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Skylar Alexander

Knot Conneted (1).jpg

 
BOUND TO BEING; KNOT CONNECTED

 

1.
after a lifetime of being
just a passing thought
in the black expanse of knowing
my god gave me a broken body
twisted on itself and ugly
but it was
the only body left
and I was so tired of being left
without form
so here I am
corrugated and recyclable
my structural integrity called into question
every time it rains
if left alone
I’ll return to the soil
but wouldn’t it be better
to find a purpose for living?
I’ve always wanted to be useful
to be reinvented
I just need a set of eyes who can see
my worth

 

2.
I contain the world—
every plague
every hope
wrapped in polka-dots
coiled on myself
like a mollusk
here I am
a clam tonguing itself
along the ocean floor

 

3.
so the sea is cold
full of more dead jellies than expected
there’s no excuse to despair;
every breath is a gift from god

 

4.
on this island
baby crabs outnumber people
100 to 1
all it takes is a single revolutionary
with a silken tongue
to start a revolution
and honey
I’m all tongue
with just a little bit of pearl;
my beauty and worth
a byproduct of living
with this body
I think I’ll treat myself
to an underground vacation
maybe I’ll be a worm
eating and shitting
from the same hole;
maybe I’ll be a moist cave
that’s all I’ve ever been
to most of the men I loved
no wonder now
why I’m rough to the touch
this god-given body shelled
in bite and bark and all full
of white rot and stinking
that distinct reek of plant death

 

5.
once there was a cherry tree
that became nothing
but rot for years
but one spring
suddenly, it bore fruit again
so here I am
ready to bear fruit

Bound to Being.jpg

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Skylar Alexander is a writer, teacher, and freelance designer living in Iowa City, IA. She serves as an instructor for and the editorial director of the Young Emerging Writers Program (Midwest Writing Center - Rock Island, IL) and Vice Chair of the Iowa Youth Writing Project's Community Advisory Council (Iowa City, IA). Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from Hobart, Poetry City, USA, and elsewhere. She received her BA in English and Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa in May 2015.

Authors Note: Ekphrastic writing has always been quite generative for me as a poet. I tend to naturally assume the voice of and embody the subject. Through the mouthpiece of the artistic subject, I find a way into my own voice, and usually by the end of the piece I find myself completely independent of where I began; poems are journeys that way. This poem remains in the artistic subject for several stanzas, but eventually departs completely into images of my own creation; in this way, the ekphrastic subject operates as a springboard—both a way into memory and a way forward.    

Lauren Frances Evans’ art operates in the uncanny valley, and thus is somewhat painful to look at; to me, it implies a sickened body, which helped me key into my own sick body. Art (and poems) that do the most important work are those that make us uncomfortable; our boundaries are tested, and we’re forced to articulate and to discover who are. 

All Responses:

Respond to a Prompt:

Submit your response to our current prompt(s). See our Submissions Guidelines page for details.

Skylar Alexander is a writer, teacher, and freelance designer living in Iowa City, IA. She serves as an instructor for and the editorial director of the Young Emerging Writers Program (Midwest Writing Center - Rock Island, IL) and Vice Chair of the Iowa Youth Writing Project's Community Advisory Council (Iowa City, IA). Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from Hobart, Poetry City, USA, and elsewhere. She received her BA in English and Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa in May 2015.

Authors Note: Ekphrastic writing has always been quite generative for me as a poet. I tend to naturally assume the voice of and embody the subject. Through the mouthpiece of the artistic subject, I find a way into my own voice, and usually by the end of the piece I find myself completely independent of where I began; poems are journeys that way. This poem remains in the artistic subject for several stanzas, but eventually departs completely into images of my own creation; in this way, the ekphrastic subject operates as a springboard—both a way into memory and a way forward.    

Lauren Frances Evans’ art operates in the uncanny valley, and thus is somewhat painful to look at; to me, it implies a sickened body, which helped me key into my own sick body. Art (and poems) that do the most important work are those that make us uncomfortable; our boundaries are tested, and we’re forced to articulate and to discover who are.