Issue Sixteen - April 2010

Self Portrait

By Ande Finley

Start with bright colors 
bold, black strokes.
Notice the eyes 
on the blue side of hazel
make them 
dazzling, intense.
Outline the face 
oval, skin that loves sun
exaggerate the Slavic bones
the maternal mouth
large, open, vulnerable.
And there the mother’s hands
blue-veined, knobby
flying, busy blurs
and her frame, full-breasted, small-boned
the ample hips and thighs
of the Langbaum women
sketched in slimming black.

What colors are feisty?
Scarlet with a hot pink border
or magenta with lime green.
Maybe a tinge on the cheekbones,
the nose tip, the cleft of chin.
Stubborn would have a shade
like dark mustard
and harden fast along the edge
of the shoulders.

And don’t forget desire 
with its dense, rough texture.
Try the palette knife,
applied in thick, scented swirls
down the long neck, 
the bare taper of back, the full lips, 
the generous rear.

Picture the soul floating 
in diaphanous white, a vague speck 
somewhere in the left corner 
an enormous mass
in a distant galaxy. 

Copyright Ande Finley 2010