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The Literary Groong - 06/14/2003

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	By Shushan Avagyan

	(Sculpture by L. Bourgeois, 1986)

	resides on a pedestal
	sleek head at her feet -
	a decapitated hybrid
	served as if for sacrifice -
	her cold marble body attacked
	repeatedly with a chisel
	in deliberate stabbing fashion.

	Technically she has no face
	and yet she's watching you
	through her four swollen teats -
	organic breathing fierce
	lonely in her unpredictable cosmos
	creator and destroyer
	and extremely soft -
	soft as the skin of Mother -

	(Drawing by L. Bourgeois, 1947)

	Lair upon lair, heavy stone bricks -
	a three-storied house
	sprouting from her naked torso -

	trapped in the ideal of her home
	she's lost a head - and instead
	there is a stairwell at the door -
	central metaphor
	for possible flight
	to a better place -
	still she stands hypnotized
	meditating calculating
	her escape and going nowhere
	at the same time -  she is stuck.
	She has already settled for what she's got.

	(Sculpture by L. Bourgeois, 1991)

	Once they teased in a décolleté dress
	once they nourished a newborn
	once firm, once soft
	once ornamental to an Armenian sorceress
	or a Moroccan concubine in a tulle veil,
	now - on the surgeon's table
	parading shyness of solitude
	and abandonment.

	They once belonged
	now - they've become an ethereal vessel
	of the world's bravest echelon.

	[The Triptych won second prize at the 2003 Hildegard
	Festival of Women in the Arts, Turlock, CA]

Shushan Avagyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia.  She is currently
working on her master's degree in English Literature, and is a
recipient of the Dalkey Archive Press fellowship at the Illinois
State University.

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