The Ribbon of Extremes by Neil Ellman

(after the painting by Yves Tanguy, which can be viewed here.)

In extremis
the shape of sound
dry-death rattle
static on a radio

without words
crackling fire
cackling like
a dying bird

build monuments
from ancient texts

blood murmurs
molten steel and wax

no words ever sacred
spoken here
in death.

Neil Ellman writes from New Jersey. Hundreds of his poems, many of which are written in response to modern and contemporary artwork, appear in print and online journals, anthologies, and chapbooks throughout the world.


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