Vignette Part II

The following three poems composed by Kentucky resident, Kelsey McMurtrey, with accompanying artwork by Monologging artist and Hawaii resident, Lauren Elysecontinue the collaboration this pair began last November, entitled VignetteSince embarking on this project, Kelsey’s poetry and Lauren’s paintings have been viewed by over 1,000 visitors, demonstrating the power of to bring creative networks together through artistic collaboration. Kelsey and Lauren are now in the beginning stages of writing and designing a composite book derived from their bimonthly installments originally published online. The two converse primarily via email and their exciting collaboration has 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….


Vignette II


"Delphinium" Lauren Elyse

“Delphinium” Lauren Elyse




A soft statue,

captured in smooth black silhouettes

and almond-eyed smiles.

Painted in thin brush strokes,

a raised pointed shoe,

an illumination—



Teetering glissades brought

keys for locked doors and stuck windows—

rising, she flew through.

Into static-filled television sets

and wrinkled radio waves.



for laughter, for grace,

she stood center floor—

delivering the light

she sought.


"Lotus" Lauren Elyse

“Lotus” Lauren Elyse

Cliff House


Carriage-drawn and carefree,

they came to me.

I carried iced glasses

and clinking crystal parties—

stood majestic,


Your biting orange whips

flickered, cracked—

took me.

Tossed silver trays

and deep burgundy heels—

latched onto mauve curtains,

pulled at sweating oak floors,

turned evening revelries

to limp ash,


Smoke poured from windows

like bottles of Chablis—

fleeting staccato exits

filled my empty belly.

You left me

in a watery bed,

silverware drawers glued shut,

dead chandeliers

swaying in grey saltwater.

But I was not forgotten—

made alive again

through humming violin strings,

riding on crisp coat tails

and painted matrons,

I thrive—

leaving your flames thirsty.

"Carnation" Lauren Elyse

“Carnation” Lauren Elyse

Muted Gestures


You’re here now,

binding me with wringing hands

and buttery promises,

stealing words from my painted lips

and watching lungs cave in—

my eyelids are hinged,



Drop me,

unfurl me from this tinted box.

Careful not to smear this painted face,

smiling but



Let me dance in opaque enclosures

with laced eyelashes

and vibrant company,

freed from ropes

and smoky conversation pieces—

do you hear me?



Post Photo Courtesy of Lauren Elyse