Transform a poem by a fellow student into a large-scale monumental experience.
This poem by Jay McPherson draws on bird imagery and color symbolism to describe part of his experience being a transgender man. The sun is symbolic of freedom and being able to live freely as himself.
The poem wraps itself around a large-scale birdcage. It starts on the lower left and winds its way to the top, where it meets a blue oculus—at the right time of day, the sun would be tinted blue for someone standing inside the birdcage.
"Portrait of a Flamingo Still in Ashes" by Jay McPherson
Body caged like a mute bird,
eyes fixed on the sun.
What reflects in the sky above,
staining the clouds with smoke and tears?
White feathers, marred with the breath of scars,
blood running like dry ink,
invisible to those without nerves.
Yet they have the nerve to call me complete,
pink from swallowing their words.
What lies below skin deep?
Blue beating in veins like rivers.
I am no body.
My spirit drowns as tensions rise.
Thin line underfoot,
spiders crawling at both ends,
apathy dripping off their teeth,
hungry for feeling.
Life caught in the web of so-called gods,
eight legs of misgiving,
eight eyes of judgment passed
before the fire even began.
My body burns on pyres,
holes in my skin
flame like pilot lights,
Is that the sun the bird sees?