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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Poem: 175 words
+ Visual Art: Painting [R]
By Robert L. Dean, Jr.

Eyes on You


Conflict Resolution: alcohol ink painting by Aurore Uwase Munyabera

Conflict Resolution
(painting, alcohol ink, 2019)

Copyrighted © by Aurore Uwase Munyabera. All rights reserved.
Image appears here with permission from the artist.


Eyes on You

That tingling at the nape of your neck, 
yes, that’s me, watching, magnification ten 

I prowl your secret garden, haunt the hedgerows 
that demarcate your decorum, watch as you 

expose yourself in what you believe to be 
your innermost sanctum sanctorum, you suspect 

nothing, you lay your best laid schemes for mice 
and men, lay everything that walks on two 

legs, at least in dreams—skull piercing 
42mm Leica lenses—you scratch at the base of 

your medulla oblongata, feel your heart rate 
race, your breath comes quicker, you check 

all the dresser drawers, the closet, under 
the bed, nope, not there, whatever it is, 

whoever I am, you check your pockets 
on impulse—now you’re getting closer—

you interrogate the mirror, the hair brush 
—oh, so close! but then—what was it you heard 

this morning over breakfast—I’m leaving—
and here you are now, searching for the other half 

of you, the part that never loses sight of you, the part 
you lost sight of, pssst, over here, no, I’m kidding 

really, I’m kidding 

Aurore Uwase Munyabera
Issue 5, October 2020

is a self-taught painter and poet who was born in 1985 in Kigali Rwanda, Africa. The 1994 genocide forced her family to flee to the United States, where they found refuge in Michigan. She has formal training in marketing, psychology, and mediation and conflict resolution. She also holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, with a focus on screenwriting.

Learn more about her at Womxn Artists, which showcases Rwandan artists.

See also the artist’s Instagram gallery: https://www.instagram.com/musekeweya/?hl=en

Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Issue 5, October 2020

is the author of two books: The Aerialist Will Not Be Performing, ekphrastic poems and short fictions after the art of Steven Schroeder (Turning Plow Press, 2020), and a poetry collection, At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, November 2018). Nominated for a Pushcart in 2019 and multiple times for Best of the Net, his work has appeared 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.

Dean is event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music, held annually in Wichita, Kansas. He has been a professional musician, having played bass for, among others, Jesse Lopez, B. W. Stephenson, Bo Didley, The Dallas Jazz Orchestra, and the house band for the Fairmount Hotel Venetian Room. He grew up in Topeka and Wichita, Kansas before spending 30 years between Los Angeles and Dallas, where he worked at The Dallas Morning News. He now lives in Augusta, Kansas (population 9,389), where it has taken him a decade to finally adjust to the BNSF rumbling through every hour of every night.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry (Fall 2017).

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).

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