Friday, April 3, 2009

Humanities Graduate Student Colloquium

Jessica Bellamy & Yalonda Davidson Green

Jak Cardini & Alexia Serpentini
James Leary (with Colin Llyod)

These are some images of our artists and poets presenting at the Humanities Graduate Student Colloquium titled "Humanities and the Arts: Cultures & Controversies" April 3, 2009 – Ekstrom Library – Chao Auditorium, University of Louisville

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jessica Denise Bellamy and Amelia Blossom Pegram

Veteran’s Reward

I have served my country
Faced the enemies’ wrath
took their bullets,
risked the devastation
of roadside devices,
Now I am discarded
Wrong out
like an old dish rag.
Back home I am on duty
beneath the over pass,
my weapon, a sign
printed boldly on the torn side
of my sleeping box,
“Veteran needs your coins for food.”
I am greeted with sneers
Some coins roughly thrown
from passing cars,
the rare dollar gratefully received.
Sometimes I can buy a burger.
My shelter is the underspass,
in the rafters with the pigeons
where my presence will not scare pedestrians,
draw the police attention.
In my shelter I sleep, lulled
by the throbbing rhythm,
of the traffic pulsing above.
Here I find comfort in the best
Of my country.

- Amelia Blossom Pegram

Violine Antoine and Yalonda Davidson Green

medium: painting


I miss the color green,
its pliable and dewy grace
verdant and sweet like the
first gushing bite of
almost too ripe pear.


the ultra viole(n)t diffusion of colors
through internal lenses
filtered through clothes
rags of flesh
pools of thought
sinews of anxiety

How does it feel to be a problem,
he asks,

strangled by the white silken cords of sensation
& interiority
I’m weary
of knowing
how I feel.

-Yalonda Davidson Green

Phillip Suttmiller and Steven Skaggs

medium: ink drawing

Nesting Instinct

Surround me with the twigs
Of every life others inhabit.

Retire from our foraging
Nervous enterprise.

Roof me with the warmth
Of your soaring heart.

-Steven Skaggs

Roea and Julie Wade

medium: photograph

Yes, Robert, the new thinking is still about loss.
We wonder whether the ice has broken us
at last, the smocked visage of the trees no longer
tender, and icicles beyond the bedroom window,
striking prison bars in shadows made of moon.
It is this season, though, and not this language
from which elegies protrude; even the sound of
sunlight or daybreak warms me like a swill of tea.
When I was younger, my passport unstamped,
my suitcase unbattered, I wished for the blessing
called getting away. Now little girls with their
shovels are carving the lawn, little birds treading
tenuous wires. These are the days you spoke of,
Robert, the good flesh continuing, the numinous
hours, and the first word I think of is stay.

-Julie Wade

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lucy Brown and Annette Allen

medium: cyanotype and gum bichromate photographic prints

Each day we lean into the earth
flying its endless orbit
where everything is
just out of reach and say:

Become the wind, the mist and rain,
soak the tree’s green and gather
what light remains into the mind,
that shelter of bone.

There is nothing to fear
in this country of light,
not even a heart scraped bare,
only the sky’s beckoning blue.

-Annette Allen

Sarah Hall and Nicole K. Pollitt

Medium: screenprint and drawing on paper

Winter Cluster

We are sectioned into
a box painted white
to cool in summer months,
but wrapped black
now for heat.

Our bodies have
become slow, clutched into
an anemone of whispers.

We are fruitless
and protect the one who
carries spring brood.

Puzzling our mouths with
peculiar milk, we spread as the
hours warm...this day is slicked still
by an icy caul, our box means survival
a mass of tongues dreaming of spring

-insular and sweet.

-Nicole K. Pollitt

Sarah Cassidy and Nickole Brown

Medium: silk, cotton, thread, screenprint on fabric, quilt batting

While you wait

Become no
thing. Breathe in nothing
but air. Open your throat
to the sky like a chimney
clogged with nesting
Let your eyes be two
windows, but windows open
to a breeze that kisses
the curtains back.
And your ears? They are simply
ears. Let them do what
they do best—
listen, the conch shell sound
of traffic calling you home
here in your moving
body, your own
whispering sheet tent in the street-
lit dark.

—Nickole Brown

Alexia Serpentini and Jak Cardini

Medium: digital collage

and built there
i find
an expensive
of machinery

in all their

giving purpose
to some of
the strangest

awkward forms
the sky

and we are in a living room eating fruit. From a bowl. An outside grew overwhelming and intrusive. A long, arduous thing, mostly gibberish. As a huge hovering nothing, attached to the tops of buildings.

-Jak Cardini

Crystal Ludwick and Laurie Doctor

medium: digital photograph

Ode to a Blue Umbrella:

He imagined it as wings-
a whistle of sapphire angels
slipping between the rain
and the opening in his coat.

-Laurie Doctor

Jennifer Schatz and Edmund August

medium: acrylic painting on paper

At 60 I got a tattoo, a cross
in hard greens and blacks
bearing the words
faith, hope, and charity,
between my shoulder blades.

Sometimes I remember
that I’d forgotten about it
for a whole day, sometimes
day after day, even a week,
maybe more.

But it’s always there,
an inconsistent reminder
of what I want to believe,
and in that thought
I find a fleeting ease

until, in a waking dream
I sit, eyes closed, beneath
the cap of a toadstool,
my tattoo
snug against the stem,

and listen to a murderous rain
remind me
that for shelter to survive
it must be fed
from within as well as without.

-Edmund August

Hallie Jones and Amy Tudor

medium: ink drawing on paper, digital collage

For Liam Rector

On the plain, a round table
made of ice and on it, a silver
telephone ringing. I answer.
Blue night is coming,
an earthen voice says.
Blue night with a green river of light running through it.

I look up. Beautiful north.
The wind is a long white note.

He tells me the story:

Here the raven came when he stole the moon. Here he changed himself into an emerald leaf. Here he dropped into the woman’s mouth and was born a dark baby with oily eyes. Here, he spent the cold nights in the shelter of his mother’s arms. Here he lay beneath a bear’s hide, his thin long fingers clutching bone toys his grandfather carved. Here he slept, warm and safe, but dreaming of flight. His mother kept the moon hidden inside an ancient jeweled box. One night, he crept from the bed, his mother asleep, and opened it, the moon’s pearl glow lighting his dark face. His arms stretched to black wings again, his nose to beak. The woman awoke, cried, ran to catch him as he flew up through the smoke hole, the bright moon clutched in his mouth.

Now the brown voice, bear voice
is lost in static on the long-distance line.
Above, the blue night is coming,
the cold moon wide as a child’s eye,
the darkness shot with the green river
of the northern lights. And the man
with his black-quill stories is moving off
now across the snowy plain,
a lone bear vanishing into all that white.

- Amy Tudor

Jeanette Brown and Diane Batts

medium: ink drawing on paper, digital collage

We clamber for shelter
Lashing ourselves with red
Licorice to straw houses
Binding ourselves to blue
Bottles we believe will float
Boosting ourselves into green boughs
We do not realize the likeliness of lightning.

We hang onto words
Spilling from white toothed mouths
And cling to television's light
When the storm brings night to day.

All the while we wish
For a bomb shelter
An ark
Anything more secure
Than the grace that keeps
The umbrella over our heads.

-Diane Batts

Collin Lloyd and James Leary

medium: digital collage

Few comfort quietly like the deep night,
sheltered in the soft sounds of crickets
and the low hum of electricity
trickling into the leanest of lamplights.

When the world becomes heavy and large,
I grow larger,
my shadow substantial and protective,
arms encircling and securing,
hands slipped around like swimstrokes into deep, dark, water.

-James Leary