Wednesday, June 26, 2019
In December, 2018, FIG artists exhibited their work at the Lyceum Theater along with the poetry that was either written in response to or that actually inspired the work. Below are the artworks and the poems, when possible. Some poems were written by the artists themselves.
1945: My mother was 18 then, Kirsten Aaboe
Poem: "We Melt Into Each Other with Phrases," Virginia Woolf
Atomic Girls, Irene Abraham
"The Smallest Units of Matter"
by Heather Eudy
in response to Irene Abraham's "Atomic Girls"
I found you among the throng,
sweet friend, electric.
We constructed circuits
of sky blue, moss green,
blood clot red.
We became the cosmos
to our shrinking family stories.
Look at the show of color our bodies
compose together, despite their plans
for us to hide, to take up
as little space as possible.
All matter is made of this
twist of atoms, smallest units
in the universe.
Atomic girls, we devise
our own plans. Breathe
in the spaces between. Build.
Connect. Watch us
spin yellow moon, nipple pink
creating the conditions
Critically Endangered: Spoonbilled Sandpiper, Stacie Birky Greene
Poem: "Sandpiper," Elizabeth Bishop
Lazarus Taxa, detail
Lazarus Taxa, detail
Lazarus Taxa, Judith Christiansen
by Betsy Mars
She is reptilian in her desperation, only instinct
to run from the trap her marriage
has become, leaving her young children,
not yet fledglings, motherless in the nest.
The nursemaid sweeps up, fills in,
adopts the ways of motherhood,
adapts to climate change. Her daughter
evolves, grows wings, talons, anything that stings.
Nora re-enters their orbit like a meteorite,
ignorant of the devastation left in her trail --
crashing who knows where,
light years ahead of her time --
cratering the terrain.
Torvald, nearly dinosaured into extinction
when she left, erupts and flows volcanic,
then hardens, only his surface solid land. Her return
cracks the family crater, the ground slumping under pressure.
The Dilemma, Moya Devine
There was a moment of awakening
when all the deceptions
caused me to recoil
as I realized
I was the lie too
Then I walked forward
saying goodbye to a piece of myself
The Split, Nilly Gill
"The Disconnect of Oneness"
Revisiting the self
Scattered beach pebbles
Chipped shiny edges
Thin white lines
Little echoes of the self
Repeating the disconnect
Without armors being washed
Tossed in the thick
Silvery sea foam Floating endlessly
Waves canceling one another
Seeking an armor
An invisible protective costume
A new skin.
Revisiting the self
On paintings staring back
Departing & returning
The rhythmic sound of
Cold white, warm gray, brown
Pushing one another
Sliding in green salt
Witnesses of years
A layered memory
Flowing in time
Whose mind watches
All that ?
The self flickers
Like a Light-House
In the far distance
Night closes in.
Flight Shy, Janice Grinsell
"Transitions in Silhouette"
attending to fear
a roadless desert
slick unknown want
blind porous boundaries
impermanence of breath
blush of sorrow
Water II, Prudence Horne
by Robert Horne
The perfect blue summer waves ending in a silent side through the ocean
A June mid-summers ocean room with the lazy laugh of the always forever full blue touching wave
And yes her horizon world’s curving earth and there is her outer space look at her leaving California heading east to Boston compliments of Delta.
Hallway, Linda Litteral
Excerpt from "hallway"
by Justina Aura Nemoy
i've tried everything
to not return
yet, pulled inopportunely and often,
mutely witness all that occurred to this body
in that house, on that bed
a tale of arms and inner thighs
recorded in bruises
snapshots in broken bones
painted like shattered glass
unearthed and remembered
it's the little things that scream loudest:
lipstick on a glass i never drank from
strangers calling familiarly a name never told them
secrets buried in our marriage bed
my hands covered with the earth of them
returns to perfect view tedious
(i come here often)
our nightmare life
myself as voyeur stands to contemplate
the exact geometric angle of rape
i'd like to untie her knots and run
Self and Savior far away
from you from our echoes
alone but whole
that house closed to me forever
The Space In-Between, Grace Matthews
The space in-between is eternal.
It is charged with your breath, your emotions, your time.
The space in-between is a witness
along with the sky, water, rocks and trees.
The space in-between is darkness and light.
It is vast and speaks softly to you in your dreams
The space in-between is where decisions are made
And your soul finds room to heal.
A House Divided, Kathy Miller
by Diane Gage
This house is built on solid sand
and cannonballs of clay.
Shifting and rolling under us
it’s a long-cracking joke, a stay
of execution, a temporary way
not to know the report of thunder
& its flashing news of our true estate,
our permanent exile from permanence,
our wandering sentence that takes
a whole life to say, a whole death to play
out, a whole crescendoing fever of pain
to fragment into visible syllables.
We love its roof and walls anyway,
especially when they lie so beautifully
about the rain out there, as we lie
to one another about the meaning
of our tears, so as not to shock
our jailers, our prisoners, ourselves.
Slip your fingers through this foundation
and cry up a new castle, if you can, in the flowing
ocean of all the air we’ll ever know.
Make it again, and again, be so.
Sweet Delicious, Kathy Nida
I spoke and broke
its delicate tracery of fruit punch
This thing I want
This thing I want
Waiting for High Tide, Kim Niehans
Poem: "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," W. B. Yeats
Prom Dates, Susan J. Osborn
Miss V. waited
for the last ruffle to be in place.
for a complete beauty.
Hands not waiting, knowing
a hammer waited in judgement.
Women of the Sundown, Judith Parenio
"Walking Into Dawn"
by Claudia Poquoc
Together we travel,
across sand and sea,
carrying primal codes.
As we journey
inner rhythm binds us.
Holy ones descend
the starpath of Pleiades
in garments of russet and gold.
Wicker Woman and others
who respond to the call,
cross the South Pacific
on island stones
then up the Sea of Cortez.
Most unable to speak,
I marvel at our riddle.
My fins now wings
I quietly whisper
Will we be ready?
La Betty Alexander, Helen Redman
by La Betty
You can choose a woman by
the way she looks
Don’t you know you can’t
learn the story
Unless you read the book.
My body may not be as firm
but my ankles still have a fine turn
And when I walk by
I still cause a few heads to turn.
Don't be so quick to judge the cover.
Some veneers aren't worth a quarter.
Our Last Walk, Grace Gray-Adams
Poem: "Time Does Not Bring Relief; You All Have Lied," Edna St. Vincent Millay
Stay Awhile, Åsa Kvissberg
"I Want to Stay Awhile"
by Marianne Kvissberg
Jag vill stanna ett tag
Och invänta den dag
Då min oroliga själ funnit ro
Så att alla oförlösta tankar kan gro Och alla demoner flyger och far Och jag lugnt kan hoppas på svar
I want to stay a while
And await the day
When my unruly soul found piece
So my unborn thoughts can grow
And all demons will fly afar
Calmly then I can hope for answers
Happy Hour, Kathi McCord
"Dear Ladies," said the monster,
"Would you care to dine with me?"
"We'll have truffles and squid, lobster and bid
each other 'Adieu' after tea."
"Dear Monster," said the ladies,
"We're not sure your company
is one that we crave.
You must learn to behave.
Tea is for two not for three."
Excerpt from "Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her"
by Susan Griffin
This earth is my sister:
I love her daily grace, her silent daring, and how loved I am,
how we admire this strength in each other,
all that we have lost, all that we have suffered, all that
we are stunned by this beauty,
and I do not forget: what she is to me, what I am
The Dream Will Come Back, Ann Olsen
Poem: "Oppression," Langston Hughes
Rec'd / Gave, Anna Stump
puritan / excess
gold and gems / art
diligence / obsession
financial support / rejection
insecurity / time
distance / love and longing
expectations / potential, failure
family devotion / suicide, addiction, the things every family suffers
pity / fury
forgiveness / forgetfulness
Pause and conceptualize
I begin you end
SILENCE, G. Pasha Turley
Poem: "First They Came," Martin Niemöller
Nonna Lucia, Anna Zappoli
I grew up seeing her everyday
Her hair white as snow her blue eyes
Her black dress her grey scarf she wore
Her little black cloth shoes
Her way of walking when she made her bed
everything had to be perfect the way she wanted
Her pulling the thread thru the needle
when she was sewing her perfect stitches
She was the one that had sardines spilled on
her dress and she smiled
she was the one that registered every grandchild
when born she spent all her life with her daughter
when the baby was born she was there for all seven
of them she helped with cooking and I loved to see
Her getting ready for this when peeling sweet peas
She was the one that loved to sing her songs
before we fell to sleep she loved all of us
and always marked her name with an X.
St. Mary Magdalen, Boxer, Cindy Zimmerman\
"Monsignor on the Deadly Sins"
by Jane Vincent Taylor
Decked out in silky vestments, beanie hat,
his holiness comes every other Sunday
and intones the Mass for our redemption,
Deus Judex Justus. After he has bid us
go in peace he doesn't let us go but stands
like a nine-round referee socking it to the
failed contenders. Balanced on the altar's
middle step on a pedestal of black shined
shoes, he leaves no doubt of the seven
deadly sins, of which the worst
is lust and can be knocked down with one
well-placed punch within ourselves, and
then our boyfriend's lust is also somehow
ours and must be blocked by our being
chaste in thought and deed and dress.
For a moment in the red stained chapel
Light, we promise to entertain no more
the crimson ways he has imagined for us
and vow to take up that pugilistic life
in simple black and white.
(This is one of a larger collection of poems by Taylor, The Lady Victory, which is
set in a real-life home for unwed mothers, in 1960s Oklahoma City)
Posted by FIG at 6:44 AM