1. Growing up art was my least favorite class
  2. I could never make the materials cooperate 
  3. Paint water was dirty. I organized crayons
  4. Instead of coloring with them.
  5. Looking back I probably didn't feel 
  6. As if I was worthy enough to dull those
  7. Clean crisp fresh points
  8. There was one teacher, she had curly orange hair
  9. Who praised the brackish wave I had created in class
  10. After I told her the story of the purple surf board I had placed near the top


  1. My father exposed us (to art)
  2. By purchasing pieces we could ill afford
  3. Leaving parallel stripes of seething crimson on each of his five children
  4. When we cracked a piece of cheap Oriental pottery
  5. A ginger jar that he used to store his pennies
  6. It was cobalt blue
  7. With a coppery floral motif
  8. My mother hung black wallpaper in our dining room
  9. Sewed matching maroon draperies, needling me, ranting, raving,
  10. While decorating her skinny kid's back with a rainbow of bruises


  1. My first husband 
  2. Was also fascinated by Japan
  3. Musashi was his hero
  4. I read the book
  5. But it left me colder on the inside
  6. Interestingly enough he wanted to donate it
  7. To Goodwill after we got divorced
  8. By then he had seen
  9. How a dangerous personal philosophy
  10. Could ruin a relationship


  1. When I was in the psych ward
  2. I wondered about the connection between art 
  3. And sanity
  4. People colored, but I couldn't get into it.
  5. After all, you can be mentally ill
  6. Without the capacity to produce meaningful art
  7. Then one day we were assigned a collage
  8. No scissors of course
  9. I was given a book by the instructor
  10. I wish I still had it today


  1. Patterns are important to me
  2. Perfection kills, don't let anyone tell you otherwise
  3. There was a dark haired kid
  4. Who turned 18 during December, the third I think
  5. I saw him outside
  6. During a breakout session he sat next to me
  7. Coincidence I thought at the time
  8. Until he shoved a tiny scrap of paper my way
  9. I took it home and
  10. Glued it onto the collage I had made while inside


  1. Today my boss called
  2. While I was laying on my bed sobbing
  3. About the works of art I threw away
  4. Abandoned, neglected, couldn't stand
  5. Because they reminded me of where I had been
  6. And how I broke down when I was asked
  7. To share the story behind my collage
  8. Maybe someday I'll learn 
  9. I can still embrace the artist within
  10. Before this lifeless ink runs dry


  1. P.S. Ironically I did very well
  2. When we made posterior crowns in class
  3. I polished my tooth colored surfaces lovingly
  4. Picturing it being placed in the mouth 
  5. Of an imaginary patient
  6. Whose discomfort was alleviated
  7. By the artificial structure
  8. I don't know what kind of a person
  9. Fails collegiate ceramics, but receives praise
  10. From people who have been working in dentistry for decades.


  1. Many thanks to etouffee for the pointer.