “Work Gloves” by Justin Hamm. “Tan Hides and Hard Stuff” was written by Lisha Nasipak for Rattle’s Ekphrastic Challenge, February 2019, and selected as the Artist’s Choice.
TAN HIDES AND HARD STUFF
—from Ekphrastic Challenge
February 2019, Artist’s Choice
Comment from the artist, Justin Hamm: “When I took the picture of the work glove, a number of possible stories passed though my head. This was not one of them. Reading ‘Tan Hides and Hard Stuff’ changed how I looked at the picture, made me see it in a way that wouldn’t have occurred to me. The poem took personal ownership over the glove; it became less my photograph and more an menacing artifact of the speaker’s trauma. The poet here explores the appearance and purpose of the glove and uses those to communicate what the father is and what he is not by comparison. And all this with formal concision. I admire and am moved by this poem very much.”