William Hernandez, My Morning Routine, 40 x 40 inches. Currently on display at ArtXchange Gallery in Hernandez's solo exhibit, Poetic Translations: A Visual Journey. Paired with this painting is a poem by Portland-based poet Christa Kaainoa, titled Skeletons:
If I had skeletons in my closet instead of clothes, I would pull them out into my room and we would have peppermint tea with milk and honey. There would be a wolf, hung together with wire and clamps; her polished teeth and fangs suspended in an eternal snarl, would protrude from powerful jaw bones, which would lead to spine, and legs dangling on one end beneath symmetrical rows of ribs and on the other end, beneath her pelvis and hips. I would get down on all fours and crouch next to her, howling my best howl, listening for her response, which would sometimes come, but usually only when the moon was full. And there would be human skeletons too. One would sit on the floor with his legs outstretched, one ankle crossed over the other, his spine resting against the soft cotton of the overflowing bedspread. We would put records on the turntable – CSNY and Carole King, sometimes Queen, sometimes Pink Floyd, and I would say, “Hey, sing along! I love this song!” But he would never feel sure of his voice, and he would mostly just mouth the words, his teeth, like rows of chiclets, coming together and apart, together and apart with the movement of his jaw. I would tell the other skeleton, lying on her side in front of the laundry hamper, her elbow bent, head resting on her hand, “You are so funny! Why do you always look at me like that when I sing?” and she would just laugh and tell me I’m the funny one. Sometimes we would ride the wolf skeleton around my bedroom, her bones going clack clack clack with every step. But she’d be strong and she could hold me and the skeletons too. We would take turns, and it would be like riding ponies at the petting zoo, only wilder and a little more scary.
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