I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

25 October 2014

Posing Nude

1.

When I was 25,
newly divorced
and needing cash

three friends
all artists
became my helpers.

First I posed just for them 
to get comfortable,
to find out if I’d like it,
to see if I’d be any good.

They taught me the tricks:
strike a pose suggesting movement
(more interesting)
but distribute your weight
so it’s balanced;

shift your weight
subtly, infinitesimally,
if you go numb;

wear your robe between poses;
rest between poses;
insist on a heater if it’s cold.

Surprisingly, I loved it.
Briefly, was the highest-paid
artist’s model in Melbourne —
until the next husband
wanted exclusive views.

2.

At 45,
plump mother of schoolboys,
I reclaimed an old identity.

An artist friend,
a neighbour,
became my recruiter

for the new life drawing group,
old hands and beginners both,
at the Community Centre.

I gave it a try
to see if I still could
(it’s harder work than you’d think,
stressing the body in various ways:
legs, back, arms;
cold, stiffness, pain)
and to find out if I’d still like it.

Yes to both questions, but
the long, reclining poses
became my forté now,
easier to hold
gentler on the body
and just as interesting
if the sketchers found their own angles.
(My friend liked to draw my face.)

The second husband
was less possessive by now!
Decided to be proud of me instead.
But then we moved away
and that was the end of that.

3.

I’m 75.
You must be joking!
Well yes, it is a joke
but one with serious purpose.

There’s Leigh, Helen,
Delaina and me
four friends
four poets
four collaborators.

Who came up with this idea first?
That we celebrate and promote
the paperback version
of our new book
by posing naked with copies?
I forget, but my guess
is probably either Leigh or Helen.

Leigh kicked it off:
abundant flesh behind
four fanned-out copies;
otherwise dressed
only in a huge smile.

This wasn’t the sort of thing
Delaina had ever done
or contemplated doing,
but she did. Part of the group,
she said, and therefore game.

Side-on, with leather jacket
draped over the far shoulder,
the book in front of the near;
and, I do believe, an eyelash flutter.

Helen’s away,
we’ll have to await
her no doubt brilliant
exposure on her return.

Meanwhile, me.
Yes, I did say 75.
Living alone
without a photographer.
Oh I know,
my massage therapist.
She sees me naked anyway.
But she’s booked solid,
can’t allot extra time.

OK, put the hard word on a friend.
Practise at home first
in front of the full-length mirror.
Hmm, hafta use two books
to sneakily push up
as well as cover the tits.
Decide the angle.
Maybe one book, open?

At friend’s house, she poses me
in front of the drawn blind
(in case of nosey neighbours).
I do the tit-push with two books,
I do the tit-push with one,
I let some flesh peek around the sides,
almost expose a nipple.

We examine the first results.
'I look ... low,' I say.
'I wouldn’t worry,' she tells me.
'Lots of young girls too
look just like that.'

But when I get home,
I realise what’s really wrong:
too much boob, not enough book.
I resort to my last option: selfies
with the Photobooth on my laptop.

I cart it around the house
to find a neutral background
without mess, ornaments,
pictures on walls,
or dangling clown puppets
growing out of my head.

I hold the book high this time —
never mind proving my cleavage —
and try for the right expression.
The wink looks gross,
the smile forced,
the calm face elderly.
I settle on a pursed-lip smirk.

And there I am, depicted
visibly naked again
(without visible rude bits).
Artistry it ain’t,
but this might have been
my hardest
as well as my last,
and — good heavens! —
my most widely-seen
nude pose.



















31 Poems in 31 Days (Poewar / Writer's Resource Center). Prompt: Do something that scares you just a little, and write about it.

dVerse Meeting the Bar: lists. (This one is a list of three episodes, within each of which are lots of little lists.)

27 comments:

  1. Wow, how brave of you smiles ~ I say you have a lifetime of experience to share & "bare" to the public ~

    And congrats on your publication with your poet friends ~

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  2. I love how your second husband "Decided to be proud of me instead." I'm very proud of my wife so I can understand.

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  3. wow, this is a great story and so honest. i love how you pour out your feelings about all this.

    hurricane and jordan

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  4. ha. you rock. what an interesting journey...would be cool to see what art people could make of you...and so bold...you are def cool rosemary

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  5. I really love the way you describe how to pose.. So different, yet something remain the same. Such different reasons too.. Must definitely be easier in some ways to do it for photo...

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    1. Well yes, in that there's no need to hold a pose to the point of becoming uncomfortable. But in a way it's easier when someone else decides how to portray me.

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  6. Your pose works well, you look all pale skin and soft female lines. Although your last poem was hilariously amusing all the way through, and the first and second did likewise briefly. You have this poem-a-day thing wrapped up kiddo!

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you think so! This one was hard to write and is actually three days late for the prompt - but I am not worrying about consecutive order.

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  7. That brightened up a dull Scottish morning ... smiles. I'm glad that the list prompt gave you the kick-start for this; it was definitely worth writing and reading.

    T.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks again, Tony. I'm glad I wrote it, and it has certainly been well received. :)

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  8. R.O.S.E.M.A.R.Y!

    You are my new hero!

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  9. It's wonderful to use the skills we developed when we were younger. Love the picture and the bravery of you four talented poets.

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    1. *Grin*. That's not a skill I had expected to use again at this time of life. (And of course the latest venture was a bit different.)

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  10. wow, this is simply beautiful, the built up, the progression and richness of intimate feelings...you used subtle lists but overall you piece becomes greater, larger than life... very well done.

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  11. the book does seem to stem from your heart Rosemary...nice pic too...bold & sweet.. best wishes for "She Too"..

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  12. a friend of mine is doing a life drawing course at the moment and she told me how much hard work the posing is for the models... very brave pic rosemary - it's cool

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    1. Glad you think so, Claudia. Suggestive rather than revealing, so perhaps not all that brave. (But, at my age...)

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  13. Rosemary, you are fabulous. You go, girl! I wish I had had this photo for our chat, LOL. I love you because I never know what you are going to get up to next. My kinda gal.

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    1. Ha ha! Sorry, but the pic didn't exist at the time of our chat.

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  14. Ha! You are wonderful, dearest Rosemary. That is a lovely poem and a lovely story. (I did nude modelling for life drawing classes for a while in Perth around 1974 -- I was 21 -- before Sue Hartley and I came across the Nullarbor to live in Eltham. And I remember it was a LOT harder than I'd thought.) Cheers!

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