Paul C. Howell
Mannequins and Metaphors


When you find yourself looking at mannequins can you hear

Them speak whimsical, nonchalant, meaningful…?

What is due deliberation and what do they call

A thing that has no name? Why would God



Need us if we can't figure out an abstract dream…?

What's a concept that can't be expressed except

As music or an inchoate painting? And what

Grates and blocks out light?



We are lost in language… We have no brain

Our eyes are painted blue and red nipples protrude

We reach for felt hats with our fingers thin



And beige skirts blow by a fan that's crude

So we're taken for windswept women though painted

Colors no one should mistake for skin