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Author not Author

The public construction of image is endlessly fascinating. How we want to be viewed according to a range of factors from vanity to specific occasion to reputation. The first image was snapped in the afternoon for a certain purpose: to obtain a photo of myself in scholarly glasses to place on an American poetry website I had been asked to submit poems to. You can still see a tattoo and the jacket is a tad sassy but the general tone is subtle and the lighting gentle, demure. Will I be read thusly, listened to more effectively? The second was a morning self portrait of course, in bed, showing off the new tattoo (which by the way is historical and exotic) along with several other inkings, my expression more pissed-off sultry perhaps with that strange glow of new day innocence cast across it. And yet a greater harshness attends the framing, the curve of the arm. Why will this secondary woman be dismissed or cast into alternative interpretations than the initial woman? Neither is me after all. Or both. And more. And how can an image be a self anyway? That recoil we all know from a photo of ourselves with a double chin, flailing arms, gormless expression. The reaction – “that’s not me!”. But are the pictures you like you? Just because they flatter? I try not to fool myself. But I do. We crave the beauty of the inanimate. I think often of lines from an Anne Wilkinson poem: “I’d love this body more/if carved in rigid wood/it did not move.” As women particularly, we long for this death before death do we not?