passing

In the mirror I
am only a face–
a fleeting facade,
disembodied,
always incomplete.

I recognize it, but I
do not feel attached–
I dislike the lines,
the dark circles,
the sagging jowls.

Our interactions are
conditional, brief.
My face is
interesting in the way
of all faces,

but not memorable or
distinct—brown hair
brown eyes behind glasses–
averagely past its prime–
I could be anyone.

I see the years in
my hands and I
celebrate them.
Why is my aging
face a source of shame?

Our bodies are merely
ephemera—transitory,
waiting to be
discarded—waiting to release
our spirits to the wind.

This is some more old work I never posted because I was moving. It was inspired by two prompts: The Kick-About prompt of Joseph Cornell’s “Romantic Museum”, which was part of an exhibition dedicated to portraits of women, and the dVerse prompt from Sarah asking for self-portraits. As I said to Phil when I submitted my response to the Kick-About: what woman do I know better than myself?

The hand holding a needle in Cornell’s work, above immediately attracted my attention. I wanted to do something on newspaper, but I couldn’t collage (my first choice) as my glue was packed.  My needles and floss were not, however, and this also seemed appropriate to Cornell’s work.

I was pleased to find a newspaper page with a photo of hands.  I drew my own, and also my face, and stitched and wrote my reflections based on the drawings.  It’s not quite finished, but maybe that’s the correct response too.

linking to dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by Grace

navigations

superimposed lines–
pick them up, examine
the landscapes beneath,

follow the intersections–
the map of bodyworn years

I chose the theme for Colleen’s #Tanka Tuesday prompt #192, Maps, but did not get a chance to post my response. When I pulled it out to look at it this morning it took awhile to remember my creative process.

I wanted to use a map of NYC and a self-portrait and layer them somehow. I had seen a layered piece of art that used holes cut in the top layer which I liked. The challenge was to make the holes work with the portrait underneath.

As usual, I managed to take off a few years from my face in my drawing, but otherwise I think it’s a pretty good likeness. Our faces contain many maps, but sometimes you have to look closely to see them.

Self Portrait #14: More Man Ray (Revisited)

man ray head shot comp

I started with a question, as I so often do:  what kind of alive am I?  A black and white head resting on a mélange of pattern and color—my mask, the face I offered to the world, was meant to be unnoticed.  Fade to grey, merge with the background, don’t draw attention, don’t stand out.  Could I change?

Alas, my clothing choices have remained much the same since I questioned them in 2016.  Black, black and more black.  A brightly colored scarf, perhaps.  I still wish to remain unperceived as I make my way through the world.  But now I wonder:  is alive only visible on the surface of things?  Or can we gift the world with rainbows from the inside out?

unseen waves absorbed
reflected transformed singing
colors dancing light

head shot close up s

For Kim’s dVerse prompt:  Snapshots of our Lives.  You can see the original post with the complete self-portrait collage, as well as the Delmore Schwartz poem that inspired my original poem, here.

My 100 Self-Portrait Project is still stalled at #21.

self portrait

self portrait comp

Once again
I study the lines
on this face,
reflecting–
depending on the angle
both parents appear.

At different
ages both of my
daughters looked
like I did
in those black and white photos
I inherited.

How do we
become who we are?
cells that form
shapes of hands,
a certain transcribed motion–
time in a mirror.

Ammol at dVerse has asked us to write a portrait poem.  In the past I’ve done a series of self-portraits in the style of other artists (with poetic accompaniment), but in this case I just took 3 recent drawings in my own style, an occasional morning exercise.

hand s

I also like to draw my hands.