KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 9: Spring 2018
Ekphrastic Poem: 84 words [R]

Annunciation Angel

by Roy Beckemeyer

Angel announcements are always
astounding. Angels are drama queens,
every one, no sign of subtlety; they light
the night sky, let all the neighbors hear
the news. No virgin ever born could
hope for discretion with angels involved.

Loud, too much makeup, glitzy robes
encrusted with bling, they swoosh in
on wings immaculately white, halos
like circular fluorescent tubes swiped
from a tavern storefront.

What’s the use of a Holy Spirit
silently slipping into your room
in the dead of night after all this?


After Jay DeFeo’s oil on canvas The Annunciation (1957-59)

Author’s Note:

This poem is from a forthcoming collection of 28 ekphrastic poems addressing various artists’ depictions of angels. Art ranges from abstract expressionist to symbolist to surrealist work. Entitled Amanuensis Angel, the book will be published by Spartan Press in 2018. All the poems have QR codes so that readers can call up the art on their smartphone or tablet, thus making the reading of this collection an interactive experience.


—Previously published in the poet’s blog, Phanaerozoic (22 August 2016); republished here with author’s permission

Publisher’s Note:

The Annunciation resides at the Art Institute of Chicago. See also Estate No. E2751 at The Jay DeFeo Foundation.


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