Laila is laden
her body is complex
with pearls that know more than she does.
Indra’s net, she carries the multitude.
she is the source of newness,
hopes that branch
toward good as likely as toward evil.
omniscient she sees them all
the possibility of new forms circling ::
shouting in concrete echo chambers
stoned in smoky motels
darting through night mist in anonymous cars--
She, eye of the midnight galaxy.
knows the curvature of every surface
of every pearl in her branches,
every peachy dimple
every dip and curve
of their champagne pearlesence,
every every last groove
every mar and pock
of their exquisite skins.
but at the core of every pearl, a rich vein
of mineable, unspeakably sacred ancient knowledge.
encyclopedic wisdom. the keys
to universal peace and understanding.
the DNA of Love itself
that she can
Laila is a passionless painter of flowers. She documents them in cool, objective detail without the slightest poeticization of an amorous corolla. She does not wonder their names. She renders them with a botanist’s accuracy in black ink. She paints, files her paintings in the order of their completion, and never looks at them again.
sprouting out the cathedral windows like Leonard Cohen's children of Suzanne-
children of the morning / leaning out for love / and they will lean that way forever-
Downright smoochy in lettuce-edged petticoats, florid conch-shells with dew-drenched seams whose floppy girlishness belies an elegaic howl for sanctification, for the triumph of Flower v. Fading Light, in an unending battle where beauty always dies, where the poet’s pen is the only weapon, the only hope-
queenly, but no less desperate for an offering- a lifetime spent as The Muse has left the rose clinging, lurking in poets’ gardens, unfolding silently before the easel among crusted cadmiums and ultramarines, pools of caustic turpentine and linseed. Her feet ache from years on the modelling stand, but her comportment is eternally regal. The Poets have made her corolla a crown, and by their decree she has been canonized. (!) (a full-body shimmer).
In a moment of spontaneous affection, a particular fondness as she flicks through years of memories- a pleasant afternoon perched in Van Gogh’s bedroom, the desert hospitality of O’Keefe—yes, they have been kind. Would the moon deign to reflect the light of the sun? The poet’s offering has become her lifeblood, her daily bread, her raison d’etre.
In Laila’s gaze she is the eternally new moon, black and full of possibility, the tide that never rises, the well of ink whose blackness contains innumerable images yet unpainted.
rose :: poem of poems, muse of muses
To paint the flower is an act of devotion that commingles the soul with that which is most human to find beautiful. For Laila the ritual is equally sacrosanct, but when Laila walks to the poet’s altar, Altar of Flowers, instead of laying the Flower of Laila, she lays nothing. Only in the absence of Laila can the Flower be truly itself, be truly Flower. Only in the absence of her offering can the Space of Flower open, fully.
Her passion is the passion of a saint.
Her love the love of God.
Her hands not the hands of an artist but of a creator.
In her lifeless inks all life lives,
in harmonious multiciplicity.
She is the perfectly tuned harpsichord that plays precision scales without variation of timbre.
Like God, she does not use her vocal chords.
Like God, she does not take interviews.
She sits on a park bench,
watches the children play,
and she weeps.
A+HRRA award summer 2023
The Summer 2023 Arts + Human Rights Research Award will be open to submissions this summer (approx. 14:51 UTC June 21 2023 - 06:50 UTC September 23rd 2023). The topic of the Summer 2023 A+HRRA is AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights.
th_Eroses, an arts publication www.theroses.xyz, is awarding $100 for a work of artistic / literary research that addresses or concerns human rights in conjunction with this season's topic, AI, Computer Logic, and Human Rights. The term 'research' here is intended to indicate the process of creation, exploration, and discovery, rather than the compiling of archival facts and/or materials, although the compiling of archival facts and/or materials may be a part of the process of exploration and discovery, or a part of the process of shaping the path or direction of discovery. This is intended to be an open-ended premise, to support the range of work that may occur in artists' and writers' unique processes.
From the UN:
"What Are Human Rights? Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."
Successful submissions may, but are not required to, focus on investigative, process-based exploration and material discovery. Successful submissions may couple rigorous (or subjective) analysis with documentation of investigative, process-based exploration and discovery. Submissions do not need to be factual; forms of literary fiction, subjective expression, abstraction, choreography, and/or non-narrative presentations will be considered as well. Submissions in all languages and media are welcomed.
The goal of this award is to amplify artistic voices that inquisitively and critically approach the pressing issues of our time, to create a habitat where a unique form of creative journalism can thrive, and to provide th_Eroses readers with artistic / literary insights into key issues.
Please note: If your work is submitted and selected for the award, you consent to the publication of your submitted work by th_Eroses now and in the future. Not all submissions will win the award; there may be one submission chosen, or multiple submissions, or none of the submissions. Selected submissions will receive an email of acceptance and next steps.
Please submit work to email@example.com with "Entry: Arts + Human Rights Research Award" in the subject line.