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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 1: January 2020
Ekphrastic Prose Poem: 245 words
By Lorette C. Luzajic


—After The Starry Night (1889) by Vincent van Gogh

All was darkness in the time before time, you said, and if anyone there had been expecting you to say anything at all, it wasn’t that. There was a weird little glitch or some kind of stitch in time where everything was still and then the clatter of clinking crystal and toothy veneers resumed its former pitch. I could tell from your jittery boots that you were desperate for a cigarette, so I invited you to join me outside. We stood where the sky parted and the path forked and we stared at the star-spangled stretch of the world without end. I watched the red ember at the end of your cigarette flicker and spit a little and wished I still smoked. You had itty bitty hands and they dangled their jumbles of jewels with the same nervous rhythms of the rest of you. I was in that moment convinced you were all that was keeping me alive. I felt plugged in, as if something had changed drastically, as if everything had. Well, you were tiny and jumpy, a rickety rinkydink of a trinket, with sparks coming off of your lips and your frenzied hands. I was thinking right then that you were most likely a figment; electricity, or fire, or something, something fleeting and fast, and then you said, well, look, not everything is written already, all stories begin without an ending, even yours.

The Starry Night: painting by Vincent van Gogh

Publisher’s Note:

The original oil-on-canvas painting The Starry Night (1889), by Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), is held by the Museum of Modern Art. The reproduction above was downloaded from Wikimedia Commons.

Lorette C. Luzajic
Issue 1, January 2020

studied journalism at Ryerson University, but went on to pursue creative writing and visual art after graduating. The author of more than 20 books, she writes most often about art, travel, and interesting people. She has several books of essays on these subjects, as well as four of poetry, with a fifth collection featuring ekphrastic prose poetry underway.

Ms. Luzajic is the founder and editor of The Ekphrastic Review (established 2015), a publication devoted exclusively to publishing poetry and prose inspired by visual art. Her own prose and poems have appeared in hundreds of publications, including Bookslut, Calliope, Cargo Literary, Cultural Weekly, Everyday Poetry, the Fiddlehead, Grain, Indelible, KYSO Flash, Main Street Rag, Misfit, Nine Muses Poetry, Peacock Journal, Rattle, Taxicab Mag, and Wild Word, as well as in numerous anthologies such as Unsheathed (ed. Betsy Mars, Kingly Street Press) and The Group of Seven Reimagined (ed. Karen Schauber, Heritage Books).

Her writing has been nominated twice for the Best of the Net award and twice for the Pushcart Prize, and her award-winning mixed-media artwork has been exhibited around the world, from the Royal Ontario Museum to Mexico to Tunisia.

Artist’s website: www.mixedupmedia.ca

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