I believe it is the act of language that makes everything that we are as human beings a possibility. I believe that in its ideal state Poetry is the purest form of that act. As I understand it, my job as editor/publisher is to find, promote, package and distribute poetry that comes as close as possible to the ideal. ~~~~~Ben L. Hiatt, Editor Digital Dawg

8/12/2004

Taylor Graham

SELF PORTRAIT OF THE POET

for Ben L. Hiatt

For the back cover of your book
you shot yourself triptych
between the bathroom cabinet mirrors,

then, you elongated the reflection
vertically, computer-enhanced.
A hard-drive doesn’t gasp
for breath like you do.

With a two-day shadow,
in logger’s plaid shirt unlatched
and your smile half-mast,

you might have just
been chewing roadkill deer-
meat jerky like it was taffy, or

stubbed out the cigarette you lit
at age six;

or maybe you’re making Yankee
Doodle against the dark conspiracies,
against life without poetry
& oxygen canisters.

You’re glorified in this mirror-
disarray that lets the mind loose
on “words that weighed
the voice of the wind,”

that sail outside your tripled image
like bats into the night sky.

What if I turn my own mirrors
against themselves; hold the camera
gut-level; aim and shoot?

What would I see
in that picture?


Taylor Graham's book
STILL LIFE WITH WOODSMOKE
may be purchased on-line
directly from the publisher
Mt Aukum Press