Darken All Colors

The basic gist of my current poetry assignment is to write a sonnet about a historical figure or a fictional character. After some deliberation, I’ve chosen to write about Andy Warhol, or at least I’m going to attempt to. In my initial efforts thus far, I’ve conducted a bit of research mostly confirming what I already knew about Andy Warhol. I was big into the graphic design/digital illustration world, so it was hard to not be at least intrigued by the man. Yesterday, it occurred to me that I read his autobiography back in high school. It’s less autobiographical than a collection of crazy thoughts, stories, and opinions. So, I decided I would pick up that autobiography again to see if I could get a better sense of how I was going to write a poem about the man, hoping for more than what I was getting from Wikipedia. I snagged a copy from the Denton library in between my classes today. I sat outside in the crazy warm and beautiful Texas sunshine, enjoying the little bit of time I had before class to be somewhere other than inside the Language Building. Flipping open the book, on the first page directly within the inside cover was a small yellow sticky note that read “Lioy – darken all colors.” It hadn’t occurred to me that it was the same copy I had read three years ago. I was immediately overwhelmed with this feeling of transcending time and distance, from my sunny spot next to the bicycle rack overlooking Fry Street, to the classroom with tall tables and their scribbled surfaces of my art classes senior year of high school. Darken all colors. I’m not sure what that meant anymore. I don’t remember the piece of paper or the canvas the sticky note stuck to originally. It’s more likely that it was something for my graphic design class, where the printed pieces always appeared lighter and the colors less vibrant than the screen. I don’t remember the scenario, but the familiarity of the loops of the handwriting lingers. Darken all colors.

I wish for colored pencils to darken the colors and lines of memories so that they didn’t fade. Maybe a permanent maker would do the trick. By definition, they could never fade. Darken all colors.



4 thoughts on “Darken All Colors

  1. I find this ridiculously fascinating. To think about three years ago and how much has changed but how much has stayed the same and everything.
    I really, really like this post.

    • Jennifer Lioy says:

      Thanks, sweetpea. I don’t know how many times I’ve thought about/written about/talked about this lately, how everything and nothing changes, all at the same time. I think this is the first time I’ve found something tangible to work with. It smacked me across the face, in the best way.

      And if I had the option though, I don’t think I’d trade all of this for long-term stability. I think stability comes in its own time.

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