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Two new books of poetry by ellen have just been published. Holly Prado says of GYNECIC PAPERS, "ellen explores the tragic and beautiful secrets of feminine experience through her powerful, strongly-felt poetry." Anna Moss says that she was "especially impressed with the diversity and range of the poems" in REVERSE KISS.

ellen teaches creative writing for Santa Monica College's Emeritus division. Her work has appeared widely in journals across the country and in England. She has won prizes from dA Center for the Arts, Cape Cod Times, Blue Unicorn and others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Poems by ellen:

MOON

the moon gives a man
to a woman

drops run wild inside her
they are the stars falling

the man touches
the bottom of the sea

within the woman
moon water rises

descendant of fish
swimming in amnion

clinging like a pearl
red moon mocks the sun

steady as a stone
the woman bends

to the weight of water-gourds
and a child curled in her center

full moon
illuminates the woman

her body is a bell
she hears only one sound

 

"MADONNA WITH THE MOP"
 -Charles Simic

Midnight Madonnas with mops
at the rail-stop in Zagreb
run onto trains with their buckets
and swirl water in porcelain bowls.
Their time to clean
is measured.
Dust-water runs
in rivulets down the tracks.

In night's hush,
Madonnas with mops
are glad to have a living
to earn.
Dirndl skirts flap like flags
as they dash from cars,
their flowered kerchiefs tied
around unmanaged hair.

As the train chugs away
they wait on the platform
for the next, shivering
in the dark and whispering
desires into each others' ears.
Madonnas strike matches,
touch them to cigarette
tips, for a little heat.

 

THE PERFORMANCE

I took no photos of my boys
the first time we went west.
At Sea World
the whales were arcing.

The whales were arcing
over spinning dolphins.
Rather than snap shots
I chose to watch my sons.

I chose to watch my sons,
tired of single-parent-
camera-chores.
I wanted just to be there.

I wanted just to be there
and capture in my eye
the wet mammals,
my young children.

My young children's
children are now older
than they themselves were.
I need pictures.

I need pictures
of my son's summer buzz-
cut heads, their freckles,
their sturdy bodies.

Their sturdy bodies
pushing through year
after year
without a father to raise them.

Without a father to raise them
upon his shoulders
in order to see the seals
balance bright balls on their noses.

2006 ellen

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