artist, creative, creativity, poem, poetry, prose, Uncategorized

Memento Mori

Tell two artists to create life in words

and what you’ll receive in a pulse

will be enough.

Living begins when we see that every person passing through

harbors a story we do not,

has a solution to some problem

we have yet to realize,

is the voice for one lost

and the encouragement to one beginning.

Tell two artists to create life in words

and you will see in a toss why the coin has two sides.

 

Anat asks ‘Why’

to which Art replies,

“Does the faint tapping on a goatskin drum

steadily grow louder the more we learn and seek to play thunder?”

 

A thread as tied to hers

spun by colors she has yet to see.

 

In a toss, we mark our coins.

 

As men utter ‘life is without reason’ or mutter, by exhausted breaths, that

‘artists lose…or gain to understand’,

Anat plays to a tune that time forgets and begets.

 

With an eye towards heaven, the doting daughter replies,

“You and I are the voices,

forever searching for others who will understand,

share,

connect,

change

a dying world into one that lives for art:

the heart of the people,

we’ve somehow forgotten

make us whole.”

 

Tell two artists to create life in words,

and what you’ll receive in a pulse

will be enough.

-Amy Struthers

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poem, poetry, Uncategorized

Diary Entry

Based on ‘The Millinery Shop’ by Edgar Degas.

The-Millinery-Shop-1886-Edgar-Degas

Grace in the folds that she fixes-

dignified

modest…

and bold-

shifting her shift,

in the storeroom, she drifts

perfectly poised in the cold-

There’s a warmth to the textures she touches-

there’s a depth to the dip of her hand

when, in humming the beats widows spin from the streets

she’s moved by a gossamer band.

-Amy Struthers

Uncategorized

A Review of Marianne Moore and Joseph Cornell

“124 was spiteful.”

In the opening line of Beloved, Toni Morrison poses a question within a statement. “Who or what is 124 and who or what drives their spite?” However simple or complex, the author need not be living, for it is by the reader’s will they may seek to explore a meaning meant or assumed.

With any work, there exists the possibility that the entry point provides a certain risk. For example, while the first sentence of any given work is but a rat-sized door into Wonderland, it does not imply exemption from dangerous and/or comforting encounters. By fitting through the door- that is, reading beyond what the keyhole provides, the reader undertakes the journey of interacting with the curiosities of reason and riddle.

In approaching Moore and Cornell, there is bounty in simplicity- which is to say, the very lines of an ‘H’ as written in cursive or calligraphy communicate a message beyond what the eye can sense. As written by a writer with Parkinson’s, ‘H’ is a triumph of mental calisthenics, actualized by two opposing poles that persevere to form a jolting jot. To a toddler, ‘H’ is a rite of passage into the uncharted waters of school. To Moore, ‘H’ is a nostalgic Nyquil, and to Cornell, it is a stopwatch stew.

In Moore’s works, there is a consistency in returning to nature, which some might say is a labor of love driven by curiosity for the predictable unknown. It’s a portrait of Alice’s sense wrestling with antigravity and clawing for conditions that escape her control. It’s pelicans in the paragraphs and the turning of the tide-like pages that spew out storied shells. Moore’s words failing or succeeding to reel in her audience largely depends on what each reader has an appetite for or by sheer environment, has been raised to respond to.

With Cornell, much is the same, but different, in the sense no two birds are entirely alike. And how appropriate too. By placing plumes in a box, we reduce a wide wind to a can of bottled air. Ingest at your own will and question what nutritional properties they serve. In a phrase, we’re left with a longing to chip the resin of time and record the hypothetical conversations of people just like us. His dream boxes are as they sound: windows into a world both familiar and foreign, interpreted as having the meaning meant or assumed.

I know of myself, Cornell’s works had an almost phantom-like pull (A boxed I Spy, if you will). Something about an age gone by. I was reminded of my grandparents’ lemon bush and the time I laminated its leaves as to make a bookmark my grandfather may or may not have used. Gifted right after they sold their house and moved into an assisted-living facility, I watched as my material memory continued to age inside its plastic coffin. To me, the experience of looking at a Cornell was deeply personal. I remembered what the lemons used to be. By the time JP stopped terrorizing me and Lexie with baseball-sized citruses and Nana was too tired to make fresh lemonade, I came to its coffin to claim the leaves of youth. I saw in Cornell, the need to page-press these living memories. As if hitting ‘replay’, I was comforted by the reel of repeating breath. Though willows weather and new families move into the nests we discard, Cornell remains my lemon bush-the reminder that change is only temporary and heaven is the home I seek.

love, poem, poetry, prose, Uncategorized

Paper-thin Parchment

When I was six,

I crafted a heart from glue and loose glitter

on a morning, too far gone from now.

At an age, where a cow

jumped over the moon

and sung of spoons I had yet to bend

on plates, fated to be shattered by falling stars.

Dear six-year-old me,

trapped between the blank slate and the final stare,

don’t pay that blue much mind.

When you find

paper-thin parchment just so easily tears,

my prayer is that you’ll use that same-colored crayon

to construct a kaleidoscope

based on the wonder you’ve been told

and the colors you have yet to see.

Today, my heart broke,

which is to say for you,

it is just beating.

May this glue be your assurance that some things stick

despite the years

and wear on the hands that press red into the folds.

-A. Struthers

faith, miracle, poem, poetry, rhyme, rhyming, Uncategorized

And God So Spoke a Miracle

And God so spoke a miracle

that answered every prayer,

to show me of His mercy

molding tender loving care.

For over sixteen seasons, I waited for a sign

that came in but a gesture mild, but ever so divine.

And God so spoke a miracle

that healed a broken heart

which gave the mind its luster back

to sing His salve through Art.

-Amy Struthers

poem, poetry, Uncategorized

Diary Entry 48:

9777ddcfcf5fd83db130105eaabdb78d

Based on Jacques-Louis David’s ‘Napoleon Crossing the Alps’.

Greatness

I ask my students who they admire and am surprised by a gap-toothed grin.

To Alex, it is Alexander the Great.

To Sarah, it is Walt Disney.

And to Bobby Moss, it’s me.

In collecting their papers,

I catch in glittered cursive,

a response from a girl who seldom speaks,

“Who is the hero of history?”

scribbled out in loose gel, a faint ‘and why should I care?’ trails off the end-

apologetically double-lined so as to express shame for her own conviction.

Such a reply makes me pause to wonder why we spend so much time in books,

and yet rarely bob our heads out of the answered waters to apply such ‘knowledge’ to

our daily life.

“Who is the hero of history, when eternal lives look to temporal men for guidance?

And why is it we sculpt men whose blood is no more blue?”

I ask Alex what’s to be learned from the lesson and he replies,

“that some men are worth more than you.”

In twenty years, may this boy recall the weight of ‘greatness’

when he looks into a sea of dead-eyed men

and moving against the current,

finds in the recovering addict, a gentleness that hooks his soul.

One day, may he acquire

that the school of fish does not end in the classroom,

but can be found on the corners

where men barter virtue for viceroy.

-A. Struthers