Harry Potter

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To celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday today, I’m posting a drawing I created several years ago. They’re portraits of characters in the series: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Severus Snape, and Lord Voldemort.

With each portrait, I tried to draw in an uninterrupted line. I was inspired to try this style after I saw an exhibit of Alexander Calder’s portraits that he created out of wire. The exhibit, at the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit Calder’s Portraits: A New Language. Calder was a wonderfully creative spirit: inventing mobiles, forming lively stabiles, and painting bright, colorful works. He also created portraits with wire that loops and twists to form features of his friends and celebrities–a diverse range from Babe Ruth to Jean-Paul Sartre to Jimmy Durante.

Be nice to animals

Take a gander, while the cat yawns,
at her sharp teeth
that could rip me to shreds,
and the parakeet’s beak that could
poke my eyes out in seconds,
and the dog who’s slobbering could really
be him thinking about how tasty I look.
You may say the squirrel is cute,
running across the yard,
but he might wish to chomp on our toes.
While you laugh and say goldfish are harmless,
I bet you have never considered the
very real possibility that a thousand of them
could leap out of their fish tanks and
fly at me and nibble me to death.

Please be nice to animals,
since we don’t know
what they’re thinking about.

Tiger Puzzle

In this dire situation,
I am stuck in an apartment’s
locked room with a ferocious tiger,
and the only windows are two small ones
high up on the wall, close to the ceiling.

How to escape? I dash at the locked
door, shoulder against it, trying to crash
it down. But my ridiculous attempt
only amuses the tiger, and it
smiles/snarls as if it knew I was
going to try that,
and then it eats me—
starting with my feet and working up.

However, as hair is indigestible,
the beast throws up my head. This
disgusting sound alerts a passerby
in the hallway beyond the door,
and they, in turn, alert the authorities
who arrive, bash down the door,
and capture the tiger.

A scientist extracts DNA from my hair
and regrows me from a cell back into
a fully formed person.

However, my memories are not
carried with me, and so I am surprised
when I show up to an appointment
in an apartment building and
the door shuts behind me, the
lock clicks, and a deep, throaty
snarl comes from the shadowy
corner of the somehow familiar
room.