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Demond & Arthur – Baltimore Ekphrasis Project

Marlayna Demond and Amy Arthur traded art and words. Marlayna shared this untitled piece with Amy:

Untitled_Marlayna Demond In response, Amy wrote this poem:

Bud Scar

Spring practicing deep in the pith,
not yet sprung on stem, root collar
sunk in the cold mud of newly melted
slush: when I was younger than I am
I followed a man I didn’t know
into a stand of trees. He wanted
to photograph me. He liked my scar,
not the neat seam of today, not
growth ring, but coarse bark exposed
in the flat light of late winter late day.

The body is a thing, Ding, Old German
for meeting. I watch now, breathless
at the danger I was never in. I follow
a man I do not know. I ragdoll forward,
throw my shoulders back to make my hair
a crown in flight, in flash, again, again,
my sutured neck exposed.

* * * * *

Amy shared this poem with Marlayna:

Lonicera Japonica

Before the shed burned down, taking nearly
every family photo with it—shoe boxes and albums
and Ziplocs full of long-gones flung up in the August heat,
faces changed to embers drifting, settling in the loblollies;

before the old house shrugged itself to pieces,
let the storm finish what the termites started,
and welcomed the raccoons in to shred
half-finished quilts, to steal the rusting silverware;

when honeysuckle choked the trees
that crowded the gravel drive so, arriving,
you’d hear branches raking the car, smell sugar in the air—
we stood in the heat, pulled blossoms off the vines.

It takes practice. Older cousins taught me how
to pinch the flower apart, slowly, thread filament
backwards through receptacle, how to hold the thing
to my tongue at the right time and catch what was there.

In response, Marlayna made this photographic illustration entitled “Fleeting”:

Untitled_MarlaynaDemond

 

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