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Cotton duck canvas
on careful days
in a closed room,
intersecting tension,
energy and interest
for strangers to interpret

Three bashful belles
and lovers of art
undressed as a figure study,
cloistered together
in a line of beauty
for moral support

Their congregation assembled
in glorification of
angelic landscapes,
tempered by the mysteries
within convexity's arboretum

In unequivocal parts and gradation,
where good posture
and graceful presentation
count in equal measure,
to create Hogarth's
line continuous
--the Analysis of Beauty,
bended at the waist
to spread light through the canopy

During such exhibition
the belles whisper
under the rose,
of war and shopping lists,
they seem to avert eye contact,
gazes fixed to
the eternal sphere
ticking on the far wall,
never directly into the eyes
of those who come to
paint their *******
with sandalwood

Anais Vionet Jan 30
When a class is boring, the air can feel close and rebreathed - not a comfortable feeling for a COVID child. When the class is finally over, it’s like you’ve escaped something.

Did you know an hour has 60 minutes because ancient Babylonians used a seximal system? (base six).

The class I was in was small, just eight of us around a table in a small room (four students were missing that day) and somehow the class had wandered into the unstable, waring, state of the world.

The professor ended his unscheduled thought, on the result of nuclear war, by saying, “After the nuclear exchanges, when cockroaches take over..”

“No,” I interrupted - it was a flashbulb moment - an impulse. I don’t usually interrupt professors, “Ants. Ants would take over - they’re mobile super-organisms, cockroaches are just meat to them.”

His smile and nod of approval felt warm and cozy, as if my emotions had a texture and temperature - but I knew it was something assigned to me briefly, like a motel room.

Nuclear survival isn’t exactly my bailiwick, I’m not sure where I picked that thought up or why I had the confidence to offer it. Confidence is a thin lever to work with when talking to a professor. I’ve seen professors crush brash students.

The bell rang, I had survived, and Leong was waiting for me in the hall. The crowd in the hall was moving on toward their classes, like water splashing in every direction. Leong barked a laugh. “What?” I asked.

“Neh,” she said, waving her hand (meaning forget it).
“What?” I asked again.
“When I was little, I would visit my grandparents' farm, in Shandong (province, China). They would call their cows in with a bell,” she said, motioning, with both hands to include the crowded hall.
“We’re the most privileged cows in the universe,” she suggested smilingly.
“I suppose we are,” I agreed, as we passed out into a wind as cold and harsh as witches' breath.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Bailiwick: “a sphere in which someone has expertise.”
Heavy Hearted Nov 2023
Comprise the population
Revolutionized, new variants
Attempt consolidation.
Socialist experiments or
Anthropology's deviation?
Avoidance- societal detriments of health:
Classism's obliteration.
Francis Oct 2023
What do I do?
What do I be?
May it simply be,
That I’m just me?

Who do I be?
Who should I be?
Is it always a matter,
Of what I make me?

Why can’t I just be?
What can’t I just be me?
What does everything,
Rely on what to be?

I somehow seem unable,
To be any ounce of free,
With requirements to be,
Everything but me.
There’s a title and a category for everything.
Man Aug 2023
Vestal shores of youth,
Life! -Render once forth
Coasts, before every home.
Turn castles to glass,
Liken ivory to stone.
Our long mass, come to close-
Hunger no more.
What is achieved, at last;
The peace found within,
Begins to unfold.
every time
i speak my own
name i taste
the blood of
my mother's bit
lip (&) held tongue-- a self shed
to take rein

o' my father's flatiron
the blood, reigned (&)
i remain—
sanguine & ruddy
after all
(these broods).
thoughts on immigration, identity, class & patriarchy.
Anais Vionet Mar 2023
It’s the Thursday morning before valentine’s day. Lisa and I are scrambling to get out of our suite. We share an Organic Biochemistry class and we’re running a hot minute late. As we pulled on our shoes Lisa asked me, “Do you have fun Valentine's weekend plans?” The question, since I have a BF, contained a suggestion of impending sexiness. We grabbed our bags and were soon out of the dorm.

“I do NOT have fun.. WELL??.. well,” I said hesitating - was this the time to let my secret out?
“Well?” Lisa follows up excitedly.
We’re out in the quad now, an uncovered rectangle of grass and walkways. It’s 37° and cloudy. It’s going to drizzle all day. We maneuver around the slower movers, bookbags on our shoulders and coffees in hand.

“You’ve familiar with, umm, Twib?” I asked.
“Twib! I’VE heard of them,” Lisa, chuckles, “they do some singing and plucking of strings, I believe.”
Yeah, yeah. They’ve gone underground, and um, their crush is tomorrow night”
“Oh, Wow,” she said, somewhat shocked, “Twib has crush?”
“They have crush,” I confirm.
“How did I not know this?” Lisa asks the universe, “EVERYTHING has crush!” she laughs.
“Everything has crush this year,” I agreed.“

We get to the bus stop right as the shuttle arrives - it’s perfect timing - and we board.
“I think “Crush” is a really cute name, better than “Spring Fling, for a dance name,” Lisa said.
“Anyway,” I softly announce, leaning into her even though we’re close and sharing a seat, “I’ve got three invites, so I’m taking Peter, of course, and YOU,”
Lisa laughs, “OK”
“And,” I add suspensefully - this was the surprise - “YOUR secret crush,” I add grinning and bouncing with excitement.

Lisa freezes, turns pale and looks at me like I’m crazy. “What?” she says hoarsely.
“Tom,” I said hesitantly, “Peter invited Tom..”
Now Lisa has a wide-eyed look and her cheeks have turned a flamingo pink color.
“He doesn’t KNOW he’s your crush,” I add quickly, reassuringly, putting my free hand on hers.
That seems to calm her, “You didn’t SAY anything,” she asked, scrutinizing me for any sign of deception.
“No, I swear, I said, making the sacred “x” sign over my heart, “We’d never. It was just a fun, surprise idea.” Suddenly the shuttle seemed hot and uncomfortable, I took off my scarf.

We shared the last 10 minutes of the ride bickering. After we got off, we made our bickering way to class. As we settled in (we sit together) I offered,
“We can cancel, I can cancel, it was a stupid idea - I’m sorry.”

“No,” Lisa sighed, “I don’t always adjust well to surprises.. OK.. let’s do it!”
“What was all THAT (bickering) about then??” I asked.
“Oh, that was just fun,” she smiled, “I was making you sweat. Ok, What’s the theme? What are you wearing? Where’s it going to be held?” Lisa finally started asking critical questions.

“It’ll be at Luther (college) and the theme is biomes,” I said.
“Biomes?” Lisa asked.
“Biomes - like grasslands and tundra,” I explained.  
“Ohh, ok, sure” Lisa chuckled.
“And I got a dress from Princess Polly. Sorry Fast Fashion,” I joked.
“Hey, you know,” Lisa agreed, “When biomes call.”  
“You got it,” I nodded, “and I’m excited because I got a dress for you too!”
“For ME?” Lisa exclaimed, “aww.”  
“I know what you like,” I claimed.  “You do,” she admitted.
“It was a surprise and time was short, you’ll love it,” I declared, as the TA took the podium.
“It’ll be a go-hard night.” I whisper.

“You should all have a PSet and paper to hand in,” the TA announces, as class begins.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Scrutinize:  "to examine something in a critical way.

PSet = problem set (homework)
crush = a dance that you’re supposed to invite your crush to.
TA = teaching assistant (a graduate student)
Zywa Nov 2022
He is so holy!

Wine on his lips instantly --

turns into water!
"The Satanic Verses" (1988, Salman Rushdie), IV. Aisha

Collection "Low gear"
Anais Vionet Sep 2022
I was in my chemistry class (lecture #2) and the professor was asking a series of questions. At first, hands were flying up, the answers were easy. But as questions got more complex, and the odds of being right fell off, confidence and raised-hands faltered.

I sit the front row because I film the lectures on my iPad, and there I was, doing my usual bit - taking detailed, color coded notes. If the lecturer mentioned something, I noted it, with my #5 mechanical pencil, but that something could become a heading or a bullet-point in a larger tableau. Those, I would color code with one of several gel pens - tracing carefully over the pencil. Later, in review, I might hi-lite these points with neon, phosphorescent highlighters. (I have a strict color coding system).

I tell you all that because it describes how focused I get on my note taking in classes. I don’t usually interact much due to my filming.

Suddenly, I noticed an unusual hush. I looked up and realized, to my trauma, that the professor had addressed me. He was looking fixedly at me, bent over with his hands on his knees (he’s on a platform).

“Pardon?” I said, meekly.
“Don’t just mouth the answer,” he repeated (apparently), exasperatedly, “say it out loud!”

I thought back to his last question and I offered, “Magnesium nitride,” but he tilted his head like he was waiting for more, “gave off ammonia as it mixed with the water?” I finish the answer like a question.

“Exactly!” he said, standing back up after giving his knees a little slap with his palms. “Thanks for JOINING us,” he says, and after checking his seating chart on his lectern, he added, “MS. Vionet.”

I took a shocked umbrage at this (scolding?), my whole body turning a defensive, atomic pink. What did I do - I thought - why was he being so sassy with me?

I doubt he REALLY wants answers just called out.

It might be a long year.
BLT Marriam Webster word of the day challenge: Umbrage: being offended by something.
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