If painting is dipping a brush into sodden pigment and making it swath, scar or chassé across canvas,

Then acting is reaching down one’s throat into one’s essence, the soul’s secret sweat, and pouring it artfully in unperfect abstractions that crawl together with the souls of other colors, mixing to scrawl a world no paintbrush could dream up in two dimensions.

If a coral reef is a night city fed by purest sunlight, which nightly nourishes the eyes with budding lights and gaspings back into the ancient Neptune’s rock

Then acting is the brightest city our speaking-kind has built on dry land, growing on the light that comes of faces brightened from somewhere inside, bursting into bloom before enamored hearts-to-be, floating on the edge of heaven where bubbles cannot stay sealed.

If music is capturing the feathers of birds as they pass, and transcribing them into a haunted language that sprinkles fiery rain over all the world’s ears,

Then acting is a music that dives into the Blue Hole of Belize, the mud caves of the scarlet macaws, the icy heart of Hebrides and rests there, an arrow content to nest inside the wide-open eyes of a smaller, deeper-excavated crowd.


Note: This poem is a response to the wonderful performance of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, put on by the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and Santa Monica College Theatre Arts Department, and directed by Kenn Sabberton. This is one worth seeing if you’re in the area!

Image credits in order of appearance:

By Jacek Malczewski – http://www.pinakoteka.zascianek.pl/Malczewski_J/Images/Hamlet_polski.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22399509

By Close Act – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17340355


One thought on “uncurtained

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