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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: Life Imitating Art
By Linda Germain


There’s a price to pay for being young and jumping in when it’s the thing to stick
All that ink on canvases of skin with no thought to later years
Or the purpose of our fragile epidermis as if tomorrow never comes
Or at least not now…but don’t discount a creeping lifetime

Holes in lids and cheeks and lips, and of all things, in
Tongues swimming in bacteria and other flotsam hanging on from
Meals or mouths not brushed or regurgitated sickness caused by flu or first trimester
Symptoms of wanted or unwanted products of conception

And like crayon-colored people who start out on fresh pages with only
Outlines to show their frames but end up with whatever rainbow hue that
Overflows from creative or well intentioned minds, some buy a golden cover
Sprayed from head to toe pretending to be natural but without x-rated rays

Draped in tinted sunshine as a backdrop crowded with snakes and symbols bold
Then pierced and pressured to follow fads by vacant souls who
Somehow seem to make the rules and attract the sheep to follow blindly into a place
Touted to be different but after each one steps across the line are really all the same

And from the inside out those who desire a girly shape get surgically endowed
Though often dangerous and some have lost their lives but it doesn’t seem to matter to
Cravers of attention as buxom beauties wearing very little designed to make
Blind men go gaga over females who are not ladies…have never been, and will never be

We buy the premise it’s a generation’s choice to make a statement but permanent
Graffiti, some not nice, on God’s Temple seems to scream the world’s gone wild
With personal opinion built on less than sand and supported by the masses who have
Neither clue nor care but float merrily down a stream that’s dammed up at the end

And if that were not enough there’s something kind of funny in thinking of a future
When grandfather or his wife or significant other with minds fuzzy from whatever past
They lived, falls and breaks, or worse, and no EMT can find a vein that’s lost beneath
The sagging Picasso composition to infuse him with life sustaining liquid

Nor tell if he is blue from oxygen deprivation or perhaps his skin is reflecting
Shades of his entitled self-expression from his youth which with old age has
Faded to a murky grayish navy cobalt dirty looking film that covers him
That’s why he wears long sleeves and hopes he doesn’t get a shot in either hip

And in that vague future place we eventually find ourselves and are surprised we did
Not stay young and certain, how will females who are 90-something great-grands deal
With parts of their figures still looking perky as other places droop to a lumpy base
While wobbly inky legs need to be encased in anti-blood-clot stockings

As humorous as the picture of the painted, pierced, dyed, and molded very
Ancient may be to see and as foolish as dark things glorified and embraced
Push the envelope to the edge where it dives and hits the deck at last, the saddest
Thing will be if there’s no regret from defending blatant evil-seeming substance lauded

Lots of us human kinds have one-way signs we didn’t heed and thought no one had
Lived before the day that we were born until we had our own and now as insight falls
In place we clutch our broken hearts and shake our aching heads at what they watch
And wear and play and idolize and at stupid risks they take…reaping what was sown

Some say to let them be and accept as normal purple hair, and lips and eyes rimmed in
Black macabre looking scary zombie-like and reminiscent of murder in every degree
Desensitized and numbed to real suffering or what it means…that it’s just kids
Expressing things too deep to verbalize…so for goodness sake leave them alone.

Make no mistake, without wise connection or foundations firm
Or love from healthy hearts without conditions
That’s where many fans of bizarre-extremis will be left…ALONE
But never for the sake of goodness.


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This article has been read 588 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Kearley 05/31/11
This is so heartbreakingly real and true. You have so graphically been able to portray the sadness of our times and some of the thoughts that are abounding, particularly in our young. But it comes with such a challenge - as your last verse staggeringly shows. Thankyou for this thought provoking poem.
Sunny Loomis 06/01/11
Very descriptive of the present day society. Well done! Thank you.
Michael Throne06/02/11
Thank you for stating so eloquently what should be obvious to all of us, but for some reason is not. I liked the piece throughout. Well done! I thought it was especially strong at the end.
Catrina Bradley 06/02/11
I love the boldness, and word choices and construction are fabulous. An eye-opening work of art.