… people had a very different idea of self-identity.
In highly polished stones or the distorted flow of moving rivers, they might steal a glance at what and who they were. The mirror would change everything.
Today we go Behind The Lines of “The Perfect Reflection” as I gaze back on the shiny surfaces that made this part of Unreconciled Doors.
In writing today’s piece, I started out with the idea of-to borrow a phrase- a portrait of the artist as a middle aged man- and set myself the task of writing down what was in front of me in the mirror and also what was not there.
“No Lines, No Spaces”-this is what I wish would have greeted me first peering at myself for this exercise!!. It may also be a play on learning musical notation as a child. (Every Good Boy Deserves Fanta and All Cows Eat Grass-thats how my Gran-Aunt made me remember it anyway at her old piano!).
“Just smiles and faces”.
At the time of writing the work, the former was not upon my face, and the latter plural absent from daily view.
The next four lines of the poem dealt with what I wish was absent from what I found in front of me.
“The baggaged eyes”- if you are a spectacle wearer, you always notice a murder of crows extremities settling under each eye, especially if you a writer in front of a page or a screen, and this was the most succinct phrase that I could think of.
Baggaged (I know it’s not a word!) soon gave rise to “packed up”.
I then noticed that I had done what most men do when sporting any kind of facial hair, even if subconsciously-minimise the grey!- “The white hairs razed”.
I found the exercise for writing this poem to be telling, rather than narcissistic or self-indulgent. Like most moderately sane people, I hate photos of myself or looking at myself!. I particularly also liked that if you stare at yourself long enough, a little bit like the abyss, something will stare back.
This is precisely where the last line came from:-
“The unkempt cage of youth’s dead rage”
*Please note-I am using a photo of myself to be ironic and sarcastic given the poem’s title. This is not my house, it is a hotel bathroom!, and my image is very heavily darkened!. I am a firm believer that if the mirror (and the selfie, coupled with mass media)was not invented , we would have an lot less surface level reflection and an awful let less suffering from body disorders etc.. More looking at what’s inside yourself rather than what your temporary and filtered avatar presents to the world*
Unreconciled Doors is available to order in Kindle format now on Amazon for just $€£ 0.99
If you like and if you can, having being delighted by this daily dose of dissonance, maybe Buy Me a Coffee please ,or even better, order Unreconciled Doors, so you can read along with Behind the Lines.