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Picture Book

Love, Death, Time, and Assorted Ekphrasis

Poetry and Verse

Daniel Haskin’s fourth book of poems, Picture Book, is a work of life, death, and dreams. It is both darkness and spacious light, surreal and the abstract world.

From the Book

Sylvia Anne

In all this
I am the actor
The dreamer of
My own quiet life
Today I am falling
Chasing a lit voice
Someone else’s ruin
But then I think of her
As I always think of her
Gripping the ranting rail
The hurried girl left behind
So far from home and earth
The fumes of her life’s secret
The treachery of what he said
What he said was cut from fire
Born from a dark confessional
How he wished she would die
But the nurse arrives at nine
The red door locks itself
Always on her knees
Now reaching out
Wishing for
Her Lazarus
That will never
Ever light her way

Man with Dog

A painting by Francis Bacon (1953)

Cold dense sidewalk flutters
Paint smears green blue black
Crying from the gutter splinter
Dog utters the form of a cat

Arching back in smoky shadows
Digging past the gutter blades
The water rushes filthy doorways
Cowers deaf ears in silent din

The leash crackled sparkles darkly
Against all years the scream emerging
That smell the stench different distortions
The blur of beasts the blur of man


Oil on canvas by Clifford Still (1951)

And yet I dreamed
That I could walk
Outside this vessel
And surround myself
In yellow song

Grasping fire
In vibration spark
Beyond heart and flow
I know the words
They create themselves
From the crackle of flame
The birth of poetry
Calling on breath
To empty me

I sit here still
With brush and faith
Like a painter born
With hands moving
Through saffron streaks
Of allamanda and
The strumming air

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