Breakthrough 1. Ekphrastic Poem by Neil Ellman

(after the lithograph by Robert Rauschenberg)

Breakthrough-1

 

Penetrate the impenetrable.
Permeate the impermeable.
Breach the unbreachable.
Pry open the tight-fist grip of time
    and split the atom to its soul.
Break through to the other side
    where stars, grown dark,
    have left an empty space.
Puncture heaven itself
    and insinuate your dreams
    where none had ever been
then carve out a Zodiac with an image
    of yourself
    to lord it over the universe
    as if you can.

 

 

Neil Ellman jpg

Biography: Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey. More than 1000 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His first full-length collection is Parallels: Selected Ekphrastic Poetry, 2009-2012 (Omphaloskeptic Press).

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Crucifixion. Ekphrastic Poem. Neil Ellman

crucifixion
 
 

(after the triptych by Francis Bacon, 1965)
 
 
I
 
 
After it is eaten
all is the same in the belly
of the crucifix
once a man
chewed, digested and spit out
misshapen remains
without a name or memory
without ascent.
 
 
II
 
 
Make a mockery
of sinew, muscle and flesh
sliced open and re-arranged
an offal pile
where there was a soul
now none
where there was compassion
now retribution
on a butcher’s hook.
 
 
III
 
 
Unrecognizable
even to myself
a victim of the my own conceit
I demanded providence
and was reduced to this
a torture of the flesh–
Oh, Lords of the Rack and Chain,
why have you forsaken me.


 
 
 
 
Neil Ellman jpg
 
 

Biography: Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey. More than 1000 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His first full-length collection is Parallels: Selected Ekphrastic Poetry, 2009-2012 (Omphaloskeptic Press).

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…Whose Name Was Writ in Water. Ekphrastic Poem. Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Willem de Kooning)

It is his whose name
was writ in the calligraphy
of swirling, arching waves
without the eyes and ears
spurs and tails
of word or sound
in human alphabets
where no one heard him speak
the language of the sea
his sermon on the mount
of turbulence
whose name is lost—
he proclaimed dominion
over tide and time
then sank alone into a sea
of disregard.

Whose Name was Writ on Water

Biography: Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey. More than 850 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world. His first full-length collection is Parallels: Selected Ekphrastic Poetry, 2009-2012 (Omphaloskeptic Press).

***

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The End of Everything. Poem. Neil Ellman

 

(after the painting by Roberto Matta

Echaurren)

Matta-the-end-of-everything-1942

 

 

And when it ended

there was a terrible groan

like the voice of a tree

falling from the weight

of too many seasons of death

and the pain of rebirth.

 

The ground could not hold.

Rocks heaved a last appeal.

Space filled

with an anarchy of white

shifting to red.

 

And then a silence

deafening, more profound,

its inevitability told

at the instant of its birth

when the word was everything

green, young and ours

we lived in that moment

not knowing it would end

with none of us to hear.

 
 
Neil Ellman
 
 

Biography:  Nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey.  More than 1000 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  His first full-length collection is Parallels: Selected Ekphrastic Poetry, 2009-2012 (Omphaloskeptic Press).

***

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