La Mezquita, Córdoba, 1936 (Escher)

pg 510001

At thirteen

I used to aspire for nothing more

than MC Escher’s pristine patience

Those hands that turn graphite into water

And make mirrors out of every perfect line.


It took dropping out of art school

To realize I can’t abide by straight lines

That too often I make curls by pulling on straight hairs

Teasing out truths until mediocrity

became a fashionable something worth offering the world


And yet, many do not know of Escher’s rough sketches,

His black and white crayon renditions of the world

Made on rough cardboard with outlines

Imperfectly set, yet implied lines of good intentions


I was taught that I could never achieved such same diligence

Said, I played with my hair too much

Instructed me to cut out the things that distracted me

To pay attention to what mattered more


I thought shaving my arms and legs

Would make me appear more calmly

That cutting back my curls would encourage me

To focus on what mattered more

Instead of wondering


if Escher’s crayons

Ever became dull,

ever broke

Ever wandered away from his hands

Wondering if Escher could only draw

Lines of endless, tedious hallways

When his hair was combed back neatly?


but no matter what

hair seems to only grow back the same way

That without it there is nothing

more revealed about the complicated self






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