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Bhowmick & Ruth – Aug. 15

Barbara Ruth and Apala Bhowmick traded art and words. Barbara shared this piece, “The Beauty of Wrinkles,” with Apala:

the beauty of wrinkles

In response, Apala wrote this poem:

Reduced Visibility

I ought to trade in my blade adoring feet for a
pair that doesn’t mind roomier shoes or slip-on
sneakers. Each lipid flush belt tells its own glad
story. Resting forgivingly on the once narrow
girth of my figure, they are an effulgent orchestra
populating a lax sitter and my wide still woman’s hips.
Beer tasting; french fries; an ominous fall from my
last lean diet; that one time I survived a full week on
ice-cream – the flipside of heartbreaks, the path paved
with saccharine inebriation.

My tongue swollen almost with spewing forth salaams
all day long ought to be given a freer rein around
the fucked up Sinatra’s of this world, and around
women who can’t stop talking about Brad Pitt. It’s
a call to arms, a call to billets-doux to a flawed, blemished
survival. To a frame chock-a-block with crevices and
creases, striations, undulations, grottos and ridges, darling
stories nuzzling in every nucleus of every single cell.

I should start admiring the beauty of wrinkles.
I should start talking in puns hard to understand,
and sport my love for long words the way Serena
Williams sports cornrows. Unapologetic, sincere,
impersonal as money, I shall stride in – windswept head,
tattooed with wrinkles – indomitable Kalinga queen,
and paint everyone who says I ought to watch myself
              Quite Invisible.

* * * * *

Apala shared this poem with Barbara:

How to Build a Terrarium

You will need: a clear container, plastic or glass;
(be creative, we’re talking susceptibility here)
activated charcoal; potting soil; small pebbles
(wrest one out from your first asphalt skinned knee-
pain makes prodigious art); plants. For an
aesthetically pleasing appearance, choose a variety
of leaf shapes and colours (ruched, sweetheart,
strapless, bardot). Plunge neckline. Place the
stones at the bottom of the pot (missed periods,
uninvited fingers, all pushed down down down,
farther down) then layer the charcoal evenly on top
(the buttercream’s too thick, you useless bitch)
Wake up paralysed in sleep, slipping easily from
one dream to another, some dark thing chasing you
round and round the room – singe it out with a cigarette,
move on, write more. Potting soil’s next. Make sure
you use gloves (three life size eyeballs chasing
your vertical striped shorts) – we relapse into
parenthesis again, now place plants in the soil and
arrange as desired. Throw in stars, glitters, small
rubber figurines, forgotten slices of birthday cake
(rapaciously devoured by bacteria). Everything that
makes for tasteful adornment. Artist carves skulls
out of mother-of-pearl. Tattered tattoo-sleeves print
on print on print: the gentleman sports a skull above
his Armani, beneath his Park Avenue pomade, his
brownness more an ode to his alien affluence than
alienation. I ripped my saree on a childhood thorn,
and traded it for converse shoes, French manicure,
a suitably sexy pen name. Pseudonyms are a thing
of the past, haven’t you heard, you little coloured
ignoramus? Piece of trash!

In response, Barbara made this image, entitled “Terrarium in the Tunnel of Dreams”:

Terrarium in the tunnel of dreams

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2015 2:23 pm

    Liked the “Beauty of Wrinkles ‘especially- is this an elephant’s hide? collage at bottom less so- bit derivative a la braque- i dunno- poetry too prosy for me- but then i love juicy words a la crane/stenes, dickinson
    See too much p;oetry these days that is reallty prose- music left out

  2. Barbara Ruth permalink
    August 29, 2015 10:05 pm

    The first photo is a coastal oak tree – no collage.

  3. September 4, 2015 5:02 pm

    what is the “terrarium”? lks collagy to me

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