Quickwords Vol. 29 – Grey


Most of us have heard colors used to describe how you’re feeling — heck, my literature courses have had entire class sessions dedicated solely to color symbolism — but more often than not, the main color people think of in this context is blue.

While everyone generally agrees on what it means to “feel blue”, in my corner of the world I’ve heard a lot of different interpretations about what it means to feel any other color. It’s strange, and suffice to say I had this idea on my mind as I wrote the poems for today’s volume of Quickwords.

Filling the image is a wall of ivy in a rainbow pattern. In the center, an outline of colorless leaves resembles a person.
Original photo by Kelly Lacy

| Odd |

Static shadow
Upon polychrome ivy wall
Better seen as an absence
Than a presence;
What but a theft of color

Silver sword it guides
From wrists to scalp
Risen like executioner’s axe
To bisect
To break grey
Into black and white

Odd’s what they call
The indivisible by two
Odd’s what it feels
Still, it tries

Left, right
Day, night
0, 1
X, Y
Spoken opposites
Merely spectral signposts
Never quite binary
Perhaps akin to this weeping silhouette

Lines would be simpler
Rules would be simpler
Truth would be simpler
Answers would be simpler

| Grey |

The terrible dancer who’ll,
whimsy in the veil of microcosm,
blot his skin with a grape-scented violet marker,
jesting in a peculiar wonder of solidarity,
perfectly people,
and feel natural in a way beyond nature, yet natural

The tipsy raconteur who’ll,
standing on a shaky boat on a wavy indigo sea,
try to posit a question and an answer,
stationery quivering behind bitten fingernails,
yet unpolished,
seeking and creating parallels to a perplexing reality

The frost-fingered figure who’ll,
pale and blue and failing to do,
move at the pace of a glacier,
cursing himself for not being a river,
overthought,
blind in the blurry lines of the permanent and the long-lasting

The flat faced cutout who’ll wince,
green in his fatigue,
and swat away a locust inside of his head,
frantically flapping his arms and casting,
the mighty fool,
the winds that summon the plagues

The serene saunterer who’ll settle,
yellow-skinned in the shine of an approaching sunset,
at a rocky barrier, on a rocky cliff,
overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge,
beside a friend,
wordlessly sampling that elusive need for nothing more

The backseat shadow who’ll stare,
half in the orange glow of a streetlight,
out a window and watch the world’s orbit leave him behind,
then drop an anchor in what’s left of its gravity,
fading away,
and fall back into that car with more questions than before

The red-eyed sinner who’ll,
with a cursed gorgon’s gaze,
cleave through time with a detritus hand,
tearing down bridges yet to be built,
damn him,
in order to start campfires where community would be warmer

Working backwards I find that your colorful faces culminate in beautiful prism
Blooming with a dazzling, crystalline white light
Each of you a technicolor silhouette superimposed on itself
But me?
I mixed a rainbow and I ended up with grey

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