The Preening Self

i like to color
fill in the spaces with
my heart-shades of
silvers, or hues
shades of yous

but somewhere
along the way
it got complicated,
became a contest
and the templates changed

now there are
places to color that never
even used to be places!
now people tense up
tighten up and yet another
competition has begun

give me places to color
but not too many
lest I get lost
in the preening self



Reblogged on


It was a year ago on this day that I read this poem, and I am struck just as strongly today as I was on that day a year ago…by this work of such stunning power and beauty and longing and fulfillment.

Melissa Shaw Smith is a poetess that I respect immensely, and a woman that I aspire to be like.  I have never met her, except thru her work, and thru a few emails in which she graciously allowed me to bloviate opinions about her work which in hindsight seems to me a bit like the 2nd grader who can do the times tables up thru her 5s talking to Madam Curie about the wonders of science!!

No matter…Constance, if you think my poetry is any good, just know that it is as if it were a child’s lego creation side by side with El Capitan compared to Melissa’s work.

Mel, if you are reading here…I love this poem with the marrow-bones of my tears.

Much much love…