From the Greek ek (out) and phrazein (to speak), ekphrasis is a written description of or response to a work of visual art. Samek Museum Guide Joshua Garcia, an incoming Stadler Fellow at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts, shares an ekphrastic poem responding to an artwork in the Samek’s permanent collection. This week, Garcia’s poem explores Max Neuhaus’s Time Pieces, a visual representation of public sound installations which identify points in the day.
Time Pieces, 1983
Silkscreen on paper
Gift of Bank One
© Estate of Max Neuhaus
Samek Art Museum Collection
after Max Neuhaus
If a man falls and no one is around to catch him,
does his loneliness make a
We are taught we exist when language meets body—
Let there be: Let there be: Let there be:
In the beginning
there is a break in the continuum of aloneness,
a consummation ticking in the belly of a clock,
at first. Time forsakes narrative for a malleable
form, the tambour of the self rolling in,
between the lauds and vespers of our bodies,
being of one rhythm and then, suddenly, you realize, two.
the exchange between time and space laps
at your chin like a tide of receding kisses,
into the imagined “before” and “after” [ ]
as the tongue of a bell strikes its own lip, the sting of it
becoming apparent only when it has gone.
By: Joshua Garcia