Christopher Tozier is the author of Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus, the award-winning, middle-grade fantasy series set in the wilds of central Florida and published by Pineapple Press. He was selected as a 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient and his poetry has appeared widely.
I've always loved Hopper's paintings. My book A Little Book of Light History published by Yellowjacket Press, contains eight ekphrastic poems based on Hopper paintings. Recently, on a trip to New York City, I was able to finally see a Hopper in person. The Museum of Modern Art had "New York Movie" in a little out of the way hallway. Here is me by the painting, and the poem it inspired below.
New York Movie, Hopper 1939
Merle Oberon will soon turn her
tearfully toward the ghastly moors.
The gauzy drapes blow like lovers
who embrace but hardly notice the other’s tears.
Olivier rests his face in sobs.
He will marry marry and marry
before the credits roll
and we return to our lives.
There are no exits.
A woman hides in the alcove
for the second show.
There are only four types of light:
Red, yellow, green,
the one missing in her eyes.
originally published in Washington Square Winter/Spring 2011