Poetry Portal: Ekphrastic Writings in Response to the Image Archive

In the spirit of ekphrastic poetry, ARAS quarterly commissions one poem that explores the many sides of an archetypal image. "Ekphrasis" or "ecphrasis"from the Greek ek and phrasis, meaning 'out' and 'speak' respectively—referred in ancient times to a poetic description of a thing, person, or experience. In his Ars Poetica (13 BC) the Roman poet Horace wrote his dictum "ut pictura poesis" (as is painting, so is poetry). It is in celebration of the great union between these two forms of meaning-making that we host the Poetry Portal. The poems first appear in our newsletter ARAS Connections and then are given a permanent home here.



by Rijard Bergeron

By scenery the room grew
larger than I expected.
This morning's body

in what I thought was a wing
but ended up being an accumulation.

Plumes of smoke
too many cups of coffee
and a terrifying attempt

to bring myself to terms
with a variety of my own thoughts.
How the day

eventually comes
into view and I failing, to hold
throes of passion and despair

in sight long enough
for things to change shape
and how it's not just words

I'm at war with.
The chilling visions of a few
unfortunate men

for as long as I can remember
have kept my sex forced
into an impasse high

with blinding sun
and framed
by the guise of a wall.

Most of my love rests
in faces outside
where I only feel able

in glimpses or short bursts
of animated emotion
to come out

and protrude. I from the scene
of potentials and structures
glint in coagulation.



Rijard Bergeron is a poet. His work has been published in The Poetry Project Newsletter, This Image Journal, and elsewhere. Rijard also makes collage and has most recently published two pieces in collaboration with Sara Jane Stoner, for her book Experience in the Medium of Destruction (Portable Press @ Yo Yo Labs). He is very grateful for his friends and his friends who have been mentors. He invites you to email him at rijardbergeron@gmail.com or view the photographs he posts on his Instagram @rijardbergeron. He lives in Brooklyn.

Here are our past collections of poetry from the Portal and Ekphrazein events.

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