Artistic License

Is it vanity that spurs me on –

or pure curiosity? I make the most

of all my flaws. Boast my awful upturned

nose like Kahlo did her brows. Proud.

I usually paint old men with tinted skin, all creased

like linen hanging out to dry. I paint myself

the same, with wrinkles I can barely see. I daub on

parti-coloured skin and stain my wrists with blue.

Otherwise my palette tires of all the cream

on cream.

I paint the woman I’d like to be. A woman

with eyes that reek of knowing and gun-metal

gleam. Her mind – it ticks sharp as a clock and

she sips whisky like a goddamn queen.


Poem written in 2013 when I felt free, photograph taken in 2010 whilst feeling trapped. 


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