Writers Respond to "Tell Me a Story"

10/27/2018

The art works on exhibit in “Tell Me a Story” are of various styles and mediums that all lead the viewer toward a story. Emerge Gallery welcomes creative writers to visit the gallery during the exhibition — or view the work on-line at www.emergegalleryny.com — connect with a piece of art, and finish the narrative that the artists began in their work. Poetry, stories and personal essays are welcome. 

 

Writers have been responding. Enjoy reading the work!

 

The Girl and the Cardinal

© Maxine Davidowitz

Oil on canvas, 36" x 36"

 

 

Writer © Carolyn Marosy responded to Maxine's work with her poem: 

 

The Girl and the Cardinal

 

She couldn’t have been more than 7 years old when she mastered the vacant stare.
It was as if she could become transparent, almost bleeding into the scenery.
The unsureity of whether or not she was even still listening hung in the air,
like a single frame chosen from a super 8 film strip.
She was unusually thin, with limbs like branches and long brown hair;
a perfect nest for creatures who are lucky enough to find her fallen strands.

 

Behind her eyes she had a fire.
You could see it in her smile too,
but she was quick to fall back into her vacant stare when a certain tone of voice turned sour.
Her mother would yell at her, usually for nothing more than being “in the way”.
It was a shrill, caustic barrage of sarcasm that the little girl endured, day after day.
“Why don’t you go put your head in an oven,” she would say to the little girl.
“Eating? Again. You’re already too fat”.
The little girl would stop what she was doing, and fall into her blank stare, expressionless.

 

She was standing in the yard when a bright red cardinal flew over the little girl’s shoulder,
and emerged through a large, open window in the kitchen.
The little girl saw it and she got very excited. 
As she jumped up and down, she made a mad dash for the kitchen door.
She sprung it open, exclaiming “Mommy, he has come for me! He has come for me!”
Her mother barked at her, “get the broom! Get the broom!”
“No mommy!” and she began to cry.

 

The bird did not seem confused or frightened as it made it’s way around the cacophany of wares.
The kitchen was littered with magazines, schoolbooks, pencils, empty, and, unopened wine bottles.
If something needed to be found, surely it is lost here.

 

Amongst the calamity, the little girls book bag lay on the table.
The beautiful bird, with it’s red wings afflutter, landed on upon it.
He preened his back for just a moment- a split second, and upon take off, he dropped a thin, red feather.
Her mother barked again. “Did you let this bird in?”
Her brother came in from the other room, “If she has a bird, I want a dog!” he exclaimed.


“You get out of my kitchen, you little bastard!”, she screetched and raised the broom.
By design or by chance, the bird escaped peril, and found the open window.
Out he flew.
The boy stood watching, confused.

 

The little girl grabbed the feather and ran into her room.
She closed the door, sat on the side of the bed.
She held the feather to her heart, closed her eyes and said these words:

 

I am not a bird, but I will fly.
I will make wings out of the tears I cry.
I will always remember this day.
And some day, I will find my way.

 

© Carolyn A. Marosy

 

 

 

 

 

Poet © Michelle DeCicco responded to Maxine's work with her poem:

 

 

The Girl and the Cardinal

 

once upon a time
i was a little girl
always gawky
clumsy and too skinny
people would tease
that they could see
through me

i was eager to escape
my hurtful and selfish 
mother

who wouldn’t hug
her daughters
or say i love you
to us
we were all mistakes
in her head
she would say
“i got pregnant because i loved the attention - i never wanted them after
their birth!”

my godmother’s home 
was a refuge
she was a sweet
and nurturing soul
who protected me
spoke to me with
kind words
taught me all 
she knew
shared her love
of gardening and cardinals

i told her one day
while we were in her garden 
picking peas,
that i wished
i could live
in a secret garden
near her house
it would have a 
magical wooden door
that would only
reveal itself
to her, my sisters, and 
my dad
no one else would 
find me
my own sanctuary 
with many trees
surrounding it
soft pretty grass 
a pond for swimming
and ice skating
only cardinals
would exist there
they would keep
the magic 
from my ancestors
alive

she gently told me 
that i couldn’t 
live in a secret garden
but whenever i 
visited her
i could play in her
garden
and i would always
be safe with her
because she would
never stop 
loving me.

 

 

 

Who Will Remember Me
© Leah Brown Klein
Collage


Poet © Gay Leonhardt responded to Leah's work with her poem: 

In a hundred years 
you will be a name 
with dates 
in some genealogy. 
 
Within the book of a brain:
      all that text of the story 
      that you tell yourself, day after day.
 
It’s a very boring story.
It’s a dead conversation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrift At Sea
© Andrea Walcutt Perez
Mixed media


Poet © Arabella Colton responded to Andrea's work with her haiku:

 

The Polar Bear


The thin polar bear
Surrounded by blue-green sea.
The ice is melting.

 

 

 

 

 

a fish tale
© jd weiss
Medium format film, 18" x 18"

Poet © Arabella Colton responded to jd's work with her haiku:

 

Fish Woman Love

 

She stands by the sea

Cradling the fish in her arms.

Brought by the waves. Love!

 

 

 

 

Poet © Michelle DeCicco responded to jd's work with her poem:

 

 

a fish tale


hundreds of years 
ago
a great storm
with dark clouds
taking over 
the entire sky
the rain came
with such force
that it hurt
my skin
the winds were
so strong
that it bent trees 
in half
and tore apart
our homes
it lasted
for many nights
and days
the ocean’s waves
swelled
as each day passed
we began to lose
hope
we worried
if it would ever cease
before we
perished
the people in my
village
came to me
and asked if i 
could get help
to stop the storm

they knew
i was half 
mermaid

i agreed
to try
i called out
to a passing fish
he swam to me
i reached out
and picked him up
cradled him in 
my arms
and spoke softly
to him

he went to poseidon 
and begged for help
poseidon agreed to 
stop the storm
but
i would have to
make the sea
my forever home,

yes I shall 
embrace this 
new life
in order 
to save 
many.

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish Drama Queen
© Suzanne Parker
Mixed media on repurposed wood


Poet © Sari Grandstaff responded to Suzanne's work with her poem:

I fingered the beads like a mala.
Stranded in my own thoughts,
gazing upward, ever upward,
never one to be a navel gazer
plus that gives you those 
unattractive chin wrinkles.
It is just so damn hard to decide
even though I am not a Libra 
like my sister is. 
Really such a tragedy how they closed
that little place we used to love going to…
so now where, oh where, should we make
the dinner reservations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet © gwynneth green also responded to Suzanne's work with her poem:

 

 

jewish drama queen

 

 

actually

that’s my grandmother

a photo from the 1920’s

she was a Ziegfeld girl

 

that was way before your time

before mine

too

 

they were famous

you know

at least that is what i was told

 

a dance troupe

and i understand nudity

was part of the act

happened way back then

so did drugs

drinking and 

cigarette holders 

making the girls look so classy 

 

the gay guys 

in the dressing room

helped them change

their elaborate costumes

between every act

then back to parade on stage

with an air of sophistication

 

shocking to think

grandma was part of all that

she

so very strict

with what we said and did

who would have guessed

she had a wild side

 

this is fact

now

put on your favorite dancing shoes

for you 

are clearly a close resemblance

to great great granny 

my dear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solitary Man
© Ken Tannenbaum
Photography


Poet © Sari Grandstaff responded to Ken's work with her poem:

 

A Solitary Man

Yes, I admit it, I wanted my own drawer

but not like this, never like this!

The police will never believe

that I didn’t do it

not when they find my pink toothbrush

in one of the holes of the toothbrush holder.

I just wanted a couple of my own hangers

in the closet and my own drawer

so I wouldn’t have to cart around a nightgown

in my yoga mat bagand pretend I was going to yoga class

instead of to his apartment.

He was too compartmentalized

relegating our relationship to a weekend fling.

One drawer, was that too much to ask?

He was fastidious, I’ll give him that

pants always neatly pressed

That’s how they’ll find him

pebble grain leather shoes sticking out

of the tongue and groove dresser drawer

 

 

 

 

Artist © Barbara Bravo also responded to Ken's work with her poem:

 

 

The preposterous story of

A Solitary Man Finding His Safe Place

 

No one will ever think to look for me here.  

No cares.

No worries.

No wants.

No needs.

Hidden away.

No one will ever think to look for me here.

 

 

 


Artist © Carol Flaitz responded to Ken's work with her observation:

 

My drawers are too tight.

 

Higher Ground
© Lucinda Abra
Encaustic, oil and collage on wood, 24" x 30"


The artist responded to her work with the story:

 

 

Higher Ground: The Story 

 

Papa must have gone out to collect the chicken eggs. That’s what Mama said when I scampered down the rough-hewn steps of the sleeping loft and wiped the dust from my eyes.  It had only been a short time since we entered the place of the ancestors.  Banditos had been trying to get Papa to sell drugs and guns, but he had refused. In retaliation, they burnt down our small groceria, and then killed his two sisters, my aunties, and my grandparents. All on the very same day. We didn’t get to go to their funerals; we didn’t get to even dress the dead, instead we fled, having entered upon a spell of tears. 

 

My Papa had bushwhacked with mad determination, sure we could out chase death. He was all bent over, like a crooked stick, beating the vegetated earth into a submission of passage. Mama carried her two prized chickens, one under each arm.  The sound of the clucking echoed strangely within such dense jungle growth. I was afraid that the bad men would hear their squawking but I kept my fears under my shoes. With each step I smashed panic into the ground, grinding it into a dark, murky dust lost in the sea of roots.  Still I was relieved when Mama hung those noisy birds upside down. Then, they grew muted and fell into the deep slumber of the innocent.  

 

It was so very humid. The waters of our poisoned streams had come along us. The thick air covered our skin, seeping through the damp clothing. I was afraid to breathe and despite the lengthy exertion, took in hesitant, shallow breaths. Some more unblemished children might worry that in swallowing a watermelon seed they might become pregnant. But me? I suspected that with just one wrong inhale the spirits of the slaughtered would enter, reducing my body to the same dissolved corruption as the many bodies we had witnessed floating in polluted streams and riverbeds.  

 

Papa had sat down hard and mewled, having finally found the small trickle of pathway. Mama waved her numbed arms in joy, which woke the birds. They too recovered their own voices, joining the chorus of jubilation. Soon after, we found the small hidden hut, covered, as it was, in a thousand vines. My great grandfather had built it in a different time of troubles, when the army had turned against its population, suspecting many of being traitors in cahoots with revolution. The shelter had stood in waiting despite the pulsing life that squeezed around it, like many green snakes. It was a good thing to be so disguised.  We only wished to be invisible and wait for the turmoil to end. 

 

Within a short while we had our routine. But why was Papa dawdling? Mama went outside, after giving me a salted tortilla and offered what was her last smile. She found her mate lying so still in the early morning, that she tiptoed forward, thinking he had decided to take a siesta.  The light was falling so softly though heart shaped leaves of a balsa tree; illumination fluttered over Papa’s torso. But he wasn’t sleeping anymore. Instead, a crimson O wept from under his widow’s peak.  I peeked around from the half open doorway as Mama tried to shake him awake but it did no good. He had entered the land of the dead from which no one returns opaque with life. 

 

An urraca, a type of magpie, called out in a scoffing laugh that joined with the crack of a rifle as Mama fell hard in a swoon, so much red blood pouring through her chest. I did not cry out but to my shame, hid tight against a long, grayed shadow. My heart struggled. There was no way for my sadness to escape hidden as it was under the twisted canopy of green snakes. I crossed myself once for their souls. Then I fled up the stairs and burrowed under the bedding. Only nine years old, but even a child knows when to run from a pack of hyenas. 

 

 

The bad men crept through the shadows and discovered me crunched into the corner. Wrapped tightly under the blanket my grandmother had woven, I had hoped she would be my last secret talisman. Such a foolish child, my feeble wish was useless.  There was no one left to protect me. My bed shirt soon lay aside as limp as my will as greedy hands tore through cloth and then ripped through my soft child flesh. One at a time, all ten of them feasted. Although it was so very hot, I shook as it were freezing. The sound of their laughter cascaded like rancid ice, filling me with a cold dread.  Then, tossing me onto the floor, those same clenched fingers began to beat upon my bruised body, plummeting me into a small, broken thing. I tried to murmur for mercy but my words were stuck behind swollen lips and cracked teeth. Finally, when there was so little left of me, and they had grown bored and weary, one of the men, a big brawny one who smelled of sour sweat and rifle oil, picked me up and threw me through the upstairs opening. He thought to destroy me. To remove yet another witness to horror unbridled.  

 

But he had failed as the merciless always do. Although my body lay crumpled and discarded as if it were mere cloth, my essence had flown above, far from the wrenching tragedy. From on high there was peace within this different perspective.  As I soared upwards on newly grown wings, I saw in the distance millions upon millions who had found release from the inhumanity of mankind.  Far off in the horizon, past the mountains, the gardens , the largest of the houses, and even the president’s palace there was the open pasture of a peaceful kingdom. With newly grown wings I stretched towards it.  This was better than a land of the free; this was a place of spirit unbounded. I was headed home. 

 

 

© Lucinda Abra 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom
© Cheryl Lickona
Digital Collage, 12" x 12"


Poet © Elena P. McLaughlin responded to Cheryl's work with her poem:

 

I felt on top of the world! 
A celebration! 
Ganesh safely escorting me
That’s when I noticed,
I was free

 

 

 

 

© Siouxzanne Harris also responded to Cheryl's work with her reflection:
 

Mulberry Street 

 

Coffee in hand, I head to the car and set out early. It’s quiet and a little misty, Sun is low in the sky and traffic is minimal. I round the turn and the crossing warning lights come on, flashing brightly as the gates fall from vertical to horizontal.  I pop the car in neutral to wait it out. I hear the rattling sounds, and scraping, and the whirring as the train speeds past me. Box cars with graffiti lumber by, then a few empty cars, then, the brightly colored cars of a circus train. It is warm and the doors are open revealing lions, and clowns, and costumes. I flash back to an animal crackers box. The cars zip by- then slow down, wheels clicking on the rails, until it comes to a complete stop. The morning mist settles and makes the scene dreamlike. After another moment or two I kill the engine. This could take a while. The people in the circus cars are restless and start climbing out of the doors and windows to see what is going on. Some of the animals are taken out for a walk. An elephant with a small girl on top walks by. 

 

I hear a horn beep behind me and realize the train has gone and the gate has lifted. I start the car, put it in first gear and continue on my journey.

 

 

 

 

Visiting Day, 1985
© Al Desetta
Oil and pencil on canvas, 30" x 40"


 

Poet © Robert P Langdon responded to Al's work with his poem:

 

 

Visiting Day

 

I never liked visiting day. Mom would take me with her to the “home.” 

It was always cold and smelled of antiseptic. He never remembered 

me — the one that his wife fought hard to live to see born

and once I was, she would let go. 

 

He would stare at me, confused by how familiar I looked, then back
to mom with a blank face while he listened to her updates 

about people who had long fled his mind. 

 

He would look at me again. Hard. Trying to figure out the connection. 

The tips of his shock of white hair reaching for answers. Sometimes
he would grab them and his eyes would get excited,
but he would just as quickly lose his grasp and slip back to forgetting. 

 

“Why do you still go to see him,” I ask mom on our way home. 

“Because he’s my father,” she said wiping her tears. “And I want him to know
that I’m visiting. And that he’s not alone.”

 

Years later mother would go through this again with her brother. 

Holding his hand. Talking to fill the void. Recounting stories from childhood
in the hopes that one would trigger a memory and the brother she loved
would pop up for a mere second to say that everything was OK. 

 

But sometimes I question if everything is OK. These days 

I walk into a room and immediately forget why I’m there.

I talk to people I know that I know but can’t figure out how I know

them. Or a conversation drops out of my mind minutes after it’s been had.

 

I’m hoping these are signs of getting old. That they’re normal. 

But if not …. Then I hope I don’t forget the music. No, not the music.

I’ll need something to focus on when the strangers come on visiting day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poet © gwynneth green also responded to Al's work with her poem:

 

 

the Dame of algebra II

 

Art

was the principal 

and fill in as basketball coach

he remembered

being a star

in his dreams 

that is

 

Samantha 

everyone called Sam

was the 

director of phys ed

on Thursdays

the rest of the week

she was Dame of algebra II

who knew

she could do math

 

art and sam

collided on a hike

in the woods

behind the track

 

at least

that was

the rumor

spread around school

 

they

claimed

not even to be friends

till summer break

 

that ended quite quickly

when caught

exiting

motel 6

on highway 69

if you catch my drift

 

they lost their jobs

Sam sometimes sobs

Art couldn’t care less

 

he still smiles

thinking about

undressing

the Dame of algebra II

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Tell
© Elaine Ralston
Pastel, 21" x 25"


Poet © gwynneth green responded to Elaine's work with her poem:

 

 

William Tell

 

mom told me to practice

everyday

at 5:00

after homework

before dinner

 

i did

but

couldn’t she hear

the strings

didn’t sing

they whined in pain

as if being tortured

 

i was

 

how could i explain

i’d be no better

with any bow

 

would she really want me

me

to take aim

of a target on her head

no matter how many years

she insisted

on practice

 

yet every night at 5:45

she’d ask

William

tell me the truth

did you practice

 

 

 

Boston to the Big Apple

 © Helen Gold
Tapestry, 18" x 20"



Poet © Chris Collins responded to Helen's work with his poem:

 

 

Boston To The Big Apple

 

Two hundred and ten K turns

of a wheel on a bicycle… 

going that distance burns 

 

off seventy thousand carbs

for a fast riding cyclist

who has the cool wind towards        

 

his back his bent over back

he’ll maintain more stamina 

Pedaling fast on black

 

top roadways, wheels silently

moving the propelling chain 

spokes holding wheels tightly 

 

a sweat-soaked shirt dripping down 

upon a scorched crotch with feet 

pedaling pedals around 

 

letting his overworked mind 

escape a hard-working life 

for a brief moment in time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rust Face

 © Michael Garland
Oil on canvas, 20" x 16"



Poet © Matthew J. Smith responded to Michael's work with his poem:

 

A Poem for Rust Face

 

On wonderful days he introduces Chaos Theory

With eggshell thoughts 

No one understands, but

Everyone can sense 

And so they whisper  

As they launch their protracted inquest:

 

“Hey, that boy …

he’s just not right.”

 

I demand to see the arbiters of normality

and architects of social construct.

And I demand from them 

an explanation.

 

The world is full of bedlam 

Requiring shifting gears 

And cognitive dissonance 

Because in the end 

Escape becomes essential

 

So let them whisper

And employ their inquisition

Let them lure and skew opinion

Obfuscate and impede

His meandering journey 

 

And let them consider his rust an erosion

of societal norm

but be blind to conformity’s deconstruction.

This boy:

The one they said who’s “just not right”

This boy will endure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opal

© Richard Gamache
Colored pencil on paper



© Jan Alexander responded to Richard's work with the story:

 

 

For “Tell Me a Story”- a story about Opal on the Last Day on Earth (Richard Gamache) 

 

 

“Tomorrow, tomorrow,” she croaks, and takes an elongated drag on her signed-by-the-artisan nicotine-therapy wand. 

Opal simply adores tomorrow. Always. It’s the promise of tomorrow that gives her eyes that topaz shimmer. Long ago, thoughts of tomorrow sent her racing from the trailer, through the mud, picking pockets to get a Greyhound ticket,  procuring other girls for Dugan on the city streets; she kept her sights on tomorrow and the beautiful numbers that spelled commissions earned from helping his business.  

 

“I’ve lived and I will live some more,” she tells some people she vaguely knows from somewhere, perhaps from St. Maarten. She tells them she’s heard they’ll float in free space if it comes to that; the fortress where they’re mingling is made of subatomic walls, is it not? The wine cellar will deplete someday, of course. She chugs her Leflaive Batard Montrachet Grand Cru—the second most expensive white wine in the world, because someone has already emptied the first—and adds a violet capsule. The violet ones make you feel like a sex goddess; her only supply that isn’t for sale. 

 

“Tomorrow,” she tells the people who might have been to St. Maarten.  She bats her Yukon-mink eyelash implants, done just yesterday, she speaks of the stem cell hormone injections she was supposed to get tomorrow, which, if the doctor gets here as he halfway promised, will give her a new layer of dewy skin, a head of silken hair. 

 

The people move on, and no one sees the diamond-shaped teardrop she wipes from her cheek. She spots Dugan, though. It’s been decades, but even back in their youth, she used to call him Hippopotamus Neck when he wasn’t around, and she’d know that neck anywhere. She beckons with a blood-red nail; he comes to her because it always was that way. 

 

He was the first man she married,  and the way he plants his hand on her knee makes her shudder as she always did. He talks, in his mouthful-of-marbles way, about the settlement she missed out on, after he bought ten foreclosed properties and turned them all into strip clubs, and she knows, through her violet haze, that he still wants her after all these years. 

 

She knows another teardrop is on the way, and she almost wants to kiss the battered hide that is his cheek. 

“Tomorrow….” She tries for a pill-fattened goddess breathiness, but a toad lives in her larynx, and she might as well let the toad do the talking from now on. “Tomorrow, my dearest Dugan, let’s run away to Antarctica, naked.”

 

 

 

 

Dugan

© Richard Gamache
Colored pencil on paper

 

 

 

Artist © Carol Flaitz responded to Ken's work with her observation:

 

I voted for the wrong one.

 

 



© gwynneth green responded to Richard's work with the poem:

 

opal and dugan

 

 

opal likes conversation

about any and every

thing

she is a snoop

she hypnotizes 

with her bling-ful earrings

hard to take your eye away

she softly speaks in a lower register 

a little unnerving 

but somehow captures

her prey

and they will spill their guts

of the good bad and ugly news

about their families

friends and neighbors too

 

as opal sits

looking most interested 

 

 

dugan

really isn’t a grump

though he always

looks totally bored

there doesn’t seem to be enough wine

to shut out

the good bad and ugly news

that opal

recounts 

every day at 5 

he nods his head

as if to agree

really thinking

not my problem

thank the lord

not my problems indeed

 

seemingly a bit disjointed

these two

in reality

he couldn’t survive

and wouldn’t change

his life

for he loves his

gem of a wife

opal

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Portrait

© Amy Albert
Oil, 18" x 24"

 

 

Poet © gwynneth green responded to Amy's work with the poem:

 

 

 

 

the portrait

 

oh my god

 

why did i ask

for a portrait

what was i thinking

 

what was the artist thinking

i have no cleavage

well

i really do

but you wouldn’t know it

looking at the painting

 

can i claim

it is aunt sally

my mom’s younger sister

who never visits

people say we look alike

do i look so frumpy

so unhappy

 

i like the dress

don’t believe i have one like that

does aunt sally

 

why a green chair

the artist asked me

what colors i favor

i told him

anything but green

don’t know why

just don’t care for the color

is that a sin

 

what about the wallpaper

who even has wallpaper anymore

thought that went out in the 80’s

what would i know

i was a baby

 

really

i don’t mean to be so critical

but honestly

who is that

in

the portrait 

 

 

 

 

© Loel Barr responded to Amy's work with the story:

 

'Penelope waiting"

 

Her straight hard hair clamped to her head, Penelope Rasp sat in the particularity of her living room.  The furniture declared itself, the sofa yawning, the sideboard glowering, the carpet smiling sleepily. Julius the cat was busy organizing his tabby stripes and polishing his white boots.  Gravity anchored Penelope’s sizable feet to the floor, pulled at her eyelelids and chins and breasts, which  used to be bouncy smooth orbs the size of cantaloupes, nipples flirting with god on high.The rest of Penelope sagged against the tired upholstery of her wing chair. She sat, she waited.

 

A window-shaped yellow square crawled down the wall. Faded wallpaper roses stopped gossiping and sighed as it stroked them. Behind Penelope’s caterpillar brows, white puffs dotted a blue dome, bees buzzed, butterlies fluttered, snakes slithered through grass. Penelope’s long-dead momma hummed an old Irish tune. Deep in the folds of her brain, dragons and monsters slept.

 

Speck by speck, dust settled silently on surfaces, dust that had floated on lofty winds from the Sahara, from Arabia and Australia and India. The refrigerator hummed in obedience to its  settings.  Water gurgled and burped in pipes, the furnace clicked on and off, wiring politely held its temper. Termites chewed, wood rotted, mold crept. Penelope's fingernails and hair grew, her heart pumped, she exchanged carbon dioxide for oxygen, gave birth to new cells and let old cells die. She rubbed her nose, swallowed, and waited.

 

If Penelope waited long enough, something would happen. Something had to, something always did. A tornado would snake down from dark clouds and spin her off to the land of Oz. A package would arrive, heavy, wrapped in brown paper, or a letter with her name written in blurred purple ink. A rock would fall through her roof and land a few inches from her toes or she would levitate from her chair and float out the window, drawn by a beam of bright light into a waiting spaceship. Tumor cells would start to divide and multiply in an innocent organ, hundreds of spiders would float on silky strands  from the ceiling, carolers singing joy to the world might appear on her porch.

 

None of these things happened, not to Penelope, heavy in her chair in her old-fashioned parlor in her peeling white bungalow in the middle of the block in a small town at the bottom edge of a flat Midwestern state. It was not unlikely that some of them happened elsewhere.  Everything happened elsewhere. Cars slammed into telephone posts, kids sang happy birthday, people fell into comas and came out of them, battles were fought, scrabble games were won, virginities were lost.

 

Julius squinted at her, sauntered into the kitchen for a bite of kibble, and escaped through his cat door. Daylight faded.  Penelope's stomach rumbled and reminded her of the sausage pizza in her fridge. She sighed and stopped waiting. She heated the pizza and ate it with a tumbler of warm vodka, and then she performed her nightly rituals and went to bed. Tomorrow, maybe tomorrow something would happen. She would wait.

 

 

 

 

 

Darling 

© Rebecca Hellard

Watercolor and graphite

 

 

Poet © gwynneth green responded to Rebecca's work with two poems:

 

darling

 

i always had a feeling

of not fitting in

 

not being grander

than others

if anything

i always felt rather small

like the spider 

on the wall

or perhaps

the flea

that no one could see

 

yes

i would easily

be called the wall flower

though i am so allergic

to blooms

therefore i spent years

hiding in my room

it was my womb

of life

i got to pick and choose

who entered

and who i gave the boot to

 

then you struck my fancy

and i used my best

behavior

to seduce you

into my womb

to find the same comfort

i do

 

and wishing and waiting

you finally stated

darling

i do  

 

 

my spirit grew

larger than life

 

 

 

 

 

darling

 

he always had a feeling

of not fitting in

 

not being grander

than others

if anything

he felt rather small

like the spider 

on the wall

or perhaps

the flea

that no one could see

 

yes

he could easily

be called the wall flower

though so allergic

to blooms

therefore he spent years

hiding in his room

it was a womb

of life

picking and choosing

who entered

and who got the boot t

 

then she struck his fancy

using his best

behavior

tried to seduce her

into his womb

to find the same comfort

he does

 

wishing and waiting

finally hearing her say

darling

i do  

 

 

his spirit grew

larger than life

 

 

 

 

 

When Push Comes to Shove

© Barbara Tepper Levy
Collage, 13" x 13"



© gwynneth green responded to Barbara's work with the poem:

 

 

 

when push comes to shove

 

 

you’re such a dick

put on your boxing gloves

go ahead

take a swing at me

if you’re that upset

 

what pissed you off

anyway

it doesn’t matter

you seem to be at a loss for words

 

you just

want to flail your arms

in hope of harming

me

 

i fail to believe

this is an answer to anything

 

you keep shouting

put up your dukes

 

you’re crazy man

i won’t fight

over what 

you still won’t say

 

are you really so mad

or is this some sort of anger issue

place a call

to your shrink

don’t take it out on an innocent

 

stop shouting nonsense

stop carrying on

in this idiotic manner

yes idiotic not moronic 

 

have you forgotten

my hands and feet are registered 

as lethal weapons

 

ok enough

watch out

hi-yah

i’ll end this quick

with a karate chop

to your dick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once upon a time in a land far away ....

© Ann Morris
Mixed media sculpture



© Joan Reinmuth responded to Ann's work with her poem:

 

 

When circling Saugerties you tell me a story: How

un threatened by the past we attempt to enlarge it.

how lucky us to have an 

 Open casket pizza, a Lamb soda fountain, Franks Hunting crepes and a Newberry art.

Now landing at the Annie M House we every chance to build 

the free mineral bath story telling ballroom or gunmoney museum (of how we used to live).

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Emerge Gallery & Art Space

228A Main Street, Saugerties, NY  (845) 247-7515

  • Trip Advisor Social Icon
  • Yelp Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean