“Your Favorite Writer Is Not Your Mother” by Jill M. Talbot

Ekphrastic Challenge, April 2018: Editor’s Choice


Through the Looking Glass by Melody Carr

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.

[download: PDF / JPG]


Jill M. Talbot


All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey towards the lost land.
—Janet Frame

Just because she looks
Like you, or looks like
Your mother, that does
Not make your favorite
Writer your mother. Just
Because she slept with
Bones, was misdiagnosed
With the same lucid
Dreams, or swallowed
The same blue pills.
Just because she lived
In little houses or had
Siblings die young, or
Finds odd things funny.
Just because she had
Unbearable hair and teeth.
Just because you planted
A turtle under a rock.
Just because there’s a photo
Of a hospital, of weeds
Growing out of eyes.
Just because you don’t have
A better half. Just because
You’re a quarter the way
Home. None of this
Makes your favorite writer
Your mother.
Just ask her.

from Ekphrastic Challenge
April 2018, 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.”

Rattle Logo