Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Mask-e(d) over


White paper sticks to your skin & becomes sinew 
& dust your pores
tar & mud
The ruffled necktie is fat-tight around your neck
You get migraines thinking of tomorrow's meetings

This crochet togs does a good job
of hiding your bad-hair days & dull-tired eyes
You wear it often now
And as you amble, your robe brushes with chalk
& tail gates a car chasing a wild omen
The gum in your mouth salivates like a priest

There's a message scribbled on your wrists -
Is it from carnival house, looped in plastic bracelet
Smooth as marketing pitch
Or is it from ticket retailer, black stamped-
Valid for today only

The red-moon is in shadows

Smear tree sap, coat it again in bird plumes
Finery
In one eye
Dream starvation
In another eye

You lost the zipper tab
And you can't get out of the tight suit
Sleep-walk on streets
Armed with nothing, not even your ID card
No one notices you
anyway
in crowded 4:30 pm subway train.




Photography credit:    Phyllis Galembo

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics - Photography of Phyllis Galembo ~ Hosted by Anthony P ~  Thanks for your visit ~

50 comments:

  1. At 4:30 p.m. I would guess most everyone blends in on a subway train. Easy to be anonymous and unnoticed. You took this photo in an interesting direction, Grace.

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    1. Easy to be anonymous in the crowd Mary ~ Thanks for the visit ~

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  2. I love where you went with this, Grace.

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  3. It took three looks for me to see the hand in the photo. I love how you broke down each piece in the photo, made it its own story. At least, that's how I read it. Beautiful. As always, thank you. Have a beautiful day!

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  4. Subway trains will ne'er be a perfect place to get noticed (ah, my comfort). There's just too much uninvited lines stroking in multi-directions to draw your shape good. Smiles.

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    1. I agree, specially during rush hours ~ Thanks Kelvin ~

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  5. Stuck and not seen as things move on, can be tough until you see a new dawn

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  6. can you imagine no one noticing you still? ha. oy, a commentary on our society...i like how you built this...the little details...the tag on the wrist from the carnival house....the need to hide the tired eyes as well...a complex piece grace...i like....smiles.

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    1. I get this vibe in the subway train when everyone is trying to avoid each other's eyes ~ I supposed we are just to polite to look straight in the eyes of strangers ~ Thanks Brian ~

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  7. Simple but intertwined with messages.

    Well crafted, beautiful and sad.

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  8. Anonymity is a terrible thing, especially when it is not confined to the 4:30 pm subway train.

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    1. I like your commentary about 4:30 time ~ How terrible if its all the time ~ Thank you ~

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  9. Wonderful piece of writing ~ and I adore the last but one stanza

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  10. Spooky. Your words echo the image.

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  11. Grace very detailed and intriguing. Wonderful imagery and tightly woven. >KB

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  12. You found the undiscovered county of poetics, creating a wonderful wordplay from the image; loved the lines /finery in one eye/dream starvation/in another eye. Had a few dreams myself of being naked on a subway, & being unnoticed; great work here.

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    1. There are actually some crazy people who do parade themselves once in a while in the subway Glenn ~ Funny thing is people just ignore them too, smiles ~

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  13. A great poem, Grace. Beautifully done.

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  14. oh i know many of them... and sometimes i feel a bit like this as well..

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  15. every line in this is amazing... on so many I was smiling at how great they were

    my fav:

    "And as you amble, your robe brushes with chalk
    & tail gates a car chasing a wild omen
    The gum in your mouth salivates like a priest"

    love the end as well, all that going on, but you're on a crowded subway
    who cares? ...smiles

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    1. Thanks for the challenging prompt ~ Everyone is just eager to go someplace at that time ~ Thanks Anthony ~

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  16. I think anonymity can be a blessing and a curse - sometimes, it can be good to hide! Although if I was on the 4.30pm train home, I'd be in trouble for leaving work early! :)

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    1. This is a feeling I get since I am riding the subway morning and afternoon ~ I start early at work, so I get off early too smiles ~

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  17. I don't know. I think I'd notice somebody in this getup. Just kidding. I appreciate the psychological dimension you went with this. Strong, sharp and colorful language too, a good match for the image.

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    1. Canadians are very polite, no one will noticed your strange ways or get up in the subway or train ~ Thanks for the lovely commentary Mark ~

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  18. This is terrific, Grace; I think there are times it is almost beneficial to be anonymous, but not seen or heard is a terrible thing and this costume is full of material for your subject!

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  19. Excellent Grace, lovely place as anonymous as it is, to end your poem.

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  20. I appreciate your visits Michaelt ~

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  21. i sometimes feel a bit like this.

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  22. Great poem Grace and always make me think:)

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  23. Sortimes isn't bad be anonymous:)

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  24. Yesss. I loved this, Grace--each verse its own vignette, each little story identifiable by most every human life, but written by nobody--like only YOU can do. Seems like you keep pushing yourself up--and away--from the crowd--even while IN the crowd.
    Liked this a LOT!

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  25. What a contrast to Brian's poem - this is not the anger bursting out, but resignation to the humdrum, the necessary protection and masks we put on, how we turn into anonymous. A sigh of recognition at the following lines:
    This crochet togs does a good job
    of hiding your bad-hair days & dull-tired eyes
    You wear it often now...

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  26. To be different, to not fit the mold is the easiest way to become invisible.

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  27. Very fanciful construction! With each line the interior of the overstuffed and hidden becomes an entity with a day to day life and very human identifications. Well done.

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  28. Strange happenings in the subway but others are not bothered. They are hardly noticed. Even seeing each other every day but they remain strangers. Nicely Grace!

    Hank

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  29. yeah...sometimes we're not seen because nobody wants to see us, and other times we're not seen because we hide who we are. Great piece!

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  30. At first glance this photo lends itself to whimsy (that's where I took it), but you dug deeply and came up a feeling, an experience I could certainly relate to. And I love the bad hair day reference!

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  31. The second stanza is absolutely fabulous. Its last verse is the best part: "The gum in your mouth salivates like a priest". Well done!

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  32. I like the 4th stanza..dream starvation in another eye..we need that sleep so we
    can dream..

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  33. I found this to be very intriguing. Like a reflection and commentary on our society.

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  34. "The gum in your mouth salivates like a priest"

    wow. powerful, Grace.

    hope you have a nice Easter ~

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  35. Once again I have missed the red moon. I wonder how many times I have read about something in other's writings and bemoaned the fact that that opportunity passed me by. I love the story and the details you paint in the piece. Thank you for your visit and comment over at my place. :)

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  36. A great deal of tension herre--I agree with Michael that the line about the gum is especially memorable--but it all creates quite a portrait. K.

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Thank you for your comments and visit. I appreciate them ~