for a moment of joy or moments no one pays for, i give myself a ‘jornal’. this makes me rich. try it.

i have no name (for One shoot Sunday)

Heather Nelson, photo by India Hobson

the owl
sees through me he digs
my heart
the truth about names

i am muneca
a filament of being
you drew
from rambling waterfalls

on my cheeks
you shaped a winter sky
my eyes and the temple tower
vie for light

you punctured
my lips so deep i gurgle
my defiance
of your desire

your fingers knead
my neck to smoothen
veins you embedded

i leap in spasms
my death as brief
as your breath in my
clogged vena cava

you think
i am perfect in your hands
i grow molds
in the day

my skin liquifies
as you dream i am life
the owl reveals
i have no name

muneca a doll
of your melting eyes
has no heart

Posted from a photo image by India Hobson for One Shoot Sunday at One Shot Poetry, winner of the 2011 Shorty Award for Art given last week in New York. Come join us at this gathering place and meet talented poets and artists who share their love for their art.


April 3, 2011 - Posted by | free verse, poetry | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great way into the picture, very different take, the model as victim, suggesting the natives were right to fear being photographed because they thought their soul would be stolen and trapped in the image. – Brendan

    Comment by Brendan | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • And a great comment from you, Brendan. What an honor! Yes, I’ve read about how fearful the natives were of this ‘evil eye’ that steals their ‘spirit’ (before their conversion to Christianity, they called that which is unseen the ‘spirit’). Today, of course, having since lost their souls along with their spirits, once proud natives chiefs decimated to penury put on their finery and pose for a snap shot for the money. It’s sad, pathetic, the way I feel about it–shamed even. I’ve seen it.

      But that thought hardly figures in my take ‘on the model as victim’. The image of Pygmalion’s Galatea sort of drove me with defiance. ‘Muneca’ (doll in Pilipino, my native language given by the Spaniards—my ancestors didn’t have dolls as play things, they had dolls to drive evil away or exorcise evil spirits) is how the photo prompt breathed for me. And her dialogue is with his creator. This Galatea though has a life before her creation and that’s how the poem came to be…

      Thanks again!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  2. wow there are some wicked lines here…you puncture my lip…my death as brief as your breath…he digs my heart the truth about names…excellent write…

    Comment by brian | April 3, 2011 | Reply

  3. Some really powerful lines here. Great take on the photo, still trying to figure out her expression! A doll who melts your eyes, I see it 😉

    Comment by RepressedSoul | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Shan! I’m glad to know that my poem somehow ‘got’ to you!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  4. “A filament of being.” That’s really lovely.

    Comment by Mama Zen | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • And thanks to you, Mama Zen!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  5. “on my cheeks
    you shaped a winter sky
    my eyes and the temple tower
    vie for light”

    Excellent poetry that gets to the very vena cava of the matter.

    Comment by dustus | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Adam! “…the very vena cava of the matter..’ that’s uplifiting!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  6. A really intriguing piece. Certainly it’s going to take more work for me to fully understand all the nuances of this poem. Some tremendously evocative imagery here. Beautifully constructed.

    Comment by James Rainsford | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, James! From you, I’m humbled by your words.

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  7. Exceptionally good, Alegria. The photo can’t be completely real, the perfection is artificial, the demand blind and mistaken, self-defeating and imprisoning…but the subject is helpless except in her knowledge…or so I see it. Whatever the underlying meaning, these images are strong and vivid.Fine writing.

    Comment by hedgewitch | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks again, Joy! You’ve captured and carried off my poem beyond how it came to be! I’m still can’t figure out where my images come from as in this poem–the ‘narrator’ takes over and I simply write what it drives into; and I use the word because I do feel whatever it feels or as in this case how ‘she’, the doll, ‘muneca’ (in both my language and in Spanish) rage in defiance of its creator. Thanks again, as always for your humbling words on my writing!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

  8. Oh, I love your take on this photo! Her defiance here is more much than gurgling it seems as you take to task in excruciating detail how she’s objectified and ultimately slain by those “melting eyes.” And while only the owl can speak her “no-name,” she still manages to speak.

    The imagery is fine throughout, but I was especially struck by “my skin liquefies/as you dream I am life.”

    An excellent commentary on artificial beauty and the camera’s oppressive gaze. Fine writing!

    Comment by Mattison | April 3, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Ami! If I add a word to my gratefulness, I could splatter in my joy and there’s not much space for that here…I wish there was!

      Comment by alee9 | April 6, 2011 | Reply

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