Friday, September 2, 2016

Danger! Self-Portrait

Self-portraits are surreal:
their function is phantasmal –
they court chiaroscuro:

you, of course, succumb.
You love to lavish form
with shade: it makes it

warm. And so you weave
with it the garment of a ghost –
which one day, chastened,

you will learn that this
pursuit of self can’t not –
and often terribly – invoke.

But now, the more you press
gradations into paper of your
pencil’s understandings

of the presences in shadow,
the more this thing, pretending
it is you, convinces you

it’s really looking back.
Another view may one day
peel off all its insubstantiality –

and tally up the lack.
But one blur in it lingers.
The indistinctness of the fingers –

whose amorphousness now,
oddly, makes you feel. As if
it bears relation to the real.


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