KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Ekphrastic Poem: 117 words
Visual Art: Painting [R]

Trouble the Water

by Robert L. Dean, Jr.

trouble the water, painting by Steven Schroeder

trouble the water (acrylic on canvas, 2017)

Copyrighted © by Steven Schroeder. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with artist’s permission.

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool...
—The Bible, John 5:2
What do I see? 
You. Me. Us. 

A Bethesda of sorrows. The reflection 
of an angel, reaching down. 

That argument we had 
last night, last week, last 

year. The healing we strive for 
today, blanket spread, the ichor 

of day-old rain still embraced 
by sweet green grass. Shall we 

be made whole? Shall we take up 
our bed and walk? The bread, the honey, 

the wine, such fragrant miracles. Dare we 
deny them their due? Dare we? 

Shall we be less than the infirm 
man of thirty and eight years wait? 

Your lips, mine. These arms, 
opening. Do you see it now? 

Do you? Come to me, then, 
and we will trouble the water.  
Steven Schroeder
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is a visual artist and poet who was born in Wichita Falls, grew up on the high plains in the Texas Panhandle, and now lives and works in Chicago. He earned his Ph.D. (1982) at the University of Chicago and spent thirty years moonlighting as a philosophy professor at universities in the United States and China. He has been painting for more than 50 years and writing poetry for nearly that long.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Portfolio and additional details

Books and links to scholarly publications

Learning to See Nothing: New and Recent Work on Paper and Canvas by Steven Schroeder; exhibition catalog, Eleanor Hayes Art Gallery (Kinzer Performing Arts Center, Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Oklahoma; 4 September–18 October 2018)

Robert L. Dean, Jr.
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is the author of the poetry collection At the Lake with Heisenberg (Spartan Press, November 2018). His work has appeared in Flint Hills Review, I-70 Review, Chiron Review, The Ekphrastic Review, Shot Glass, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, KYSO Flash, River City Poetry, Heartland! Poetry of Love, Resistance & Solidarity, and the Wichita Broadside Project. He was a quarter-finalist in the 2018 Nimrod Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and read at the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival and the Chikaskia Literary Festival in 2018.

Dean has been a professional musician and worked at The Dallas Morning News. He lives in Augusta, Kansas, and serves as Event coordinator for Epistrophy: An Afternoon of Poetry and Improvised Music held annually in Wichita.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Hopper and Dean: Interview and poems in River City Poetry (Fall 2017)

Metal Man, ekphrastic poem by Dean inspired by 1955 photograph of his grandfather in the Boeing machine shop; published in The Ekphrastic Review (28 July 2018)

Llama, 1957, ekphrastic haibun by Dean inspired by Inge Morath’s photograph A Llama in Times Square; published in The Ekphrastic Review (13 January 2018)

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