Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Elena Karina Byrne: Reality may still be unacceptable Gerhard Richter

A Repeating Dream I’m Belly-Down at Eleven

beneath barbwire like bedsprings during night-climbs, dirt under

my shirt, saving babies in the dark slide of building’s vents into 

canvas flap backs of trucks, a chaos of fleeing. Tell me, isn’t that art? 

An in-crisis or crime-pull toward and away from. Color blocks 

moving toward and away–– painting is a leavetaking. Death is

a leavetaking. Fleeing, great grandfather out of fear, changed his

name with his family’s country, confounded something that is still 

missing there where I see the truck that fell off the cliff toward 

an ocean blur, rusted before I was born, bitten by cactus needles and 

fennel weed, my language in an unbroken string of cruelty of color, too 

far away to see. Look at all disquiet-pictures that fell into our laps, Three

times the head of the dead daily coming blur-back out of family history-

chaos like a mother’s hairpins falling from the pine trees, dried blood 

hemming the floor of your bedroom’s closed door, child’s bodycolor of rust… 


Copyright 2019 Elena Karina Byrne

Elena Karina Byrne’s publications include Squander (Ominidawn, 2016)

Gerhard Richter’s “Abstraktes Bild 849-3” (1997, Israel Museum)

One comment on “Elena Karina Byrne: Reality may still be unacceptable Gerhard Richter

  1. Mitchel Ring
    September 2, 2019

    Beautifully surreal.

    Liked by 1 person

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