As Though to Protect

June 29, 2010

He’s got a hand out, not to touch the glass
so much, but just to be in sight—
just to amaze us with the view.

As if to say, ‘Mirrors will change the world
some day.’ As if to say, ‘They send you out
into a space too big to be imagined.’

Still, ‘Still waters often stink’. And here we are
about to wade into some serous,
self-referential shinola (as in ‘shit and…­’).

Like Parmigianino—‘the little one
from Parma’—who painted his portrait on a
half globe of wood, like it was the whole world.

Like John Ashbury, who in his Self-Portrait,
gives to reflection even more reflection,
like he’s using a mirror to face  death.

You are supposed to know it’s him in front
of the mirror, a bug’s eye take on what
must be one’s subject—or one that could be.

A reflection in a blown glass globule,
a model of transience meant for some
future subject’s sometime contemplation.

A walk in the forest of fairy tale
proportions, dark and dreamy woods,
where we can stop, reflect, and have some lunch.

Where we can write, or paint—philosophize.
Where we can read a poem together. I
to turn the pages, you to swat the flies.

As Parmigianino did it, the right hand
Bigger than the head, thrust at the viewer
And swerving easily away, as though to protect


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