Friday, January 21, 2011

Look again


The blame on your hands
could be flour, in which case
I advise you, make bread.




“Canvas 157”
January 20, 2011

[click to enlarge]



Recently Linked: My thanks to Erin for her beautiful response to yesterday’s entry. As I mentioned then, it could just as well have come before. Thanks, also, to Rudhi, the inimitable cover artist of One Hand Clapping, for thinking of my “portraits” in conjunction with his ghostly watercolor.

Update:
“Look again” added to Poems, Slightly Used.

8 comments:

Jean Spitzer said...

I think bread is an excellent idea.

William Michaelian said...

Flour power...

Andreas said...

Hello William,

we haven't been properly introduced

and yet we can speak to each other the way birds do. Let me start:

hands, you speak of hands. Many connotations, wouldn't you say. I think of Pilate washing his hands. I never liked that, never responded to it. If there is blood on our hands, let it show. Let us not be secretive with our sins - in the open air there are no sins.

Then there are the hands that have caressed me - my mother's, Åse's as we grew up. Let it be said for the whole world to know, those caresses are to me an orb put in spin that hasn't stopped spinning.

But you also speak of flour, bread and blame. I respond more easily to the two first. And I sense, so do you. Make bread, is very good advice. Bread. It is a body. I knead it. I eat it. I fall into it's peaceful lull and want nothing. And I am no Catholic.

Forgive me for imposing on you, unasked. Tell me to stop.
Best wishes,

Andreas.

Elisabeth said...

What a wonderful way to deal with blame, William, as flour from which to make bread. As ever I'm in awe at your way with words.

William Michaelian said...

Well, Andreas, it seems you’ve stopped of your own accord, so there’s no need for me to tell you. As if I ever would. Why would I want you to?

If there is blood on our hands it shows on our faces, whether we wash it away or not.

This particular poem, if anything, is a blessing; or, perhaps, permission to grant oneself one’s own absolution. It certainly isn’t a command, but more an invitation. Beyond that, I’m not sure what it is, or what it might be. But if it reminded you somehow of your mother’s caress, and led you to speak of it so beautifully here, I would say it has already been strengthened by your reading.

Thanks very much, and thanks for introducing yourself.


As I am by your kindness, Elisabeth. Thank you. It’s amazing, really, the things we saddle ourselves with, and how they become part of our identity.

Woman in a Window said...

Permission to grant oneself one’s own absolution...as a living human, that's the only absolution I know, not to argue religion, but rather to say, it is the only absolution I can recognize in my living form. What may or may not come later, is something beyond my understanding.

To eat the bread made of the flour of blame though holds even more than absolution, I think. Or so it seems to me just now. To eat it is to reckon with it, pour it into our body, learn from it, and then to be sustained from that learning.

I like bread.

xo
erin

Woman in a Window said...

(you are too kind to me. you are too kind. xo erin)

William Michaelian said...

Erin, my dubious kindness aside, I’m grateful for our exchange. That I can write something like this and have it read attentively is something I marvel at. And that you find something in it, I think, is more to your credit than mine. Sixteen words, seventeen syllables (unless flour counts for two), and yet you are willing enough and curious enough to make something of them. To me, that is bread and absolution both.