Self Portrait – New Poem

This is in response to Joseph Harker’s prompt at We Write Poems. The prompt was to try and capture a moment in a poem, and I thought immediately of my self-portraiture, as it is literally a captured moment on (digital) film. The poem went waaay out there, but I think it still speaks to the prompt.

Self Portrait

I am convicted
in what I do
and pleading
for conceit I want

to tell you
about it. It’s easier
to show. You don’t know
I am blind
to the mirror. I like
what I see. So begins

this poem. When faced
with story, editing
is necessary. Entire lines
to be removed. To know what
leaves out. To choose.

What is necessary but
the beautiful. Reflect
what is separate yet.

Single dimension. Denomination.
Domination of one
over other. Why can’t I be
an image always?

I lay them out like a count
of damaged furniture after the flood.
Wrung to dry, like laundry
on a wire –

intimates exposed. Indelicates out
where they should. A teacher

once told me a poem should end
with a moment of surprise
followed by of course.

I want to end
like that. A row of expressions
in a line of story. Every one
an exclamation.

22 thoughts on “Self Portrait – New Poem

  1. Love these constant juxtapositions and paradoxes – forces a careful reading and rereading just to make sure to follow this precisely. Indeed, at once introspective and expressive!

  2. So much contained in this poem….the decisions. What to leave in. What to cut out. What to expose. What to keep hidden. And I love how you played with the concept of identity and images in the video of the poem.

    -Nicole

  3. OMG! That was amazing. I love it, love it, love it. I did a survey once on what is important to me, what characterizes me. My greatest strength wasn’t what anyone else expected, but it didn’t surprise me. What most strongly identified me, what is strong in me and how I see myself is uniqueness. You, my dear are wonderfully and fearfully made … unique.

  4. Loved how the video version opened up my experience of the read poem. Lots of goodies in the print version though, like(You don’t know I am blind to the mirror, (Why can’t I be an image always?), and especially:

    I want to end
    like that. A row of expressions
    in a line of story. Every one
    an exclamation.

  5. I’m going to go ahead and echo everyone else by saying: KILLER ending. And the piece as a whole was so gloriously meta-, especially in the video form. (The video also really helped show the rhythm of it… very cool.)

  6. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think this captures the human essence and desire so very well! So many universal lines in this — but most importantly the general universality. This is very multidimensional but this multidimensionality is inferred from a very well crafted foundational single-dimension theme.

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