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What Ed Bennet wrote:
Usually, this type of a collection turns inward and centralizes on the poet.
Gathering the Harvest takes a different tack by looking at the events from
a different point of view. The first section, Echoes of Desire, has several
ekphrastic poems that are soliquoys delivered by the artist's model. The
subjects are paintings by Edward Hopper and one excellent one entitled
"Lisa Gheradini Sits for Her Portrait".  This is the first work I've seen
where Mona Lisa herself speaks:

Lisa Gheradini Sits for her Portrait
                        after Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa
by Mary Jo Balistreri

See how it excites him,
painting my shadowed eyes,
the way he lingers with my mouth‐
a come on, a reproof, a mystery
even to me. Enticing? Yes,
but something he cannot penetrate.

Look at him, bent over the canvas,
the muscled arms, fine hairs moving,
moving with each stroke.
Back and forth, back and forth‐
he's in bed with the paint.

Mio Dio, to stretch under those long
fingers, feel his silky touch‐he will tell
me what he always does, how he is
inside me as he paints.
Though I know his preferences.

I like the way he brushes my soft, giving flesh,
that earthliness, those rich loamy hues.
And look! How tenderly he uses his oils,
opalescence of air, meandering blue,
haze of hills, spring green of his dreams.

Desires, mine, his.
How that canvas yearns.

Ed's full review can be viewed here:


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