Poetry & self-portraiture

Self-portraiture: shooting oneself. Canvas suicide. For a new playful identity. Nomadic ‘I.’ In the ‘eye’ of the camera.

“The Photograph is the advent of myself as other: a cunning dissociation of consciousness from identity” (Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida)

“Before I ever photographed, I was playing around in costumes and dressing up as characters in my room” (Cindy Sherman, A Conversation with John Waters)

If the characters in my room were poems, how could my dissociated identity interpret their words? How should I dress up? Or rather, should I undress? First, I should become ‘Nobody’….

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you — Nobody — Too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise — you know!

How dreary — to be — Somebody!
How public — like a Frog —
To tell one’s name — the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!

EMILY DICKINSON

____________________________________________

Anne Waldman, “Red Hat Lama”  (excerpt)

red hat lama’s hat is a big flat flame […]
red hat lama, matter of fact
red hat lama performs tirelessly for  all sentient beings
red hat lama never fusses […]
red hat lama’s thoughts pierce like an arrow […]
red hat lama gives teaching mudra–palm extends to the universe […]
red hat lama proclaims mind as direction
red hat lama closes eyes for divination […]
red hat lama eats no meat
red hat lama sits on earth floor […]
red hat lama’s face like fantastic rock, weathered by fierce winds, burning sun […]
red hat lama’s teacher was a woman […]
red hat lama averts suffering
red hat lama outside the winds of karma
red hat diamond lama on the cups of the moon
red hat lama at the center of the mandala
red hat lama hovers above me […]
red hat diamond lotus lama in mind of me.

_______________________________

Arthur Rimbaud, Vowels

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels,
I’ll tell, one day, your secret origins:
A, black hairy corset of dazzling flies
That buzz around cruel stinks,

Shadow gulfs; E, ingenuousness of steams and tents,
Proud glacier spears, white kings, shivers of umbels;
I, purples, spat blood, laugh of beautiful lips
In anger or penitent exhilarations;

U, cycles, divine vibrations of viridian seas,
Peace of pastures seeded with animals, peace of wrinkles
That alchemy prints on great studious brows;

O, supreme Bugle full of strange shrillnesses,
Silences crossed by Worlds and Angels:
— O the Omega, violet ray of These Eyes!

[En français, ici]

(photographs @ copyright Roberta Tabanelli – Do not use without permission)

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