(screen shot from Invigorate.com)
Following is a poem written by Chris Campbell, who interviewed me recently for Invigorate.
Skin of Teeth
Our skin is a cape that does not trail behind.
Our brains exclaim: ‘I am the first to know!’
But it is the skin that touches first.
Skin cells negotiate with the sun,
turning rust red or beer bottle brown.
Skin does the talking for us:
concealing, broadcasting –
simultaneously protecting and betraying.
The voice of skin is a sharp whisper like the fast removal of suction cups: ‘Under me is the raging world of cellular transit; it is a magical world of mandatory ruckus.’
by: Chris Charles Campbell
I interviewed Chris about his experience in his own skin:
Have you ever been embarrassed by your skin?
Yes, I have. From the ages of about ten to twelve I had random outbreaks of eczema. But strangely only on my left arm. One particular autumn, on the first day of school, I quaked with dread as seats were being assigned. A patch the size of Alaska screamed on my left arm, dry and white with red peaks of broken skin. I remember my entire being rattled and excruciatingly tuned to the painstaking litany of called out names, and their assignments. Inside my nervous brain I was hoping, hoping, hoping that a crush wouldn’t be randomly directed to the desk to my left.
Do you have a skin condition?
Have you felt inspired by your skin?
Yes. When it is a late summer evening, and my skin subtly radiates a certain heat from its time ingesting the sunpower. I imagine my silhouette with curlicues of raw orange power curlicuing from its surface.
Thanks for the poem and interview Chris! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you on email lately.
Chris writes fantastical poems drenched with bizarre imagery and mystical longing. He is also a journalist and an illustrator, living in a log cabin on an island near Seattle. His website is societynationalindustry.com