Writing a Self-Portrait (FreeWrite)


Professors, I apologize for my absences

Because while your checks still come in

My ambition checked out for a while

With no layaway for tuition

It takes the dollars out of my dreams

Then again, no type of paper is a recurring motif in my visions

Just the ones I draw and write on

Trying to show you the graffiti murals on my nucleus

It gets tough however, when surrounded by all of this talent

“Look at his composition! I’d wish I thought of that

Her painting?! The brush strokes make me want to go into stroke”

Just to drop from an art scene with no chalk to be outlined in

But professor, you say “find the forms”

With emphasis on “looking deeper”

Smile at my squinting eyes and efforts to merely understand

Yet I don’t understand—what it is you see in me

I know I’m the only black student in the class

But none of you flip me like a token

Rather approach me as the only potent gem in the gravel pit

You certainly see it, my classmates give thumbs up with their scratchy-stoner voice boxes

While I’m Oedipus to my pupils, gouging them from viewing the truest story

Of me doing great things

Keep the imagined planet in this tortoise shell of mine

That still has yet to completely break

A tortoise isn’t always smooth

I’ve tripped in this race, too prideful to let anyone see

For I need you not—to witness a man broken

Unable to stand

Professors, I apologize for falling

Mum, dad, everyone, I am sorry

But at the end of the day, it’s a SELF-portrait

So past the light source, contours, tones, and negative space

I see my conscious in the mirror

We’ve been fighting a Cold War with each other

Victim to my own propaganda

I kick in the door

He’s got a stance like the pigeon toed six year old I was once. Timid.

His way of mind fucking me

I demand for him to give my swagger back

And promise to leave blood-stained acrylics if there’s no comply

He demands for me to get off my ass

I snatch the ambitions from his skull like the bone collector

Turning to leave, there’s a tap on my shoulder

He also pats me on the back, because I never do

“You know what you just did right?” he asks

A stubborn “what?” induces a smirk

“You took it. It’s all yours kid. Just take it!”

Resurrect of an artist

Portrait complete.

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