Chicago area fine art exhibition in the northwest suburbs. Submit paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, fiber art, sculpture, metal. Contact Kathleen & Joe at submissions@culturea for details. 
Heading image by Alan Thomas

​Thirst for Knowledge 

He found himself listless on a summer’s day
Parched and preoccupied by remnants 
of an answered question
It festered and swelled in his gut
Carving out a cavity of more questions
churning his civility into inquisition  

His nourishment was short-lived 
For one cranial cocktail down and the satiation
was as filling as dining on sand
A moment of substance
followed by a dessert of thirst

He arrived to a place he frequents often
A place where he couldn’t stand the answer’s foundations 
for each new question eroded his footing
Each variable posed
a nonlinear quandary considered 
within a linear world
Every mystery made simple syrup
in the confines of curiosity
Sweetening both the adoration and the attempt
Intoxication fancies the fervent 

Intrigue can ascend our limitless station
It can also turn us to bleary-eyed bombasts 
Drunk on the silly notion that we can know all
Each climb up that ladder rung
Ends similar to a tick’s feast
Nourished only long enough to burst

He, on his listless summer day
Will find solace in every sweet suck of searching 
The pressure and swell worth every morsel drained
As he gorges himself from obscurity to truth
And upward still, streamlined to oblivion 
A glutton’s price for a king’s crown 

Patrick Nottingham

​Inspired by Thirst for Knowledge. Artist: Robert Kelsey

Dwell (Ode to Joy)

A stoop hangs low in a corner
of a pocketed mind.
The shadows of bygones and yesteryears
create merry shades dancing decadently down 
hallowed halls of hollow holes.

The spectacle of dark tricking light
forms muted glimmers and twists,
a somber show in the borders 
of past nights and present days
spill colors well beyond the neat lines.

There’s finality looking back,
striations of scars and hearts strewn about
all meet in the focal point of the dark.
Everything comes together in absence. 

Illusion occupies looking forward,
brilliant beams of becoming promise dawn and hope
washed with a new day’s intensity; 
but reality gets distracted by
the broad spectrum of future’s fantasy forecast.

Laurels weren’t made for resting 
nor stars made to hang all our wishes.
There is home for you,
under this barren, starless stoop.

A dwelling in the present 
to bellow a mindful song.
An ode for joyful respite 
where basking in the fire and the ash 
both feel like the remedy,
as we feel new skin grow. 

Patrick Nottingham

Inspired by Dwell (Ode to Joy). Artist: Kathleen Sullivan Isacson


pray for sweetness on a tinctured lip 
flavored with honey and stains of sweeter treats 
hues tinging the other side of morality 

prey, for sweetness on heaven’s gate
doorways imbued with brimstone
a beguiling smell with a blasé taste

what swells on the surface 
sinks into your desires
indulgent morsels jostling for your affection

bite deep and linger long
there’s rapture in languid visitation 
no hurry in tasting every texture 

eternity is the stomping ground 
for ecstasy and embrace
temptation’s kiss leaves spirits standing 
in a parlor of sulfur and sin
the best way to savor is
flaying layer by wicked layer
every lick unearthing 
the divine underneath 
of another end
until your tongue settles on the middle
then nothing
then begins again 

Patrick Nottingham

Inspired by Lollypopped. Artist: David Feingold

Single Opinion 

awkward fault lines
shift under synaptic storms 
the electricity bursts into 
a dazzling spectacle of uncertainty
streaking down like shooting stars
blanketing a midnight mind 
searing just enough decision to fray
next steps into false wishes

flashes of splintered light
dance along avenues untraveled 
peripherally creating opulence 
in the blind corners
of this wayward tempest 
lighthouses stand as sentinels in the distance
beacons providing a standing ovation
guiding weathered sails to safe tethers
but it is only trickery of the shimmer 
illusions deftly showing security 
when the respite isn’t the oracle
merely an oasis guarding the exits 

comfort never comes in the oscillation 
a teeter-totter for the downtrodden
every rise and fall churns bigger waves
at their grandest height 
they can scrape heaven’s seedy underbelly 
at their deepest low 
they can split bones on rock bottom’s bedrock

I’m of a single opinion 
that somewhere in the middle 
between the flurry and the noise
between the pummel and the gasp
there lies a pause
a moment of singularity 
orchestrating the chaos and the calm
it’s our masterpiece to find this needle
among broken branches and brambles
the trick is
to know how this needle pricks 
for we all bleed in the search 
of sewing ourselves together 

Patrick Nottingham

Inspired by Single Opinion. Artist: Bryam Bueno

Naming the Unspoken was curated by Joe + Kathleen Isacson. 

Find out details about us & other exhibitions at our home page

All copyrights for writing and images remain with the writer/artist who created the work.

Patrick Nottingham  
About the Naming the Unspoken:
BosmanBury ShawCareyCorvusDenofrioEaslerEwert
MitchellNottinghamRekenthalerShapiroSmithSullivan Isacson