Above is “Self-Portrait” in charcoal by the lovely Kathleen Gao, who has agreed to let me publish this work here.
Dawn’s red Eye cracks open and blinks back light. Gulls shriek. I spit grits of sand in the pale morning. Another sunrise, bleak & wriggling like my son in the backseat. I smell feathers. And today the sky seems to watch my every move. But I was wrong, the Eye is grey. It reaches its pall around the city and smothers it. Grime coats the buildings, and they stand like sandcastles before on-coming foam. An old man shivers and flaps his arms and sad rags like wings. I thought I didn’t want to be young, but I was wrong. My heart is an empty red sand pail, rolling around on concrete.
I’ve been attempting to try new things with poetry lately. Like trying the technique of having certain words or images repeated in a poem, like “red” or the idea of flying in the first poem, kind of like a sestina, but more relaxed. I’m not sure I quite have the hang of it yet, but it reminds me of the way in life that certain images and ideas keep coming up in our own lives, like a motif, but in real life. Sometimes life is just funny that way, and it’s easy to find a pattern in life if you try.
Dawn is a beginning, and like birth, new life comes with pain. And dusk reminds me of soft silk and cool breezes. A day begins and ends, then starts all over again.