Tag Archives: poetry

Hallway Ode

The closing of Wug Laku’s Studio & Garage hit many in the local art scene with a measure of surprise. Wug Laku has been a fixture in the Indianapolis art scene for decades, and has operated his Studio & Garage for over five years. NUVO ran a great article, written by Dan Grossman, about Wug and the “Garage,” as he called it. The article is in the current issue of NUVO, which is out until tomorrow afternoon, when the new issue hits newsstands. You can also read the article here:

Wug Laku, photographed by Stephen Simonetto for NUVO in 2009

I have my own feelings about this event. I felt like it was a good thing, for Wug. He would be untethered from his gallery and be able to paint again, do shows all over, and generally go back to being an artist. Then I walked into the empty space a few days ago and promptly burst into tears. Lots of good memories there. Those feelings came out like this:

Hallway Ode

The garage sits empty
as hallways pulse an echo
The sounds of distant laughter
Liquid cloth passing
Filled the iris
Expanded that orb, that gateway
for a heartbeat.
The corridor
devoid of purpose

(c) 2013 Nancy Lee

Poetry Out Loud : Testimonial

Poetry inspired me today. I was reading about an event called “Art Squared,” set to take place in Fountain Square on Saturday, September 17, 2011. As part of this event, a person can take the opportunity to participate in the popular Masterpiece in a Day, a one-day (of course) art, music and writing competition.

Make art. Be art. Buy art.

But writing? In the past, I had overlooked this element of the competition, and was interested in learning more. Plus, participation is FREE. Most of the time, artists pay for even the chance at getting work out to a larger audience. This was great.
Masterpiece in a Day Participants
The rules for writing require the participant to choose from three elements in three categories, and incorporate those elements into his or her story or prose. One of the key elements is a series of pre-selected poetry. So, to avoid doing any real work this morning, I read every single poem. One of them brought tears. This is it:

Testimonial By Rita Dove


Back when the earth was new

and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things
hadn’t had time to stick;
back when the smallest breezes
melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered
sweetly in rank and file . . .
the world called, and I answered.
Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life,
swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.
I was pirouette and flourish,
I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings
when I didn’t know their names?
Back when everything was still to come,
luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world,
and the world followed me here.

Rita Dove, “Testimonial” from On the Bus With Rosa Parks. Copyright © 1999 by Rita Dove. Reprinted by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc..Source: Poetry (January 1998).

Here is the website where I found the work: Poetry Out Loud : Testimonial. You can read a lot more.
Taking the time to read poetry is akin to meditation. You cannot go fast. You cannot push for the finish line. You cannot…compete with others. There you sit, you and your thoughts, savoring words in moments of quiet like the most delicious meal you have ever tasted. Opening up to the feelings the words evoke, you understand now the quiet power wrought by the gentle manipulation of letters, the ordering of simple vowels and consonants written in language common to us all. Marveling at what only a rare few are able to ignite into emotion.
My luck leaked out everywhere today, over filigree and flame, because of Janet Dove.
Interested in registering for the Fountain Square Art Fair “Masterpiece in a Day” competition? Go here.