I am going insane needing to see the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 36 Edgar Degas’ works. Now. Right now. Teleport me, please. This exercise in ekphrasis poetry is not going to work if I can’t see these today.
It is almost like being beset, the writing fugue, except it is marked more by absence (of thought, of intent, of direction) than by presence. One poem yesterday, and today, two more, one, “A Terrible Lucidity,” quite long. And I feel I could throw them aside and start anew, frustrated, on a third. Until I get it. Until I get it. Until I get it.
I have been reading ekphrasis poetry most of the day. But when I write it, it always seems to turn out more to be the imagined mind of the artist creating rather than a comment on her/his work. Here is one by Pascale Petit, on Frida Kahlo (because I just recently took in an exhibit of her work), who also writes by inhabiting the imagined artist’s mind:
What the Water Gave Me (VI)
This is how it is at the end –
And the waters keep on breaking
as I reverse out of my body.
My life dances on the silver surface
where cacti flower.
The ceiling opens
and I float up on fire.
Rain pierces me like thorns. I have a steam veil.
I sit bolt upright as the sun’s rays embrace me.
Water, you are a lace wedding-gown
I slip over my head, giving birth to my death.
I wear you tightly as I burn –
don’t make me come back.