Collaborative Portrait: Uncertainty (III)



Back up a little more.  Drop your paper where
it was.  Where you had it before.  What I would do
I would flip it around.  Spread your feet a little
more.  Don’t blink.   Hook your thumb in your
pants.  Don’t blink.  Spread your feet
a little more.  Drop that paper.  Stay right there
don’t blink drop your head drop your paper
a little bit flatter.   Change
your arm position here.  Spread your feet
a little more.  Lean more
towards me.  Lean straight
into me.  Cross your
arms.  Pull down your shirt.  That’s more
chin up, don’t
blink.  Drop the hand with paper down
don’t blink.  Try the head
the other way a little.  Drop your chin
spread your feet a little
more.  Lean over your shoulder towards
me a little bit.  Tilt your head
that way now.
Turn the other way and
try.  Let the paper hang straight
down.  Come back straight back
around.  Don’t move
grab the paper.   We can’t read it.  Fix your shirt tilt
head a little more apart.  Don’t
blink.  Chin up a little.  I need to find
something this camera wants to focus on.

photo: © 2009 Bill Hayward

photo: © 2009 Bill Hayward


I’ve got gray, black, and white.
I’m on the top center point
close to the skin and the gray.
Move your hand.
Head straight up and down, chin up
a touch.  Move your hand, let me
see a little finger.  Break at the waist
towards me.  Now
hold it, head
tilted.  Relax a second looking
at the camera.  Or
the paper wrapped around
her leg.  Flat like that.  Ninety
degrees.  That looks a little too
opposite.  You can barely
read what’s written.

About clairedonato

Claire Donato lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in the Boston Review, Black Warrior Review, Fou, and Harp & Altar. She is the author of a chapbook, Someone Else's Body (Cannibal Books 2009). Claire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and is currently completing an MFA in Literary Arts at Brown University.
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