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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 5: October 2020
Prose Poem: 169 words
By Lorette C. Luzajic

First Bluegrass Lesson

—after Scales Mound by John Rogers Cox *

Your guitar is blooming cornflowers. They sprouted without invitation, appeared without warning. You were trying to coax a classical flamenco sound from her strings, something soaked in the sun and a million mosaics. You wore them well, the roomy shirts, those plume-sleeved silky reds. I wouldn’t have pictured you in oversize overalls with a blade of grass twisting in your maw, but there we were, in a blue Kentucky field in the middle of a flink of blinking bovines. Well, when I was wee, I’d scrambled down the slopes to the creek bed, parked my imaginary mare on an apple tree. I longed to be Calamity Jane, and I combed that trickling rivulet for wayward bullets or buried bones. But now it was another lifetime, and I was wielding a banjo. You were ignited and jittery, hopped up on marigolds and music. How it zinged through the kernel-strewn mud, fast and furious, into our fingers and through us.



* Publisher’s Notes:

Scales Mound (oil on canvas painting, 1974) by John Rogers Cox can be viewed on page 4 of Swopes Art Museum e-News.

At the museum’s website, I could not locate works by this artist. But a Google search led me to information and photographs at the blog Philip Koch Paintings (posted 1 March 2017):

”The Swope’s first Director was John Rogers Cox (1915–1990) who, when he took the job, was the youngest museum director in the country. That he had a good eye is attested to by his purchases of widely acclaimed paintings by Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton, and Charles Burchfield. Cox was an accomplished painter himself, best known for his visionary landscapes. These two are in Swope’s Collection: above Scales Mound from 1974, below White Cloud from 1943 & 1946.”

Lorette C. Luzajic
Issue 5, October 2020

is an artist, writer, editor, and educator from Toronto, Canada. Her most recent book is Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems. She usually writes about art, whether in poetry, essays, or an ongoing column on Wine and Art at Good Food Revolution. Her prose and poems have been widely published in several hundred literary journals and a dozen anthologies, and her work has been twice nominated for Best of the Net and for the Pushcart Prize. Lorette is the founding editor of The Ekphrastic Review (established 2015), which is devoted exclusively to publishing poetry and prose inspired by visual art. She is also an internationally collected, award-winning visual artist.

Visit her at: www.mixedupmedia.ca

Artist’s column in Good Food Revolution: Wine and Art

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

A Review of Pretty Time Machine: Ekphrastic Prose Poems by Jenene Ravesloot (4 February 2020) on Facebook

Fresh Strawberries, an ekphrastic prose poem by Ms. Luzajic in KYSO Flash (Issue 11, Spring 2019), nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize

Four poems and four collage artworks from Risk Being / Complicated: Poems by Devon Balwit, Inspired by the Collage Art of Lorette C. Luzajic, reprinted in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019):

I Have Loved You Since the World Began,

Place Me Like a Seal Over Your Heart

You Think You Know Me

You Walk By and I Fall to Pieces

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