Do You Know Her?


Is she thinner than me?

Is her hair thicker?

Is it real or did a porcupine

Infiltrate her scalp?

Perhaps the implements

Of an ongoing lobotomy?

Are her breasts more ceremoniously perched?

Are they too large or too small?

I can’t tell the difference.

Would she be prettier without glasses?

Or does the magnification conceal

The decompression of those lunar orbs?

She is only partially dressed, the bed has held her

Holds her still, shes makes love to the air

A flagrantly gesticulating squirrel

To whom does she speak in those tarnished whispers?

What specter does she nurse in her white hands

That they should twist in such ungodly fashion?

What book arrogates her spine?

Does she know?

Does she know?

Does she now?


She speaks as one who does not exist

About improbabilities and the defects

That she does not wish to make known

Her references are vague like the location

Of graves laid in refurbished parcels of land

She speaks the unnamed taboo

Red threads shoot from her fingers like sparks

She’ll force you into revelation and then place you

Like communion against her existential palate

She’ll love you even when there’s nothing left

And there never is anything left once she’s buried you.


She does not accept lies, even polite ones

The only games she knows are those she plays

With herself when milking the windows for scenery

If you touch her will she vanish?

Will you marry her for the gist?

Her face is naked, it speaks too much

Can you listen with your tongue

Or does your heart still insist?

You will never understand her

In a way that consolidates reason

Do you know her?

Do you know her?

Do you know her?


This picture is part of my Planescape Torment photo series. I wanted to do a visual representation of all the factions but I have only done 2 so far. This was my Sensate photo.

This is what they actually look like the descriptor says Harlot but the Sensates honestly dress the same. I don’t have such an outfit in my wardrobe and even if I did I wouldn’t post photos of me wearing it online so I had to improvise! I didn’t bother trying to emulate the animated girls impressive/exaggerated physique that’s a battle I couldn’t win lol. I just tried to embody the playful vivacious spirit of the faction. Sensate was a hard one for me as I am far from outgoing. The poem has nothing to with Sensates I just didn’t have another picture of myself that hasn’t been used somewhere. This is an exercise I got from a book, writing about yourself as though you were an observer. I tried to use feedback/comments I have received over the years to help me construct it. I poked a little fun of myself as well. I have body dysmorphia hence the opening where I am preoccupied with size. This image doesn’t suit the poem as it does not reflect me very well, even if it is me being silly but you can probably see why people notice my hair and why Sam calls me a squirrel. Speaking of hair it is in a ponytail but it is quite heavy and well blobbish so I just couldn’t achieve that cute high ponytail look.



24 responses to “Do You Know Her?

  1. I’ve read this several times and have to tell you that I love this! Not only is it a thought-provoking exercise, but you’ve executed it so well. I see the 3 stanzas as follows: 1st as a self-conscious perspective I.e. You writing about yourself from a perspective of perceived flaws; 2nd stanza seems to be from the perspective of outsider’s I.e. How you think you’re perceived; 3rd stanza is how you want to be seen I.e. A Perspective of your strengths and even a type of mission statement.
    I agree with Faranastus’s comment above – it is relentless, but in a clever way, because that repetitive question “do you know her, do you know her, do you know her?” Illuminates/underlines the challenge of writing about oneself. I think that most, if not all, people have difficulty writing about themselves (writers included), because an outsiders perspective is often very different to our own. Plus, there is a fine line between blowing your own trumpet and elegantly conveying your actual achievements. As a result, writing about oneself is much less liberal and forgiving than writing about a friend/colleague/mentor etc.
    Add to that mix is the self-conscious element whereby we (the person writing about her/himself) straddle the line between how we want to be perceived and how we think we are perceived.
    I think you’ve done an amazing job. I would find this challenging and even confronting, so for those reasons I’m going to attempt this exercise during the week.

    • I just posted this as a prompt challenge at MLMM so if you write something and I hope that you will please submit it =) I think reading about this while on the tram helped. When riding the tram there is a certain detachment, anonymity but we also look at people invent stories of their comings and goings and attempt, perhaps inelegantly, to interpret non verbal signals. I tried to think of myself as just another passenger, a character. Then I thought of all various things I have been told over the years about myself from other people and tried to work that in. It is hard to get over that sense of being Narcissistic when talking about yourself. Am I bragging? Am I being overly self-deprecating? I tend to thinks others are probably a little more neutral in their observations of us. The first stanza does come from a place of insecurity. Of all my physical features my hair gets the most comments and well contact because people often touch my hair with or without permission. My breasts developed very early and they were such a source of embarrassment for me when I was young, I am quite self-conscious about my body in general so I rarely dress like I did in the photo. I have discovered recently that because other people have their own insecurities and anxieties that they don’t always pick up on the nervous habits of others. Like if you are in the gym they don’t care if you look stupid because they are too worried about looking stupid themselves!

      The second one has to do with comments I have received from people who know me a little better. I tend to be very abstract in my way of speaking if you can imagine lol I am also very intense which some people find scary while others get caught up with me in whatever it is. In the end I am always working toward being more honest not just with others but with myself as well. I really want to break free of these PTSD triggers and start being more conscious which is part of these reason to do these self-observations.

    • It’s with affection PJ haha I have ADD so I am a little scattered, jumping from topic to topic like a squirrel from branch to branch. I am very protective of my food, think the squirrel in ICE AGE! I eat hunched over my plate protectively. If I put my hair in ponytail it looks like a big fluffy tail.

  2. I was tempted to include a pic at the end but nothing I could come up with would match yours. I love how you are explored in this poem and the images you create about yourself. Yes the squirrel images made me smile. Excellent poem Yves enjoyed discovering more about you.

    • Thank you Michael well I am sure there is a way to do a masculine version of a Sensate since obviously either gender can be a member. Though I seem to think the men dress more normally you know how video games are with their half-naked women lol

  3. the repetition and the near repetition really work in this….the knowing…both her and him….and what is she, that you might find her interesting and not me…how is she different…some honest questioning in that…

  4. This piece has me reeling – in so many ways.

    It is brutal but honest. Sensitive yet alluring. Deceptive yet truthful. It is definitely one that, as an exercise, could be so challenging, in so many ways.

    Bravo Yves – for your honesty.

    And yes, I have this in my inspired file – because it is something I will revisit time and again – a great piece – in my books – is one that challenges and asks the reader to revisit – and consider. And it reaches out to me – and speaks volumes.

    LOL – an added note of interest perhaps? My given name (not in its entirety ) is Patricia. I’ve always hated it. BUT – if spelled backwards, and pronounced a certain way – AICIRTAP- a-ker-tap – sounds like a weird species of squirrel – and this I Love! (Crazy games we thought of in high school when bored out of our minds).

    • Thank you so much Pat! This was a challenging piece for me as well, obviously all my poems reveal something about my mental state/emotional state/circumstances/philosophical leanings etc but this was just a lot more blatant and direct. I hate writing bios of myself but I was able to have fun with it piecing together all the insane comments I have received over the years. One of the funniest things I suppose is that people frequently tell me that I look like I am from another time period, not of this world and sometimes people approach me very very slowly and touch my shoulder, when they see I am solid or alive or whatever they are so surprised lol I enjoy absurdity though and it allows me to laugh at myself, my life has been very well weird. Squirrel power!

      • LOL – yay! to Squirrel Power!

        Hmm … that is odd – perhaps you are of the being of being atmospheric? This is meant in a good way – although I can certainly understand how it does become odd and strange and annoying – if people were to constantly wander up to me and touch me – I’d be pissed off. I’m particular about my personal space.

        I, unlike you, am often told – and I deeply feel – like I’m out of place and time – *sigh* – sometimes, it is difficult – but, a healthy dose of humor definitely goes a long way. And a smile. You know – smile (I rarely do) but smile – and let people wonder – stimulates the imagination 😉

      • I have a 6 year old so I hardly remember what personal space feels like lol

        Humor is good and I employ it frequently it really does make life easier. Like you though I am not so much of smiler, I generally look confused!

  5. Oh this is fun … it’s almost as interesting to see how we think people see us as to see what we are actually like .. hell, that was some sentence I just wrote .. love the poem and the humor 🙂

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