Picasso’s Progeny

You, the sculptor,
shaped our lives, molded
us into the model
of your desired likeness.
You created masterpieces
with the elder and younger;
they so like the perfect David,
but you are no Michelangelo,
and i, the nucleus of this family,
am not a piece of clay.
i defy your wheel, knife,
the kiln that fires your bloodline.
i take to the kiln my own David,
misshappen like a Picasso,
surreal to you.

© 1996 Iona Nerissa

At a Convenience Store, Writing Poetry

While sitting in a booth, an hour before work, I try to write poetry. But the click, click, click of the cash register distracts the musings jammed into my already clustered brain. And as I try to spill words onto this page, a you child spills her soda, the tawny liquid cascades the patterns of her too-tight T-shirt and falls to the floor ~~ the floor I will mop and mop over again, as sticky footprints retrace the night’s events. And the man, a cigar dangling from the sepia corner of his tightly clinched mouth, growls the angered growl of a wounded bear, bearing all to me and the child who hides behind her mother’s saffron sundress. And in the child’s shame, she raises two, too-large coca cola eyes to meet mine, and then lowers them as a tear trails the shadows of her sanguine face.

© 1995 Iona Nerissa


I pass her daily,
she’s just like me,
but not me.
She is dark, a ghostly shell,
some alter ego
deliberately mimicking me;
Or is this my own dark soul,
the darkened wretched me?
There she goes again.
but this time she notices me in the passing.
Will she ponder the same questions as I?

© 2011 Iona Nerissa