Friday, 9 June 2017

Ryan Vallee

For an incredibly honest body of work check out Ryan Vallee!!!!

her hair was her
wild as the jungle fern
auburn like autumn tree tops
and just as free
i always wanted it closer
to spin it into symbols
on my skin
spelling things like heat
like risk
like chaos
telling things
how my touch was penciled lines
how your fingers
were permanent marker
framing the heart
and touching off
a million different impressions

The hair image completely sucked me in! To be honest with you, so many scenes came to mind, the first which popped into my head is from Brave, the way Merida would wear her hair so wild and free flowing in the wind. And, the other thing that I thought of came from one of the great classics, Jo Marsh from Little Women more specifically when she chopped her luscious mane and one true beauty -- off for the purpose of selling it so that she can give the funds directly to her mother to safely bring her father home. These characters both strong and so steeped in long hair both supporting the identities of who they are. There's something to be said about savage locks corresponding with a wild mentality. I must admit my favourite part of this piece is right here:

to spin it into symbols
on my skin
spelling things like heat
like risk
like chaos
telling things
how my touch was penciled lines

Can you imagine using your hair as a method of communication through symbols and words – it would be something infinitely profound – letters that disappear in an instant the minute the skin is touched and curls are scribbled in an disorderly fashion. It reminded me of the work of Contemporary Artist Janine Antoni how she would use her hair as part of her artistic showcases.


here we sit
on the edge
of what we are and
what we used to be
and i'm not sure
which way
i'd rather fall

To be honest, I'm not sure which way I would fall either! Who we are and who we used to be will always provide some semblance of commonality that is present amongst the two. When we age each day that we motor through this world is who we used to be. Even now as I write this the future is pushing its way forward regardless of who I was in the past. If I were to look at this poem symbolically I would imagine a pointed roof top – on one side riddled with nothing but cotton candy and the other side with cruelty free goose feathers. Now, which way would you rather fall, both are soft and would definitely ease a proper tumble – it really is hard to tell. I like that this piece asks rhetorical questions we may never know the answer to but, is quite essential for life given a philosophical perspective.


perfection is found in each
one of us but not in union
clean breaks
are story-book syllables
bare knuckles with weight
behind them
the heart has the core
of the earth but the same
number of fault lines
and we are walking those
cracks always it seems
i am guilty just the same
sometimes
i stick my spade
to pry just a bit
and to say it's human nature
is one hundred percent
correct and such simultaneous
bullshit because we can change
if we want to
but we never can

The truth is that as human beings we are both simulations and un when it comes to life and how we desire to see it. I authentically relished the end to this piece – it just says it all in a couple of words --

and to say it's human nature
is one hundred percent
correct and such simultaneous
bullshit because we can change
if we want to
but we never can

Does our human nature indeed prevent us from succeeding in life – it's difficult to tell. I watched a show sometime back which described the amount of time if would take scientifically speaking before the awkward change period -- no longer feels strange? Would you believe they said 21 days... that amount of the time in the course of a life time is nothing if we can convince ourselves from not only shedding our snake's skin but sheep's wool as well. As human beings inside of all us there are two perfect halves to fulfill a whole – there has to be this balance in order for humanity to succeed.