At a Terrace Table

5″ x 7″ cherry wood block print
with Graphic Chemical bone black ink
on Somerset paper

As I look over the prints I have done in the last year, I keep trying to see if they create a body of work that meet the “cohesive” criteria of the California Society of Printmakers. So far the answer I keep coming up with is no, they are not cohesive. My goal has been to illustrate the respective poems to which each print is attached, and for some reason, even though the subject matter of each print is a woman’s face, the prints seem to me to be to stylistically diverse to be cohesive. So what makes a body of work “cohesive”? Is it style? subject matter? size? technique? all the above? some of the above? none of the above? And if ekphrastic poetry is poetry based on an art work, what is an art work that is based on a poem called?

At a Terrace Table

The candle flame, fractured in the cut-glass urn,

was slowly drowning in the molten wax.

Her fingers twirled a strand of auburn hair

that had spun a spider’s web of softness

at her neck. “I just don’t know what you want.

I don’t know how you want me to reply.”

She looked at him a little longer. “You

have made it very difficult for me.”

She paused a moment, staring at the flame;

and through reflections in the window pane

she saw the rusted iron lily by

the pond and saw her blackened hands gesture.

“You just don’t know how hard it is for me.

I wish you’d understand.”

The goldfish gasped

for air and swam in aimless circles in

the algae covered pond. Transparent hands

began to smooth the linen table cloth.