Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Yayoi Kusama" by Mary Soon Lee, Frequent Contributor

Yayoi Kusama
Mary Soon Lee

In the mirrored rooms,
my daughter danced,
stretching her arms out
to the myriad reflections
who stretched their arms out
inside a sea of polka dots.

Afterward, reading the notes,
I discovered that the artist
lives in a psychiatric hospital.
How can that be?
How can there be anything
but joy behind that glass?

Poet's Notes:  I wrote the first draft after this poem back in 2011 after visiting a local art gallery called the Mattress Factory with my daughter. One of the exhibits consists of two rooms entirely mirrored on walls and ceiling and adorned with polka dots. They are a joyful, marvelous place to take a young child, and my daughter loved them.  I revisited the poem in March 2017, rearranging it and shortening it, trying to capture that day.

Editor's Note:  The piece to which Mary may refer in her ironically chilling poem is Infinity Dots Mirrored Room.  An image of it as well as information about the artist may be found here:  http://site.mattress.org/archive/index.php/Detail/collections/112.

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