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Portrait of the Writer as Vulnerable Aging Child by Gabor Gastonyi

When I first saw this photo of myself, snapped in a New Westminster studio, on a down-pouring day, a picture taken of me sitting awkwardly on a long stool, gripping one booted foot and with an expression of maybe huh? or perhaps what? or possibly, you were saying? or even just, I am still making but I am weary right now, I was initially taken aback.

No, I still am.

Because I knew Gabor was trying to get me not to pose, to be natural, to be in between moments of self-consciousness, and he had captured this. And because I am happier posed.

I show “the world” as much honesty as possible in poems, crafted truth of course, but still, I yield without cringing. But in photos, I want to be more idealized; I want to control perception, especially in public and unforgiving mediums. Regardless, here it is. In all its odd combination of hardcore and goofy, corset and zebra socks, tattoos and 70s hair.

And that face, taken in an instant where I trusted the tough light and the photographer’s vision. Ok, this is one artifact of me, not trying to be anything else than just human.