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Ouslander & de la Peña – May 2011

Erin Ouslander and Silvia de la Peña exchanged art and writing. Erin shared this screenprint, entitled “Dream City,” with Silvia:

In response, Silvia wrote this poem:


Always when you remember the city, it is wintertime –
the sky is dark, but that could be because it is also always
nighttime, and the dead trees stretch their bare limbs towards the
sky like old witches hands planted upright along the sides of the streets,
their fingers reaching out for you, barely grazing the back of your
neck as you walk by. You swat them away like pesky flies.

Often it is like recalling a bad dream at the breakfast table,
wherein no one cares why you had to cannonball from the top
floor of an old warehouse into the dumpster in the alleyway below,
and why when you peered out of the container, the wall next to you was
a mirror and your hair had turned white.

In the new city, everything has been washed in gold and shines even at
night. The trees and the flowers are in bloom all year and sometimes
a palm leaf or date may fall on you from above, but they never reach
out to touch you. Dogs being taken for walks are honey colored and
smiling, and the people you pass as you go along the streets glow like
a candle has lit inside them. You want to be golden, too.

* * * *

Silvia shared this poem with Erin:

el perro del mar

The alignment of
stars and planets
and their influence
over our lives
holds as much weight
with me as an invisible
plate of air salad,
but today I listen
in wonder
as a friend reads
my horoscope:
You’re a water dog,
it says. Welcome to
your new home,
where the water is dry
and the air is not there.
Your tongue is mostly
sweet, but sometimes sharp,
and you are stubborn
and eccentric. And though
you have no say
in the matter,
it is a truth beyond
your grasp and larger
than your small body
that you will always
feel the black shadow
gliding beneath the
light on the water.

In response, Erin made this digital photography assemblage, titled “In Dog Years:”

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 12, 2011 12:19 pm

    Both poems and images examine the quality of light in a revealing way from the surface effect to the inner influence on the emotional canvas. Wonderful works. I want to mount them on my living room walls and witness how the light through the window touches them.

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