For the past thirty years I have drawn the same face on napkins and in the margins of notebooks. Why am I predisposed to the same doodle that reasserts itself on every available surface? I am fond of my doodle, which over the years has become a part of my signature. Recognizable. Part of me. I researched and found out that a doodled face indicates the mood or character of the person who created it. Weird or ugly faces indicate a mistrustful person.
My faces fall into the weird although not necessarily ugly category, scrawled lines, hair wrapped in half-halos, breasts often starred with asterisk nipples. Does that mean I am mistrustful and need to be on drugs? Nineteen times out of twenty, my doodle is of a singular face, so I could be drawing some kind of mood ring that expresses my state of mind. Maybe I should draw my face first thing in the morning and bring it along with an arrow saying, “You Are Here.” A nose that swirls next to an eyelid. A distended nostril. A single ear.
My doodle and I will be in the Bay Area for several weeks in May. Here are some upcoming readings:
Wednesday, May 1, 7pm
Books Inc., 1344 Park Street
Joined by Henry Leung, Open mike to follow
Friday, May 3, 6pm
Laurel Bookstore, 4100 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, California (next to a small ACE Hardware)
Joined by Grace Grafton, author of “Unruly Sonnets,” and many other wonderful books
Thursday, May 9, 7 to 9pm
Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Avenue
Piedmont, California (diagonally across from ACE Hardware)
Joined by Lucille Lang Day, author of “Married at Fourteen,” nominated for a Northern California Book Award
Friday, May 17, 7 to 9pm
Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby Avenue
Reading from “Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island” and new work