Perfection in the Human Form

31 October 2004

Perfection in the Human Form
(Leonardo da Vinci’s Cannon)

Do you know what it’s like?
To be hung on a wall.
To stand up straight and tall.
To not let your arms fall.
‘Til the days work is done.
And goodbye goes the sun.
There’s a crick in your back.
You can never relax.
Do you know what it’s like?

No you don’t!

You can’t know what it’s like!
You are flesh; you are bone.
And you live in your home.
Where you write your dumb poem.
Having nary a clue.
That I have a job too.
To be perfect all day!
So I’d just like to say,
You can’t know what it’s like!

No you can’t!

Damn the man!
I didn’t want to be,
This perfect model of humanity.
Damn the man!
I didn’t want to do
Jumping jacks all day in this glass zoo.
Damn the man!
Damn the man!
Damn the man!

Yes, I am a bitter picture.
Yes, I am humanity perfected.
Yes, I do have perfect teeth.

And that’s more than Mona Lisa can say.

Jessamyn Schnackenberg’s comments - 29 October 2004

“playful and highly vocal - the rhymes that come in 3s (lines 2-4, 12-14) seem more ominous, final, and aesthetically purposeful than those in 2s (which are more, perhaps, coy, exasperated/humorous/playful)”

“at times [the rhymes] seem to compete to determine tone - what do you intend tone to be read as?”

“fantastic line and image [refers to line 26 ‘Jumping jacks all day in this glass zoo’]”

“a witty punchline [last 3 lines] - perhaps yeilds and compelling tension that might be drawn out (though perhaps isn’t in this poem) [can’t read this word] how this sketch possesses a voice and a humanity that a fleshed out portrait cannot attain”

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