Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Out Of The Mirror

Out Of The Mirror

"Everybody's wearing a disguise
to hide what they've got left behind their eyes
but me, I can't cover who I am..."
~Bob Dylan, Abandoned Love

She saw the way his restless eye
moved blind past her every word
and so she took his face out of the mirror
carried it carefully home
to keep it nearer.

She put it in a special box,
a casket carved with sunsets,
walled with moon
and told it all the jokes
he never gets.

It laughed so intimate and close
and winked at her with
a silver seeing eye
made suddenly luminous,
all callousness washed out,

sketching sweetness in the charcoal 
smudge of the remitter,
delusion's kiss---
till in some ignorant apogee of bliss,
she let it out.

The box spilled hot laughter hissing
back to its glassy home, and
a bloodstain on the nacreous quilt of dawn,
as surely all along
she should have known.

~February-March, 2015

posted for             real toads

The Tuesday Platform

Image:  Still Life with Spherical Mirror, 1934, by M.C. Escher
Fair use via wikiart.org


  1. What a wonderful poem of that man who cannot comprehend that he's ceased to understand.. the image of picking out a mirror image and let it hear creating an illusion of something lasting until it's dropped... really sad and very real, alas.

  2. So delicious, so wishfully perfect a solution!

  3. Whew! This is an amazing amalgamation of abstract images, words and emotion. It definitely deserves more than a single reading.

  4. Hot laughter hissing...I like that. (And yeah, Sue should have known, but why change now?)

  5. this is stunning, Joy!

    "A bloodstain on the nacreous quilt of dawn"


    Happy Spring!

  6. Ah. Captive love (if only we could.) This is such an interesting metaphor for what one might like to do to the unattainable lover, the person one has the crush on, who really doesn't deserve it, but we have it--that beautiful narcissistic arch one--finally--you've got him (it) where you want him (it) --only to get over-confident--that apogee of bliss--and perhaps not really let him/it out, but let you--the real you out-- (and he laughs and escapes)==I mean, this is just my take, but it fits to my world view at least! And there you get him out of the mirror --I don't think he's looking at you there, I"m afraid! Anyway, lots of great touches here -- the casket, the walled with moon, the jokes that this image gets--we all have that image of the lover being really nice if you could just get him to yourself! (Ha!) Oh well. That bloodstain on the nacreous quilt of dawn feels especially sad somehow -- (I can't help but think hymen, but it could be all kinds of things I guess--simply something real.) Anyway, a very effective poem. Thanks. k.

  7. Men. A gal can never trust 'em or change 'em! Great how the conceit of that translates to the paramour in the self-reflective mirror -- who's deceiving us, anyway? Personifies that daunting romance into face that one can appropriate somehow into a box of self-wishing spells (so gorgeously described!) Here Pandora is the speaker's own heart, holding out the hope that if only the conditions were properly managed, love would thrive. But hope is its own trickster (or, as Brian Eno sd., energy fools the magician), and the denouement here -- that "apogee of bliss" akin to the exultant yet premature turn of Orpheus -- cranks up the same old bad love drinking song. What did we expect? The agony of exorbitant expectations is crafted so well and yearningly and dark-humorously here.

    1. Thanks, B. Things are what they are, and no matter what we do with them, remain true to the skull behind the face behind the mask inside the mirror, . And love is all about what we really have gotten hold of, or lost, in grabbing for that reflection instead of looking behind us for the real face--great Eno quote.

  8. I wanted to also say I love the lines about the luminous as callousness washed out--this is just the kind of word play I find very intriguing as there is a feeling here, that it is almost a re-arrangement of the letters--a true cleaning of them out--but there's also the possibility of just a paling of callousness to some earlier state-- Also like that bit re the charcoal sketch--seems to me like a portrait that becomes loved here (rather than true mirror image)-- but lots of wonderful imagery here. k.

    1. Thanks, k. Many rewrites on that passage, most of which came after the rest of the poem. In a lot of ways, this is almost a fairy-tale/fable.

  9. Should have known... always. I love the word "remitter" popping up in this, perfect.

  10. The first two stanzas pretty much blew me away, along with the entire idea of taking a face out of the mirror. The final result is, indeed, one that could be foreseen, but not by one whose vision is impaired with a mote made of desire. Here's more hair for your collection.

    ps--I love the garden pic on the side bar. Everything here is so brown.

  11. Wow. I love the idea of taking a face out of the mirror and stashing it somewhere. This poem sorta reminds me of "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" for some reason. Perhaps it's the idea of making oneself or others who we want them to be and ignoring the inevitable consequences. Bravo!

  12. this one is all shiny to me, Hedge, like an old silver-mirror with thin areas one can see through. the mirror never lies? it *always* does - it's in reverse. so that man in the mirror... well, so does he, I suppose... ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats