This week I’m again sharing a dual post for the SOLC and Poetry Friday Roundup.
This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Carol’s Corner. She’s sharing a sweet spring poem by Ralph Fletcher. Stop by to see what other poetic treats await you!
March 2019 SOLC–Day 29
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
Back in January I drove down to the Portland Museum of Art. I was scouting for a piece of art to respond to for an ekphrastic art contest there. I wandered through the galleries, considering paintings, sculptures and photographs. I lingered at a Wyeth landscape, eyed one of my favorites by Ipcar, and considered the paper mache sculptures by Christopher Patch.
Eventually I arrived at a temporary exhibit of Richard Avedon’s photos. This photo of Andy Warhol drew me from across the room. I stood before it and stared for the longest time. I was struck by the violent patchwork of scars and the artist’s hand pressed against his stomach, as if holding himself together. I kept thinking of the violence of the injuries, of the surgeon working his artistry on the canvas of the artist’s flesh. I had no idea of the story behind this picture until I looked it up when I got home (Click here if you’d like to read about it.), but I knew immediately I wanted to write a poem in response to it. In fact, I wrote several.
I ended up submitting two poems to the contest, one responding to this photo, and another to a self portrait by Lois Dodd. I just got my rejection letter yesterday. I was disappointed, but on the bright side, they said that the Warhol poem “came close.” Sadly, that only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right? I’m a big proponent of celebrating rejections, but at some times it’s easier to do that than at others. Of course, another look at this photo puts a poetry rejection into perspective.
inspired by Richard Avedon’s photo
Andy Warhol, Artist, New York City
flesh heals but wounds steal
pieces and peace
bullet’s trajectory changes topography
each line sewn but no way home
life’s shattered, rearranged
this man’s skin
so damn thin
one hand to hold it in
©Molly Hogan, 2019