City Sidewalk Christmas Eve 2020

Photo by Jana Hunterova + Poem by Mark Blickley

This ekphrasis collaboration first appeared in Praxis.


Photo by Jana Hunterova.
"In the dark times
Will there also be singing? 
Yes, there will also be singing
About the dark times."
--Betrolt Brecht

Do my squeaks and squeals sound like frightened cries of hopeful breaths crushed inside a fabric of society that brings exhaled warmth to my facing known yet unseen dangers as I squat before an empty street of holiday cheer, fear echoing in each pluck and glide of string, an aural gift of homage to missing loved ones and the magical realism of an old fat white man swathed in red bringing joy to sleeping, uncaged children dreaming of parental oversight and charity down chimney slides into cabin fevers hopefully void of dry coughs and a lack of taste that ignores the seasonal celebration of a poor babe who just three calendar months later will become a thirty-three year old who is humiliated, tortured and brutally slain because of a passionate call for change that replaces hate with love and fear with joy, so I sit on this bleak, frigid sidewalk accepting and resisting the pain of an unraveling Christmas present and uncertain Christmas future with a sweet memory of Christmas past offered up by frozen fingers fiddling musical notes I pray may tender a bit of hope and comfort as glorious attendants fight to save strangers inside the brightly lit hospital across the street. 

Jana Hunterova lives in Prague and is a Czech award-winning freelance photographer and a doctoral program student at the Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava. Her focus is not only as a photographer but also on the history of photography as well as curatorial and lecturing activities. She has recently begun experimenting with short films, several of which have garnered acclaim. She is a member of the international art cooperative, Urban Dialogues and can be found at http://janahunterova.com/.

Mark Blickley is a proud member of the Dramatist Guild and PEN American Center. His latest book is the text-based art collaboration with fine arts photographer Amy Bassin, Dream Streams: Clare Songbirds Publishing House – Amy Bassin & Mark Blickley.

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