Tuesday, October 9, 2012

There’s No Way Out of This


“Style, in the broadest sense of all, is consciousness.”  Quentin Crisp

Style insists. There’s no way out of this.
You’d like, you think, to break the bonds and boundaries
of all the stuff that makes you up – release into another feast –
perhaps to sink into a rhyme for “feast” you haven’t

thought of yet. “Priest” would not be it – though something else
as sacrosanct might fit. The least that you can do is prod
your pencil and, if not pretend it’s new, forget you’re doing
what you’re doing. Today two faces came pursuing me,

and would not let me be: black and white and breathy
in the dawn, and as the hours went on, attracting stacks
of colored pencil – more than I am used to wielding –
fielding, as it were, perhaps, the prospect of a catch

from some strong strange-armed creature
bent on stenciling a pattern of its own onto the wedded ones
to which I’m prone. I felt a force inside the source of them
sufficiently apart to make me wonder if my “art”

might bear at last the marks of outright otherness.
My heart involved itself: something subtler
than the tragicomic masks that usually press themselves
into this task evolved: I cared about the souls dissolving

and revolving in the eyes and facial contours of the spaces
yellow-red-and-blue-hued graphite layered into place.
Something hadn’t not been touched by grace.
But: here they are, as kindred to the rest of what proceeds

from my familiarly rotating star as I have ever seen.
There is a pulse, and something breathes:
my tribe’s arrived again. I’m glad. But there is wistfulness.
Style insists. There’s no way out of this.


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