Sunday 5 November 2017

3 Poems by Neil Ellman

How to Look at a Spiral
(after the art cartoon by Ad Reinhardt)

Look closely.
Study it from every angle
and from within.
Measure it with calipers
in inches and miles.
Observe it through a microscope
and watch it move
at the speed of light
or lethargy of a sloth.

It can be seen
In fingerprints, galaxies,
Peacock feathers and DNA
in neoliths, Nazka lines
vipers and snails
everywhere you look.

Ever-tightening, spiraling
like tornadic winds
like life
winding down to its final hour.

How to Look at Space
(after the cartoon by Ad Reinhardt)

Through a telescope
space seems a circle
on a petrie dish—
know it as it is.

Through a microscope
a boundless universe
filled with galaxies—
it is.

With the naked eye
scan the skiy
for signs of life—
they are surely there.

Fruit Man
(after the painting by George Condo)

I know I can’t
but I would be a cantaloupe
if I can
a melon heavy in the hand
so sweet
the tongue would sing and dance
like a Dervish in a trance.

If I can, I would also be
a strawberry, grape or peach
soft, ripe, like water in themouth
land a sultry rain upon the face.

I would be a topical fruit
of any kind:
banana, jujube or honeydew
guava, papaya or nance
any fruit whatsoever
but never, never again a man.


Neil Ellman is a poet from New Jersey.  He has published numerous poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern art, in print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.  He has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net.

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