My process of ekphrastic poetry was quite the experience. In fact, I had been possessed by the throws of either real and/or imagined passion. I took liberties to allow my self to become fully engrossed IN the art piece, and consumed BY the art piece. I pondered, stared, approached the piece in a focused way, approached the piece in a willy nilly and loosy goosy sort of fashion, held consideration for communicating to the community, held ‘inconsiderate’ and selfish states of being, I described the piece detail/specificity by detail/specificity in a tight and concise manner in one sitting of late night and morning, and in another sitting reflected upon the art’s origins.
I had discovered the wonderful piece of artwork in a stranger’s trash in center city. It was in a bag. Upon first sighting, I was in love. It was lovely; a shark on a surf board, surfing the waves, backed by a gorgeous sky. I crossed out the “origin section” that I wrote for “what’s reason,” and eluded to the poem’s own peculiarity of having a crossed out section, within that very same crossed out section. Aside from merely the origins of this Sharky trashed found art, I also tapped into an almost impetuous and ‘emotional’ sensibility. I packed it full of subtext, a bit of intertextuality, and clichés/preconceived notions after thoughts; stream of consciousness styled, yet very much edited and thought out: in FACT, meditative. One part of my ‘ego’ thought of the crossed out section as inferior to the first descriptive section, another part thought of it as a separate piece, another thought of it as something extra, like a secret track on an album or a little extra ‘neato’ sort of thing. I also wanted to subversively gesture at the entire notion of trash vs. treasure, correct vs. wrong, focused vs. unfocused, serious vs. funny, adult/mature vs. childish/immature, etc. (dualities). I felt that presenting a piece that is seemingly unfinished and/or faulty in ways, would further knock down the fourth wall so to speak. I tapped into a sense of truth in fiction based upon this art piece; an art piece which is no more than a material covered with lines and points and colors in such a fashion as to form a picture that fools the mind into the belief of a shark and surf board (and so on and so forth) that is truly non-existent, some or many might say.
It might also be said that the picture also looked a bit cartoonish. I wrote of it in a serious sort of way, yet old children’s story style as well. In ways, I planned. But in other ways, simultaneously, I let go, relaxed, and let the poem flow though me; revealing itself, as if I were a vessel being spoken through or possessed.
My poem was the product of my interpretation of the sharky art piece, broken down to its lowest common denominator as to feel in the first person perspective as if I were not merely my own perspective, but the objective art’s internal subjectivity. This gave rise to a feeling of altruism and genuine care. It was truly spectacular. It is in this way that, for me, writing the ekphrastic poem was similar to the object poem.
I learned a great deal IN and THROUGH the process and productivity of the ekphrastic poem. I had a blast, honestly. At times, it was if I had been big banged.
Lecture and class discussion were very helpful, as were all of the sample poems (particularly the one by Anne Sexton about Van Gogh’s Starry Night, which struck a heavy chord in me).