Home > Poetry > Self-Portrait as the Y-Axis
Published: Thu Jul 1 2010
Diego Isaias Hernández Méndez, Convertiendse en Characoteles / Sorcerers Changing into Their Animal Forms (detail), 2013, oil on canvas. Arte Maya Tz’utujil Collection.
Self-Portrait as the Y-Axis

Note the one long crease from brow to chin. Gaunt.
Giacomettiish even, wouldn’t you say?
Slivered cheeks sucked in as if some tart pill
dandled on the tongue unseen. Two flat ears
with bristles fiercely drawn to either side.
A face in single file, as it were. Rent.
Lover of schisms and chasms, raptures
and ruptures, anything prefixed with bi.

Face like a testament. Face like the Nile.
The nose a perfect slope of downwardness,
or upwardness, if you prefer—Rembrandt
(minus the flesh). To your right, up the stairs,
you’ll see why we are absolutely mad
for our new wing. Shall we move on then? Yes?

Roy Mash is an electronics technician living in Marin County, California. He has poems published or forthcoming in Atlanta Review, Barrow Street, The Evansville Review, Nimrod, Poetry Midwest, RHINO, and Two Review. He won second prize in the 2008 Two Review Poetry Contest. (updated 1/2010)

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