Friday, September 2, 2011

How do your children affect your work (the cartoon answers).

I completely forgot that Poets & Writers Magazine once ran this piece by Steve Almond, for which Almond and I were depicted (quite realistically) as cartoons. Do you want to add "the cartoons that we are"? I've beaten you to it.
What's weird is I recognize the shirt and the necklace I'm wearing, and I'm pretty sure that my head IS, in fact, THAT big in person -- a la Nancy Reagan.

I can't say, however, that this is the most realistic drawing ever done of me. One of my kids (as a three year old) once drew a picture of me that was a dead ringer.

Here's an explanation of that artwork within this poem -- Q and A: How do your children affect your work?" found in the collection Compulsions of Silkworms and Bees.

Q and A: How do your children affect your work?

This morning at the kitchen table,

my three-year-old son drew a picture of me:

so much swollen head, stick-arms poking out of my ears,

stick-legs under my chin, three dots for eyes and nose,

a mouth-line, a scribble of hair,

and swirling away, unconnected,

two circles, he told me, one for pee, one for poop.

I was concerned. Where’s the house? I asked.

The grass? Where are you?

It's morning, he told me. It just got done snowing.

I’m watching you.

And for a moment it was like that:

I am standing in a trackless field,

wondering how I got here, how long I’ve been standing

mute, deaf, possibly blind with my big head, dot eyes,

and slanted, shut mouth.

How could I not have seen myself before?