Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Constructing the Self-Portrait

The fractured self
And I on the banks of
That river,
We stop
Counting stones
And look
Under the shadow
Of the long willow,
Long shadow,
The grass a green pad
Except in the shadow
It’s spare.
We look
At each other,
Each time another vision:
A dance
To catch the shadow,
Take it in.
We fail,
It eludes us.
Ankle deep in the water,
The rushing water,
The light reflects
Like a picture where
We do not look like ourselves
And we relish,
Knowing it false
And try to recapture
To no avail.
When the others come,
Will they see the struggle on the bank,
The posing
Or the stretching?
On the last look
We make a
Blood oath:
The I is the fire,
The force, the
The I is the
Elusive whole
Less our reflection,
The empty hands
Pulling shadow
Toward the heart,
The ill fitted limbs
That sway
Without grace,
That cannot catch,
The lips
That fail to name.

C. Bronco


Bernita said...

The objectivity frightens.

Cynthia Bronco said...

One of the things I strive for is honest appraisal, or at least a recognition of my shortcomings. I think that's why I love Raymond Carver and Yusef Komunyakaa so much. With Carver, I think he was able to spot his weaknesses without making excuses. Komunyakaa's perspective likewise shows an admission of human imperfection, which does not diminish the authority of his voice or the insight in his poetry. I'd like to up there with them; I can always hope anyway.