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Anderson & Rounds – Baltimore Ekphrasis Project

Carlton Anderson and Heather Rounds traded art and words. Carlton shared this image, entitled “Rain,” with Heather:Rain - Carlton Anderson
In response, Heather wrote this poem:


From a nest composed of fragile cells, a day rose, folded itself out. With the day came
my monster wide over weak terrain. With the day came my obstacle to breathing. The clutched-up architecture of two. An eye from murmur to clarity. An eye already cross-hatched. And from the beginning my monster took to claiming my fragile as its own. The hair and the teeth. The right ecosystem. A sealed wet cleave. The right blue-blend of moister. The right heat for disease. The fatty shape of our wings, swooping fast and nowhere.

* * * * *

Heather shared this poem with Carlton:


South Africa, 1928

A hippopotamus walked 1600 km over 3 years, eventually reaching the southeastern coast, collecting fans and celebrity status along the way. They named her Huberta.

It’s just one night I continued. Rose with the moon from a watering hole and began to push southward. Mostly I pushed until the sun came and then closed the mud over me, waiting for darker sides of skies. At times I pushed with the sun, too, and blood rose through my skin. It stung and scars collected quickly, but I continued anyway—sought grasses and fruit fields, ate my way through long distances and let the blood sweat out. When possible I pushed with the moon. When you push as I have, there are just some musts that must happen. You must line your stomach with the fields. You must push with the moon more than the sun. You must push away from the noise. Those who first spotted me, found me under the sun and between some banana trees. I felt their noise in the grass and pushed other directions. I do things too long. It’s just my way. I pushed so long they spotted me and followed. They kept coming, closer and often. At first they came with the sun only, but soon when I broke from the mud toward the moon I felt their noise in the air. Sometimes I found it hard to find a direction away, but always I pushed past—toward where the moon stays strong and silent, always pushing faster than their noise. I pushed until the ground went flat, the grasses thinned and a field of water stretched to the sky. Their noise clapped the water and I knew I could push no further. I stood so long the sun came back. I always do things too long. My pores stretched and I sweated the blood out. I listened with no grasses to line my stomach, my scars cracking and stinging and my teeth drying with such a large sun over so much sky. I had never stopped so long and I felt it— what comes between the waiting and the pushing.

In response, Carlton made this painting, entitled “traveling_carltonTraveling”:


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