frightening are masks
entertaining and often essential
gilded with care and
diverse starlight and atoms
compress empathy into mass
their birth, to tell you
things you like and
cowering model reluctantly
model cowering and like you
things you tell to
birth their mass into empathy
compress atoms and starlight diverse
and care with gilded essential often
masks are frightening
NaPoWriMo Day 16: a palindrome – Since this week is palindrome week here in the USA (Our M/DD/YY format is exactly the same frontwards and backwards, example: 4-16-14) I decided to try my hand at this form. I’ve only written three poems using this form, and two of them are in my self-published poetry collection. This one feels a bit loose and sloppy, but it was on my mind so I went with it.
I declined to participate in this week’s dVerse Poetics – The Photography of Phyllis Galembo because I found the photographs of the masks a bit too unnerving to stare at for inspiration (plus I now have time-constraints every Tuesday night). I declined to participate in NaPoWriMo’s prompt to write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie because I felt it would contradict my vow to never lie to my readers.
But the more I thought about masks and lying, the more I realized that I wear masks and lie to people Every. Single. Day. And mostly for good reason; my version of the truth would most likely make several very kind, but unfathomably stupid people weep bitter tears of sadness at their sudden self-awareness, and ultimately get me fired from the 9-to-5 that helps pay my mortgage and puts the kids through school. So no question; I have to wear a mask while at work.
I also wear different masks and tell different lies as social situations warrant, but not because I think my friends are dumb. On the contrary; I think my friends are very smart and interesting, but if I show them the real me, I fear that I will be exposed for the weirdo that I am (even though I show my true colors as a weirdo by sprinting home to my safe place each day as quickly as humanly possible). So when I’m out and about, I wear a mask.
I am at my most relaxed state when I’m home alone, on the internet, or with my immediate family. Only within these moments do I not force myself into a constricting mask.
With all that in mind, I poured myself some bourbon, took off my mask, and spilled this poem (and this confession) all over my desktop.
(You guys aren’t charging me for this therapy session, are you? If so, we’ll have to setup a payment plan.)