Tag Archives: Ekprhasis

All That Remains: Inspired by Van Gogh’s Bedroom by Kim Baker 

One wonders who, alongside Vincent himself,
stares down upon the empty bed.
Two framed guardian angels?
Or the visages of brothers, of lovers?
They are all that remain to witness
this hauntingly serene scene.

Moon-glow window partly ajar.
Towel resigned on a nail near one door.
Patiently anticipating painting smocks
signature straw hat at the hooked dowel.
Hairbrush, pitcher, carafe
atop an apprehensive table, waiting.

Chair pulled close to the head of the bed
as if someone had just been reading 
a soothing children’s story to Vincent
or pleading in a blanket of red woolen urgency
robin’s egg blue reasons for Vincent 
to skip the long walk to the wheat field 
accompanied only by the cold steel of peace.

When she isn’t writing poetry about big hair and Elvis, Kim works to end hunger and violence against women. A poet, playwright, photographer, and NPR essayist, Kim publishes and edits  Word Soup, an online poetry journal (currently on hiatus) that donates 100% of submission fees to food banks. Kim’s chapbook of poetry, Under the Influence:  Musings about Poems and Paintings, is available from Finishing Line Press.      

“Thoughts While Reading Kierkegaard (The Cupboard, 1841)” by Katherine DeBlassie

His coat hangs, Regine,
like a cassock and hides his wooden leg.
The clock sounds; the sign of his father
he carries on his back—

He loved the cupboard. Wanted your
body inside it more than you did.
Acknowledge the things inside it (agony, pseudonyms . . .)
but have the opposite in mind.

He quakes underneath his umbrella,
pushing against the tic-toc, the daily
calendar, the other darker days.
The little hand goes up the body.

The big great big hand is paralyzed.
He is the earth, you give him a glance, a nod,
at Vespers on Easter Sunday,
and he is struck by losing you (by looking at you),

weighted by the gravity that pulls him to a higher order—
sun, moon, planets, palisander box with no shelves;
precursor to a casket. Vellum manuscript: one for him and
one for you. Let him turn you into something else—

Katherine DeBlassie’s work has appeared in or is forthcoming in B O D Y, Inch, Zone 3, Tidal Basin, Court Green, Boxcar Poetry Review, Verse Daily and Cutthroat among others. She earned her MFA from the University of Maryland. She received an honorable mention for the 2011 Rita Dove Poetry Prize, was a finalist for the 2009 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and received Work-Study Scholarships for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.