chocolate is a verb

colors, flavors, whims and other growing things

found poem: WE HAVE TO

found poem: beyond

noticed

1963 DAK - 1966 DAKMy father took these photos of my mother, the left in 1963 at the Pantheon, in Rome, and the right in 1966, the location unidentified, but perhaps a zoo. There are a lot of photos like this in the scrapbook, Dorothy turned slightly toward the camera. He would have used a nickname to get her attention — not Red or Dottie, which other people used, but Schnutzie or some other made-up name.

Much as she loved her Chanel suit, my mother was happy to be released from the sensible squareness of the 1950s. It would be another ten or more years before she was willing to give up her girdle, but the ‘60s offered a more generous, and welcome, range of expression. She still (and always) dressed well, with care, and her style was far from zany, but she began to recognize and test the effect of colors and layers and odd accessories. Until late in her life, she was torn between the desire to be noticed and the persistent voice of her own mother’s warnings to be good, quiet, invisible.

found poem: anywhere

found poem: could I explain

found poem: glimpsed

found poem: elevate

found poem: to see

found poem: I studied

found poem: ART

found poem: winter,

found poem: traffic

found poem: the words

found poems found

found poem: today.

found poem: With No verse

twenty-one

1932 - Dottie on beach
I examine each of these many photographs of my mother through two magnifying glasses — one literal, that allows me to see the physical details, and one figurative, that focuses on the image through the lens of all that I know, and don’t know, about her.

In this tiny torn photo, Dorothy — “Dottie” — was 21. It was the Fourth of July, 1932, a beach party on Lake Michigan. She looks much as she would look for the rest of her life: small frame, slender shoulders, wide hips, her features strong. And yet there is something incomplete about her, something faun-like in her pose and her expression.

Perhaps more significantly, she already displays the entwined halves of her self-image: the careful and the devil-may-care.

She would have chosen her clothes with great deliberation — still a little flapper-ish, casual but styled, good fabrics, her curly hair nearly tamed by a beret. Her choices made, she would then have gone out of her way to be noticed for her insouciance — her party-girl laughter, her long pants dragging in the shoreline mud.

She flirts with the camera and yet there is still that uncertainty, the part that would ask again and again, Do you believe me? Do you love me?

found poem: perseverance

found poem: the immediate

found poem: the idea

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