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Ekphrastacy: Evolution: “The Weight of Light”

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The Weight of Light

by Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece


Matrix Series: a Greater Volume

by Brent Kee Young


Through this glass matrix

light is both caught and released


as is ever thus

though we try and hold

the sun’s fall in our fingers


Artist with butterfly nets

of brushes

have tried to capture it,

that chrome yellow hue

Van Gogh favored

like a yellow swallowtail,

pinning its wings behind

glass, a single scale of which

glints between fingerprints

refracts under a microscope

into fractals of helios. 


The spider of course does

a better job of it, using

a cellular solar blueprint,

to spin its webs,

as does mitochondria,

channel energy to the center

before sending it outwards.


What is the weight of light

resting on retina, soaking

through, gone in a blink.

The spider knows this

with its eight dark eyes,

as tensile life just waiting

for the iridescent winged

gnat to finally settle, to suck it

dry, a husk of light-

don’t touch it!


So with this tower of glass

tendrils intertwined, filling up

the very air, holding space open

with nothing but light, might as well

be a frozen column of water,

this flame worked

borosilicated glass flower,

light cannot be held

for more than the moment

of this vision.

Brent Kee Young, Artist: Glass artist and Cleveland Institute of Art Professor Emeritus Brent Kee Young, has been recognized by scores of museums, galleries, colleges and universities in the United States and Asia, which have displayed and/or acquired his work or invited him to speak, demonstrate or teach. His glass work is in numerous collections private and public, some of which include the Smithsonian Museum of American Art; The Museum of Fine Art, Boston; The Carnegie Museum of Fine Art; The Toledo Museum of Art, Glass Pavilion; The Corning Museum of Glass; The Museum of Glass, Tacoma; and our own Cleveland Museum of Art. Recently, the Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA, acquired a number of Prof. Young’s glass sculptures.

To learn more about Brent Kee Young’s process watch the short video below (video courtesy of Brent Kee Young):

Glass Artist – Brent Kee Young from Cleveland Arts Prize on Vimeo.


Ray McNiece, Poet: McNiece is the current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate. He is the author of 11 books of poems and monologues – Dis, (Burning River Press 1989) The Bone-Orchard Conga ( Wordsmith Press 1994), The Road that Carried Me Here (Bottom Dog), Song that Fathoms Home (Bottom Dog), and Wet Sand Raven Tracks (deep cleveland), Us — Talking Across America (Fractal Edge Press),  Us Versus (Fractal Edge Press), Our Way of Life (Bottom Dog), Love Song for Cleveland (Red Giant), and Breath Burns Away, New Haiku (Red Giant, 2019) two solo theatre works – Dis – Voices From a Shelter, Us? Talking Across America, two music/poetry collaborations – Mouth Music, A Rust bowl Hootenanny, and one collaborative theatre work – Homegirl meets Whiteboy  with Shawn Jackson.


Please enjoy this video for Ekphrastacy August 2020 in Response to Evolution:



To learn more about our current exhibition, Evolution, click here

To learn more about our Literary programs, click here

Most of Heights Arts’ programming is free! If you would like to show your support for our poetry programming you can text to give HERE, or learn the many ways you can support us HERE.

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