Neil Ellman, a New Jersey poet, has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.  More than 900 of his poems, many of which are ekphrastic and written in response to works of modern and contemporary art, appear in numerous print and online journals, anthologies and chapbooks throughout the world.

Toward Disappearance, II


(after the painting by Sam Francis)

Its motion toward the unknown

brief flight to disappearance

and inconsequence

dissipating reds and blues to white

metamorphosis of flesh to bone

and substance to belief

then disregard

it becomes invisible, disappears

into the emptiness of space—

how quickly it happens

this death behind the moon

as if it were the sun eclipsed.

He Did What He Wanted


(after the painting by Yves Tanguy)

If only in his imagination

he did what he wanted

without conscience or reason

creating miracles from prayer

and obelisks from blasphemy

his was the poet’s muse

born in the flames of a pyre

burning the sky with his fingertips

he made angels dance

and gods submit to his will

whatever he wished, his whim

was realized

only in his imagination

where everything seemed so true.

The Devil’s Funeral


(after the etching by Leander Fornas)

Having died so many times

at the end of a rope

or a stake through his heart

but reincarnated

from a slithering snake

to a dragon breathing fire

and then a simple man

who heard the words

so many times,

“Et mortuus est diabolus vivamus,”

the Devil knew his eulogy by heart

in the hollows of his eyes

he watched his body

laid upon the pyre to rise again

a phoenix from the fires of hell

with yet another name.