Hello, it’s me. My name is Maribeth. This is a blog post on my website. I disabled the blog for a long time but I just now enabled it because I’m participating in this really cool thing! It’s an Artist Writer Mashup! It’s facilitated by Lamplighter Magazine of New Jersey! Which is one of my all-time favorite states and one I dearly miss! I’m going to transition away from exclamation points to periods! Right…now.
Let’s start over. Hello. I am participating in Lamplighter Magazine’s Artist Writer Mashup. I will be spending the month of April writing poems (or other things) inspired by an original piece of art by artist Lauren Clarke. I have already written one poem and I plan to write more! After the project is over there will be an exhibition of Lauren’s art and a reading of the writing it inspired. I unfortunately live in California, but there are airplanes, so maybe I will attend and maybe I will see you there and Lauren Clarke there and all of the wonderful people at Lamplighter, including Patrick Boyle, there.
I’m sorry. It’s the end of a work week and I don’t know what I’m saying. So, okay. That’s the deal and in addition to the poems and other things I write and I will also be posting (here) my responses to prompts about the process.
Here is my response to the first prompt! (Here is my response to the first prompt.)
Lauren’s illustration instantly struck me. I think I made some sort of “Hmm!” noise the moment I saw it–because it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. I was pleasantly surprised by the white space, and also, a scene depicting things I could place right away: a giraffe! sneakers! another giraffe! power lines!
As I looked further, I realized something else. That despite the animal and objects I could easily name, it was less clear what those images were saying. I like that. What first came to mind was that perhaps Lauren is saying something about the intersection of nature and technology. Or the intersection of the natural world and the developed world. Some kind of intersection. It seems like there’s a playful tone to the piece, but then, don’t sneakers thrown over power lines signal gang territory? Is that true? Maybe that’s not true. And then, the giraffes appear to be holding one power line up with their mouth, and the second power line by their heads. What could that mean.
I’m not sure how I feel about this piece yet (beyond that I like it and I’m excited about it). I’m looking forward to having a whole month to draw from this image–one that seems deceptively simple and clear, but then reveals more and more the longer I spend with it.
Thank you, Lauren. Thank you, Lamplighter. I did not answer every question that was posed in the prompt but moving forward I intend to.