Boundaries fall away, opposites
leading to uncrossed bridges
over misleading paths.
You invoke spirits,
creatures that fly,
illusion and air:
spell unfolding like wings
cloned from accumulations
of disorder and metaphor.
The map returned in another form.
Rattle Poetry has an Ekphrastic Challenge every month, and this was my response to March’s art. It wasn’t chosen for publication, so I did my own collage response as well. The original artwork is wonderful; you can see it with the poem chosen by the artist here.
There’s a new piece of art posted at the beginning of each month if you want to take up the challenge too!
I’m into the most hectic part of May…will catch up with your blogs as I have time.
Another day worth celebrating–I love maps. Useful, yet full of abstract and often mysterious beauty.
A few years ago I did a stitched map Sketchbook Project of Main Streets based on Google Maps. Google Maps are a mainstay of any traveling I do into unfamiliar territory. That softball field in Queens? It’s right there, along with the nearest subway stop.
There actually is a Main Street in NYC, and I stitched it (above right), but it’s on Roosevelt Island, the entirety of which has always seemed to me to be superimposed onto the five boroughs. The Real Main Street of New York City? For almost 40 years, I’ve lived on or steps from Broadway, which travels from the bottom of Manhattan to the Bronx and 18 miles north to Sleepy Hollow.
That’s my Main Street.
They’re digging up Broadway
at night the clatter of wheels over metal plates
provides a rhythmic accompaniment to music from car stereos
double-parked outside the 24-hour deli on the corner
Sunday mornings the finery of congregants mingles with
the dog walkers
and the finery of the refugees from Saturday night
Headlines announcing Politics As Usual
step into the street dance
the Daily News of space and Times
“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway…”
blinking red hand
“They say there’s always magic in the air…”
neon green walk
Lyrics borrowed from “On Broadway” by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in collaboration with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. (The Drifters, 1963)
Thanks to Charlie at Doodlewash for inviting everyone to share his “month of days”.
When I did my sketchbook project “Main Street”, I drew many more maps than actually fit in the sketchbook. So I’ve been mounting and stitching the ones I didn’t use in the book. Above are the first three I’ve finished.
How did I decide which cities to use? It was really random. I would go to google maps and type in “Main Street” and then the name of a state, and a few suggestions for cities would pop up. Then I would randomly choose from that list, and fool around with the map until I had a layout that I liked.
This will be a project with no end, which is fine. I love maps and I love embroidery.
You can see my other stitched maps here: https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/category/maps/
Maps are something else I really love. Nina has done house portraits for friends (https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/victorian-house/); I’ve been working on some map portraits to give as holiday gifts. I won’t post those right now, but in honor of our home states, New Jersey and New York, here are two from my sketchbook project of stitched maps called “Main Street”.
Main Street is not the most common street name in the United States (that honor belongs to Second Street), but comes in a respectable seventh. I typed “main street” and then a state name into google maps and got all kinds of interesting results. It was fun to look at the different maps, which I then abstracted and resized to fit my artistic vision. I traced them in color and stitched them.
Many artists use maps as a point of reference, and many maps are beautiful pieces of art. It’s a subject that generates no end of ideas for me.
You can see the rest of my sketchbook project here: https://www.sketchbookproject.com/library/13745