There’s a bit of a story behind the poem “On Cortada’s Red Wolves.”
Back in the Before Times, I went to an event and exhibition of Xavier Cortada’s works at Creative Pinellas. Cortada is a Florida-based artist whose work often to focuses on the environment. I was one of a group of people reading from their works of environmentally focused fiction: in my case, part of a chapter from my novel The Tollkeeper.
During that event, they explained a contest in which writers were invited to compose a poem based on Cortada’s works. I took several pictures of his pieces to see if anything sparked my poetic impulses. I don’t compose a lot of poetry, but I did write two pieces that I brought along to the contest on the appointed day.
The Overly Prepared Poet
Then I learned that the poems were supposed to be written during this second event, not before it. I clearly hadn’t read the fine print. I briefly considered presenting one of my poems as having been written the day of the event, but that wouldn’t be fair. Both poems had taken me well over an hour, and an hour or so as the time we were allotted to write in situ.
So, I composed in incomplete poem during the event, one that had no chance of winning. But I still had these other two poems sitting on my proverbial shelf. Then a few years later I came across an unusual online magazine called Apocalypse Confidential. Reading though it, I thought the tone fit with my two Cortada-inspired poems and so submitted the one I thought was strongest.
To my surprise (I’m always surprised when someone accepts something of mine), they agreed to publish it. So below is a link to it for anyone who is interested in a strange (definitely) and darkly humorous (I’m hoping) ekphrastic poem.
Featured image: Head shot of artist Xavier Cortada taken in 2007: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Xavier_Cortada_2007_artist_headshot.jpg