The following collaboration, composed of three poems by Kentucky resident, Kelsey McMurtrey, were originally inspired by the artwork of Monologging artist and Hawaii resident, Lauren Elyse. Kelsey, whose monologue, Customer Service, recently won first prize in the 2013 annual summer Monologue Contest connected with Lauren in early October through monologging.org. The two spent several weeks passing scans of Lauren’s paintings and drafts of Kelsey’s poems back and forth via email. Their exciting collaboration inspired thematic discussions and imaginative storytelling. Lauren’s paintings take us back in time to the glory days of show girls and Hollywood magic. Likewise, Kelsey’s delicate prose, reminiscent of John Dos Passos’, USA Trilogy, embraces iconic history, creating new scenes, characters and powerful moods….
They Call Her Brooklyn
they find her dancing.
Swaying side to side,
flitting bits of laughter
catching in her steel netting.
She enchants their hollow eyes,
with her thick escape routes,
her curling roads pulling them from present cares.
She caresses their calloused hands,
their burdened souls.
Adjusting their tearing shoulders
they cling to her
perched on her fragrant cables.
They fall asleep on her
wind whistled songs,
her sad, salty melodies.
Robert Gould Shaw III
Slender fingers with fire-red nails
paw at his ego of twenty-something years
most nights in the dark apartment on forty-second.
Opaque clouds of tumbling desires
stay hidden under
his carefully coiffed hair—
a sweet tobacco smile disguising
hidden walkways of his heavy mind.
Her silver whispers weave
patterns of weak promises
through his ears,
shriveling before they reach him.
hears the tick-tocking of his smooth pocket watch,
waiting for freedom from barred escapes
of a wanting heart—
for a love he cannot have.
He smiles at her,
wishing it were another.
A Season Undone
His pocketbook emerges,
slick with bills,
fleeting folds of lamp lit moments.
I look over his shoulder,
see addresses, names of people
I once mirrored.
Condensed ink numbers,
scribbles of measured wealth.
He calls me darling,
motions for my waist,
shows me a crinkled pastel photo.
Some place he will take me,
He tells me the roses are the finest there, in Italia.
chew a fingernail bit.
Perhaps the roses would make room
for me to bloom there,
Post photo courtesy of Lauren Elyse