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Grafton & Bradley – Nov.13

Grace Grafton and Stephen Bradley traded art and words. Stephen shared this mixed media collage with Grace:

002_TapeCollage-06In response, Grace wrote this poem:

Best foot forward

Yes, he said that and what exactly
did he mean? Was it
‘Don’t stand on ceremony’?
Was it ‘Dance the night away’?
Those high heels that always
catch in the cracks.
Definitely not the bedroom slippers
the nurse wore when she escorted me
back to the exam room.
Best feet I remember
were bare, running on wet grass
under sprinklers.

He and his admonishments
stick in my head,
it’s turning me upside down.
Whirling and whirling,
maelstrom of ‘Who am I
and where’s the rabbit hole?’
I don’t want to be Alice,
I don’t want to be a piece of fluff
tossed about or out or stuck
behind a chest of drawers.

Oh, the proprieties
in a pair of male eyes,
somewhat father, somewhat brother,
that dash of Ideal Lover.
Straighten out my head,
demand to know,
‘What do you mean? What is it
you really mean? Answer me
before I must decide –
open-toed sandals
or the hiking boots.’

* * * * *

Grace shared this poem with Stephen:


A panoply of words hung on the window pane
and who would arrange them to sluice the mind
of its “done in a jiffy” and “watch your
step,” the choir of correctors perched upon
the high-polish stepladder to impeccable
reputation? Of course that’s what Mother
wished for you, the segment of the story
that would never be erased or thrown in-
to disgrace’s tarnished trough. No jangle, no
laggard wedding veil nor teetering on
any brink. Who knew how ardent was your
salient dream of homelessness, who knew
that terror was that dream’s bonus? You were
born into an era of war and your
grandfathers’ slog through the trenches, rats’ eyes
gazing into theirs, you know the awful/
aweful corners created by human
hunger and imagination. The longing to
be safe, the inevitability
of peril. No furniture can save you.

In response, Stephen created this mixed media collage entitled “Dream of Homelessness” (click image to enlarge):


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