Two Ekphrastic Poems by Heid E. Erdrich


“Do You Like Women?” Mixed media on paper by Andrea Carlson

oh wanton, oh Salome
what was it you wanted?

how sexy
the head
you called for
you got, dead head
you got it off
off that big mouth
crying in the desert, crying
just desserts,
on a platter, a silver charger
charged you

oh sullen, oh swollen tongue
and rolling eyes turned back
stilled, indifferent, beyond ecstasy
beyond your gaze

was it what you wanted?
oh wanton, oh Salome.


Little Spirit Mask by Jim Denomie.jpg

Little Spirit Will Not Be Caught
Little Sprit” abalone and found object mask by Jim Denomie

I’m a sky wink
a little afraid of the way
you’re the pearl of my eye.

My teeth chatter
when you breathe so close to me,
fog my thoughts without defrost.

I used to—
with the pink muscle in me
bubbles of thoughts,
iridescent wonderings.

Now that’s all gone to fog.
Since you rescued me, reused me, saved me
and leashed me to the wall.

When they get too close,
I let them know:
I’m a circus dog
trapped in a shell clasp.

They figure out fast,
in a snap
—Like that!

Heid E. Erdrich is a collaborative artist, visual arts curator, and the author of five collections of poetry including Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media due out in 2017 from Michigan State University Press. Her recent non-fiction work is Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes. Heid’s writing has won numerous awards as have her collaborative poem films, which you can see on her Vimeo channel. Her virtual gallery is Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program of Augsburg College.


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