StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Alice and Wonderland

Gloria Scholik
Gloria Scholik submitted on March 24, 2011

I can honestly admit to my audience, regarding this blog, that my writing went into a form of hibernation I still have yet to understand. I believe there were many different nonsensical reasons which led to my absence of inspiration all of last semester and the few months of the New Year. I apologize for all of it, as even though it was writer’s block, I do feel responsible for my neglectful treatment to my few followers. I believe that I have hoarded enough ideas in my head and on my EverNote app, to get a fresh new series going of Ekphrastic Blogs. I decided to give you all a poem on time, as it seems to either slow down or escape us altogether. Who better to illustrate that entity that keeps our lives pushing onward into the unknown, than Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland?

Keeping Alice as our narrator, I decided to focus on the picture I found a few weeks ago, which you can enlarge by clicking on. It shows that Wonderland has wasted away. Time took its toll and the Rabbit has gotten old and needs a cane. Alice is also a little older, but still fancies frills on her dresses. Since Carroll has the reputation for taking opiates I added that line, “He’s still feeling the drugs he took as a teen,” to reference the author, and the assumption that all the characters would be under the influence.

Although this is fantasy, there are a few bits of reality strung in. Time withers plants and animals, specifically the caterpillar as he turned into a butterfly and died. As for the flowers and weeds, well maybe they were ripped out, or trampled over. The picture shows only grass and a few mushrooms that seem to hold a ghost in their stalks. As for the fantasy, well why couldn’t the sun decide to take a vacation? Or why wouldn’t the moon stay up for four days? There can be a lack of logic on this topic of time in Wonderland.

I didn’t think about an outside force of change until this week, where a child decides to take the book off the shelf and draw over words, deleting the characters from their places in the conversation, and confusing a very old Rabbit even more. I think of the audience, familiar with the story, as revisiting it, while a little child decides to write a new version. To bring in some of the familiar I add a famous quote and an allusion to the newest fad for fairytale world, TV shows, and ratings. I hope you enjoy this new post of the year and the many more to come.

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StumbleUpon Ekphrastic

Fall Survival of the Election

Hello audience. There have definitely been some minor setbacks in posting lately. But here’s hoping things change for the better the rest of this year. The poem I’ve been composing for a few weeks has many different inspirations that should be explained to avoid misinterpretation. This explanation will be in great detail because I definitely strayed from the “art” Ekphrastic this time.

I started writing the poem started after watching one of the many presidential debates back when the country was still trying to be convinced one way or the other. Now that President Obama has kept his seat for the next four years, I decided to post this poem and hope no one thinks it is in any way against either of the candidates, because both inspired me to write about something so monumental as a vote and the country I live in.

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Ekphrastic Blog #33

The Lady Eve 1941

Hello, what little audience is left for this blog. I can say with great relief and some exhaustive determination that another writer’s block has passed. As of last Wednesday night, I was entertained and then frightened into writing for this blog by two very different movies. On Wednesday nights I attend Dr. Simone Muench’s Introduction to Film class. This class has been very inspirational and I have been trying to use the information I gather there to create a new blog topic. This has not been very fruitful, though, because I have had less time and patience to sit down and figure out why I cannot seem to write.

I believe it was during the half-hour break between this film studies course and the film showing for  the“Lewis Movie Club” that I started to write something. This something was pieces inspired by the movie Lady Eve (1941) starring Barbra Stanwyck and Henry Fonda .  This movie was a fun, classic, black and white comedy of the type that you can see frequently populating the production line during the 1940s. It was also the first movie that inspired something starting to occur in my writer’s brain.

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StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Painted Sound

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

I have to admit, it took me a while to get through this piece. I started it over the summer and thought that it needed more work before I could share it with my audience. I decided earlier today that I would take a chance on what I have written and see how you all like it. The only real doubt I have is about the lack of appreciation towards the artist. To remedy that I will talk about the artist for the introduction, and also acknowledge that Ekphrastic is meant to be about the piece of artwork more than anything else.

I found a body painter, Craig Tracy, on StumbleUpon late one night and thought that his work was a great example of living art. One of his many pieces that involve the human body as a canvas had a woman painted the same colors as a canvas of a fan with a black void surrounding it. The waves looked like they were the result of a water droplet of a pond. They also resembled waves of color frequencies. I thought I would add the human element of her heart and breath as a way of incorporating the model into the art piece.

Craig Tracy is an artist who is known for showing his own artistic view of the world painted on the body of a model. His technique of body paint and airbrush help him create the breathing artwork that many find captivating. I researched his home page to find out more about the artist, and found that his passion of art was transformative not only to his audience, and the model, but also to himself.

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StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Haiku of Sorrows

After three failed attempts to publish an Ekphrastic poem these past few weeks, I finally found something that could relate all the frustration I have felt over the matter to my audience. The site, which I found with the help of StumbleUpon, is called “Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows.” I know many people, including myself, who lack the vocabulary of feelings and thought this would be a great site to introduce to them and to the audience. It is common that we describe sadness with words like “sad, blue, and depressed.” They are the common surface description that many tend to use, so that everyone can understand what they are feeling. I admit that I myself did not know there were ‘types’ of sadness. This site has brought to light my inability to describe my own feelings within the moment they occur. Therefore I have decided to use words of obscure sorrows to title the following poems, as they are the topic and the feeling I am attempting to express.

At first, I thought alliteration would give the poem expression, using adjectives to emphasize and give life to the definition of the world. This was a first attempt that kept me stuck in a stalemate with words and over-active ideas of intricacies that I could not grasp. I kept thinking of different ways to express more than one sorrow in a poem, and this left me with no narrative poem to tell, and writer’s block that spread all the way to my fingertips. I worked on these words the weekend of my sister’s wedding (August 11th) and on the weekend of the Warrior Dash I attended in Wisconsin (August 18th). Each time I wrote a line I had to stop and start multiple times. The style was, essentially, the problem. I had to step out of that comfort zone, in order to complete the task.

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StumbleUpon Ekphrastic: Spider-Webs Dream-Cathers

I decided this week that I needed to change the title of my blog. I was trawling StumbleUpon and discovered that this was the best site to add a random quality to my poem construction. I have always had problems trying to write poems for this blog without controlling the topic completely. I have wanted this quality of uncontrolled creativity and inspiration from the beginning, and was hoping to find that through readers sending photos and poems they thought would be interesting to add to Jet Fuel’s blog site. This was not successful and I completely blame myself on the matter, because I should have thought of a better randomized search than just Google images.

Yes, there will still be poems about things that have inspired me from the week because life in present moments motivates the writer in me. I just decided that on the weeks where life is so busy there is no time to pause and process the thoughts into a story, I would step outside of my life and find a story in the photos and random sites I find on StumbleUpon. Since most of the time I will be using the site, I thought the blog title should credit the site somehow.

With that introduction out of the way I will start explaining the next poem I wrote. Continue reading

Ekphrastic Blog #32

Screen picture of site “Unexpected Expectancy”

Third week of summer, and the first time I have the time to blog for my audience. It was a rough three weeks. I had just gotten through with school and stress when I was given the news that a dear friend and mentor had passed away, the very night I had talked with him on the phone. This last week has been full of mourning and a funeral, and also the graduation of my little sister from her high school. Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” I was reminded of this quote frequently throughout the two very different ceremonies I attended.

The blog for this weekend was very much a blog of chance. Coincidence that I had downloaded the app “StumbleUpon” on my android and that I chose the fine arts category. Coincidence that I flipped through the links and found a very interesting site of vintage jewelry and that I decided instead of writing one poem about just one object, I would write a poem about each object in a continuous pattern.  The poem is at best a random mishmash of lines — some of them corny, others unexpected and interesting.

It was, in a sense, a constructed challenge of my own devise. Shopping is so therapeutic, but making a poem out of a listed shopping page is far more constructive I think. I may attempt this construction of poems again as it still celebrates an art form, just on a consumer’s level. Click the picture to enjoy the site’s content. Enjoy!

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