Confession

By Linh Dinh b. 1963 Linh Dinh
Perhaps I’m a cruel artist. I always depict
In great details, lovingly, all the defects
On the faces and bodies of my models.
I use my eyes and brushes to thread
The jagged gaps of their stiff smiles. I pamper
Each pimple, hump, massage each incrustation.

I cajole my models into poses that are awkward,
Dangerous, unhygienic, sometimes mortifying.
I don’t care to paint smooth, poreless skin but collect
All manners of rashes and eruptions. Inspired,
I’ve forced a hundred bodies—impossibly old,
Extremely young—onto appalling heaps,

Democratically naked, viscous with sweat, spit and etc.,
Just so I could render the human condition
Most accurately and movingly.

Linh Dinh, “Confession” from Borderless Bodies. Copyright © 2005 by Linh Dinh. Reprinted by permission of Factory School.

Source: Borderless Bodies (Factory School, 2005)

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Poet Linh Dinh b. 1963

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Persona

 Linh  Dinh

Biography

Linh Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1963, came to the U.S. in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two collections of stories, Fake House (Seven Stories Press 2000) and Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press 2004), four books of poems, All Around What Empties Out (Tinfish 2003), American Tatts (Chax 2005), Borderless Bodies (Factory School 2006) and Jam Alerts (Chax 2007), with a novel, Love Like . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Painting & Sculpture, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Persona

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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