Saturday, December 7, 2013

Persona Non Vera


melancholy

Persona Non Vera


We're just sitting
all of us, after the party
relicts of a game; the courtesan, the too-
precocious child, Our Lady of Sorrows,
posing, dumb as to tongue but
telling everything


how she picked us up,
one by one, how we could not soak
tears, became fears, shaken
and thrown, fluid in stone, tilting
cracked heads, rolling ripple-
glass stares.


Loved we were, one
by one, till each grew tiresome, tight,
fractured and outgrown, but we can't go.
We sit nodding, all of us, cropped, collected,
had, forgotten, listening; showing
everything.



~December 2013





posted from the dark for    real toads
Interpretations with Margaret: The Photography of Jennifer MacNeill
Margaret Bednar leads us to the fantastic(literally) photographic work of Jennifer O'Neill, who has generously shared some of her work with us. You can see more of it HERE on her website, as well as HERE on her flick'r page


(Please forgive any typos or mistakes--the screen is an ailing, dim memory of a display atm.)


Image: melancholy, copyright Jennifer MacNeill, All Rights Reserved
Used with permission.



25 comments:

  1. Many times in my dim distant past of haze have I inhabited this place. The staring into space post-party, post-traumatic in groups, or alone surrounded by invisible mirrors of a self less reflecting a loss of weight. It is such a great take on the picture open to many interpretations and an awesome demonstration of abstraction. I see my former squad, shattered and scared by events in tents and theatres, covered in the sweats of chemicals, killers before dawn with our boots on, smoking events fading on a thousand mile horizon but at this frozen moment a peace is achieved in the numbness before events

    sink it to the system.
    a cracking piece.

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    1. Thanks for totally getting it, Arron. And for this poem of a comment, which means much to me.--there *are* a squad of them, not just two or three, and sometimes we even have flesh and blood company in the aftermath, doing the same thing--playing with dolls, toy soldiers on nihilistic campaigns--or as they call them now--action figures. In my case, mostly, inaction figures, til their eventual plastic breakdown. Peace, however, is an achievement, however it comes.

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  2. Gothic setting so well expressed in your words. and it really represents the image. Quite a story told... I can see it unwind. Great job.
    -HA

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  3. whew...sadness hedge....played with til lost their usefulness, then left a shaken baby doll, cracked & jacked up, party over & whats left...not much worth, yeah i think this one is a bit more real than dolls you know...smiles.

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    1. Yes, you got the picture, bri. Thanks.

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  4. I especially love "Lady of Sorrows" - perfect name for that beautiful face. I once loved dolls with a passion......... and have no idea where they all went over the years. Sigh.

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  5. The intense life of a doll...love that. Sadly it can be people also. Such talent Joy...sigh. I wish I had written this.

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  6. Great internal rhyme here-- (thrown/stone/outgrown and all the ones--especially somehow) and like the movement from telling to showing--probably the best way to tell a story. All of the characters are doll=like--performers whose performances end up by not being as powerful as they'd like because there is something pathetic in them from the start--I mean here, the courtesan, the too-precocious child, Our Lady of the Sorrows--very human dolls certainly and also very doll-like. A flickering quality here beyond your screen.k.

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    1. How we could not soak tears and especially great line--I think of those bisque faces. k.

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    2. Thank you, k. Yes, those roles are the shallow stereotypes, so well-represented by these truncated figures--busts more than dolls, but too doll-like to ever have any authenticity as sculpture--except for the sorrowing girl, perhap--that has a certain integrity. This was of necessity a bit on the simple side, since I can't spend much time here in the dark squinting over words without losing my mind. But I couldn't ignore this challenge-- the pics were just too good. Hope you have recovered your toes from your frozen jaunt!

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    3. Ha! They are fine. They are very cool pictures and I think speak especially to women of a certain generation. You put your own stamp on them, which is great. (I would not say shallow stereotypes--I would say short-hand descriptions of types that in fact existed and exist and definitely tried to fit into doll-like shapes, as you describe.) k.

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  7. Love how you brought them to life ... warts and all.

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  8. I too love how you brought them to life~
    I loved how you arranged their reality~
    Brilliant!

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  9. I'm going to guess the title means "people without sides," which fits the porcelain surfaces of these static dolls. They cannot "soak tears," having no porous skins; without that skin, events roll off as undigested "fears." "Fluid in stone," nothing can change within. Awfully I see these figures on "Dancing With the Stars," still lost in the limelight, never more real than when there, even as they crumble to dust. Such dolls will never die--that's their curse. A tidy poem, precise as those dolls, monochromal where the light burns and the dark freezes. Sweet. Hope you are seeing things brighter these days through your monitor. - B

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    1. Well, my Latin is execrable, and I'm sure you know more than I do, but I meant it to mean a 'person not true..' or, real. Not sure how the lack of sides comes in--it's just a fancy-schmancy Englishified play on persona, really, which will teach me to get all creative with languages I don't know. My monitor is a tortuous joke, yet still I peer--new one next week, hopefully. Thanks for reading, B.

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  10. I want to say that "posed" is the key word here. Three hopefuls, each putting on a different face in hopes of being loved for it, and indeed, sometimes finding that, but in the end they aren't substantial, not "there" enough to sustain anything and so they are put away and forgotten. THAT's when they are most their true selves, alone, mute, unmasked and scary naked. Not the company I'd want to end up alone with.

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  11. I'm probably totally off, but this gives a creeping sense of horror, of dead space. Chilling write, Hedge.

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  12. Aftermath of joy, shattered solitude in a togetherness unwanted - yes I have been there, have felt it, broken free, and falled back again. Wonderful write.

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  13. I always love your use of words, as here: "dumb as to tongue but telling everything"! You are a wonderful witch of words, my dear Hedge.
    K

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  14. It is the "stuck" sensation that frightens me most. Dolls are the opposite of evolution. At best, fine relics of past. (much like discarded parts of our personas and old beliefs) Your second stanza brings them alive... they seem un-progressive, but still distinctly alive. Two of my maternal elders collected dolls by the dozens. A fearsome scene, all those unchanging "expressions" in one room. Your last stanza departs with the feeling of "haunted" Chilling, engaging write, Hedge.

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  15. I really liked this capture - Perhaps it is the amazing light cast phone this scene, but they do all have a specific feel to them. I imagine them being purchased by the individual, not as gifts - as if something of their "mood" spoke to the person - Perhaps they did sit on a dresser until the person passed away, and now "collected" yet … not really needed anymore. The tall one in the far back is one I would put on my dresser - she is solemnly beautiful - but why do I connect with her and not the others? The "tiresome" reference made me sad - how we humans are so wasteful, so fickle… The first stanza is just spot on!

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  16. Your second stanza sends a shiver...definitely great placement for this poignant and raw bold imagery between the open and close.

    The image you picked is so mysterious...the figure in the back is so real looking at first glance.

    I enjoyed this, Hedge!

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  17. you have an lens - always open as a doll's eye - into this tableaux, H, and we can't blink it away. ~

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  18. There is a more terse voice emerging in your writing of late, Hedge. You are really cutting to the edge of each image. It delivers a potent reading experience. There is so much in this poem which is understated, so much not quite seen in the shadows.

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    1. Thank you Kerry, for making time to read this, and my other poems. I imagine you working and toiling away, all through the upheaval of Mandela's death and subsequent ceremonies, and hope things have not been too chaotic for you. Have missed your insightful comments, and your poetry.

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg