Nude Poem N09

I made myself cry –
While posing nude as Mary
In La Pietà –
List’nin’ to Louis Armstrong
Doin’ the Heebie Jeebies




Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.



Notes to this poem…

For my latest session of posing nude for life drawings, I gave the illustrators a new challenge in posing as a foreground and background character in one drawing. They could draw the two of me separately as two drawings, or together as intended.

One such double set of poses, one per timed drawing, was of Michaelangelo’s famous statue, La Pietà.

La Pieta

When I started posing Mary, I thought of all those weeping Virgin Mary statue tales that were miracles. So I wonder if I could make myself cry in the tragic pose of holding her crucified son? Well, that thought certainly didn’t work as I wasn’t really religious, and it still had a religious taint to me trying to think of a general Mother holding her dead adult son. It didn’t help that I had swing dancing music chosen as my posing music. It’s not exactly “tragic” music, if you know what I mean.

What finally worked was thinking about the children who had left letters at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, asking why their Dads weren’t returning. I know there are such letters cause there’s a book on those letters by all people, not just children, that was devastating just to read into a few, never mind finishing any. Thinking about those children, despite Louis Armstrong’s Heebie Jeebies music playing, did the trick.

Tears started to flow and my fellow illustrators were amazed! A few even put in the tears as they came pretty close to the end of the timed session. 🙂

The N-series poems were composed while I posed nude for life drawing, being very still with excess mental capacity I must force myself to occupy with appropriate thoughts so nothing awkward would happen. 🙂


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