Self-Portrait as Smudge


Self-Portrait as Smudge

Being this cloud on the otherwise
transparent pane, I resist removal,
smearing myself in thinner layers,
still shrouding the angry sky
or the fence post’s sagging
doubt, which is to say
my appearance may lessen
but spread, that you may rub me
out, but I’ll return, always,
beginning with that one small
and delicious obscure point.


“Self-Portrait as Smudge” first appeared in October 2019 in Backchannels. Many thanks to the editors for taking this piece.




10 thoughts on “Self-Portrait as Smudge

  1. Another perspective – smudge as the rite of passage into spiritual circle (usually done with burning sage moved around head and body of one being smudged by a spiritual shaman uttering perhaps-indecipherable prayers) – a cleansing and an acceptance into circle. Your poetry (albeit w/o smoke) has a similar effect – drawing inner poets into your poetic circle. Perhaps I’ll light some sage now … Please DO keep returning with “delicious obscure point(s)” …

    Liked by 1 person

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