Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Portrait 1

    puts his hand on my head
           says, "Head".

    a   large   hand

           Things come in parts or
                        told wholes.

   do up his belt
        says, "Thank you".         Laughs

           (remember, not yours for the getting)

         In that broad mouth
             a    few    thin    delicate    teeth
           hung on         eerie filaments

        not getting the what
 but holding a feel of

say a square with a light on

            shapes that are nice
        have a here and there smell
                                   a taste

            hand in your pocket
                  a pinched lapel

         (comic tenderness)

          Outside the Bowling Alley
       he now shouts, "Car horn".

                    All join in.

             Queries, managed chat,
                  planned fun:
                      all goes off
                 in vanishing gas.

             all gone       Laughs



  1. Thank you, Sandra.

    The subject is one of the people I care for at work.

  2. Oh how I like this. I wanted to tell you which part was my favorite one, but I can't make up my mind. It just works, the whole of it. A delight.

  3. The compassion that comes of simple respect for another's troubles deepens into an endearing allegiance. We many of us not merely the functionally disabled are cheated on a daily basis out of the mere status of humanity and into a limbo of permanent marginalization by a dominant social order that would dole out meagre administered tokens of "recreation" and then turn its back, walk off and do lunch.

    I suppose I thought back to the Which Side Are You On? series. That question would not be hard to answer in regard to this new direction of the attention. There is perhaps a larger lesson that is touched upon in both series and in the bus poems as well, something along the lines of Portia's unforgettable proposal re. mercy. Though the official, institutionally managed industrial poetics of the moment -- this moment, its head swiveling the full 360 degrees like that of Linda Blair in the Exorcist, always anxiously looking over one shoulder to the last while of course never losing sight of the foxfire glimmer of the next, with those always delusional glittering prizes -- may suggest otherwise, a poem like this one proves it's not necessarily too great a strain to have a heart.

  4. Thanks, all of you. It's taken me a while to come to share this. I'm glad I shared with friends.

    With that earlier series, the question stayed like an itch. I guess that was at the root of it, the fuel; writing shadowed by the little betrayals and the broken promise.

    The portrait comes out of those allegiances - lives lived as the back's turned. No thumbed noses but foolishness or a stumbling block should they ever clock it.