The Blue-Haired Boy Meets the Mona Lisa [poem] by Mark Elber

The blue-haired boy meets the Mona Lisa
In the cramped viewing room
An event overlooked by the flash of automatic cameras this overcast January day

The Mona Lisa looks past the crowds that crane for the best angle
She slips through the throngs unnoticed
Feeling invisible, loved for all the wrong reasons

The blue haired boy surfaces amid the assembly-line shirts facing the encased canvas
His expressionist hair bringing a tropical splash to the pallid north of gray puddles

While no one hears the lulling waters behind the Mona Lisa’s head
The blue haired boy runs his hand through strands of the Caribbean


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of Curtis Smith’s essay “The River of Ghosts.”]

Image by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

Mark Elber grew up in New York City.  Did his undergraduate work in philosophy at U. of Penn. and graduate studies in the field of Jewish mysticism mostly at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then back at Penn.  Been writing since his early teens.  Published poems in Mudfish, Home Planet News, The Sierra Nevada College Review, Minetta Review, Arc, and Slow Motion among others.  Won a few prizes including Undergraduate Poetry Prize at Penn and Beat Museum Poet of the Year 2007.  Residencies at Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Lake, and Arad Arts Project.  Wrote songs for 20 years and fronted a band for five of them.  Author of The Everything Kabbalah Book.  Lives in Fall River, Massachusetts where he is the rabbi at Temple Beth El.