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© The Swartzentruber Studio | all rights reserved
Once my tender heart
beat openly on a bony shoulder
full of hope and illusion
twin carrion ready to peck the glitter
from youthful eyes
vulnerable in the crucible of dreams
I gave freely
milky liquid rushing down mountains of smooth skin
the air was icy but I didn't feel it
my offerings were bold
and you took them
between greedy fingers
your hunger boundless
a worm in my
foolish simple host
When the food ran dry
my lips curled
as I donned the legal garb
of your addiction
the bullet proof waistcoat
briefcase and dry words y
ou held in such esteem
I was untouchable
the freedom I lost
chained to the graveyard of your desk
caught between corporate babble
and the ticking clock
seemed a small price
I was wrong
Under the chainmail wasteland
of ego and paper
a woman's heart still beats
my third eye
suspended in animation
a future that has already arrived
if I loosened my tie, cut the ropes, dropped the box
would the world end
Magdalena Ball, Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Compulsive Reader
My cup is broken, it's never filled. . . and these eyes of mine, they play blind.
Behind these glasses I wait for the day I can be seen, the day I too can see myself.
I've been trying and trying on this ladder of 'be all you can be'.
The world beyond is presented with great sight.
For now I shuffle in my open for viewing brief case and place on my stockings.
This mighty net I've found myself in.
This only makes me want to try harder.
I want to rip from this foundation I have been anchored down to.
I'll change my style, I'll change my attitude, I'll make it a point to be heard.
If you can't beat em', join em', just for a small amount of undetermined time.
While I stand in the shadows, I learn.
And with this wisdom, I can do anything.
I can fly.
Tina Carrigan, Richmond,Virginia
Estrogen: Mindís Eye
I see more clearly with my mindís eye the meaning of peace
Though the world seems to have chained me in to one place
As obscure as the world around me may become in my eyes
I will still be aware of the treacherous and tedious fine lines
Has it become too difficult to prescribe femininity to the world?
Or have we become conformists pending decency for the girl?
All this and more has become clear behind the broken lies
When all that I know is subjected to the scrutiny of my mindís eye
We feel as though we have become too great when pertaining to this
Have we achieved equality or are we merely feigning all of it?
Softly spoken sophist muttering something of a different tune of jest
Was there a reason for our bleating to uniform the blessed?
Sick sadistic motives seem to float like wind as it blows
What hides behind those secret frames, behind the windows?
Might I ponder for a moment if you were anything like me?
Though if it were so than I would think this a catastrophe
When the thoughts collide in my own mind they seem to clatter
Only soon I realize that my dreams have not been shattered
As though reaching to catch the highest parts unknown to me
Though as miniscule as those hopes certainly now seem to be
I can not simply disregard what I might say that I know
That I certainly must admit that the true nature is not shown
Yet despite my writhing anguish in this business Iíll be fine
But I might never ascertain the true meaning of my mindís eye
Christopher B. Hopkins Albany, New York
"Maybe I have to break the ice on this one. This painting(s) takes on an issue which certainly can trigger responses. A women in typically manís clothes, with a tie, and sheís tied down too! What to make of this? A critique of the working woman? And why the 'mindís eye'? Does she have real eyes? What's the significance of the girl on the ladder? I ask not to have the artist answer, per se. Just interested what people think."
-Dean (Boston) The Artcrit Blogspot
"Wow, I just saw this artist's website. Very impressive. I love his puzzle-to-discover-every-detail paintings full of wisdom. This one, for me, is about how most "women lost their feminine essence to fit in a "men's working world? She used to feel inferior before, and now that she is in this 'men's world' she can feel succesful. Even. The little girl, is herself, before. Is it about 'feminist women'? She's tied up cause she can't fly if she's pretending to be a man and that's why the 'third eye' (wisdom) is blind. It's a funny subject to me. I've never really pay attention to this matter. I really like his paintings and discovering every detail. It's like every painting is a little lesson."
- Romina Diaz (Buenos Aires, Argentina) The Artcrit Blogspot
"I waited for responses...because it just plain bothered me. I know that means it's good art. It evoked an immediate response. I am a working mother, no blind eye here. Goodness I could use a few more, and I wear men's clothes daily...I just didn't identify with it. I supersede all those symbolic stereotypes, but I can appreciate the skill, the talent that created the work...very technically wonderful, evolved. But gut reaction was negative, like overhearing a racist joke in a passerby's conversation...weird. It's not that I hate the painting, not at all. After thinking about it I came to the conclusion...I think it's more that I hate the stereotypes that he has shown all grouped together in themselves. It's ugly to see the world thru stereotypes. That's the reflective quality of the glassess. But that's good art when you can take three days to decide how you feel about it. Art is subjective, this one is introspective."
- HMBT (Oregon) The Artcrit Blogspot
"I just think it is funny, he has this wit quality to be able to capture that 'silly human nature' and draw characters in a creepy and real way even though they are cartoonish."
-Romina Diaz (Buenos Aires, Argentina) The Artcrit Blogspot
The train at the station gets away in a head of steam, taking with it
the captain of industry and these days his moll,his girlfriend and his
It's because modern woman scorns her lot;she wants the wants of man, to
be like him black tie, shirt, suit in place and earning the peseta,the
buck,the pound, like only Señor the man can. Ah she sighs. Ah she cries
and knuckles down to fame , up, up that ladder , one step at a time, up
she goes again. Chasing elusive goals ,wild thoughts rush through her
head. What's it like to be a man. No body said a woman might enjoy it
not like a man but only like a woman can. And there behold the great
divide: those thoughts in each our heads. Ask the guru, freeze his
thoughts and see with the third eye too, how the Lotus springs open,hope
eternal, to the master touch and hardly to the mistress and her whim.
Remember lessons learnt from book can fly away like the bird at the
slightest ever turn. So woman purse your lips , draw them full together,
concentrate even more so if together you must live . And if woman must
aim like she does, she fill herself with the shakes and quiver, her legs
will always let her down, then her chest , heart and liver. And if she
smokes she's a clown..
-Cleveland W. Gibson, (Author of Billabongo) Faringdon, Oxon, United Kingdom