Ekphrastic Rabbit: An Out of Body Experience

Some might see the artist’s intention.
Cold War Germany via taxidermy—
it rhymes at least.
The rest is explained shorthand in chalk
there beneath my stuffed and stiffened body,
something about the temperature and Eurasia.
It’s difficult for me to see from my vantage point, really,
but better to face forward in perpetuity
than look back with regret on the moment
I paused just long enough to be considered now
“the symbolic representation of the ability to span long distances.”
If I were the artist, naked and tied to these
“painted poles with fat and felt,”
his dick as stiff as my ears,
I’d surely get more than a cursory glance,
a squemish ewwww from the schoolgirl
still wet from the nude across the gallery.


Poem ©2017, Jen Payne. Image: Eurasia Siberian Symphony 1963 by Joseph Beuys,
as seen at MOMA, January 2017, artwork © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS). An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

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