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Sterner & Singer – May 2016

Ron Singer and Jenna Sterner traded art and words. Jenna shared this image, entitled “Don’t Let the Light In, It Gets Too Hot,” with Ron:


In response, Ron wrote this poem*:


“Zu Hot!”
Weather and season, indeterminate,
she sits at a table by the window,
her mouth, with its two teeth, working,
her hands playing with a red handkerchief.
The window is in our kitchen –her sphere.
She smells of face, and bubble-gum, powder.
She eats corn on the cob by cutting
and scraping the kernels off, one by one.
Why doesn’t she speak? Can’t she even read?
She looks like an old Indian chief,
dubbed by my father, “Ikamatubee,”
a name from a joke, not from history.
Her hosts, sons-in-law, are unkind to her.
“Zu hot,” she says, but that could be the steam.
* * * * *
Ron shared this poem with Jenna:
The Grid Effect
Ensconced on a toilet in western Maine,
I peer through the grid of a window screen,
at clouds, mountains, trees, shrubs –a day scrubbed clean.
When the wind blows, ruffling the foliage,
the grid creates a shimmering effect,
superimposed upon the air-blown green.
Are there “grid” painters who use window screens?
For the umpteenth time, nature pricked by art.
In a clown foursome, Rodney Dangerfield
plays golf in Florida. Stretching his arms,
waving a club, master of all he surveys,
he sighs expansively: the emerald greens,
rolling fairways, background condos and trees.
“I love this!” he cries. “Nature on a leash!” *
* from John Sayles’ film, “Sunshine State” (2002)
In response, Jenna made this image, entitled “Beyond the Grid”:
Sterner_Beyond The Grid
* “Zu Hot” is adapted from Singer’s memoir, A Voice for my Grandmother (Ten Penny Players/Bard Press Chapbooks, 2nd. ed, 2008, now available as a free pdf from the publisher). “The Grid Effect” first appeared in the Peeking Cat anthology (U.K., November, 2015).
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