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The Makeup Poem
Jan Epton Seale


Yes, it is

and unworthy.
Yes, it mimes
the posterior
sexual colorations
of the adult
male mandrill.
Yes, the number
of products
pawned off
on women,
with "rev-"
and "-ique"
in their names
is indeed
No, a woman's face
can't need
toner, blusher,
liner, smudger,
powder, cover,
plus base,
lotion, stick,
and rouge
all at once.
And yes, I shall wear it.
For: The names are beautiful.
This is closet art.
Men without are not better
than women with.
Nature loves a color display.
Clowns and mimes are magic.

First published in I Am Becoming the Woman I Wanted. (Papier-Mache Press, l995).
Used with the author's permission.


Jan Epton Seale was the 2012 Texas Poet Laureate. She is the author of nine volumes of poetry, two books of short fiction, three volumes of nonfiction, and nine children's books. The recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, Jan taught English and creative writing at the university level for many years and now teaches memoir and creative writing workshops. Mother of three sons and grandmother of four grandsons, Jan lives in South Texas, where she volunteers at a local environmental center. Learn more about her at




Post New Comment:
wonderful--especially the last line!
Posted 09/20/2014 12:10 PM
Well said!
Posted 09/20/2014 09:24 AM
I don't wear it but this poem makes me appreciate it. Nice job.
Posted 09/20/2014 08:51 AM
Great! I Am just about to apply a lovely shade of slightly sun-struck Revlon! I feel ten years younger when smothered in it. I love it. It makes me smile - aided a bit by a smear of exotic pink.....I shall meet the world head on - and at my age that is quite a stretch!
Posted 09/20/2014 03:14 AM
Gail Pickus: This is wonderful! All of it...Yes, it is...especially the Mandril...
Posted 09/20/2014 12:49 AM
What fun, esp the last line.
Posted 09/19/2014 11:28 PM

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