Two New Poems at The Ekphrastic Review

I spent far too little time submitting work to journals in 2015, partly out of that weird post-book fatigue I seem to experience in the months after a collection comes out (other poets, do you experience this too?). But I’ve committed to reengaging in 2016 with journals, getting work back out in the world. What a perfect place to reintegrate than by going back to my ekphrastic roots. Thanks to the appearance of Sharon Dolin’s lovely poem “Blue Ladder” in The Ekphrastic Review: writing and art on art and writing, edited by Lorette C. Luzajic, I discovered a wonderful journal devoted not only to the interplay of poetry and the visual arts, but to deepening and expanding what we have come to know as “ekphrastic” writing. Perhaps that’s why I’m so excited they took two “out there” poems of mine that I never thought would find homes.

The first poem, “7 ÜBER 7” is my nod to Fluxus, inspired by Dan Graham’s Schema which I saw at MoMA a couple summers ago during one of the evening classes I sometimes take there. Schema actually inspired a major revision of this poem while I was editing the art-drenched collection in which it will appear, Impossible Gotham.

Here’s Schema:

Dan Graham, Schema, 1966

Dan Graham, Schema, 1966

And here’s how it inspired me (text is intended to be flush right):

7Uber7 by Matthew Hittinger

The second poem, “Color Keyboard Eye Hammer,” was also written during one of my MoMA classes, and is in direct response to Kandinsky’s Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 1. As I whittled down the language from my free-write into something with structure, the “who-what-when-where-why-how” prompts kept popping into my head, and attached themselves to the ends of the lines in sestina repetition. This poem’s part of a sequence called “Thought Frost Voodoo” that currently lives under the Book of M project umbrella. It now joins its siblings “Cross Bucket Candle Knife” (The Offending Adam) and “Caliper Owl Thistle Fork” (Crazyhorse) out there to breathe in the world.

Vasily Kandinsky. Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 1. 1914

Vasily Kandinsky. Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 1. 1914

Click on the poem title above to read the poem’s text at The Ekphrastic Review.

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