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Collaborations for Bread

Someonefront copySculptor Sandy Frank and I have been percolating on this project now since spring of 2009, when she asked me for a handful of poems to pen across her sculpture of a male torso (back in the time of early morning check-ins, strolling up the kindergarten rampway as we dropped off our girls and rushed apart to get to as much art and writing as possible accomplished before pick-up). Our hope was to create a collaborative, aesthetic work of art combining our passions…with the eventual goal of helping to put bread on our tables for our families.

Some of our process trail and tangential posts related to Sandy’s beautiful work: Our first sculpture poetry attempt: Winter Solstice. Blog post on male vs. female pov in poems:   When Sandy asks me for a handful of poems. Sandy’s work at Fertile Source: Three Sculptures. Interview with Sandy at She Writes: Writing as Prelude to Sculpture. And of course, check out Sandy’s website for more images.

And now to the work itself.




Sandy Frank sculpture red haired woman monarchs across bodyvisits my body by night.

In a parallel world of dream

I see a red pearl in the sun.

And a cardinal, flying,

then still, in branches

of the orange tree;

through tears, a red king,

whose sunblades almost

strike my eyes. Some ancient

enemy, hurling down the black stem

of the glassblower’s lance

making amends with the mouth

of an apprentice–



Sandy Frank sculpture red haired woman black birds and poem Someone by Tania Pryputniewiczyour furnace, breath,

warbles through my body

in a hot raid

radiating like the cardinal king

shaking oranges to the ground.

The sudden shears cut molten

lips from the wick–

the rodless vase

cools. Cell by cell,

you withdraw; I wake

in the amber light of dawn

while you dissemble–

a chrysalis

of white veins above me.

The cries of the first birds

melt in our untouching mouths.


Poem originally published in Holding On and Letting Go, Coe Review Press, 1996, and in the poetry collection, November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014).


The Painter’s Wife


Sandy Frank sculpture woman side sheer hosting poem The Painter's Wife by Tania PryputniewiczRain brings the husband home early,

white dots specking his neck and skull,


a primered knuckle through the milk jug

without apology for the swig


or cold hand on her breast. Downed lines

mean dark when he’d rather have sun


to finish the job, or if here, like now, inside her,

light to watch himself by (and her), overalls


at his ankles, spattered with the colors

of the housewives of the neighborhoods.


Sandy Frank scupture with poem The Painter's Wife by Tania PryputniewiczNaked he’s hers again, until the throb of power

restored, the refrigerator


kicking in, and under the stairs

where his ribs anchor hers to the floor,


a bare bulb burning into her eyes.

Outside, the deck is slick, boots


warped with chill, amphibious;

there’s his forehead to kiss


and the letdown of thunder, the crotch

of her jeans gritting along her skin’s


seam. At her feet, to the spit

of soaked gravel (his retreating tires)


a handful of furred sow’s ears listen

for spring without head or brain.


Poem originally published at Linebreak, 2009 and read by Jehanne Dubrow.


A Maritime Trilogy: Querent, Seer, Selke, appears in November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, 2014).


Sandy Frank sculpture woman's head streaming hair lines from poem The Seer by Tania Pryputniewicz












Sandy Frank sculpture woman's torso with words of poem Selke by Tania Pryputniewicz















May 2015 update:

Selke took top honors at the 26th Annual California Clay Competition at The Artery, Davis, California (Frank was awarded 500 pounds of clay–which bodes well for more of her beautiful sculpture!).

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