I wrote this when I was fairly young. I have no idea what it means.

Mask D’Artifice

By Alexander Guinevere Kern


C- 1984


Ebony velvet, it’s pleated edges

Coax my eyes to crease.

It tugs my lips

To something grimly like a smile.


An early trauma forged it steaming hot,

From scalding flame

To my young face,

Hooking seared fingers with my Soul.


Though my countenance be china white,

The Cripple puppeteers,

And grinds the gears,

Metering out the frozen tears,


That slide only so far and then adhere.

Their ponderous weight,

Obscene jewelry,

Sparkling stalactites, melted pearls.


“Oh, how pretty your face

My dear, dear girl.”

Slide back the cold crypt

Behind my eyes,

Mother. Take back, the mask, the mask!




Gwendolyn Williams - 1984

** Not a Literal Mask

Submitted: October 17, 2021

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