“And that is how I have cherished you—deep inside
the mirror, where you put yourself, far away
From all the world.” -- Rainer Maria Rilke
A self-portrait is hardest to locate in a place.
Otherwise difficult to render.
Be it Beijing or the Smoothie King Center.
Your charming local deli or a dark corner.
I am prone to distraction.
Often via the beautiful or the gruesome or the disappointment.
Often a thing covered in fur.
A frame cannot contain it.
The reverberation of the aluminum reflection forced upon me here.
I am chased by a sense of deterioration.
I am a half-filled human mask.
As in, the person I encounter each day will not, has not, will not always be me.
Or I melt away.
That old dull argument against the ordinary, the opposite of fear.
The mirror calls me out of myself.
Or perhaps it beckons me towards the deepest pit of myself.
Induces a sort of trance.
I peel off the layers of my apparent dome.
Like the rinds tossed into the trashcan.
A symbol of the poverty of a great raw longing.
I know I shouldn’t look, but I do.
Up against the embarrassing nakedness of living.
I am smudged with makeshift habits & blurred desires.
I stare into my fish eyes, my little nose, my antiquated teeth, the dent.
O to translate my radical deficiency into something else.
To swap ordinary living for the spiritual quest.
To jot down my dreams each morning.
Otherwise, I witness & then it is gone.
The boundaries of the dream contain an image & whatever else might coincide.
Conscious, self-conscious, subconscious, unconscious.
Knitting socks out of the hair of the dogs.
Attempting to capture the lesser-known qualities of light.
Drowning myself in the tub my grandmother died beside.
My grandmother & I shared more than the genes for diabetes.
I am distracted by human relationships.
Even with the dead, even with myself.
Badly handled objects scrubbed anew, fresh granola in the cupboard.
Till the age of three, I was a perfect little girl
& then the family discovered my ragged inner emptiness
Which I would like nothing more than to fill.
You can call me a project-oriented poet. A big beam of obsession & confusion & delight shines down & I'm hooked for a bit. My two full-length collections of poems are WHAT IS WHO (my self-published MFA thesis at the Michener Center For Writers, 2018) & More Wreck More Wreck (published by Coconut Books in 2014). My most recently-released poem-project is FUTURE BARN, available for FREE both in PDF & audio form.
I'll post new poems every Friday from my forthcoming collection, I ONCE WAS SOMEONE ELSE & OFTEN STILL AM. I'd be honored if you gave it a read, a possible share. Thanks!