Shadows and Art – the enslavement


I slip into 2 random shoes under my desk
neither matches but still a right & left
it’s 3:29am who needs haute couture

Amtrak whistles at the full bodied moon
I step outside- a cloudless night
there is a weightlessness, a feeling of suspension
& everything in the mind empties as white as the reflected orb –
I zoom in with the camera & stand on tiptoes
it seems I could almost touch
that beautifully pockmarked face of regolith

the shadows are ancillary ghosts of self and things
keeping me at a harpooners length, roping me in with
their phantom whale line
my shadows are a dark form absorbing time and space
once I move next to a tree, time sweeps clears it’s vestige off the path
as if my existence has been purged into nothing

I know shadows well,
once inside again they follow with a starved-dog cadence
holding me captive
they know my secrets
I’m a night roamer
a live apparition on a shared path to nowhere

sometimes I read hoping to bore the shadows
sometimes I turn on television to distract them
they know my faults,
‘should have done this
should have done that
have to do this – didn’t do anything’ –
at night my brain rattles on with Shakespearian soliloquy bringing
back the rattling bones of old ghosts

when shadows chatter too much
Photoshop is an edgy abraxas
manipulating things into filter & form
I’m in control
till I look down as the screen inserts its own shadow
beneath my fingers on the keyboard
it’s impossible to shake shadows loose
even by the computer’s faint glow

I work at making my own world
happy &
peaceful &
and full of the camera’s engaging view
reality minus real sometimes
& like the shadows –
I become interned to the time & space my art occupies,
enslavement by a bully taskmaster demanding
one more tweak
one more filter
one more change of hue & saturation
hours under the gripping talons of time
there is no Charon to bribe to ferry me to the river Lethe,
to let me sleep without penalties

finally my head bends forward & jerks
art gives consent to rest but only
for a few hours
one never knows the internal time constraint placed upon them,
how many days do I have left transversing this planet
making a vision for many who lack the sight
how many numbered days till my body reverts back to being
the elements of a star

the shadows follow me down the hall,
follow the folds of the familiar bed that welcomes me,
‘close your eyes’ it says,
‘shut out the shadows & noise’
I obey & yawn tucking in my shadows –
turn on my side
turn on my stomach
then to my back
& open the eyes & there they are –
more shadows like gray cobwebs
staring off the ceiling
clinging to the dresser
dawdling at the door

I listen to the cat breathe
jealous of her circled mastery of feline slumber
jealous that she has no shadow to encumber her
I listen as the house breathes in little sighs,
close my eyes & slip behind masked dreams
a participant in subconscious meanderings until compelled to unlock the lids
& stare at the clock’s blatant face complaining –
rushing me to get something accomplished
time always pushing, prodding, demanding-
my brain accepts living in this
abbes whirled of the arcane seeded long ago
people tell me they sleep 8 hours a night,
well I sleep 8 hours only it takes about 2 nights to accomplish at maybe 4hours each

GET UP GET UP the clock festers
it flashes neon shadowed numbers upon the nightstand
but I just got to bed!
the gulag of shadows & art are howling on the back of another amortized morning
the camera begins to whine
I’m compliant
the brain on auto-pilot
outside I go to shoot a sunrise
the day will belong to art where I will look at which pictures to pitch
which to save
& filter & filter & filter again
I look down at the brown & now blue shoe & laugh
the early bragging sun casts my shadow long,
toward the west –
I move this way, that way in hopes of wearing the shadow out-
no such luck
with heavy, mismatched feet I drag that shadow slowly behind
up to porch & next to the sliding glass door,
once transversed
I reach for the door and quickly slide it shut severing
the spectral anatomy
drawing the drapes
thinking ‘aha’ – ‘got cha’
in a minute
I turn around
face the room
that’s when I look down
there it is
the camera in my palm laughing as
baby shadows give off their silent, lusty cry…

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