abstract 6


there are no round corners

my imagination is akimbo

jolts of current spark within context

without setting light

What to do?


I gather the dexterity needed

and carry it to the scales

only to find

it weighs more than I do


my skin is transparent

I employ a magnifying glass

angling towards the sun

the beam passes right through me

blazing and unhindered


I bulk up

looking for muscular advantage

and slip easily into the crowd

our words are hot but cool off fast

leaving nuggets between my teeth


I turn invisible

and pass easily through the crowd

floating a few inches off the ground

I still stub my toe

while leaving no footprints


I want to weep like a child

but worrying about the leak

I put duct tape on my face

covering my mouth

leaving space for my eyes


awkward and exploding

my imagination

is no longer rooted

in safe ground

I am uncomfortable

I am vulnerable

profusely sweating

in the slipstream


painting and poem: Jana H. White


35 responses

  1. Strange, that claustrophobic awkwardness that sometimes comes unbidden, almost shockingly so, perhaps? Then again, maybe I am reading all this through a different template altogether. Lovely painting – is that a detail or the complete work, may I ask, Jana?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Morning Hariod! I’m not sure if I can master consciously coming apart “gracefully” every time. For me, jumping on the train as its leaving is often the most direct way to new discovery. Sometimes I’m in the economy car with the goats and chickens!

      The painting is a wee small one. 5″x7″ painted years ago. Thank you my dear!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In Horus daze everyone was painted akimbo on the sacred walls of the Nile…your painting too, memories of camel bells and illusions of water. wonderfully simple in its complexity.
    When you’re Alice Through the Looking Glass like in this poem I enjoy sharing your white water reflections, but more, I just want to hug you and tell you its all just a dream…

    Liked by 1 person

    • “…it’s all just a dream” LOL … that is, until I try waking up within the dream. “Whose dream are you dreaming?” the Cheshire cat must have asked. I’m back on the borderline riding the rough edges. Poetry is everywhere. Words are dense as boulders, ephemeral as flowers….sweating, scented and never discreet. Thanks for the hug…!


  3. jana, with this poem the word “anomie” keeps coming to mind. it’s a scary poem for me. some of the images may show up in my dreams tonight. but i do get that being vulnerable can lead to some interesting experiences. (yes, we know about “interesting.”) “my skin is transparent” is such a strong image and central to the work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The transparency, Michael, was forced upon me a long time ago and has now become a gift …but still…one not easy to reconcile. I suppose this dark and darker fertility, this ground of chaos and creation, might appear like “anomie” ( a new word for me…! ) There is a certain frightening “weightlessness” inherent. I try not to shy from the heart of fire (one poetic face. I’m sure it has many)…. my resistance causing far more incidental heat. Thank you Michael…for your response, our dialogue… xxoo


  4. I’ve just spent about an hour trying to write a comment about your recent work. Unfortunately speechless doesn’t really say or capture what I’m feeling at all… and the pile of words… well, neither did they. Just keep dancing and being danced Jana. You’re drawing and creating from a very cool place.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The images here were so rich, so unexpected, but so inviting to enter into. They left me feeling all we can do is haunt the lives we are given. And what could be more tangible than that?


    Liked by 1 person

    • You’ve afforded me a deeper perspective, Michael, using the word “haunting” and all it implies. Out of body? It was an interesting juxtaposition to the poem (so lost and finding at the same time) since it’s now so clear that each birthing, of every nature, follows corridors of resistance until the inevitable stage of transition… fierce and dramatic, when bingo! We are born. We are alive! We know we are our body, not simply inhabit it. We breath air, wail from our center, kick and stretch into our existence…newborns every time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. surgery
    haglund’s deformity
    my stitches came out last week
    a heal with tracks
    along a bulb
    tensor bandages
    flexibility of ankles
    finding pain’s starting point

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love these words.

    my imagination
    is no longer rooted
    in safe ground
    I am uncomfortable
    I am vulnerable

    As I read I related some of what you wrote to dissociation. You may not have been talking about that but it’s how I saw it. I could see, me, not you, moving through the crowd, changing every time help or solid ground came along. No comfort from the sun, your words cool off. You float yet you are still hurt.
    When weeping as a child you covered your mouth, not your eyes. The leak seems more like words than tears.

    Wow. I’m moved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poems often come at me full on…or up or down through me with enthusiasm. I wrestle with them with the desire for relationship, to get closer, to touch. And …to be touched. After trauma a person needs the practice. Your insight about this one is right on…it was inspired by “words”. Someone told me I do “awkward” well. Hit a nerve. And all the layers upon layers of other stuff came in but words really are the doorway I’ll walk through every time to have a better look. They allow me to be vulnerable. To express how I’m feeling in that moment or I’ll burst…

      Thank you for the dialogue! And for relating to this one. That disassociation? It’s become a tool. Shown me worlds I’d never known existed. For me the trick was in learning my “mind” was in my whole body, especially my heart, not just in my head. And the moon and its phases which seem to bring up all the peaks and hollows I need to balance. Thanks again for reaching out…xxxooo


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