Ekphrastic poetry to start your week
I was happy to find that Canadian Poetries this morning published 3 of my ekphrastic poems: the first about Van Gogh, the second about Degas’ sculpture La Petite Danseuse de Quatorze Ans, and the third an imagined love affair between art collectors Etta Cone and Gertrude Stein.
By the way, one of my pet art-world peeves is the reluctance to name (fairly obvious) dykes. It’s homophobic. We wouldn’t be reluctant to call someone straight, but there seems to be some sort of politesse about calling someone queer without proof, like it’s shameful, or distateful, an icky thing to be.
For instance, despite the inescapable conclusion that most people have or had a sexual life, women like photographer Vivian Maier are completely de-sexualized. Wtf? So irritating to me.
From correspondence between Gertrude Stein and Etta Cone, it seems more than evident that Etta was thrown over for Alice and was quite hurt, and that Gertrude extended consider effort to mollify her.
And also, while I’m ranting, it now seems evident to scholars that Van Gogh came out/was more actively bisexual in Paris and was seriously over-the-moon for Gauguin, a bisexual (and total heel/wife-batterer). During their time together in Arles, it looks like Van Gogh got clutchy and Gauguin rejecting and Gauguin, a fencer, chopped off VG’s ear. My take on it is that VG, after a young religious life, was likely tormented by his inclinations–and perhaps this was a big part of what was considered his madness. And perhaps part of why he was killed in Auvers, if indeed he was shot by a young bully as is now thought.