Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 16: Outfit Of The Day

Prompt: Write a poem that prominently features the idea of play.

The running theme of this NaPoWriMo seems to be 'Nothing turns out as expected.' This didn't go where I expected it to either. It was actually a difficult prompt, if only because 'play' didn't trigger any writable bells. And then a little line from one of my favourite Vienna Teng songs wormed its way into my head, and things took an abrupt left into interesting territory. A few years back I did some research into the exact composition of bone china for piece, and that resurfaced to surprisingly useful effect.



OUTFIT OF THE DAY


She is a dress wearing a face in the doorway
Opening her arms out to you
Whatever you want, whatever you want
Whatever you want is fine by me

-          -- ‘Whatever You Want’, Vienna Teng

Thirty-one dresses wearing thirty-one faces, hung up in the closet
     like pretty little dolls lined up in a row
     and every day she takes them out, lovingly cleans
     their bone-china faces that make up has made
     (if not perfect) at least acceptable.

Thirty-one dresses wearing thirty-one faces, one for each day
     of the month (although sometimes she reuses one
     that matches the rhythm of a heart that leaps
     sings, dances, flies tempestuous, within the confines
     of the corset of expectations she is expected, by society
     to put on every day.)

Bone china, she knows, is bone ash, feldspathic material, kaolin
     a minimum of 30% phosphate from animal bone
     and calculated calcium phosphate.

Bone china possesses high levels of whiteness and translucency
     very high strength and chip resistance, therefore
     it is able to be produced in thinner cross sections
     than other forms of porcelain.

It’s a craft she knows well: mixing up bone china to create
     a new game face, a reflection of the ghosts left in the mirror
     of her faceless being by everyone that passes through
     she collects their leftover judgments and hangs them on the frame
     of her body and her thoughts like magnetic poem-words
     rearranges them, plays with meaning and intent like a child
     building and tearing down Lego houses.

Thirty-one dresses wearing thirty-one faces, hung up in the closet
     like pretty little dolls lined up in a row
     and every day she takes them out, lovingly cleans
     their bone-china faces, plays a counting game to choose 
     which one to slip on 
     before she goes out into the wide world to play.


4 comments:

Jane Dougherty said...

This is creepy! China dolls are creepy and the people who collect them are creepy. I'm sorry you've been ill, and I hope you won't dream of china dolls.

Shuku said...

Was it Katie who didn't like dolls either? I agree with you, china dolls are creepy especially at night, and I don't think I will dream of them thankfully enough. (My brain is too busy trying to wrangle technical limitations of space and amplification in a performance area...)

Merril Smith said...

Wonderful poem--I love the repeating phrases. But I agree with Jane--creepy!
Hope you're feeling better.

Shuku said...

Thank you Merril! I'm feeling a little less run over, so hopefully tomorrow my pickled walnut of a brain will be in shape to tackle Day 17. I normally write at night after I get home from work, but last night, Muse and Brain fell down a well together and were never seen again so sleep it was!