event horizon 2
(acrylic on paper, 2018)
Copyrighted © 2018 by Steven Schroeder. All rights reserved.
This is the cathedral of the collapsed world,
the sanctuary of hopes abandoned, the museum of
emotional discombobulation, the point
of no return at the end of the line
of futility. The trees in this forest
of eternal night are shades of fairy tales,
extruding ectoplasmic evergreen fingers
misconceived in the absence
of photosynthesis, the absence of you, of any
bright beating heart. This timber roots
in the topsoil of desolation, the cinders
of burned-at-the-stake love. The hoot of the owl
of despair echoes nonstop,
the bay of the wolf of eternal winter,
the wasted beauty of the nightingale’s aria.
O, I was born here, as I’ve come to believe,
birthed into eternal abandonment, emerging
now and then at the whisper
of footsteps such as yours, walking
with you a bit down the road
until we come to that hostel
known as the Parting of the Ways,
at which there is no bed with my name,
no space for me at the table,
not even the ghost of a wave
from you as you enter, the dawn a rumor
on the horizon, breadcrumbs
which I have strewn, needlessly,
on the road back to the land
of wicked stepmothers, poisoned
apples, children served up for
dinner, the country where happy endings
go to die, where I consume the gruel
of grief, the stones of self-pity, croak
my kiss-shunned frog-prince lullaby
deep and deep and deep into the night.
is a visual artist and poet who was born in Wichita Falls, grew up on the high plains in the Texas Panhandle, and now lives and works in Chicago. He earned his Ph.D. (1982) at the University of Chicago and spent thirty years moonlighting as a philosophy professor at universities in the United States and China. He has been painting for more than 50 years and writing poetry for nearly that long.
Portfolio and additional details
Books and links to scholarly publications
⚡ Learning to See Nothing: New and Recent Work on Paper and Canvas by
Steven Schroeder; exhibition catalog, Eleanor Hayes Art Gallery (Kinzer Performing
Arts Center, Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma; 4 September–18
is the author of the poetry collection At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, November 2018). His second book, The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems and short fictions after the art of Steven Schroeder, will be released early in 2020. His writings have appeared or are forthcoming in Chiron Review; Flint Hills Review; Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity; I-70 Review; Illya’s Honey; KYSO Flash; MacQueen’s Quinterly; Red River Review; River City Poetry; Shot Glass; The Ekphrastic Review; and the Wichita Broadside Project. His work has been nominated multiple times for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net anthology award; he was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry; and he read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018.
Dean has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, and serves as Event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita.
Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry
Metal Man, ekphrastic poem inspired by a 1955 photograph of
Dean’s paternal grandfather in the Boeing machine shop; published in
The Ekphrastic Review (28 July 2018) and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
Windmill, ekphrastic poem inspired by Dean’s maternal
grandfather; published in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019) and nominated
for the Pushcart Prize. This poem is among half-a-dozen of Dean’s ekphrastic
works published in KYSO Flash (Issues 11 and 12).
Llama, 1957, ekphrastic haibun inspired by Inge Morath’s
photograph A Llama in Times Square; published in The Ekphrastic
Review (13 January 2018).