Funny face (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Lu De’an’s painting The Great Return—Lao Zi. You know, the word ‘demolition’ fails to convey the full extent of the wreckage— cyclonic swirls, gouges in the pavement scars left by flames burning hotter than imagination is capable of rendering Is crossing it all out and starting over an option? Are you sure [...]

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Maybe it’s the neon markers… (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Yan Li’s painting Self-thinking. Bent into shapes I can barely muster my two halves skate along the seams between the tracks in the spiral rug my eyes used to trace for hours at a time in grandma’s living room Only everything has changed It’s the first time I got stoned and [...]

The manifesto (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Yang Xiaobin’s photograph, Deng-ism. You’d be hard pressed to recall if it ever existed The wall bears scabs and the occasional bit of crusted adhesive where the fly-poster used to be You might see faces amidst the rust that has eaten through if you look long enough But the names the [...]

‘…and the tea’ (a poem)

An ekphrastic poem, inspired by Peter Juvonen’s painting Tea in the Conservatory and the Pet Shop Boys movie It Couldn’t Happen Here. I’m reminded of the line about a world in which there are no teacups Sometimes it feels that way for real except that we are here at a party of pointed remarks and empty spoons Instead [...]