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Maudlin Mary

Modeled by the     skilled and clumsy hands
of artists and artisans into an ideal state of she-ness,
a penniless waif appears      on a stool

last week a stranger called her Mona Lisa. 

Statuesque upon the betrayer
warmed by the lemon-lolly light from
bays of north facing windows, blinded;
she can but blink.

Surrounded by a 
cog-notched cyclical wheel of nubile artists—
blooming buds of wildness, vertical sprigs
flail softly on the breezy bounty of 

Brush and trowel, thick and thin,
the artists stoke her—semblance
canvased by millennium brush biters
maudlin Mary is returned to the pre-historic stew 
by the likes of Claude     
polished to a pearly perfection
by type A, Hieronymus’.

They were all strangers to her     posers, 
every bit as much as she.
Royal pretenders in a world 
where only the artless 

are paid. 

Moneylenders rise on their     discarded carapaces
beauty sucked dry by the doers and shakers
who spread like choking bittersweet    through
the lollypop-light from the bay windows facing north
consuming Mona.  

Julie ford Oliver - Famous Models 

First Appeared in Illumen Magazine Fall of 2014


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  1. Date: 7/29/2015 4:38:00 PM

    beautiful descriptive write, Debs
  1. Date: 7/28/2015 10:02:00 AM

    --> "by type A Hieronymus" Type A as in the personality behavior? Stressful? That's all I can say/ask. I'll try to read-bully another poem tomorrow. A big hug.
  1. Date: 7/28/2015 9:58:00 AM

    Now, although I know that this poem has been read by people who's smartest than I am, and, moreover, I know that it's been already published (congratulations!) I've some gibberish to make you nervous : D! I love these lines: "Surrounded by a/ cog-notched cyclical wheel of nubile artist" ... however, I want to be sure: artist or artistS? Nubile as sexually mature? Regarding the reference to Claude and Hieronymus ... Claude Monet or Lorrain? (Monet makes me see water lilies : D) -->
  1. Date: 7/28/2015 9:46:00 AM

    I really enjoy: she-ness, penniless (penisless? : D), lemon-lolly light, and discarded carapaces ... and the title! There are many lines to highlight, I'm going to cite: "maudlin Mary is returned to the pre-historic stew" and "[...] from the bay window facing north/ consuming Mona"
  1. Date: 7/28/2015 9:34:00 AM

    Mercy me! I beg you! Your writing is extremely curvaceous and voluptuous ... I'm not sure I can fondle every part : D! Once again, I have to say that your vocabulary makes me feel illiterate : D I love the poem (and the painting!). However, I would say that it's a little bit difficult to understand (complex metaphors and "elitist" lexicon <-- which is great, don't get me wrong, but I suggest to use them sporadically, at intervals).
  1. Date: 7/26/2015 12:57:00 PM

    There you go again Deb. You flood us with rich imagery so much so that a reaching the bottom, one feels having seen the entire painting...and as Keith noted...almost. I wonder if you purposely omitted the fish jar. I like that line about only the artless are paid. PS. Had to read several times though...haha
  1. Date: 7/25/2015 11:57:00 AM

    High praise for this one and for you being published in illumen. Ihay is a cool painting and your Eckphrasis really expanded it. lolly-light is my new favorite word. a 7 goes without saving and a fav. Luv, SuZ
  1. Date: 7/25/2015 1:15:00 AM

    If this painting could speak, your poem would be verbatim... but you left out the gold fish on the table. I notice things like that... artless it isn't!! ... Deweaver, is talking about the pressure of being black and broke. He owns it. It's tiresome to work twice as hard and remain plagued by society. Those flies are innumerable, and destined to be screwed over repeatedly. That pressure (hundred leagues) is the struggle for equality. He'll procreate justice through his pen.
  1. Date: 7/24/2015 11:43:00 PM

    what a most interesting topic for Ekphrasis, Debs. Congratulations for its publication in Illumen. I can see how it got in!(and thanks for the inspiration of your food contest)
  1. Date: 7/24/2015 4:19:00 PM

    Enjoyed reading your descriptive lines about this painting which incorporated the artist's rendition of the Mona Lisa..Thanks for stopping by..Sara
  1. Date: 7/24/2015 9:50:00 AM

    Interesting piece.
  1. Date: 7/24/2015 3:07:00 AM

    Exquisite write Debbie! Glad I read this noon!