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More ekphrastic poems by Neil Ellman.


Mirror with Monsters

(after the painting by Omer Uluc)

Mirror with Monsters by Omer Uluc


In the mirror, my silver screen,
I watch myself playing the creation
of Dr. Frankenstein
with the parts of my many selves
bolted and stitched together
to recreate another self
more like the one I want to be
more terrible, magnificent
greater than my separate parts
whatever I am, I am more a man
than ever I was even as I play the role
with grunts and grimaces
in the glass—
fear me, the New Prometheus,
reborn but still a simple man miscast.



a line, (a blue one)


The Metaphysical Wall

(after the painting by Andre Masson)

The Metaphysical Wall by Andre Masson by Beuys


in the no-man’s land at the wall between
the place where existence and oblivion compete
for a space of their own in their own dimensions of time
where cause and effect do not connect
the possibilities of possibles nor make the impossible true
in an improbable universe of lies
we build a metaphysical, inpenetrable wall
between the truth and whatever it seems
we think we know what we know as it were real.



a line, (a blue one)


I Want to Be an Insect

(after the sculpture by Leonora Carrington)

I Want to be an Insect by Leonora Carrington


It’s the wanting to be something other
than the thing I am
the want that has wings
it flies, I walk, it buzzes, I talk,
I think, it knows more than I
how flitting are our lives
I bleed eternity, it knows how life
spreads its wings and flies
for just this moment now.



a line, (a blue one)


Funny But When You’re Near Me

(after the painting by Llyn Foulkes)

Funny But When You’re Near Me by Llyn Foulkes

© Llyn Foulkes


It’s a funny thing the way you come too close and turn my legs to gelatin, the way you look at me with that ever-forever look of yours and then my arms go limp, hanging at my side as if they were flags without the wind to keep them up, the way your now-and-forever voice, like a Chinese gong, echoes through my ears as I go numb and lose my own.. When you’re near me, my chameleon skin turns blue, then green and red, and I become a frog or snake, anything whatsoever whatever you want me to be I’ll become without a will or choice. When, at last, you hold my hand, I become possessed, unable to free myself. it’s a not so funny thing, this funny thing called death.





a line, (a blue one)


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