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FURTHER READING
Poems about Memories
A group of girls from Minnesota or black mascara
by Maureen Owen
A Violin at Dusk
by Lizette Woodworth Reese
Beasts
by Carmen Giménez Smith
Father Listens to the Artists
by David Petruzelli
For My Grandmother's Perfume, Norell
by Nickole Brown
forgetting something
by Nick Flynn
Help Me to Salt, Help Me to Sorrow
by Judy Jordan
I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet XI)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
In the Back Seat of History
by Mary Biddinger
Mississippi: Origins
by Anna Journey
Mnemonic
by Li-Young Lee
Mnemosyne
by Trumbull Stickney
My Grandmother's Love Letters
by Hart Crane
No Ticket
by Jonathan Wells
Piano
by D. H. Lawrence
Remembered Light
by Clark Ashton Smith
Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Akers Allen
The Parallel Cathedral
by Tom Sleigh
To My Best Friend's Big Sister
by Ross Gay
Other Ekphrastic Poems
Purgatorio, Canto X
by Dante Alighieri
The Iliad, Book XVIII, [The Shield of Achilles]
by Homer
a woman peeling apples, with a small child
by Pattie McCarthy
All those Attempts in the Changing Room!
by Anne Stevenson
Archaic Torso of Apollo
by Rainer Maria Rilke
Die Muhle Brennt--Richard
by Richard Matthews
Hagar in the Wilderness
by Tyehimba Jess
In a Blue Wood
by Richard Levine
Incomplete Lioness
by Linda Bierds
Joseph Cornell, with Box
by Michael Dumanis
Landscape With The Fall of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams
M. Degas Teaches Art & Science at Durfee Intermediate School, Detroit 1942
by Philip Levine
Museum Guard
by David Hernandez
Ode on a Grecian Urn
by John Keats
On Seeing Larry Rivers' Washington Crossing the Delaware at the Museum of Modern Art
by Frank O'Hara
On Seeing the Elgin Marbles
by John Keats
On the Medusa of Leonardo Da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Photograph of People Dancing in France
by Leslie Adrienne Miller
Seeing All the Vermeers
by Alfred Corn
Stealing The Scream
by Monica Youn
The Abolition of Reality [Georges Seurat]
by Adriano Spatola
The Family Photograph
by Vona Groarke
The Mad Potter
by John Hollander
The Man with the Hoe
by Edwin Markham
The Painting
by John Balaban
The Picture of Little T. C. in a Prospect of Flowers
by Andrew Marvell
The Shield of Achilles
by W. H. Auden
To Haydon with a Sonnet Written on Seeing the Elgin Marbles
by John Keats
War Photograph
by Kate Daniels
Why knowing is (& Matisse's Woman with a Hat)
by Martha Ronk
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Mural with HUD Housing & School Bus (1980)

 
by Adrian Matejka

When 213b finally opens in a crack of yellow linoleum, 
Garrett comes out with the left side of his afro as flat 
as the tire that used to be on his mom’s car & the stuck 
snick of the cheap door locking behind him sounds exactly 
like someone trying to light a smoke with an empty lighter. 
Carriage House East, where menthols cough like a window
slamming shut & outside that window, somebody’s radio 
is already popping static. What’s left of the moon is popping 
white on blue. That’s when we stamp past the squat HUD 
brick toward school in the dark: shadow of the green trash 
can gang signed with misspellings, a mimeograph of Mickey 
Mouse flipping Iran the bird in the landlord’s lit window. 
We made the same middle-finger motion to the school bus 
before ignoring our bus stop & kept walking neighborhood- 
style—right hands skimming from chest down to waist 
then behind the back like a bad breast-stroker cupping air. 
Cue the sirens snagging the matted air like a cheap pick. 
Cue the smoker’s cough of early-morning walks to school. 
We strutted a backward lean like every one of the unconcerned 
streetlamps alternating between our side of the street 
& over there—in front of the fenced-in porches missing slats 
like teeth in a punched smile where Garrett’s cousin leaned 
against the side of one of the front buildings. She put 
two-fingered guns to her temples when she saw us: red patch 
of smoker’s skin around her mouth like a raw sun rising. 
About this poem:
"I visited the Museum of Modern Art last spring and spent time with David Alfaro Siqueiros’s painting, 'Echo of a Scream (1937).' I got spun out by the way he creates tension and movement through the interlocking details in the painting. This poem began as an emulation of Siqueiros’s compositional style and, in the process, became an ekphrastic aubade about my old neighborhood."

—Adrian Matejka






Copyright © 2013 by Adrian Matejka. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on November 22, 2013. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.
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