Crucifixion. Ekphrastic Poem. Neil Ellman


(after the triptych by Francis Bacon, 1965)
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.
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.
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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